Saturday, November 2, 2013

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #34

Hi, everyone !!

Hopefully you all had a "Happy Hallowe'en" and maybe even discovered some new, perhaps previously overlooked, Roku channel or else some fresh, exciting content with which to get your fright on over the past four weeks or so. Unfortunately, Roku never came through with a UK version of their "A Very Roku Halloween" channel, despite my repeated requests for them to do so, but at least I was up to the task of completing one Hallowe'en-themed post per day throughout my month-long blogathon that was "A MummyVision Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" because, had I not done so, UK Roku owners would have been left even more wanting than we already are. I mean, even if it was an issue over certain content or (perhaps) the (non)-availability of particular Roku channels in the UK... how hard would it have been for the developers at Roku to "clone" their existing Hallowe'en channel, then switch out the non-UK channels and/or content with something UK-friendly, and rename it something along the lines of "A Very Roku Halloween UK" which could then quite easily be offered via the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store?!! Had they bothered to think about it... pretty much all of the major development work had been done already, with the channel having appeared on USA Roku players for several years now, so it really ought not to have been that much of a problem. Still, there's always next year, right? ...RIGHT?? well, let's hope so anyway !!

Fortunately whilst Roku, themselves, were being cheap with the UK Hallowe'en love... the other Roku developers out there continued to support Roku in the UK as well as ever and for that we are grateful. So, while there's still no "Official" UK Roku channels for 4oD, ITVplayer, CatchUpTV, Lovefilm, BlinkBox, et al... as long as these NEW ADDITIONS keep coming for UK Roku owners, the guilty parties at Channel Four, ITV and Amazon UK will hopefully WAKE UP & SMELL THE COFFEE eventually !! By the way, in case you were wondering, I didn't include CatchUpTV in that last comment because they have already been knocking on Roku's door for quite some time now, hoping to start discussions over the development of a 'CatchUpTV' channel for Roku UK, but without success. Thanks for your persistence guys... maybe try shoving some smelling salts through Roku's letterbox so that they come out of their stupor and answer "the door" instead of leaving you out in the cold ?!! That way, maybe we'll see a few more of the ESSENTIAL CHANNELS that will be required for the further expansion of the Roku streaming media player into the UK market, just as the USA has Hulu, Amazon Instant, etc. Don't get me wrong, I still stand firmly behind Roku as a platform for delivering this kind of content BUT WE REALLY NEED to have THE RIGHT KIND OF CONTENT as demanded by the UK viewing public. ARE YOU LISTENING, ROKU ??!!! Then, PLEASE, take the necessary steps to get the aforementioned channels (4oD, ITVplayer, CatchUpTV, Lovefilm, BlinkBox, etc) onto the Roku player in the UK and THEN things will really start to look rosy for Roku in the UK as those NEW CHANNELS provide a firm foundation for the future of Roku in the UK !!

Moving on, in addition to new channels, we've also had some more new readers coming to the pages of this blog. Once again, there were many repeat visits from various countries that I've mentioned in previous posts but on this occasion, unlike six or seven weeks ago (when there was just one country that had not featured previously) this time around there were visits from a further two countries that had not graced the pages of this blog until now. So, before we go any further with the current 'Weekly RoundUp', I'd first like to extend a warm welcome to those new readers from both Guyana and the Seychelles, who took the time to pay a maiden visit to these pages during the past seven days.

To those new readers, and to everyone else who continues to read my Roku-related ramblings here on this blog, I'd just like to say... "Thanks for stopping by" & long may you continue to do so.

Still, let's get on with the details for the current 'Weekly RoundUp' of NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. This time, there are TEN NEW CHANNELS which have been added during the past seven days. These latest additions to the Roku UK Channel Store provided FRESH CONTENT to the Film & TV, Music, International, plus Special Interest genres.

In keeping with previous installments from the 'Weekly RoundUp' series, details of these new channels have all been listed below, together with links to obtain further information {by clicking on the channel name(s) beneath the respective channel icon(s) as pictured} and to read a 'Roku Guide' review, with an independent (as well as slightly more expansive) assessment of each one:-

WILMA RADIO........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

TECH SMART.........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

EDEWCATE...........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


CINEMA TERROR RADIO!......................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

DIESELPUNK INDUSTRIES TV...............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

CRAFTSMART.......................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

FRANCHISE CHANNEL...........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

iPARENTING..........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

HORROR FLICKS.................................................COST: £1.49 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]


So, whether it's retro "holiday" (i.e. Christmas) movies & TV shows, vintage media from the late 1920's to the close of the second world war (ALL FREE-TO-WATCH), information on baby, toddler, kids and teen care (based on the experience of other parents), dance music radio (feat. the disco era, as well as current hits), local Philadelphia Hip-Hop artists and other hip-hop talent, old horror movie trailers, educational films, old time radio (OTR) episodes & DVD reviews, technology news, gadget reviews and product usage tips (covering mobile phones, smart TV, home entertainment & more), universal nursery rhymes (from around the world) plus math, science & further educational lessons for grade K-10, craft ideas (FOR ALL AGES) including holiday, seasonal & educational crafts, decoration, jewellery, arts, drawing & more, or (perhaps) even an extra selection of horror movies (for those of you that just can't seem to get enough of them), we've pretty much got all those bases covered with these latest NEW ADDITIONS to the Roku UK Channel Store.

Anyway, like it or not, that is your lot for this week and, whilst it doesn't quite the match-up to the fourteen channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store during the same time-frame, I always think it's better to have SOME NEW CHOICES than none at all, don't you ?!!

Still, hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the ten channels outlined above. If not, then you'll have to pay us a visit another time when, with any luck, there will be something more to your liking. Afterall, there's no point installing every channel because, as I've said before, when it comes to adding new channels to your Roku player, IT'S YOUR CHOICE and, as with all things Roku... THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS !!


Meanwhile, for my last twelve 'Weekly RoundUp' posts, I have been suggesting we spare a thought for all the poor folk who handed over their hard-earned cash for one of those NowTV Boxes [Powered by Sky] which, as you may recall, have (so far) totally failed to live up to their full potential. Likewise, the original promise from NowTV of "more apps being continually added", is yet to be adhered to, since there still hasn't been a single extra new channel added to the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box since the launch of the product. As before, while time moves on so (it seems) does the tumbleweed...

HINT: Click on the above image to ENLARGE IT for easier viewing !!

It's likely to be of no surprise to anyone that (as with EVERY WEEK since it was launched) there has (yet again) been literally NO ACTION in terms of NEW ADDITIONS to the Roku Channel Store selection on the NowTV Box. What this means is that, over the course of a week, NowTV have once more managed to produce a (NOT SO) GRAND TOTAL of absolutely ZERO NEW CHANNELS to add to their (already SEVERELY REDUCED) version of the Roku Channel Store as included on their NowTV Box. Meanwhile, the "Official" Roku Channel Store that features on all UK Roku players has added TEN EXTRA CHANNELS during that same period of time. To keep things in perspective, in the fourrteen weeks since the launch of the NowTV Box, there has been a total of ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN EXTRA CHANNELS added to the "Official" Roku Channel Store on UK Roku players, as compared with ZERO EXTRA CHANNELS being added to the Roku Channel Store on the streaming player from NowTV. That, surely, must tell you something ?!!!

It would also appear that the 'EWTN Europe' channel, which (if you recall) had gone AWOL from the "Religion & Spirituality" genre (i.e. category) in the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box, is now no longer listed among the "New" channels either. As mentioned previously, it was still there BUT (for some strange reason) it is no longer in any of the recognised channel store categories. This means that the sadly flagging "New" channel category on the NowTV Box which, as I said before, had dwindled to a count of three... is currently down to just TWO CHANNELS, NEITHER OF WHICH ARE genuinely "NEW"!! This only serves to reinforce my opinion that their efforts to disguise the fact that THEY HAVEN'T ADDED ANY CHANNELS to the NowTV Box since it was first launched are even more futile than I first thought. Can they seriously think that no-one has noticed how these (supposedly) "New" channels have featured on the NowTV Box since day one ?!! Perhaps worse still is that THE NOW TV BOX HAS TWO LESS CHANNELS THAN IT DID AT LAUNCH and that, instead of "more apps being continually added", it is more a case of  "apps being continually REMOVED" from the streaming media player, as it takes another positive(?) step towards actually becoming the "NO TV Box" by offering 48 channel choices as opposed to the original collection of 50 channels which were featured on the NowTV Box at launch.

Now, I really don't mean to keep sounding like a scratched record but, if the NowTV Box is going to succeed, they really need to start adding channels like 4oD (which has already been touted around for a few weeks now) to the Roku Channel Store on their NowTV Box but do it "NOW" and not "later this year". I mean, if they can't manage to add anything to the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box in  a little over three months, how do they expect us to believe they'll have a 4oD channel by the end of this year?!! I'm even starting to wonder why they bothered with a direct access button for "Apps" on their remote control, since they don't seem to be doing anything with that particular aspect of their streaming media player. As I've said in previous weeks... if this lack of support for the NowTV Box continues, it will eventually be branded as the "NO TV BOX" with people becoming more & more disillusioned at the unfulfilled promise of the device & the associated lack of channel choice available on it. Seriously folks, do yourselves a BIG FAVOUR and spend the extra twenty quid or so to get a Roku LT that allows you to ACCESS NETFLIX plus many other film & tv channels (incl. NowTV) and, as predicted, now gives you more than 600 EXTRA CHANNELS TO CHOOSE FROM when compared to the NowTV Box. It would appear that my forecasted difference in channel count went from a mere possibility, to more of an inevitability, and is now very much a reality !!


Still, whether you happen to own a Roku player, a NowTV Box, OR BOTH, as I do... be sure to come back in seven days' time for my next 'Weekly RoundUp' and, if you can't wait that long, remember you can always keep up with all the UK Roku action (as it happens) throughout the coming week, by following the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels where up-to-the-minute info on all things Roku-related (here in the UK) is posted on a daily basis (well, almost).

Until the next time, then...

That's all folks !!

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