Saturday, December 28, 2013

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #42

Hi, everyone !!

As you might expect, with Christmas Day falling slap-bang in the middle of the week, things have been relatively quiet in terms of Roku-related news during the past seven days. Nevertheless, despite the plethora of office parties and copious amounts of eggnog being consumed, the Roku developers have still managed to release a handful of new channels for your entertainment. Their collective output does pale somewhat in comparison with the prolific output from recent weeks but at least there's now an even broader selection of channels available for existing UK Roku owners, as well as anyone fortunate enough to have received one as a gift over the festive season !!

Meanwhile, 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 the various countries that I've mentioned in previous posts but, as with three weeks ago, there was just one country that had not yet 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 Lithuania, who each 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.

Before I press on with revealing the latest additions to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store, from this past week, I'd like to remind you about AN AMAZING OFFER for indie film fans which comes courtesy of the 'IndieFlix' movie streaming service, which 'Variety' described as "the 'Netflix' of independent films". Details of this FANTASTIC BARGAIN are available VIA THIS LINK and those who take advantage of this opportunity will get UNLIMITED ACCESS to thousands of award-winning features, shorts, documentaries & web series FOR A WHOLE YEAR at a cost of ONLY $12.00... yes, that's just twelve U.S. Dollars for an annual membership to 'IndieFlix' (normally $69.00). That means an equivalent monthly fee of just $1.00 compared to the regular monthly membership price of $6.99 which means you'll be getting twelve months access for less than the price of a two-month subscription. BUT HURRY.... this OFFER ENDS ON 31st December 2013 so, if you don't want to miss out, be sure to act fast because there's ONLY THREE DAYS TO GO before it's over !!

Anyway, now that I've done my bit to support independent film, 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 SIX NEW CHANNELS which have been added during the past seven days. These latest additions to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store provided FRESH CONTENT to the News, Weather, Sport, Internet TV, Special Interest plus Religion & Spirituality genres (i.e. categories).

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 (where available) with an independent (slightly more expansive) assessment of each one:-

AIR CAST LIVE.....................................COST: £2.99 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE:- That the 'AirCastLive' channel for Roku is designed to work in conjunction with the 'AirCastLive' app for either iOS (version 4.3 & later) or Android (version 2.2 & up) mobile devices. The idea being that you use this device combination to implement a mobile video and photo sharing service for your HDTV, incorporating mobile, web and TV applications, to record videos and take photos which can then be viewed (via Roku) on your television, as well as shared with another user's TV anywhere in the world, using the built-in "AirCast It" feature. You can easily DOWNLOAD these FREE APPS for your particular mobile operating system VIA THESE LINKS:-


N.B. Android tablets are NOT SUPPORTED at this time, although the developers have stated that future support is pending so (hopefully) it won't be too long before they are !!

PLEASE ALSO NOTE:- That, as with the recently added 'SlingPlayer' channel for UK Roku players, the 'AirCastLive' channel has not yet(?) been allocated a specific genre (i.e. category) within the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store, other than the selection of "New" channels. At some point, you should (hopefully) expect to see it added to the "Photos & Video" genre, but for the time being... the only place you'll be able to find it and add it to your UK Roku player(s) is in the category for "New" channels within the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. However, due to the constantly changing nature of the "New" category, it won't remain there indefinitely so we'll have to hope that AirCast Mobile (who developed the channel) can update it fairly swiftly and provide it with a more permanent home in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store, before it disappears never to be seen again. Until such a time as it does get a permanent category, though, it will not be included in my channel count and will also not feature in any of my Roku UK Channel Store listings.

Once installed, whether it's Mobile-to-TV, or TV-to-TV, 'AirCastLive' helps you capture, save and share all of life's moments on the largest screen in the house (even if it's not yours!). Imagine capturing that special moment and then immediately sending it from your mobile device to another family member's TV in a different town or county, or (perhaps) even in a completely different country?! Essentially, with 'AirCastLive' we can now say that TV-to-TV photo & video sharing has truly arrived and that this marks ANOTHER  HUGE STEP in the way we interact with our televisions... all of which stems from a simple & yet, A GREAT CONCEPT... I'm sure you'll agree?!!

Meanwhile, if you'd like to discover more about 'AirCastLive', you can always visit their Official Website which you will find VIA THIS LINK and where you can watch a video "Introducing AirCastLive", to learn more about exactly "What is AirCastLive?", if any of the above is unclear. Those of you wishing to connect with the developers of the 'AirCastLive' channel for Roku can do so using their Twitter Feed: @AirCastLive or else get social via: AirCastLive (Facebook)

HISPAN TV.............................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

N.B. Since this channel does not currently (and is unlikely to) feature in the Roku (USA) Channel Store, the link above is for the Official Website of 'HispanTV' which, incidentally, offers Spanish-language news programming, produced in Iran, distributed internationally largely for the benefit of the Hispanic and Latino-American diaspora, as well as to Spanish-speaking foreign residents in Iran. The channel has drawn comparisons with 'Press TV' (an English-language news channel from Iran) and also 'Al-Alam' (a state-owned Arabic Satellite TV station). Anyone interested can easily connect with 'HispanTV' via their Twitter Feed: @HispanTV or else, get social with them through their Official Facebook Page: HispanTV (Facebook). To find out what kind of programmes are broadcast and when, there's a handy PROGRAMME SCHEDULE showing daily listings, with timings shown in GMT, and programme durations all of which be downloaded in Excel format, if that is of use to you. 

PLEASE ALSO NOTE:- That, due to the fact that 'HispanTV' has not yet been (and is unlikely to ever be) added to the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store, there is no Roku Guide Review available. If, however, this situation does change, I will (of course) add a link to this post.

THE CHAPEL..........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

BEN SWANN - TRUTH IN MEDIA..............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

DISCOVER THE TRUTH...........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

THE BRICK SHOW..................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


So, whether it's uploading photos & videos from your computer or mobile device for immediate viewing on your television (via Roku), including the ability to then share that content by sending it directly to another user's TV with a video/photo messaging service, or enjoying some kid-friendly television for all things LEGO (as well as other popular building toys) including reviews, brick films & art, the latest toy news plus footage of amazing LEGO builds, assorted religious programming, or speaking truth to power through media, culture & technology empowering the voice of the people toward liberty and freedom, or (perhaps) even catching up on some Spanish-language news, courtesy of IRIB (Iran's state-owned public broadcasting corporation), featuring all the latest stories from Iran, the Middle East, Latin America & the rest of the world... we've pretty much got all of those bases covered with this latest batch of NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" 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 seven new 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 six channels outlined above. If not, then you'll just 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 twenty '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 has been ONLY ONE NEW CHANNEL ADDED to the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box SINCE THE PRODUCT LAUNCHED. Still, at least they're managing to put all that tumbleweed to good use and lift our spirits as we wait (im)patiently for another new channel to arrive...

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


PHOTO CREDIT: 'Non Paratus' [Flickr]

Meanwhile, it's likely to be of no surprise to any of you that (as with EVERY WEEK BAR ONE since it was launched) there has (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 the past week, NowTV have (once more) produced a (NOT SO) GRAND TOTAL of 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 a further SIX EXTRA CHANNELS during that same period of time. To keep things firmly in perspective, in the twenty-two weeks since the launch of the NowTV Box, there has been a total of TWO HUNDRED EXTRA CHANNELS added to the "Official" Roku Channel Store on UK Roku players, as compared with ONE EXTRA CHANNEL being added to the Roku Channel Store on the streaming player from NowTV. That, surely, must tell you something ?!!!

Unfortunately it seems to be a case of one step forward and three steps back when it comes to the meagre selection of channels available in the Roku Channel Store which features on the streaming media player from NowTV. To illustrate my point... from the moment that the NowTV Box was launched, they have managed to completely lose 'EWTN Europe', 'WatchIndia' and 'USTV Now', with 'HooplaKidz' plus 'Havoc Television' electing to hide out in the "Most Popular" channels category and  'VEVO' going completely AWOL from the channel store all together (although it will still be listed among "My Channels" if you happen to have added it previously)... presumably they all went into hiding from the embarrassment associated with the lack of channels in their original channel store categories on the NowTV Box - and who can blame them for that, poor things ?!!

Sadly, this means that there is still a total of just 46 CHANNELS to be found in the NowTV Box version of the Roku Channel Store PLUS the 'NOW TV' and 'Sky Store' channels, but (let's not forget) they are only there by default and not included with the apps (i.e. channels) in the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box. So, leaving aside the "Most Popular" channels and any additional channels listed under "My Channels" (as I do with my channel count for the Roku player), when it comes to the actual Roku Channel Store categories on the NowTV Box, there remains no more than a paltry 44 channels in total, compared with 700+ in the channel store on UK Roku players !!!

Bearing this in mind... whilst the NowTV Box won't exactly leave you out-of-pocket, if you are after a streaming media player which can genuinely boast of "more apps being continually added" and is a lot less likely to leave you wanting by the time that the January sales have ended, then I strongly advise you to do yourselves a BIG FAVOUR and spend the extra twenty quid or so to get a genuine original Roku LT streaming media player that will allow you to ACCESS NETFLIX plus many other film & tv channels (incl. NowTV) as well as having the 'Plex' channel readily available via the channel store and will give you more than 675 EXTRA CHANNELS TO CHOOSE FROM compared with the selection (currently) found on a NowTV Box.


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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