Saturday, March 22, 2014

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #54

Hi, everyone !!

Regular readers of this blog may recall my mentioning a few weeks back that the 'Roku 3' had been nominated for "Best Consumer TV Device" at the "TV Connect Industry Awards 2014" where it had been shortlisted against the 'YouView Box' and several other devices. Those of you who may have missed my post, "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #51", will find further details plus a link to the "TV Connect Awards" website included in that article. Anyway, the reason for my mentioning it again this week is that I came across some GREAT NEWS published, VIA THIS ARTICLE, by the folks at 'IPTV News' who revealed that Roku had actually nabbed two awards at the event. Perhaps most significantly, ROKU 3 WON "BEST CONSUMER TV DEVICE" for 2014 beating all other devices to claim yet another well-deserved victory. The second accolade from the TV Connect Event in London went to Roku CEO, Anthony Wood, who was presented with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his services to the 'IPTV & Connected Entertainment' industry. So, all things considered, it was a great occasion and our CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH ROKU & ANTHONY WOOD for everything they have achieved thus far, not forgetting ALL EMPLOYEES & PARTNERS OF ROKU who (of course) played an equally important part in making this happen for the company. Suffice it to say, I needed no further encouragement to inform the likes of 'Amazon Instant Video' and 'BT Sport' as well as 'Blinkbox' of this news and suggested to each of them that this might be the time to develop a channel for the Roku streaming media player which (bizarrely) they have all neglected thus far?!!

Speaking of 'Amazon Instant Video', there was an update to their iOS app on Friday 21st March 2014 which included some rather intriguing information that only became apparent when clicking the link to reveal "...More" details in the description, FOUND HERE, from the iTunes Preview on the App Store. For your convenience, I took this partial screenshot of the webpage, shown below:-

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

Notice, if you will, the paragraph which commences with, "Start watching a video...", and you will see (as you continue to read) that "Roku" is clearly mentioned among the devices on which you can "...resume watching where you left off" which, given that this is most definitely a screenshot of the 'iTunes Preview' page for 'Amazon Instant Video' app from the UK App Store, raises more than a few questions as to the significance of it's inclusion within the text of this description !!

Now given what has happened (or not) in the past few weeks, since Amazon (UK) added 'Amazon Instant Video' / 'Prime Instant Video' (formerly known as 'LoveFilm') to it's UK 'Amazon Prime' benefits, I was about to put this down to another "copy & paste" error from what their Amazon counterparts in the USA had originally posted on the 'iTunes Preview' for the US App Store. However, the subsequent appearance of a post, IN THIS THREAD, on the "Official" Roku Forums led me to believe that there may be more substance to it. When another Roku Forums member later responded, WITH THIS COMMENT, on the same subject it seemed as though things may be finally starting to gain momentum towards adding an "Amazon Instant Video" channel to UK Roku players. The only thing that didn't seem to add up was that the links contained within the email(s) referred to in the thread turned out to be fruitless in both cases. This leads me to believe that the emails were sent out by Roku "in error" to UK customers and were actually intended solely for Roku owners in the USA. If I recall, there was a similar incident around ten days ago where owners received an email from Roku about a $5.00 promotion, after which came a followup email saying the first message had been sent in error and was "Not for you" so the offer did not apply. This was posted about on the "Official" Roku Facebook Page with the general consensus being that Roku should have honoured the promotion for those that had received it in error as a "gesture of good will" to demonstrate their commitment to a good level of customer service. Perhaps, in our case, they can give UK Roku owners a long-overdue channel for the 'Amazon Instant Video' service so that UK Amazon Prime members can take advantage of their access to 'Prime Instant Video' which is included as a benefit with their annual subscription?!!

Of course, until Amazon give the go-ahead for their 'Amazon Instant Video' Roku channel to be added to UK Roku players, for the benefit of UK Amazon Prime members, we are none the wiser about this. Meanwhile, if anyone wants to contact the Amazon UK Press Office to enquire as to exactly when we are likely to get their 'Amazon Instant Video' channel on UK Roku players, there are some contact phone numbers and email addresses you can use:-

(i) Amazon UK Press Office - Tel: 020 8636 9280
 / Email:

(ii) Mischief PR (Amazon Prime Instant Video) - Tel: 020 3128 6600
 / Email:

The more people can get involved with this, the better, because they need to start taking this seriously. The "wall of silence" approach from Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon Instant Video has gone on far too long now and, despite repeated attempts to communicate with them via social media, they have not even been courteous enough to reply once. Let's see if they sit up and take notice when more people start contacting them about this issue. THE UK ROKU REVOLUTION MUST GO ON !!!!

Anyway, let's now press on with the details for the current 'Weekly RoundUp' of NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. This time, there are TWELVE 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 Film & TV, Games, Music, Internet TV, Food, Special Interest, plus Religion & Spirituality 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 (where available) with an independent (slightly more expansive) assessment of each one:-

THE HYPE MACHINE..........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

MATH IS POWER 4 U...........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


AMY LYNN'S KITCHEN......................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

FUN TRAVEL TV..................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

HOLY SPIRIT AND FIRE TV..............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

INCEPTION RADIO NETWORK.........................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

CLASSICAL TV..............................COST: FREE + $6.99 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

CLUBBING TV FREE PREVIEW.......................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

FLOYD'S HAT GRAB.................COST: £0.69 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

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

PUBLIC DOMAIN MOVIES AND SERIES.......................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


So, whether it's being enthralled by the most riveting live entertainment & talk shows on UFOlogy, Paranormal Cryptids and conspiracies, discovering the latest artists being written about by music bloggers via discussion, analysis & consumption of the content from a hand-picked set of the greatest music blogs, or studying math tutorials from basic arithmetic through calculus and beyond, or testing out easy & delicious video recipes that are fast & fun as well as being filled with laughter & bloopers, or sharing travel experiences across Australia, the South Pacific and more, sampling free preview videos from the international electronic dance music, underground & DJ scenes, watching a curated selection of full-length performing arts programmes (incl. classical music, jazz, opera, ballet, theatre & more) in a virtual concert hall with the best seats in the house, or enjoying some religious programming, public domain movies, TV series and sports, or getting your gaming fix by dodging elephants, whilst running alongside dogs & ostriches, as you strive to collect as many hats as possible, or (perhaps) even a channel that would go perfectly with your Media Browser 3 Server, providing additional features such as Live TV, Custom Themes and Improved Grid-Navigation of all your media... we've pretty much got all of 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 twelve 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 !!


In the meantime, for my last thirty-two '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. So, as we have now (well & truly) become accustomed, when time moves on... so (it seems) does the tumbleweed !!

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


At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that the above illustration represents some sort of prototype for the 'NowTV Box', given that it has certainly churned out nothing but tumbleweed for months now. In actual fact, it's a "half-baked idea" for a 'Tumbleweed Dispenser' which will produce a ball of tumbleweed at the push of a button whenever circumstances dictate it. For example, if someone says something out-of-hand and everyone goes silent, or similar awkward moments that can come about during a lull in conversation... you know, those times when perhaps (as in a cartoon) you might imagine the sound of crickets chirping to emphasise the fact that nothing is going on. Still, even a half-baked idea is better than no idea at all... which, let's face it, is pretty much what the Roku channel developers at NowTV have got between them. I mean, even my recent suggestion that they be hired out to Amazon UK to clone an 'Amazon Instant Video' channel for Roku UK failed to spark their collective imagination, so (unfortunately) tumbleweed looks like being all we're going to get from the likes of them. What they need is something to challenge them creatively that will spark that fire of imagination and get those channel development juices flowing again. Wait, that's it... EUREKA! Let's get someone to actually manufacture these little tumbleweed dispensers as executive toys. Then we can send them to the Roku channel development team at the NowTV offices and see if we get better results. If you think about it, things can't really get much less productive around there than they already are, so LET'S DO IT !!

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 (once more) 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 (again) 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 TWELVE EXTRA CHANNELS during that same period of time. To keep things firmly in perspective, in the thirty-four weeks since the launch of the NowTV Box, there has been a total of THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX EXTRA CHANNELS added to the Roku Channel Store on UK Roku players, as compared with ONE EXTRA CHANNEL being added to the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box. That, surely, must tell you something ?!!!

Like I've said in previous weeks, it seems to be a case of one step forward and two 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 'WatchIndia' and 'USTV Now', with '4oD' being  the one & only channel added to the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box since it launched !! At least the 'Havoc Television' channel (which, until two weeks ago, had been 'AWOL' for months) and the 'VEVO' channel (which had been missing an "official" Roku Channel Store category on the NowTV Box for a similar period) have both stayed put for the past couple of weeks, having found their way back into the 'Music' genre (i.e. category) of the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box. Likewise... the other channel which had been lacking an "official" Roku Channel Store category on the NowTV Box for quite some time, namely 'HooplaKidz Rhymes', remains part of "Internet TV".

Fortunately, this means there are still 48 CHANNELS to be found in the NowTV Box version of the Roku Channel Store PLUS the 'NOW TV' and 'Sky Store' channels which (as I said before) brings the overall total back to fifty channels (as there were at launch). Having said that (let's not forget) those two 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 48 channels in total, compared with 850+ 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 you settle-in for a family movie over Easter, 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 800 EXTRA CHANNELS TO CHOOSE FROM when 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 !!


  1. I'm disappointed the Crackle UK channel closes April 1. Surprised it's not been mentioned yet. Announced in the ad breaks on the channel. Easily the best free channel.

  2. The Military Chronicle Channel is listed in the "new" category but I don't know yet if it is available in the UK.
    If it isn't I will make sure it is soon. More content is being added to the channel today and will be in the future. KP