Saturday, June 14, 2014

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #66

Hi, everyone !!

Two years ago to this very day came the announcement, VIA THIS POST, proudly proclaiming "Roku Hits 150 Channels In The UK" as posted on the "Official" Roku blog. Not a bad start... especially when you consider that UK Roku players had only been on sale to purchasers in this country for just shy of six months at that point in time! Better still, when you take into account that there were only around forty channels available in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store when the product was first made available. So if you then fast forward to today, with Roku already having broken the 1,000 channel marker on UK Roku models, you'll discover that SIX TIMES AS MANY CHANNELS were released in the two years since that announcement, as there were in the six months leading up to it! Yes folks, we've had a phenomenal 900 CHANNELS ADDED to UK Roku players IN JUST 2 YEARS! That figure even exceeds the estimate from Roku of "one channel per day" being added to their streaming media players, averaging out at 8.65 channels released per week (EVERY WEEK) over the past 104 weeks - not much chance of matching that on a NowTV Box !!

Of course, with the exception of 'BBC iPlayer' (which was made available on UK Roku players fairly early on), the other main UK CatchUpTV services were somewhat slower to come onboard (much to the frustration of UK Roku owners). The next to "get hip" to the rising popularity of OTT streaming, compared with conventional OTA television, was 'Demand 5' which (largely thanks to the involvement of NowTV/Sky with Roku) was added to both UK Roku players and Now TV Boxes in July 2013. It was then another four months (appropriately enough!) until we saw '4oD' added to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store (although not on all models, until far more recently) towards the end of November 2013. With three of the big four UK CatchUpTV services now embracing Roku, it was surely only a matter of time until 'ITV Player' had an official presence on UK Roku players?! Things began to look up in January 2014 when news broke of a partnership between Sky and ITV for a new channel, called 'ITV Encore', that would bring with it (as part of a wider agreement) an 'ITV Player' channel for the NowTV Box. This was (probably) the first sign that UK Roku owners might be set for the full compliment of UK CatchUpTV services on their streaming media players. The real question on everybody's lips was, "When?", and the answer to that question is... "NOW!", because this week has seen ITV deliver on that agreement, meaning WE NOW HAVE 'ITV PLAYER' ON UK ROKU !!

Meanwhile... not content with upsetting UK Roku "Mums", by not adding their special "Mothers' Day" theme to UK Roku players in honour of 'Mothering Sunday' (in the UK) back in March, Roku have (again) decided to ignore the UK (perhaps to even the score & appease the UK Roku mums) by also choosing to ignore UK Roku "Dads" when it came to adding a special "Fathers' Day" theme this weekend. In case you were unaware, or haven't seen the images posted via social media today, here's a screenshot of the "Fathers' Day" theme added to USA Roku players to mark the occasion:-

PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Tiangco

This seems to be a nasty habit with Roku, when it comes to "themes" being added to their streaming media players - as well as the (currently?) US-ONLY Roku 'Search' feature... ahem! (HINT, HINT!) - with the UK being constantly overlooked, except when it comes to seeking investment in their product(s) and as a market for selling those products to us. Need further proof? Don't seem to recall getting the "Lego" theme on UK Roku players, recently, either !! Let's just hope that, if & when Roku does open-up "Themes" to developers, they remember to edit "Channel Stores" & add the UK too !!

One Roku developer that has been editing channels for UK Roku players is 'Brad C' from CESoft LLC (aka "Cheap Entertainment Software") whom I managed to track down via the Roku Forums and ask for 'MiniGolf' and 'FLIP' to be added to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store, which he duly did. So, let me first say, "Thanks, Brad!", for acting on my request(s) so swiftly because (as you will see below) both of those channels are now available in the "Games" genre (i.e. category). Another matter which cropped up, during our brief exchange of messages, was the fact that his sequel to the 'Pathogen' game for Roku (appropriately called 'Pathogen 2' - duh!) had not racked up as many sales as Brad had hoped for, given the amount of effort he had put in to developing it. I sympathised with Brad because, as I told him... from my perspective, it was among the best work he's done thus far. One possible reason I put forward for this was that the game may have been priced too high and I went on to suggest that he may want to try offering it at a reduced price (if only for a short while) to see if sales improved. Anyway, it seems that Brad must have liked the idea because, top bloke that he is, the price has since been slashed to just £0.69 for the game. Having seen this, I got back in touch with CESoft LLC to try and find out how long the offer might last and, from what I gather, it depends on the level of sales it generates at the new lower price. Essentially, if sales improve, Brad will keep the price down BUT, if there is little or no effect from this reduction then he intends to put the price back up to it's original level. Therefore, my advice to you is to GRAB YOURSELF A BARGAIN and purchase 'Pathogen 2' while it's still on offer. By doing so, you'll not only be saving yourself some money but also keeping the price down for those who purchase the game in future. You'll find it in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store under the "Games" category and, to make things easier, the channel icon you're after looks like this:-


Anyway, gaming bargains aside, 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 ELEVEN NEW CHANNELS which have been added during the past seven days. These latest additions to the channel line-up have provided us with FRESH CONTENT in the Film & TV, Games, Internet TV, Food, 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:-

MINI GOLF...............................COST: £0.69 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

MOVEE4U FREE.........................COST: FREE / $1.99 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE:- That whilst the 'Movee4U Free' channel is FREE-TO-ADD, and does feature some FREE-TO-VIEW content, there is ALSO SOME PAID CONTENT which can be accessed via an upgrade to the 'Pro Channel Package' for a fee of $1.99 per month. Details of which content is paid and which is free are better described in the 'Roku Guide' review for the channel and I'd recommend you read that if you'd like to know a little more about this channel prior to adding it.

ITV PLAYER....................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

FLIP.............................................COST: £0.69 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

MYRECIPES.COM............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

CHILL-OUT TV........................COST: £1.49 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE:- That whilst the 'Chill-Out TV' channel is available for a one-off payment, there is a disclaimer in the channel store description which states that the channel "May require additional fees" to be paid. Now, it's quite possible that this has been added as a safeguard in the event of future "paid content" being made available, or it may be that you have to pay extra for certain content that is already there. So, please exercise due caution when selecting content from this channel as some form of payment may be required before you can watch it.

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

CALVARY EAU CLAIRE................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

NRA WOMEN....................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

JUS 4 ME CLUB FREE......................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE:- That whilst the 'Jus 4 Me Club Free' channel is FREE-TO-ADD, and does feature some FREE-TO-VIEW content, there is a disclaimer in the channel store description which states that the channel "May require additional fees" to be paid. Now, it's quite possible that this has been added as a safeguard in the event of future "paid content" being made available, or it may be that you have to pay extra for certain content that is already there. Therefore, please exercise caution when selecting content from this channel as some form of payment may be required to watch it.

RMG-TV - ROVER'S MORNING GLORY......................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


Anyway, like it or not, that is your lot for this week and, for the first time in quite a while, we have actually managed to exceed the number of channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store during the same time-frame (incidentally, there were ten, in case you were wondering). This was largely thanks to 'Brad C' of CESoft LLC (aka "Cheap Entertainment Software") adding a couple more of the Roku channels he has developed (that were previously not in the Roku UK Channel Store) to the selection of games available on (compatible) UK Roku players. I had to do a fair amount of detective work to  contact CESoft and get those added for the benefit of UK Roku owners so please show your appreciation for my efforts (and Brad's Roku channel development skills) by adding and rating some of his Roku gaming channels or Roku screensaver creations !!

Still, gamer or not, hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the eleven 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, IT'S YOUR CHOICE and, as with all things Roku... THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS !!


Unfortunately, time has gotten the better of me today and you're going to have to wait for my current assessment of the Roku Channel Store that features on the NowTV Box. That said, it will definitely be worth the wait because, after months of inactivity (aside from losing  a few channels) there has been a flurry of activity this time around (relatively speaking) and, while you can probably guess what one major channel addition was, there may still be a surprise in store for some of you besides that, when I reveal which channels were added to the streaming media player from NowTV this week !!


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 use my Roku via a UnoTelly DNS and it all works well except for the new ITV App. Since I had to enter a UK postcode I thought the most appropriate one, as I am overseas, would be SW1A 1AA

    However once I choose a programme and wait for the inevitable advertisements to finish, I then get "Something's gone wrong: Your video is unavailable at this time"

    Going to set up I can see that my post code seems to be OK but is there any way to press an [Enter] key, as the cursor just sits there looking as though it's waiting for further input. The two options down the bottom "Change postcode" and "Cancel" don't seem to do anything


    1. Hi, Gorq !!

      Thanks for taking the time & trouble to leave a comment.

      It's much appreciated.

      From what you have described, it sounds very similar to an issue which some UK Roku owners experienced with the '4oD' channel around the time that was first released in the UK. Of course there may be more to this particular issue but, from the sound of things (with all other channels functioning well), it ought not to be too difficult to overcome it.

      The first couple of things that I suggest you try are uninstalling 'ITV Player' then reinstalling it and going through the 'setup' process again (i.e. entering your UK postcode) to see if that sorts things out for you.

      If not, then I'd uninstall 'ITV Player' again then powercycle your Roku (i.e. turn the power off for a minute & then plug it back in again) followed by adding the 'ITV Player' channel once more and attempting the whole 'setup' process again.

      As to the question of an "Enter" key, that's normally what you would use the "OK" button on your Roku remote for and, short of using the 'directional' keys (i.e. up, down, left & right), there's not really any other way to navigate around the screen to select other options. So, if the above suggestions don't get it working for you, then you'll just have to get back to me again and we can go from there.

      Aside from that, as I recall from my own experience of setting-up the channel, 'ITV Player' merely requires that you enter your postcode to allocate you with the correct programming for your specific ITV region in the UK. So, it may be worth skipping that step to see if any of the programming is available to you without your postcode details?!

      Anyway, give those suggestions a try and let me know how you get on with it.

      Thanks for reading the blog!

  2. Thanks for that and sorry for the late reply - been travelling. Uninstalled, re-installed. All good. Thanks