Saturday, January 31, 2015

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #99





Hi, everyone !!



If you're one of the lucky ones who have been able to take advantage of some AMAZING DEALS on UK Roku devices over the last two months or so, and HAVE NOT YET REGISTERED for an account with music streaming service 'Rdio', then TODAY IS YOUR LAST CHANCE to qualify for the offer by Rdio & Roku TO GET 2 MONTHS' "RDIO UNLIMITED" FREE-OF-CHARGE, which would otherwise command a retail value of £19.98 to subscribe for that same period of time.


Essentially, any new Roku devices which were purchased and activated between 27th November 2014 and 15th January 2015 are eligible to qualify for the offer, provided that you have never been previously registered for an Rdio account and meet the requirements in the T&C's of the promotion. You will find FULL DETAILS of the offer and any terms & conditions that apply, ON THIS PAGE, from the "Official" Roku UK Website. Just be sure to ACT IMMEDIATELY and DO IT TODAY as anyone leaving it until after 31st January 2015 will discover they are too late to claim the benefits !!


One reader who purchased a (second) 'Roku 3' recently (although I'm not sure if it was activated in time to qualify for the 'Rdio' offer) was 'Seb' [Twitter Feed: @Sebianoti] who very kindly shared a packshot of his new Roku which revealed some changes to the packaging of the flagship device, as can be seen in the photograph below:-






What struck me immediately was that the number of channels quoted on the front of the box has been (thankfully) increased and now boasts of "1,000+ Channels to choose from" which, although this figure is STILL FIVE HUNDRED CHANNELS SHORT OF THE MARK, should (hopefully) mean that the "Roku Recommended Retailers" (i.e. Amazon, Currys, Maplin, PC World, Tesco, etc.) can finally amend their product descriptions to reflect this increase in the range of content available through the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. One channel which doesn't feature as part of that increase, and is notable by it's absence on the front of the packaging, is 'Amazon Instant Video'... and I find it hard to believe that after three years in the UK, with OVER 1,400 CHANNELS ADDED SINCE LAUNCH, that the (in)ability for Amazon Prime Members in the UK to stream content from 'Prime Instant' on UK Roku devices is still an issue - COME ON AMAZON... ENOUGH OF THIS ALREADY !!!!!!


THIS GLARING OMISSION in the UK Roku channel line-up NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED sooner rather than later and (as it turns out) I came across a response, TO THIS TWEET, from the "Official" Roku Twitter Feed: @RokuPlayer stating that they "...welcome customer's channel suggestions!" that included a direct link to a ROKU CHANNEL SUGGESTION FORM published via the 'Support' pages of the "Official" Roku Website, FOUND HERE. So, if those of you who'd like to see 'Amazon Instant Video' for Roku added to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store could use the link provided above and FILL OUT THE FORM TO REQUEST AMAZON INSTANT VIDEO then maybe Roku can print them all off and send it to Amazon as a "petition" from UK Roku users?! Meanwhile, here is a screenshot of the comment from Roku which contained the link:-






So, while it may have been a bit of a quiet week (in terms of Roku-related news) there may yet be some good to come out of what snippets of information came our way during the past seven days. We've already witnessed what can be achieved with a little effort, such as my Twitter campaign to have the 'Crackle' channel removed from Roku devices in the UK and I'm continuing my efforts to try and get  'Amazon Instant Video' for Roku added to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store by tweeting little "reminders" and "requests" to both Amazon and Amazon UK about adding Amazon Video UK for Roku to UK Roku devices. Sure, we may have to wait until a short while after the FireTV Stick gets a UK release before it happens but if some of you (at least) could lend your weight to the argument by filling out the Roku "Channel Suggestion Form" it might make someone sit up & take notice !!


Meanwhile, as with last time, I was hoping to continue with my "theme" from recent weeks of sharing a bunch more "private channels" (i.e. "secret channels", or "hidden channels", otherwise called "beta channels" by some) with you, to boost your choice of Roku channels still further, but I have found myself too short of time to oblige. If you are not familiar with the concept... unless you happen to know the access code (otherwise quoted as an "invitation code", by Roku), then you will not be able to add them to your Roku device(s) since these private channels (and their details) are not published via the "Official" Roku Channel Store, as found on your streaming media player(s). That said... anyone who read my recent 'Weekly RoundUp' posts, like "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #93" from a six weeks back, or the followup "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #94" a week later and/or the more recent, "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #95" or "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #96", or even, "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #97", from two weeks ago - or who uses social media to "follow" the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels will (more than likely) already be aware of what to expect, since similar offerings (or, "gifts", as I referred to them) were made in each of those. Anyway... on account of my workload, I (sadly) didn't find the time to squeeze-in any "private" channels for you as part of this post. That said... details for one or two have been (previously) shared on Twitter during the past seven days so, if you'd like to discover some more private channels to add to the selection already on UK Roku devices, I'd make a point of looking back over my recent tweets because until I compile an A-Z list for the blog the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels is the best place for you to discover them!


Anyway, before I proceed any further with this 'Weekly RoundUp'... a brief reminder that, whilst I had hoped I'd be able to catch-up on the missing Roku-related news from this blog in recent weeks, with all the extra work I've been burdened with of late it remains unlikely that I'll be fully caught-up anytime soon. Until I do find the time... my one saving grace is that (as mentioned previously) I have somehow managed to remain up-to-date with all the latest additions to the "New" category of the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store and will endeavour to flesh-out what's missing ASAP! Admittedly, there are quite a few articles that I need to catch up on but, rather than post links for individual weeks, I'll simply refer you back to my "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #78", which contains all of the pertinent information you might need when researching back over the items in question. Again, I'm sorry this has dragged-on (far) longer than anticipated, and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused you, but (all being well) things will be back up to speed soon!


For now... all I can offer you is a brief summary of the latest additions to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store from the past seven days. As with my other recent posts, you can expect any additional Roku-related news from the past week, along with details of any changes to the channel selection found on NowTV Boxes, to be added at some point in the near future. As for "mending" all of the "broken" links from previous 'Weekly RoundUp' posts, I still can't put a time-scale on how long that is going to take but (like I said before) if you "copy" the existing link(s) and change the "http" prefix to "https", as well as removing the "forward slash" between 'channels' and '#!details', so that "channels#/!details" becomes "channels#!details" in each weblink, you should find that they will all work for you and redirect to the new-look version of each individual channel description. As with the last twelve 'Weekly RoundUp' posts, every link from this week (plus all future posts) will use the new format, so it's only those from 'Weekly RoundUp #1' up as far as 'Weekly RoundUp #86' which you'll have to amend... at least, until I can edit/repair the links for you !!


Still, with all the "missing" Roku-related news (and links) yet to follow, let's now press on with the current 'Weekly RoundUp' of NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. This time there are SEVEN NEW CHANNELS which have been added during the preceding seven day period. These latest additions to the channel line-up provided FRESH CONTENT in each of the Film & TV, Games, News, Weather, Sport, plus International genres (i.e. categories). Specifically... this means that no less than THREE EXTRA CHANNELS have been added to the "News, Weather, Sport" category, as well as TWO EXTRA CHANNELS in the "Film & TV" genre plus ONE EXTRA CHANNEL in each of the "Games", and "International" categories make up the selection of new choices made available via the channel store on Roku UK devices this week. 


In keeping with previous installments from the 'Weekly RoundUp' series, details of these new channels have 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:-







DANCE PARTY [N.B. Roku 3 ONLY].......COST: £2.99 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE:- That, although the "Dance Party" channel / game is (currently) restricted to 'Roku 3' models, I did take the opportunity to enquire as to whether the developer, Rolocule Games, would be willing to extend the game to additional Roku models featuring the motion-control game remote (e.g. former flagship media streaming player, the Roku 2 XS device). The GOOD NEWS is that, judging by their response, they are quite open to the idea... which means the game could be made available to even more UK Roku users in the future. At present, the exact time-span for this to come to fruition is unknown. However... those of you who recall my asking a similar question to the developers of the 'Somyeol HD' game, when that was (initially) released as a 'Roku 3' ONLY title and then later extended to 'Roku 2 XS' devices, will be aware that it is likely to be a matter of months (rather than weeks or days) for the necessary editing and testing to take place - not forgetting the "approval" process by Roku which could delay it even further - but, it's something to look forward to! Of course, once the game has been extended to additional Roku models, I will be sure to let you know via this blog.







BLOOD MOON.......................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






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






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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, because the 'BioTV' channel does not yet(?) feature among the selection (currently) on offer via the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store, the link (above) redirects you to the official website for BioTV (part of BioReports.net), from where further information can be obtained.

ALSO:- There is (currently) no 'Roku Guide' review available for the 'BioTV' channel (again) due to the fact that it does not yet(?) feature in the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store. Needless to say, should that situation change, I will (of course) add the "missing" link(s) to this post just as soon as those details have been made known to me.









TIMELESS TOONS..........................................COST: £1.49 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE:- That an earlier version of the "Timeless Toons" channel was available to Roku users in the USA and it is that which is the subject of the 'Roku Guide' review linked-to above. As such, I'd ignore the (out-of-date / no longer relevant) comments left by Roku users from USA in that review, as the UK CHANNEL IS A NEWER RELEASE...  i.e. 'Version 2.0' OF THE CHANNEL and, as I understand it, those issues have since been addressed.

ALSO:- The 'Timeless Toons' channel for Roku devices, which was developed by 'FlickStream.com', is a MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION purchase with recurring payments. As such, if you choose to subscribe to this channel, YOU WILL BE CHARGED £1.49 PER MONTH and will continue to be charged in this manner UNTIL YOU CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION. It is also worth noting, before you subscribe, that ALL PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE !!








CANAL del FÚTBOL..............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


PLEASE NOTE:- That, because the 'Canal del Fútbol' channel does not yet(?) feature among the selection (currently) on offer via the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store, the link (above) redirects you to the official website for El Canal del Fútbol, from where further information can be obtained. One thing I should (perhaps) mention and that I feel would be rather remiss of me not to point out to you is the channel description does state that it "May require additional fees" in order to view certain content via the 'Canal del Fútbol' channel on Roku devices. Having said that, the "May require additional fees" in the channel description might be "just in case" they decide to include (additional) paid content in future?! Either way, "forewarned is forearmed", as the saying goes... and (as always) I'll endeavour to keep you updated if anything comes to light with regard to this.

ALSO:- There is (currently) no 'Roku Guide' review available for the 'Canal del Fútbol' channel (again) due to the fact that it does not yet(?) feature in the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store. Needless to say, should that situation change, I will (of course) add the "missing" link(s) to this post just as soon as those details have been made known to me.








THE GOLF CHANNEL...........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]




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Anyhow, like it or not, that is your lot for this week and I'm pleased to confirm, thanks (mainly) to a couple of international exclusives plus one former US-only offering, we have actually exceeded the number of channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store during the same time-frame! There were six, in case you were wondering! Still, no matter which Roku "region" you happen to live in, I always think it's better to have SOME NEW CHOICES than none at all, don't you ?!!


Meanwhile... hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the seven "public" channels outlined above, or else the "private" channels whose access codes were "gifted" to you via the companion Twitter Feed to this blog at various points throughout the last seven days. If you wish to know what they were then you'll need to look back over my tweets since I've been too pushed for time this week to include any "extras" of that sort as part of this post. Even so, if you didn't find anything to add to your Roku channel selection from the various channels on offer this week, 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 like I say... 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 !!




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As mentioned earlier in this post, you can expect my usual summary of all the goings-on (or not) in the (severely restricted) Roku Channel Store that features on NowTV Boxes to follow in the near future. Meanwhile, whether you happen to own a Roku player, a NowTV Box, OR BOTH, as I do... be sure to check my previous posts (as mentioned above) for all the new additions to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store in each of the twenty-six preceding weeks and then come back again in seven days' time for my next 'Weekly RoundUp'. However, 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 comment:

  1. Not a direct Roku issue, but I want to alert readers to what I think is a scam. For some time I have been subscribing to a Roku channel called VisionTV which offers live TV streams from European countries such as Greece, Poland and France. I was paying GBP 4.99 monthly and had instant access to 3 mainstream French channels, France 2, France 3 and France 5. January 31 these channels were abruptly removed in conjunction with a 40% price hike to GBP 6.99 per month, so 30% less content for 40% more - I don't think so, subscription cancelled. The funny thing is that their website still boasts of offering these removed channels

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