Saturday, April 18, 2015

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #110

Hi, everyone !!

In keeping with their recent display of completely ignoring the UK by not adding any of their new themes to devices in this region, Roku has dealt another blow to UK Roku owners by deciding to introduce their new "Star Wars" theme for Roku users in the USA but NOT on Roku UK devices!

PHOTO CREDIT: Perry Payne [Twitter Feed: @perkat2]

Had this not followed on from their failure to mention, IN THIS POST, that the new 'Star Wars' digital movie collection was (in fact) also made available on Roku models in the UK during the week ending Friday 10th April 2015 - via the 'Google Play' channel - and not just on Roku devices in the USA and Canada, then it might have been (a little) easier for UK Roku owners to swallow... and that, despite also being excluded from access to the new "Themes" category in the Roku Channel Store plus the ten additional themes included therein and overlooked when it came to the launch of the new 'Roku 3' with "Voice Search" remote which is already available in Canada and the USA. So the joy expressed by Roku owners in USA today, some of whom posted pictures of this new "Star Wars" theme via social media, was not to be shared by Roku users in the UK who, for reasons beyond my comprehension, have been left wanting once again. For the benefit of any "Star Wars" fans among you, here are a few of the images that were shared (via Twitter and Instagram) of various screens from this latest theme:-

First up, showing the 'Home Screen' with "Settings" selected from the menu, is this one...

PHOTO CREDIT: el kevo [Twitter Feed: @elkevo1]

Next up, showing an alternative view of the 'Home Screen' with "Settings" selected, is this...

PHOTO CREDIT: Wendy Stachura [Twitter Feed: @wendilyn2224]

Delving a little bit deeper into Settings > Themes > My Themes via the 'Home Screen' menu revealed that this new "Star Wars" theme has been made available in addition to and not as a replacement for the FREE "Game of Thrones" THEME that was added to Roku devices in the USA recently. So, as of now, there's a total of eleven themes on Roku USA models that have not (yet?) been extended to users of Roku devices in the UK... who seem to be getting short-changed with alarming regularity, given that we invested £MILLIONS into the company which manufactures these streaming media players! Even if this "Star Wars" theme turns out to be temporary, as with previous "Featured" or "Seasonal" themes, and not available via the channel store (as with the "Game of Thrones" theme) it could still have been offered to users in other Roku "regions", surely?! Still, here's another photograph to illustrate what I'm talking about and what UK Roku owners are being deprived of (for the umpteenth time)...

PHOTO CREDIT: Linda [Twitter Feed: @lr622]

Interestingly, given the subject matter of the new theme, even an advertisement captured in the image below featured "Star Wars" related content but, despite the movie collection being part of 'Google Play' on Roku UK devices, bizarrely Roku UK owners don't have this advert adorning their screens either...

PHOTO CREDIT: macNstarwars [Twitter Feed: @macNstarwars]

Another shot of the 'Home' screen shared via social media offers a restricted view of a third different "Star Wars" background (or, "wallpaper", if you prefer) for this new theme, as shown below:-

PHOTO CREDIT: Denise Dutton [Twitter Feed: @hufflepants]

Fortunately, we get a better look at this third offering thanks to another contribution via social media where even the new 'Search' function (coming to UK Roku devices in May) is seen to have undergone a special makeover for the new "Star Wars" theme, as evidenced by the following photo:-

PHOTO CREDIT: Linda [Twitter Feed: @lr622]

Likewise, the same holds true for the other background, or "wallpaper", alternatives available as part of this new "Star Wars" theme being enjoyed by Roku owners in the USA but (currently) not the UK!

PHOTO CREDIT: DaveWeLike [Twitter Feed: @DaveWeLike]

Let's just hope that, when the new 'Roku 2' gets a UK release next month, the accompanying software rollout to older UK Roku models brings access to "Star Wars" and other themes (currently) "missing" from Roku UK devices. In the meantime... why not enjoy the "Star Wars" digital movie collection which, despite no mention from Roku, is available on UK Roku players via the 'Google Play' channel for all Roku UK users to stream while we await more scraps from the Roku (s)table to be thrown our way because, for now at least, that's all the "Star Wars" nourishment we're going to get !!

On the other hand... if you're not into the "Star Wars" films, but do happen to enjoy space-themed video games, I recently received word from the developer of "Retaliate" - a recent addition to the "Games" category on Roku devices - that they have been "Working on something fun" by way of an update to their "channel", i.e. app / game. The single screenshot provided (see below) proved to be somewhat cryptic but if you read the dedicated thread on Roku Forums, FOUND HERE, there's a link to a 'YouTube' video (as well as some additional screenshots) which should help to shed a little more light (and colour) on what changes have been made. Should you have any further questions, you can always leave a comment on the aforementioned thread, or else tweet your thoughts and/or questions plus any comments / feedback you may have to the developer's Twitter Feed: @Retaliate_IXVI

Meanwhile... unlike two weeks ago, when we were blessed with a bumper crop of new channel additions, this time (much like last week) there's not much to choose from on this occasion  - as you'll soon discover when you continue reading below. Consequently, I'll add details (including access codes) for more private channels at a later date, which will (hopefully) make up for it. In the meantime, should you find yourself "jones-ing" for more Roku content, then I suggest you look back over my tweets from recent weeks on the companion Twitter Feed to this blog: @ukrokuchannels where you will find details for some of the "private" channels I intend to add to this blog, which you may (or may not) have come across before. Those of you who don't mind waiting, and/or have no desire to go "trawling" through my ramblings on Twitter, can expect to find the info for these "private", "hidden" or "secret" channels added to this 'Weekly RoundUp' post in due course, to "reward" you for your patience! ;-)

Anyway, before I proceed with listing the current crop of new channels (plus providing links to their associated reviews) for this particular '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, all the extra work I've been burdened with of late means 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 twenty-three '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 FIVE NEW CHANNELS which have been added during the preceding seven day period. These latest additions to the channel line-up provided FRESH CONTENT in the International plus Religion & Spirituality genres (i.e. categories). Specifically... there'FOUR EXTRA CHANNELS under "Religion & Spirituality" plus ONE EXTRA CHANNEL in the "International" category - making up the new channel choices on UK Roku devices added during this past 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 with an independent (slightly more expansive) assessment of each one:-

GO CHRISTIAN TV...............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

COTTONWOOD CREEK CHURCH....................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

GLOBAL CHRISTIAN NETWORK - GCN.........................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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

THE CHRISTIAN COMEDY CHANNEL............................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


Anyhow, like it or not, that is your lot for this week and, whilst it doesn't quite match-up to the nine channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store during the same time-frame, it's better to have 5 NEW CHANNEL CHOICES as shown above, than none at all, don't you think?!

Meanwhile... hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the five "public" channels 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. Even so, if you didn't find anything to add to your Roku channel selection from the assortment of channels on offer this week, 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, IT'S YOUR CHOICE and, as with all things Roku... THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS !!


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 thirty-seven 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. I wish the Star Wars theme had stuck around, I really liked it (and it made it easy for the wife to figure out which Roku she was looking at ;) ).