Saturday, June 20, 2015

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #119

Hi, everyone !!

I hate to be the bearer of BAD NEWS when it comes to Roku-related matters, but yesterday saw Roku UK lose it's claim to having the most apps of any UK streaming media player. The reason being that the Amazon Fire TV box, which was only launched in UK late last year, has already caught-up and surpassed the number of apps (or, "channels", as Roku refer to them) that are available in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. For the record, the flagship Amazon UK streaming device can now boast of having 1,740 apps available while 'Roku 3' currently has access to 1,732 "public" Roku UK channels.

That said, it's not quite as bad a picture as it may (at first) seem... when you consider that just under 45% of the 1,740 apps for the Amazon Fire TV box (or, 776 apps, to be more precise) are actually games for the Android platform. Compare that with just 86 apps in the "Games" category on 'Roku 3' devices in the UK (even less on other UK Roku models) which equates to less than 5% of the 1,732 apps (or, "channels", as Roku refer to them) that are available. With such a heavy bias towards gaming, the Amazon Fire TV box doesn't fare quite so well in terms of apps for streaming media (videos, music, photos, etc.) and, for that reason, I believe Roku still has the edge over it's rival for built-in film & tv content sources. More so, when you consider that Roku has all of the UK CatchUp TV services in it's channel selection and the UK Amazon Fire TV box (currently) lacks two of them.

Another downside to all those games is that many of the Amazon Fire TV gaming apps (almost 300, to be more precise) are incompatible with the lower-powered Fire TV Stick which, with only 1,449 apps, lags much farther behind the UK Amazon Fire TV box than the 'Roku Stick' does when compared with the UK 'Roku 3' model. Besides, if you're really into your gaming, a dedicated games console is probably your best option... with the games available on Roku aimed more towards the casual than die-hard gamer. So all things considered, while Roku UK no longer has the most "apps" of any streaming media player sold in the UK, it does still offer the most in terms of streaming media entertainment from it's selection of channels from the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store.

Meanwhile, you may recall my mentioning last week how the itemised listings for each of the channel store categories had not been updated for a couple of weeks, largely on account of a dozen new genres (i.e. categories) being added to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store at various points during the preceding weeks. Essentially, for those of you who missed my last post, once it became clear that Roku were simply making gradual changes to bring the selection of genres from the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store in-line with those from the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store, I decided to refrain from updating my listings until the process had been completed. Having more than doubled the number of genres in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store in a very short space of time, I believed we had achieved parity, save for UK devices still showing "Most Popular" channels as opposed to the "Most Watched" category found in the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store. However, there has been a fair amount of "settling down" among the various channel store categories, since that last post was published, with many channels which were previously moved from the mammoth "Special Interest" category of yore opting to return to their original Roku UK home in that time. Consequently, you can expect a slight delay before my completely new set of listings are posted here, though I still hope to have them all updated within the next week or two. Needless to say... it's been a tough job trying to keep track of all these changes, while still having to find the time to handle all of the work involved in putting my regular 'Weekly RoundUp' posts together - never mind trying to play "catch-up" on what is still "missing" from some of my previous posts - like I said before, it's a never-ending story!

Anyway, if you've been following the goings-on around these parts over the past few months, you'll be all too aware of the unusual publishing method I've adopted for several of my blog posts during that time. For everyone else, it means I (basically) didn't have enough time to publish those posts in their entirety on a Saturday (as per my self-imposed deadline each week) and had to resort to doing both an "early edition" and a "late edition" for each of the articles. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to repeat that "slow-drip" method of publishing for the current 'Weekly RoundUp' post as well. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause you, but (again) it was entirely due to factors beyond my control. You can expect several items of Roku-related news to be added to this post over the coming weeks so, all being well, if you visit this blog again sometime in the near future... you should find that the "late edition" of this article has been published to bring you all up to speed with recent Roku happenings. :-)

Meanwhile... unlike last week, when we were blessed with an above average crop of new channel additions, there's less than half as many to choose from this time around  - as you'll discover when you continue reading below. Unfortunately, I've not had the time to leave you with details for any "private" channels on this occasion either.  Whenever I do get a chance, I'll be sure to add some information (including access codes) for several more private channels. 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 a few of the "private" channels I intend to add to this blog, which you may (or may not) have come across before. If you don't mind waiting, and/or have no desire to go "trawling" through my ramblings on Twitter, you can expect to find the info for these "private", "hidden" or "secret" channels added to this blog at a later date, 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 thirty-two '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 TEN 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 Movies & TV, Kids & Family, plus Web Video genres as well as the Personal Media, Religious, Special Interest, plus Themes categories. Specifically... this means there's no less than THREE EXTRA CHANNELS in the "Religious" genre, plus TWO EXTRA CHANNELS in the "Special Interestcategory, and ONE EXTRA CHANNEL in each of the "Movies & TV", "Kids & Family" plus "Web Video" and "Personal Media" genres... not forgetting there was also ONE NEW THEME for UK Roku devices among the new channel choices added to the Roku UK channel selection 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 (where available) with an independent (slightly more expansive) assessment of each one:-

TALENT YOU SHOULD KNOW '15...................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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

MELKITES OF NEW YORK CITY.......................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


FIRST SLAVIC BAPTIST CHURCH TV.............................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE:- That, because the "First Slavic Baptist Church TV" channel has yet to be added to the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store, there is no channel description available on the Roku website. Consequently, the link that has been provided above will (instead) redirect you to the official website for the First Slavic Baptist Church in Salem, Oregon (USA) where further information can be found. Visitors to the website can access an archive of audio sermons, VIA THIS LINK, as well as their full video archive, FOUND HERE, in addition to the more general details provided.

ALSO:- For the same reason, there is (currently) no 'Roku Guide' review available to provide specific insight into the "First Slavic Baptist Church TV" channel for Roku devices. Given that this channel was developed by Netformz, Inc. - the same company responsible for the "Melkites of New York City" and "Your Arms To Israel, Int'l." channels on Roku devices - I would expect it to be added to the channel store on US Roku devices at sometime in the near future. Needless to say, as soon as the details have been made known to me, I will add the "missing" link to an 'Roku Guide' review for the "First Slavic Baptist Church TV" channel to this post. Apologies for any inconvenience caused in the interim.

ALPHA GEEK MEDIA PLAYER.........................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

JA CREATIVE NEW MEDIA................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


PLEASE NOTE:- That 'The Saturday Morning Express' channel for Roku devices, developed by 'Avid Digital Streams', is an MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION purchase with recurring payments. As such, if you choose to subscribe to this channel, YOU WILL BE CHARGED £0.69 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 !!

POLYGAMY: WHAT LOVE IS THIS?................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

USO...............................................................COST: £2.49 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE:- That the 'USO' channel for Roku devices, developed by 'Avid Digital Streams', is an MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION purchase with recurring payments. As such, if you choose to subscribe to this channel, YOU WILL BE CHARGED £2.49 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 !!

GARFIELD THEME.......................COST: £1.49 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [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 eleven channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store during the same time-frame, it's better to have these 10 NEW CHANNELS than none at all, as I'm sure you'll agree?!

Meanwhile... hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the ten "public" channels / themes outlined above... or else from 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 forty-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 !!

No comments:

Post a Comment