Saturday, December 31, 2016

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #199

Hi, everyone !!

The New Year celebrations have meant that I've had to put my 'Weekly RoundUp' post on the back burner today (Saturday) and this will simply serve as a place-marker for the full article which will be published sometime over the next day or two, so... look out for that in due course! :-)

In the meantime, I'd like to wish all of you a "Happy New Year" and all the best for 2017 !!

Thanks for reading this blog... we'll be back soon with more Roku-related news and updates! ;-)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #198

Hi, everyone !!

As you might expect, in the week leading-up to the festive period, there have been zero new additions to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store and very little of interest in terms of either Roku-specific (or even Roku-related) news during the past 7 days. In fact, if you've been using your Roku device(s) at all in the time between my previous 'Weekly RoundUp' post and this one, the chances are you will already be aware of the one significant piece of Roku news I have for you...

Never ones to shy away from celebrating a big occasion, Roku have (once again) offered a change of scenery for the background imagery on our favourite streaming media player(s) in recent days. For those with (relatively) short memories... previous changes have included a "Hallowe'en" theme at the end of October, plus an "Autumn" theme (i.e. "Fall", for the benefit of our Trans-Atlantic cousins) during the Thanksgiving period. Anyway, given that "Christmas Day" 2016 is fast approaching, on this occasion we have been treated to an "Holiday Wonderland" theme... ensuring that Roku owners in all regions will have a 'White Christmas' on their streaming media players, even if there's no snow on the ground outside! Like I said... pretty much everyone that owns a Roku device, no matter which "region" they're from, will (more than likely) have (also) witnessed this latest change in backdrop (i.e. "theme") on the "Home" screen of their streaming media player(s) but, for those who didn't... as always, I was quick to announce the news via the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels to this blog and share the following screenshots which were taken from one of my own Roku devices:- 

HINT:- Please CLICK on the above images TO ENLARGE THEM for easier viewing !!

If, by virtue of the 'Settings' on your Roku device(s), you did not notice a switch to the above "theme" for Roku's "HolidayWonderland" but would like to experience this (brief) change of scenery... there is no need to worry as there is still a (small) window of opportunity for you to take advantage of it, if you do want to add it to your Roku player(s). Of course, there may equally well be some of you who were less appreciative of the enforced change of scenery thrust upon your television screen(s) as a result of yet another back-door "update" from Roku !! Anyway... if it happens again and you don't like the new theme, or if you missed it (at first) but would like to add it while it's still a "current" option, it's very easy to switch back to a previous theme (or select another, from the choices available) via the 'Settings' menu on your Roku. All you need do is navigate to "Settings > Themes > My themes" from the "Home" screen & highlight your choice of "theme". This gives you a thumbnail screenshot of what you can expect as your backdrop (if selected), as per the (above) screenshot, and it's then just a matter of pressing the "OK" button to confirm your choice and save the change.

In future, should you rather not take advantage of (or, be subjected to) these "featured themes", then you can SIMPLY SWITCH THEM OFF, which is (again) easily achieved VIA THE CUSTOM SETTINGS in your Roku 'Settings' menu. Simply navigate to "Settings > Themes > Custom settings", from the "Home" screen of your Roku, and you will see the option to "Enable featured themes", which will toggle between "On" or "Off" based on whether there is a check mark (i.e. tick) beside that option. It's then just a matter of deciding what's best for you by pressing the "OK" button to toggle it and then save the change by exiting the menu. Those choosing to leave "Enable featured themes" with a check mark, i.e. "On", will find that their Roku player(s) will automatically switch to a "featured theme" whenever one is available, and then automatically switch back to their previous choice of "theme" when it expires. Anyone opting to leave "Enable featured themes" without a check mark, i.e. "Off", will find that their Roku player(s) DOES NOT automatically switch to a "featured theme", BUT... for the period of time that a "featured theme" IS AVAILABLE, you can still switch to it (manually) as and when you like. In other words, IF YOU DO NOT WANT to have your Roku switch to a "featured theme", without your actively choosing to do so, then all you need do is deactivate FEATURED THEMES by leaving "Enable featured themes" without a check mark, i.e. "Off", which will leave your Roku player "Theme" set just as you like it, with no danger of any unexpected changes in the future, unless you choose otherwise !!

Personally I rather like the (slight) "surprise" element of these "featured themes" which, as will (likely) be the case this time, appear only for a matter of days and I was (once more) excited to discover the "Holiday Wonderland" theme on my Roku in the days leading-up to 25th December. Needless to say, I (for one) will be leaving my "featured themes" set to "On" for the foreseeable future to discover what surprises lies in store as the days, weeks, months and years unfold from now. Speaking of which... maybe the folks at Roku could give us some virtual "Flowers" by way of a new "theme" for Mothers' Day in the UK on Sunday 26th March 2017?! Not forgetting the opportunity (prior to that) for "the wearing of the green", when it'd be great to see our TV screens adorned with green ribbons & shamrocks to celebrate St Patrick's Day on Friday 17th March 2017 - they could even go "black & white" and get Guinness to sponsor it - SO, HOW ABOUT IT ROKU!??!!! :-)

In the meantime, while there may not be any new channels to report on this week, we don't like to think of you going empty-handed... we leave that to owners of 'NowTV' boxes who are (let's face it) well used to being short-changed, in terms of new additions to their "Roku Powered" App Store! ;-) So, here's a few FREEBIES and SPECIAL OFFERS which may be of interest to UK Roku users:-

Firstly, for those who are lucky enough to be activating a new Roku device over the festive period, there is an offer from WuakiTV UK whereby you can GET 3 HD MOVIES FOR FREE when using a promotional code which will be sent by Roku (via email) when a new Roku streaming media player is activated by a UK Roku user via their Roku UK account (provided they have already signed-up to receive notifications from Roku, of course) as illustrated by the screenshot below:-

AS BEFORE:- Please CLICK on the above image TO ENLARGE IT for easier viewing !!

PLEASE NOTE:- That, to take advantage of the above offer from WuakiTV UK and Roku, your new Roku UK device MUST BE ACTIVATED BY 8th JANUARY 2017 IN ORDER TO QUALIFY under the terms of this promotion. Then, having received the voucher code (via email) from Roku, please be aware ALL PURCHASE CODES MUST BE REDEEMED BY 31st MARCH 2017 after which they will be null & void with no further opportunity to redeem them for any free movie(s) that may have been unclaimed as of that date. Please read the full T&C's for more information.

Which brings us nicely onto our next FREEBIE for UK Roku owners and, in particular, those who have purchased (or been gifted) an Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI Version) [Model: 3500EU] but who were perhaps unaware of their entitlement to claim an FREE HDMI EXTENDER from Roku simply by completing an online form (requiring only the serial number of the Roku Streaming Stick, plus the usual contact information) in order to receive this useful bit of extra kit for their Roku device. This is well worth getting hold of (for free) since, even if you have no immediate need of it, you never know when you might run into some WiFi-related issues (e.g. while on your travels) that can be resolved by using this simple (but effective) cable extension to improve the wireless signal to your device, or else just make it easier to insert and/or remove the Roku Streaming Stick to/from an overcrowded HDMI input panel on the back of the TV through which you are attempting to stream media. Again, this is offered COMPLETELY FREE to anyone who has purchased a Roku Streaming Stick... so please do take Roku up on this offer if you are eligible because it won't cost you anything to get hold of one! ;-)

Moving on... if you (or someone you know) likes Horror films (as much as I do) then you'll maybe want to give "The Gift of Fear" to the horror fiend in your life (it's okay if it's you... go ahead and treat yourself - you deserve it!). Whomever is the intended recipient, those wishing take advantage of the offer by the folks at Darkest Night Podcast, in conjunction with the Shudder UK horror streaming service, will receive an (extended) trial period, i.e. AN 30-DAY FREE TRIAL OF SHUDDER UK, instead of the usual 7-day free trial offered as standard to all new (or returning) subscribers by the folks at Shudder UK and other regions where the 'Shudder' horror streaming service is available. Should this sound like something that might interest you... just USE CODE: darkestnight ON SIGN-UP and you'll be good FOR ONE MONTH OF SHUDDER - COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE which, as I'm sure you'll agree is a pretty fantastic offer if you are a fan of the 'Horror' genre, or know someone else who you think might like to take advantage of this generous offer from Shudder UK who, by the way, also happen to sponsor the 'Darkest Night' podcast - so you know it's going to be good! ;-) Those wishing to "get social" with the folks at 'Darkest Night' can connect with them either via their Twitter Feed: @DarkestNightPod or their FB page:- Darkest Night Podcast (Facebook) where I'm sure they'll be only too pleased to hear any questions or comments you may have! ;-)

Of course, not everyone is into horror movies... so, this next SPECIAL OFFER from Amazon UK will allow both horror and non-horror streaming devotees to pick & choose a movie from whichever genre is more to their liking. This current 'Amazon Instant Video' promotion from Amazon UK will allow you to RENT ANY ONE FILM FOR £0.99, regardless of the regular rental price for that film. To take advantage of this special offer, simply pick any film out of the 34,000+ that qualify, and click the “More Purchase Options” link on the product page. In the pop-up window that appears, you must then click the “Redeem a gift card or promotion code” link and enter the promo code RENTAL99 after which you'll need to click on "APPLY" to redeem it. You can then return to whichever film you chose to rent (in either SD or HD quality) and proceed to rent that film... for which you’ll only be charged £0.99 (yes, just ninety-nine pence). PLEASE NOTE:- That the discounted price won’t appear on the film listing, or during checkout, but you can always check your digital order history to verify that you were only charged £0.99. ALSO:- Do remember that, once you rent a film via Amazon UK, you then have just 30 days to start watching it and only 48 hours to finish it, once you've started! ;-)

N.B. You will find further instructions on how to redeem the above offer on the Amazon UK website, along with a list of supported devices plus the full terms & conditions for this particular promotion. :-)

Last, but by no means least, if you'd like to have access to the complete range of 'Sky Cinema' movie channels plus a vast selection of on-demand films, courtesy of the 'NowTV' video library, there is an opportunity for both new and existing subscribers to experience all that this streaming service has to offer and enjoy ONE MONTH OF NOWTV MOVIES - COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE thanks to a SPECIAL OFFER from 'NowTV' which means you're SAVING £9.99 versus their usual fee for an monthly 'Sky Cinema' pass. To take advantage of this offer, simply visit the NowTV website and click on 'My Account' at the top (right-hand side) of the page to get to a drop-down menu from where you can click on 'My passes' to see an overview of your current subscriptions. PLEASE NOTE:- If you are not already (automatically) signed-in, then clicking on 'My passes' will bring-up the 'Sign in' page - requiring you to enter the 'Email' or 'Username' & the 'Password' associated with your NowTV account, or set-up a new account... if you are new to the service - after which you'll see the overview of your current subscriptions. Look for the green text marked, "Apply a voucher", below where it says "Sky Cinema Month Pass" and click on that link to ENTER CODE: AANOWDMRW7MP and apply the "voucher" to your account. When the code has been applied successfully, you should then see a confirmation message and will be able to check the date when your free month starts and ends. Do bear in mind that, unless you cancel before the end of your free month, you will be charged the regular fee of £9.99 for a Sky Cinema Month Pass going forward - unless, of course, you happen to enter another voucher code while you're still enjoying the benefits of this offer period! ;-) :-)


Anyway, with no new channel additions to list this week, all that remains is for me to wish every one of you "Happy Holidays" - INSERT YOUR CHOSEN HOLIDAY CELEBRATION HERE - and to give you a heads-up that the coming week, up to and including the New Year celebrations, could well prove to be as unfruitful as the one we've just had. If so, it might afford me the opportunity to look back over the year and provide a summary of what were the high (and low) points as far as Roku users are concerned but I can't say for certain if that will be the case. So, if not, I'll do my best to find some more special offers for you to tide everybody over until whatever comes our way at CES 2017. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels for any "Boxing Day" UK Roku bargains that I come across and stay tuned for more offers in the January Sales! ;-) :-)


As mentioned previously, you can expect my usual summary of all the goings-on (or not) in the (severely restricted) "Roku-Powered" App 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 earlier posts (as mentioned before) for all the new additions to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store in each of the one hundred and twenty-four 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 !!