Saturday, September 23, 2017

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #237





Hi, everyone !!



Perhaps the most interesting item of Roku-specific news to come my way during the past seven days, since my previous 'Weekly RoundUp' post was published, was first made public in mid-week when it was revealed by Dave Zatz [Twitter Feed: @DaveZatz] in this recent article on his 'Zatz Not Funny' website that there are to be a number of hardware updates introduced by Roku later this Autumn. If you happen to follow the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels for this blog, then you might well recall my mentioning the possibility of a 4K-capable Roku Stick being released in the next few months... plus, if the "trusted source" used by Dave Zatz is to be believed, several other new models (also due for release in 2017) which will be "bundled with a new Roku remote" that is reportedly set to expand the (currently) rather basic opportunities for television control afforded by the HDMI-CEC options Roku has implemented thus far. Aside from confirming the new 4K Roku Stick will offer HDR streaming capabilities, the article also suggests that the 'Roku Express' (introduced last year) will get "a significant performance bump" for the newer 2017 version of that model. What remains unclear, at this stage, is whether Roku users in the UK will have the opportunity to purchase these latest models with the upgraded hardware. However, with continued stock shortages and price cuts (pretty much across the board) from UK Roku retailers, I'm hoping Roku UK users will finally get to purchase some devices that are capable of streaming 4K content without having to shell-out twice as much (or even more) for the 'Apple TV 4K' that is now available from UK retailers, alongside the 4K offerings from 'Amazon' with their 'Fire TV' set-top box and 'Google' with their 'Chromecast Ultra'... all of whom seem to have beaten Roku to the post, when that need not have been the case. If Roku fail to deliver the goods before another year is out, I'm guessing many will abandon the platform for one of those alternatives, as the uptake of 4K-capable TV's continues in UK and elsewhere! :-O






In other Roku-specific news... there was an article, published by 'TorrentFreak', later in the week which picked-up on the fact Roku were advertising two new job vacancies which suggest that the company is putting together an in-house anti-piracy team. One of the positions advertised is for a new 'Director of Anti-Piracy and Content Security' whose role is outlined as follows:-


“The Director, Anti-Piracy and Content Security is responsible for defining the technology roadmap and overseeing implementation of anti-piracy and content security initiatives at Roku” - according to the application from the job posting.






The second job listed by Roku is that of 'Senior Software Engineer, Anti-Piracy' and calls for applicants to write software that will enable Roku to both monitor and prevent piracy, as the following quote from the job application for this additional new post explains:-


“In this role, you will be responsible for implementing anti-piracy and content protection technology as it pertains to Roku OS” - before continuing as follows:- 

“This entails developing software features, conducting forensic investigations and mining Roku’s big data platform and other threat intelligence sources for copyright infringement activities on and off platform.” 


One thing that is clear from the creation of these two new job openings is that Roku are now starting to take matters of content piracy far more seriously further to their recent problems in Mexico which resulted in a court order banning the sale/importation of Roku devices in the country. While the legal battle, which saw retailers in Mexico ordered to remove Roku products from their shelves, remains an ongoing concern... there is no denying Roku are taking a much more pro-active role to combat piracy.


Anyhow... with little else aside from details of forthcoming new hardware upgrades - which we hope will also find their way to the UK - plus signs that Roku are starting to build their own anti-piracy team to satisfy copyright holders, in terms of newsworthy items from the last seven days, I'd best turn my attention to equally important matters, such as getting you up to speed with the latest new Roku channels added to UK Roku devices since my last 'Weekly RoundUp' post was published! ;-) :-)


If you did happen to read my previous 'Weekly RoundUp' post, in which I commented as to how 'Roku Guide' had fallen far short of compiling a complete set of reviews for all of the new channels which were released in the seven days preceding their article, you will doubtless be pleased to hear that I have since posted active links to 'Roku Guide' reviews for most of them. Sadly, as their most recent article (dated 22nd September 2017) does little more than to play "catch-up" with reviews that were absent from the previous two weeks, it means there were very few 'Roku Guide' reviews for the channels which were actually released between the 16th and 22nd September 2017. As a direct result, there are currently "missing" links to 'Roku Guide' reviews for more than eighty per cent of the new additions to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store in this particular 'Weekly RoundUp' post. Unfortunately, this (once more) leaves UK users rather short of additional info... and, much like the last month or so, rather than simply regurgitate what is written in each channel description from the channel store, I'm (yet again) going to have to leave it for each of you (individually) to access those details via the built-in channel store on your Roku device(s). Needless to say, once the "missing" reviews have been published by 'Roku Guide', I will (as I have in previous weeks) ensure that I add the relevant links to this post. Apologies (once more) for any inconvenience that may have been caused by the absence of active links to an independent review(s) for so many of these new channels but, like I say, it was completely out of my hands. Meanwhile, I advise scanning the list below to see which channels (if any) you think are likely to appeal... and then going to the built-in channel store on your Roku device(s), to read the description(s) there, for precise details on your pick of the latest new Roku channels (apps) which have been added to UK Roku devices during this past week! :-)


While it's far from being another epic list of fifty-plus channels as it was twelve weeks ago, you will find there are a fair few new options under "Religion", as well as a couple more options for fans of "Film & TV", "Food", or "Sports", and the odd new addition in the "Lifestyle", "News & Weather", plus "Sci & Tech" categories (i.e. genres) among others, to keep you entertained over the coming weeks and months. In fact, while it's only a comparatively short list, there should be something to please most streamers here. If not, I again shared details for some private channels (via social media) and some more special offers related to various Roku channels that are available in the UK. Check out my Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels if you'd like to know more about those and, while you're there, maybe "Like" and/or "Retweet" some of my messages to spread the word about what's happening Roku-wise in the UK and beyond! ;-) :-)


Anyway, back to the list... which, as always, will help you to identify the very latest apps which have been added to Roku devices in the UK. Other websites offering Roku channel listings will base their contents on the Roku USA Channel Store, which means they also include apps that are unavailable to UK Roku users. Like I've said before... if you really want to know what's available channel-wise, for owners of Roku devices in the UK, you need to be reading this blog each and every week! ;-) :-)


Before I run through the new channels, however, a reminder that UK Roku users are still subject to restrictions (imposed by Roku) and (bizarrely) remain unable to access the channel descriptions from the web store on the Roku (USA) website. That said, the majority of text in those web listings can also be found within the individual descriptions from the built-in "Channel Store" (accessed via "Streaming Channels" from the main menu) on all Roku devices and, together with the associated screenshots (where available), should give a pretty good indication of what those channels are about.


My advice to any UK-based readers of this blog is to ignore the links below (and to the left of) each channel icon shown here and (instead) rely on the link to the right (below each channel icon) which (where available) will redirect you to an 'Roku Guide' review for additional details on that channel. As it stands, the links below (and to the left of) each icon are (currently) only of use to readers of this blog from the USA. This means that Roku users from the other "supported" regions of the world (i.e. Ireland, Canada, France and Mexico) are, like those of us in the UK, unable to browse the Roku Web Channel Store - which for now (at least) remains an exclusive privilege of Roku users in the USA. :-(


Hopefully Roku will (one day) wake-up to the fact that improving the experience for users in "other" Roku "regions" is just as important as it is for those who buy & use their products in the U.S. and that denying access to the Roku website does not help the end-user experience for those of us (outside the USA) who wish to browse the web channel store. Meanwhile, that which Roku (apparently) doesn't want UK Roku users to see on their website (i.e. the list of new channels) is regularly summarised on this blog in my 'Weekly RoundUp' posts. So, without further ado, here's my 'Weekly RoundUp' of all the new Roku channels released between 17th September 2017 and 23rd September 2017:-







TIME FOR HOPE TV..............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "RELIGIOUS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






KLOWD TV................COST: FREE (7-Day Trial) + $4.99 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "FILM & TV" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***


PLEASE NOTE:- That, while this 'KlowdTV' channel is FREE-TO-ADD to your Roku device(s) and does offer a 7-DAY FREE TRIAL for new subscribers, anyone wishing to access the content beyond that initial promotional period should be aware that A MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION IS NEEDED for one of the THREE DIFFERENT PACKAGE OPTIONS available, in order to continue watching it. The fee of $4.99 PER MONTH shown above represents the cost of what I believe is the most suitable choice for UK Roku subscribers... namely, the 'Worldwide Plan' package of six channels, as follows:-


  1. One America News (OAN) Network
  2. OAN Encore
  3. AWE (A Wealth of Entertainment) International
  4. RT (Russia Today) English
  5. RT (Russia Today) EspaƱol
  6. RT Documentary (RTD)

There is also a 'Base Plan' package of seventy-three channels for $7.99 per month but, with all apart from the 6 channels in the 'Worldwide Plan' package (above) offering US-only availability, there is no benefit for any UK Roku user in paying the extra $3.00 per month for the 'Base Plan' package. There is a third option, exclusive to U.S. Military personnel who are stationed abroad, which is known as the 'U.S. Military Abroad Plan' package... and is actually FREE OF CHARGE (i.e. $0.00 per month) for anyone who subscribes with a valid U.S. Military email address, but is only watchable outside of the United States (i.e. NOT AVAILABLE IN USA) and therefore only of use to U.S. Armed Forces personnel while on international duty. It's also worth noting that this free plan package offers limited viewing, with ONLY ONE CHANNEL available to U.S. Military subscribers, in the shape of a news channel - One America News (OAN) Network - with national and international news coverage. So, at only $4.99 per month, the 'Worldwide Plan' package of six channels (as shown above) might be better for any U.S. Military personnel looking to stream more than just what's in the news! ;-) :-)


ALSO WORTH NOTING:- Is that the 'Roku Guide' review of the 'KlowdTV' channel (see above) is based upon an earlier version of 'KlowdTV' (released in February 2015) which has little in common with the current incarnation, either content-wise or in terms of pricing. However, since the included link to 'Add Channel' remains the same for this latest version, I'm hoping 'Roku Guide' will update their review to be more in-keeping with the newer offering of 'KlowdTV' from 'Un-Linked Corp' who have been credited with developing this revised version of their app for Roku devices.


Anyone wishing to know more about 'KlowdTV' will find answers to the most common questions are posted on their official website, in the 'FAQ' section, but... should you not find the answer(s) you are looking for there, I suggest you then use their contact form to submit any further request(s) for info. Should you prefer to "get social" with the folks from 'KlowdTV', there are opportunities to do so via their Twitter Feed: @KlowdTelevision or their FB Page:- Klowd Television (Facebook). If you're a 'YouTube' user, you might also like to check out the official 'KlowdTV' channel for some additional videos pertaining to the subscription service which can now be enjoyed worldwide on Roku! ;-) :-)








BELIEVE TV NETWORK - BTN..........................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "RELIGIOUS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






ALJAZEERA ARABIC PROGRAMS...................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "NEWS & WEATHER" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN RELEASED***






SIMPLY RECIPES.................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "FOOD" in the Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






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

***FILED UNDER: "SPORTS" in the Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






MORE GRACE TV.................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "RELIGIOUS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






DAVID HEAVENER TV.........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "FILM & TV" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






NOMNOM VIDEO................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "FOOD" in the Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






LAZE.LIFE - SCREENSAVER...............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "SCREENSAVERS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN RELEASED***






ROBS WORLD.......................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "SPECIAL INTEREST" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN RELEASED***






ROCK ATHLETICS DIGITAL NETWORK..........................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "SPORTS" in the Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






BE'EZRAT HASHEM.............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "RELIGIOUS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRIES COLUMBUS.........................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "RELIGIOUS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






VSN MEDIA...........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "LIFESTYLE" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






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

***FILED UNDER: "SCREENSAVERS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN RELEASED***






VICTORY BAPTIST CHURCH - N AUG.............................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "RELIGIOUS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






SOLOMON'S TEMPLE CHURCH.........................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "RELIGIOUS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






JUL-TV..............................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "SPECIAL INTEREST" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN RELEASED***






COCO TV.........................COST: FREE (n.b. may require additional fees) [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "SCI & TECH" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






NEW PHILADELPHIA NAZARENE....................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "RELIGIOUS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***






ROCKSTAR CHURCH..........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "RELIGIOUS" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN FIRST RELEASED***




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Anyhow, like it or not, that is your lot this week and, while it's barely more than fifty percent of the forty-three channels that made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store in the same time-frame, it's still better to get a choice of 22 NEW CHANNELS than none at all... as I'm sure you will agree?!


In any event, hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the twenty-two "public" channels outlined above... or else from the "private" channels, whose access codes were "gifted" to you via the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels to this blog, at various points throughout the past week. However, if you didn't find anything to add to your Roku channel selection from the assortment of channels on offer this week, you can always pay us a visit another time when, with any luck, there will be something more to your liking. After all, 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!




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As mentioned previously, you can expect my usual summary of all the goings-on (or not) in the (severely restricted) Roku Channel Store (aka "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 sixty-three 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 !!