Saturday, March 11, 2017

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #209

Hi, everyone !!

As far as UK Roku users are concerned, the BIG NEWS during the last seven days since my previous 'Weekly RoundUp' was published has to be the imminent arrival of an "Official" app from 'TVPlayer'. Some of you may recall that there was a private channel, by Ryan Cullen [Twitter Feed: @Artesea] who also developed the "unofficial" FilmOn app [ACCESS CODE: arteseafon], which had feeds for 'TVPlayer' that could be streamed on Roku devices... but, for whatever reason, that was subsequently blocked and we've had to wait until now for any sign of an official presence from 'TVPlayer' on the Roku platform. Here is a screenshot of the tweet I shared, earlier in the week, when the news was first broken to me via another Roku user, Christopher Parr [Twitter Feed: @Khryztophfer], who (like me) had long been pressuring 'TVPlayer' for a comment regarding the release of a Roku channel:-

HINT: Please CLICK on the above image TO ENLARGE IT for easier viewing !!

Having heard the news, I immediately contacted 'TVPlayer' via Twitter... seeking confirmation as to whether the release of an official Roku channel was imminent and, not long afterwards, received an answer "straight from the horse's mouth" (or perhaps, as it's Twitter, that should be the bird's beak?!) to the effect that, while their "aim" is to launch by the end of March, they cannot (at this stage) give an exact date as to when it "will go live" on Roku devices. Anyway, just for the record, here's another screenshot (of the response posted via the 'TVPlayer' Twitter feed) confirming the news:-

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

There was also some good news on the gaming front this week, with the announcement from indie Roku developer, Marcelo LvCabral [Twitter Feed: @LvCabral], that he has begun working on yet another retro-gaming remake for Roku players. This time it's the 1982 classic, "Moon Patrol", which is getting a port-over to the Roku platform. Younger gamers, who may not be familiar with this old arcade classic, can get a glimpse of the project (so far) courtesy of this video from the developer:-

In other news... following on from their win at 'The Oscars' [aka 'The Academy Awards' ceremony] there was an announcement from Netflix, via an official press release, that two of Korea's best-known storytellers are to unite for a new 'Netflix' original series - called "Kingdom" - which is set to break new ground for K-Drama, by combining two popular genres in one series: historical period drama and zombie action-thriller... I know, sounds great already doesn't it!?!! Anyway, the show will be a collaboration between director Kim Seong-hun, whose "Tunnel" was a top five movie at the Korean box office in 2016; and writer Kim Eun-hee whose series "Signal" was among the top Korean Dramas of last year. All 8 episodes of this new original series, from prominent K-Drama production company, Astory, will premiere exclusively on 'Netflix' in 2018 to all members... in over 190 countries!

Speaking of other countries, the last main news story I'd like to re-visit for this 'Weekly RoundUp' article concerns another collaboration... only this time it's between 'BBC' and 'ITV' who, although they may (at first) seem unlikely bedfellows, have joined forces to produce a new streaming service in the United States, called "BritBox", which will bring content from both British broadcasters to TV audiences in the USA soon after first airing in the UK. This means that, for only $6.99 per month, all subscribers to "BritBox" in the U.S. will be able to watch the latest episodes of Emmerdale, Casualty, Eastenders and Holby City within a day or two of them being shown in the UK. Better yet... there is a 7-DAY FREE TRIAL of the service, for those Americans who may be unsure of whether to sign-up for the "BritBox" service, as well as others seeking to "...unleash their inner Brit" by registering for this US-ONLY endeavour from two of our most-cherished television providers. Of course, were it not for the fact there's also a free-to-add Roku channel for subscribers, I would (probably) not have even mentioned it here... but, for readers of this blog in America who might otherwise have missed it, here is a screenshot of the "BritBox" post I came across last night & shared via Twitter: @ukrokuchannels not forgetting there's also a 'Roku Guide' review providing a more detailed overview of the "BritBox" app for any Roku owners in the USA who may be considering this US-only Roku channel / service.

ONCE AGAIN: Please CLICK on the above image TO ENLARGE IT for easier viewing !!

As with other recent 'Weekly RoundUp' posts, I'm going to ask you to refer back to the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels for details of some special offers which may also be of interest. If  you missed it last week, the deal on 'Roku 2' [Model: 4205EU] which I shared is still available via Maplin at only £49.99 - equivalent to a saving of £20.00 on this UK Roku device - and well worth a look, if you're not interested in the additional features (private listening, motion control for gaming plus "point anywhere" WiFi Direct operation) provided by the enhanced Roku remote supplied with the flagship 'Roku 3' [Model: 4200EU]. I also posted details for a couple of 'NowTV' pass offers plus access codes to some more private channels (again, available in all regions) among the bits & pieces shared via Twitter... so, as always, it's worth looking back over my tweets for a few extra treats! ;-)

Despite being short... the list of new additions starts with two channels that, despite being new to UK Roku devices, are not listed in the "New" category (i.e. genre) of the Roku UK Channel Store. As I've said before, I love discovering apps like these... because they illustrate precisely why it's worth reading the 'Weekly RoundUp' posts on this blog. Any Roku users who simply rely on whatever they see listed under the "New" category in the built-in channel store of their streaming media players (to identify the latest apps for UK Roku devices) risk missing-out on channels like this altogether. 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 Roku UK users. So, if you really want to know what's available to UK Roku users channel-wise... be sure to read this blog every week! ;-) :-)

Before I run through those new channels... a brief 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 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 the few new Roku channels which were released between 5th and 11th March 2017:-

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


ZOLFM 106.5.........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


PLEASE NOTE:- That this 'ZOLFM 106.5' channel for Roku devices has been previously known both as "CanalAmerica" and "CanalAmerica.TV" before arriving at the current channel store name, of "ZOLFM 106.5", which should (hopefully) remain the same for (at least) the next six months... which is how long the former brand names were in use, prior to being changed. While the current app still bears the same unique identifier, '61268', as the former "CanalAmerica.TV" app - as evidenced by the URL for the previous channel description from the Roku (USA) Web Channel Store - there the similarity with this latest incarnation ends. For that reason, I have decided not to re-share the link to the old 'Roku Guide' review in this article... but, rather, wait for a review specific to 'ZOLFM 106.5' from the folks who publish the 'Roku Guide' website before adding the "missing" link to this post.

IP CAMERA VIEWER - BASIC...........................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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

IP CAMERA VIEWER - PRO.........COST: £2.99 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

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

LET NETWORKS..................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


V12S TV CHANNEL..............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]



Anyhow, like it or not, that is your lot for this week and, although it falls just short of fifty percent of the thirteen channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store in the same time-frame, it's better to get these 6 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 six "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 last seven days. 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!


As mentioned previously, 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 earlier posts (as mentioned before) for all the new additions to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store in each of the one hundred and thirty-five 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 !!

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