Saturday, June 3, 2017

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #221





Hi, everyone !!



Before I get into the specifics of the Roku-related news stories which came my way during the past seven days, I'd first like to draw your attention to a recent comment left by 'Mutaupi' in response to my own remarks concerning the absence of a "Featured Channel" for the 'MUBI' streaming service from the 'Amazon Video' channel (and from the Roku platform generally) in the UK. The comment, featured in my "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #220" post from last week, includes a direct quote from the response, by someone called "CJ" in the 'The Support Team' at 'MUBI', to an earlier message regarding the lack of a Roku channel for 'MUBI' in the UK, as evidenced below:-





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



I won't comment any further on the matter in this article but, for those of you who may be interested, you can read my thoughts (concerning the continued absence of the 'MUBI' streaming service from the Roku UK Channel Store) in my reply to 'Mutaupi' on this blog. The long & the short of it is that, as of this week, 'MUBI' have said: "...we do not have an estimated launch time" so, whomever is to blame for the delay, let's just hope that the "negotiations" gather momentum again very soon! ;-) :-)


Moving on to Roku-related news from the last seven days, since I've already mentioned 'Amazon' in reference to the 'MUBI' story above, I'll start with the announcement (via this press release from the Press Room at Amazon) that their latest original series, called "The Last Tycoon", which is based on the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, will debut exclusively on "Prime Video" from Friday 28th July 2017. All nine episodes of the drama series—starring Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer (White Collar, The Normal Heart), multi-Golden Globe and Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, Boss) alongside Lily Collins (The Blind Side, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), and executive produced by Academy Award nominee Billy Ray and Christopher Keyser—will be made available globally to Amazon Prime Members, as well as to subscribers of the "Prime Video" service, in more than 200 countries and territories. Inspired by the life of legendary film mogul Irving Thalberg, dramatic series "The Last Tycoon" follows Hollywood’s Golden Boy, Monroe Stahr (Bomer), as he battles father figure and boss Pat Brady (Grammer) for the soul of their studio. In a world darkened by the Great Depression and the growing international influence of Hitler’s Germany, The Last Tycoon illuminates the passions, violence, and towering ambition of 1930s Hollywood. Amazon customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime to avoid missing-out. Meanwhile, all Amazon customers can watch the pilot episode online before the remaining eight episodes of the full season are first aired on 28th July.


Not to be outdone... 'Netflix' announced details of their latest original series which, according to the press release from the 'Netflix' Media Centre, continues the investment in international content with their first 'Netflix Original series from Turkey. Produced for Netflix by Istanbul-based O3 Medya, with Onur Guvenatam as executive producer, the series will expand the broad offering of Turkish content currently available on 'Netflix', including licensed dramas such as "Magnificent Century", plus "Ezel", and "Lovebird", that are already very popular with 'Netflix' members around the world. The drama focuses on a young man who discovers that he has special powers. When dark forces that threaten to destroy Istanbul emerge, he must team up with a group of misfit friends to harness these powers to defend the city and all of mankind. The show will explore the rich cultural history of Istanbul and take the audience on a riveting journey into the heart of this magical city. Weaving a hero-driven action story with Ottoman and Turkish legend and history, the 10-episode series will be written & produced in Turkey and is expected to launch on 'Netflix' globally in 2018.


In other 'Netflix' news, an inspirational debut campaign was launched for Ramadan to celebrate the leading ladies on screen and in real life... drawing connections between 'Netflix' shows and everyday life, while showcasing hero TV shows and movies that capture the vibrancy of modern womanhood and celebrate strong, powerful women in the Middle East. As part of the debut Ramadan campaign in the region the story will be brought to life through creative video execution, and via a socially lead influencer campaign from the Middle East. In parallel, the brand is celebrating female leads across region, with a month-long social media campaign that showcases the talented women across the gulf by linking them to their corresponding favorite female characters who inspire them, highlighting the leading role females in a number of Netflix shows and movies.


Here’s a preview of just a few of the inspirational ladies involved:

Amy Roko
Tima Shomali
Alaa Balkhy
Hatoon Kadi
Maha Jaafar


From the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, who proves you can balance family life with one of the most important jobs in the country, to Lorelai in "Gilmore Girls" whose strength of character shines through in every single episode. These women are breaking barriers and perceptions with their rich and complex backgrounds in almost every episode.


As you may or may not know, a movie “Easter egg” is an inside joke or hidden message within a scene, and the advertisement below showcases a series of these within such popular 'Netflix' shows as "Girlboss", "13 Reasons Why", "Orange Is The New Black", "The Crown" and more...






The above video (shot in the region) shows women in inspirational leading roles, breaking historical Hollywood stereotypes and challenging perceptions that women all over the world today face both in the workplace and at home. These characters are what make 'Netflix' truly different from the rest! :-)


It's a shame to have to follow-up two such positive news stories with another from Cindy Holland, Vice President (VP) of Netflix original content, who issued a brief statement in the latter part of this past week, to the effect that: "After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the 'Sense8' cluster is coming to an end"... which means there will be no return for another season of "Sense8", despite having a connected community of deeply passionate fans from all around the world. Cindy went on to say, "It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable", before concluding her statement with: "We thank Lana, Lilly, Joe and Grant for their vision, and the entire cast and crew for their craftsmanship and commitment".


Meanwhile... back to accentuating the positive, while also lightening the mood with the prospect of some great comedy coming (very) soon, a recent announcement from Sky Corporate Media Centre, revealed that James Corden is to welcome a star-studded line-up of guests when he broadcasts his Emmy® Award-winning, "The Late Late Show" from London next week, only on 'Sky 1' in the UK. Featured guests will include: Nicole Kidman, David Beckham, Emily Blunt, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Hudson, Kit Harington, Sir Ben Kingsley, Russell Brand and Anthony Joshua, with musical performances from Harry Styles and Kings of Leon. As James heads home for three special episodes of the series, The Late Late Show’s signature musical and comedy segments will receive a British twist, including a brand new Carpool Karaoke with Grammy® Award-winning artist Ed Sheeran. Available to both NowTV Box users and owners of Roku devices in the UK, via the super-affordable "NowTV Entertainment Month Pass", the LIVE STREAM of 'Sky 1' (exclusive home to "The Late Late Show" with James Corden in the UK) will broadcast the London-based episodes from 7–9 June at 10:00pm to Sky and NowTV customers.  The episodes, to be produced by CBS Productions and Fulwell 73 (in association with Sky) will also be available daily on-demand through Sky and NowTV.


Anyway, that's about all the Roku-related news I have for you this time... but, before I run through the list of new channel additions, a quick reminder that UK Roku users are still subject to restrictions (imposed by Roku) and (currently) 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 28th May 2017 and 3rd June 2017:-







21FRAMES..............................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






YUPPFLIX....................COST: FREE (14-day trial) + £4.99 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, although this 'YuppFlix' channel is FREE-TO-ADD to your Roku device(s) and does include a 14-DAY FREE TRIAL of the service, once this initial promotional period has come to an end A MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION IS REQUIRED for those who wish to continue with the 'YuppFlix' streaming service - AT A COST OF £4.99 PER MONTH - which will auto-renew until such a time as it is cancelled. Of course, you can always cancel (hassle-free) during your trial period to avoid being charged but, whatever you decide, I recommend that you read the T&C's thoroughly when you first sign-up & register for your 'YuppFlix' account online! ;-) :-)





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



For fans of Bollywood films and/or Indian Movies in general, the 'YuppFlix' streaming service brings you unlimited streaming of their entire library of India Movies & TV Shows with 'HD' quality and a 5.1 surround sound experience to go with it. You can, if need be, watch with English subtitles... as well as on multiple devices, including both iOS (Apple) and Android mobile devices, in addition to your Roku streaming media player(s) and online via web browser. Do be aware that, while the link provided for the Android app can be used worldwide, the link (above) for iOS (Apple) devices is for the iTunes UK Store... so you'll need to switch out the "gb" in the URL for "us", or "ca", or whatever is appropriate to access the iTunes Store in your part of the world. Meanwhile, for those wondering what is meant by "more languages" (besides Hindi, Tamil and Telugu) here is an image I captured from the 'YuppFlix' website of the 'Preferred Language' selection screen:-





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



As can be seen from the above screenshot, you can choose your preferred language from Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, and even the international language of "Sports" (!?!!), as well as Hindi, Telugu, or Tamil (as mentioned previously) and this will also help when filtering the results and recommendations for which content to watch. Should you find yourself needing to reach out for further help & support with 'YuppFlix', there is a dedicated helpline for UK subscribers to the service which can be accessed by PHONE: 0800-086-8286 or, if you prefer, there is also the option to make contact with 'YuppFlix' Support via EMAIL: support[at]yuppflix[dot]com with any questions you may have for them regarding your use of their streaming service. That said, if you're already familiar with 'YuppTV' on Roku, you should adapt to this very easily, as it's from the same people! ;-)


If any readers are from the United States, or Canada, there is an alternative helpline for subscribers in those countries which can (again) be accessed by PHONE: +1-866-663-7557 and the same number applies to both U.S. and Canadian Roku users. The email address, meanwhile is the same as for UK subscribers to the 'YuppFlix' streaming service (see above) with further options via the website. The subscription price in the USA, according to the 'Roku Guide' review (see link above), is $6.99 USD but, unfortunately, I'm not sure what the equivalent price in $CAD will apply to those in Canada. If any readers from there wish to leave a comment with the price of a monthly 'YuppFlix' subscription for Canadian Roku users, I'll happily add the details to this post once the details are made known. :-)







ULTIMATE FAITH TV NETWORK.....................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






FATHER'S DAY SCREENSAVER....COST: £0.69 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

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






U - FOOD............................................COST: £1.99 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

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






FOURTH OF JULY SCREENSAVER...COST: £0.69 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

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






HARVEST BAPTIST CHURCH...............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






LIGHTHOUSE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH...............................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






TANGO TOGETHER...............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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





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

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






COCINEMOS JUNTOS...........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






MOVIE LAND.....................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






KABILLION EN ESPAƑOL...............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

***FILED UNDER: "KIDS & FAMILY" in Roku UK Channel Store WHEN RELEASED***






TRES PATINES TV..................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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




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Anyhow, like it or not, that is your lot this week and, although it only amounts to two-thirds of the twenty-one channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store in the same time-frame, it's better to get these 14 NEW CHANNELS than none at all... as I'm sure you'll agree?!


In any event, hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the fourteen "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 few weeks. 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 forty-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 !!





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