Saturday, September 9, 2017

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #235





Hi, everyone !!



Before I get into the Roku-specific news from the past seven days, I just wanted to make you aware of a LIMITED-TIME OFFER from 'Google Play' that I came across recently. The reason for starting my 'Weekly RoundUp' with this is that the DEAL ENDS ON MONDAY 11th SEPTEMBER so, if you wish to take advantage of this offer, you will need to ACT FAST to avoid missing out! :-O ;-) :-)






Now, I'll grant you that this may not seem like such a great deal (at first glance) given it still means paying-out just shy of four quid for an 'SD' copy of a movie (even if it does mean you then "own" it) but, when you dig a bit deeper into the selection of eligible titles that are available, you will discover that there are a number of movie 'collections' or 'bundles' which qualify for this offer. Among the more notable choices were: "Middle-Earth Extended Editions (6-Film Collection)", and the "Harry Potter Complete Collection (8 Films)", plus the full set of 25 animated DC Universe Films combined to make the "DC Universe (25 Movie Collection)", and "Mission: Impossible (5 Movie Collection)", as well as "Star Trek: 10 Original Movies (10 Film Collection)" all of which qualify for purchase at just £3.99 and offer significant savings on the normal selling prices. For example, the 'DC Universe' animated collection usually retails for £109.99 and, even though it's on sale for £79.99 right now, this special offer from 'Google Play' will enable you to buy it for only £3.99 (saving over £75.00 versus even the "sale" price). Likewise, the 'Star Trek' collection of all ten original motion pictures would be sold for £79.99, and is currently on sale for £54.99, but you can get it for only £3.99 using this deal!


Before you get too excited, the Terms & Conditions of this promotion state: "This offer is open to specific Google Play users based on purchase history", so not everyone who visits the 'Google Play' store to redeem this offer will be eligible for the above deal... however, at that price, it's worth having a look just to see if you can grab yourself a real bargain. It's limited to one per user, but if your family has several 'Google Play' accounts, there's nothing to stop you claiming the offer separately on each!


Moving on to the Roku-specific news from this week... there was an announcement from Roku, to the effect that they have just released their own (ad-supported) streaming channel featuring a vast curated video library with hundreds of free movies, plus additional content from selected channel partners. It came to my attention, via a recent post from the "Official" Roku Stream Blog by Rob Holmes, but the news was tainted (from a UK perspective) since "The Roku Channel" is another US-ONLY perk! :-(






If you're interested in reading an independent overview of "The Roku Channel", there is the usual appraisal from 'Roku Guide' in their review of this US-exclusive offering from Roku. For readers of this blog from the United States, there is also the description from the Roku Web Channel Store that includes a link to add "The Roku Channel" online, instead of via the built-in channel store found on Roku devices. However, since those in other Roku "regions" and/or countries are unable to access the web channel store, I'm posting a couple of screenshots below, so you can see what you're missing:-







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



As yet, it is unclear whether we might get to see equivalent versions of "The Roku Channel" published in "other" parts of the world where Roku devices are marketed (i.e. Canada, Mexico, France, Ireland and UK) but, given their past track record, it would seem unlikely. One thing I can say for certain is that Roku are being their usual evasive selves when asked any questions specific to an UK release of "The Roku Channel", offering the typical 'cookie cutter' corporate-style reply we have come to expect from them: "We haven’t announced anything regarding availability of The Roku Channel in the UK at this time" in response to comments from UK Roku users - one 'Rosalind Mata' [Twitter Feed: @PurpleSpirit319] and another 'Trevor Litchfield' [Twitter Feed: @SundownerUK] - which were both left on the afore-mentioned post from the "Official" Roku Stream Blog. Chances are that most of the content will be available to Roku users in other regions & countries via the various streaming channels which are available to them. It's just the trend towards not making things freely available to all Roku customers which leaves a lot to be desired. Afterall, this is not the first channel developed by Roku themselves which UK (and other) Roku users have been denied access to... and then there's the constant stream of Roku Themes - specifically their 'Featured' or 'Custom' themes - which never seem to be available to Roku customers outside of the United States. Let's just hope, if Roku does go "public" that the shareholders vote for equal treatment of Roku customers in all regions - be it in matters of themes, channels, or (dare I say it) new Roku models!?! (cough, cough - ahem!).


At least the one thing we have been able to rely on from Roku (so far) is that updates to the software for the Roku OS are generally available here within a short time of being first rolled-out to customers in the United States and that (thus far) we benefit from (most of) the same features... although, with certain Roku models not being available in the UK, there are some aspects & features of the software that we have yet to experience. The latest software roll-out (for Roku OS 7.7.0) seems to have been a little more "buggy" than earlier versions, however, and there has been a further minor update to the recently released software this week. Having originally rolled-out with a build number of '4094', followed by minor updates to 'Build 4108', then 'Build 4116' and 'Build 4117', plus 'Build 4135' which we reported two weeks ago, this latest update to Roku software 'Version 7.7.0 - Build 4149' should now (hopefully) fix the last of the bugs reported by Roku users since this software roll-out began. Here is a screenshot confirming the most recent change to the Roku software build in the UK:-






If you wish to check which Roku software version is currently running on your device(s) simply go to the 'Home Screen' on your Roku menu and then click through each of the following options from the on-screen menus which are displayed on your television, projector screen, or other display monitor:-

  • Settings
  • System
  • System update

From the 'System update' screen, take a look at the 'Software Version' and 'Build' numbers in the lower right portion of the screen (below the highlighted 'Check now' option). Then, if your Roku device is running anything other than the current software: 'Version 7.7.0 - Build 4149', you should press the "OK" button on your Roku remote to 'Check now' for an update to whatever version you are on. Should an update to your current software version and/or build be available, you will then see a message window (similar to the one in the image above) and you must then select 'Continue' before pressing the "OK" button again to initiate the update. 


PLEASE NOTE:- That if your Roku devices are on an older software version and/or build number than the one shown here, and you don't get a message saying "Update available", this just means it is not yet your "turn" to receive the update. That being the case, there is nothing you can do to "force" the update through... you must simply wait until it is either applied automatically, or you choose to attempt a manual update at a later date that just happens to coincide with your "turn" to receive it.


Anyhow... with little else aside from details of special offers, software updates and US-only channels to bring you, in terms of newsworthy Roku items from the last seven days, I'd best turn my attention to more important matters, such as getting you up to speed with the latest new Roku channels (apps) which were added to UK Roku devices since the 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 8th September 2017) does little more than to play "catch-up" with reviews that were absent from the previous week, it means there were (once again) absolutely zero reviews for the Roku channels which were actually released between the 2nd and 8th September 2017. As a direct result, there are currently "missing" links to 'Roku Guide' reviews for over ninety 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 few weeks, rather than simply regurgitate what is written in each channel description from the channel store, I'm (again) going 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 (again) add the relevant links to this post, much like I did for the last two. Apologies (once more) for any inconvenience that may have been caused by the absence of active links to the usual 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 made available on UK Roku devices during this past week! :-)


While it's far from being another epic list of fifty-plus channels as it was ten weeks ago, you will find there are a fair few new options under "Film & TV", "Religion" and "Special Interest", as well as a couple more options for "Sports" fans, plus the odd new addition to the "Games", "Educational", "International", "News & Weather", "Music", "Photo Apps" and "Sci & Tech" categories (i.e. genres), 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 3rd September 2017 and 9th September 2017:-







GRINDHOUSE CONNECTION PLUS VOD.........................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






NASA TELEVISION..............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






FORT WAYNE STV...............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






SOCCER SHOTS FREE.........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






SCHMOES KNOW.................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






THE HEART CONFERENCE NETWORK...........................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






CIAO ITALY TV.....................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






NRSNG NCLEX PREP...........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






CREATIVE MEDIA MINISTRIES.........................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






WESTERN CLASSICS CHANNEL.......................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






RED LETTER MINISTRIES.................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






CHICAGO STV CHANNEL..................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






FRESNO STV CHANNEL.....................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






LAS VEGAS STV CHANNEL..............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






WRANGLER NETWORK.....................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






FIRST BAPTIST COLBERT HEIGHTS.................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






ROCK FAITH CENTER.........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






CROSS LANES BAPTIST CHURCH...................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






GREATER FRIENDSHIP BAPTIST.....................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






VEGATEVE NACIONAL.....................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN.....................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






MUSIC AND TV FOR DOGS..................COST: FREE (n.b. may require additional fees) [Roku Guide Review]

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






LIBERTY ONE BROADCASTING.......................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






RELAXING CHANNEL FOR CATS......................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






RELAXING CHANNEL FOR DOGS......................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






PINECASTLE RECORDS.....................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






NEW YORK POST...................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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




*********************************************



Anyhow, like it or not, that is your lot this week and, while it amounts to little over sixty percent of the forty-five channels that made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store in the same time-frame, it's still better to get 28 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-eight "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!




*********************************************



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-one 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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