Saturday, December 23, 2017

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #250

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... similar changes have been made in previous years around this time and, given how "Christmas Day" 2017 is fast approaching, on this occasion we have been treated to a "Happy Holidays" winter theme... complete with falling snowflakes, plus the added bonus of a "Roku Winter Wonderland" screensaver to replace the (default) one with a "bouncing" Roku logo ensuring Roku owners in all regions 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 (most likely) have 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 shared the news via the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels to this blog and included the following screenshot which was taken from one of my own Roku devices:- 

HINT:- Please CLICK on the above image TO ENLARGE IT 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 "Winter" background and 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 would like to add it to your own 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 TV 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 "Happy Holidays" winter 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 lie 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 11th March 2018?! 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 Saturday 17th March 2018 - 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 Roku UK whereby you can ENJOY OVER £35 IN FREE ENTERTAINMENT which includes: a FREE 2-MONTH TRIAL OF 'TVPLAYER PLUS' with access to extra "premium" content on top of the 60+ live TV channels available for free to all UK Roku users with the "basic" subscription-free 'TVPlayer' channel, AND; A FREE 3-MONTH TRIAL OF 'HOPSTER' KIDS TV service with it's ad-free Kids TV Shows and Music for pre-school aged children to learn & develop both spelling and maths skills as well as watch popular family-friendly shows like "Moshi Monsters" and "Story Bots" so that your little ones can be ahead of the class before they have even had a lesson at infants school, PLUS; A FREE 3-MONTH TRIAL OF THE 'LOVE NATURE' SERVICE with full access to their catalogue of nature documentaries. These offers can only be redeemed when using the promotional code(s) which will be sent by Roku (via email) whenever a new Roku streaming media player is activated by a UK Roku user via their Roku UK account (provided, of course, they have already signed-up to receive notifications from Roku) and are illustrated in the screenshot below:-

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

PLEASE NOTE:- That, in order to take advantage of the above holiday offer from Roku, your new device MUST BE ACTIVATED BY 7th JANUARY 2018 IN ORDER TO QUALIFY under the terms of this promotion. Then, having received the voucher codes (via email) from Roku, please be aware that ALL PURCHASE CODES MUST BE REDEEMED BY 28th JANUARY 2018 after which they will be null & void with no further opportunity to redeem them for any free entertainment which may have been unclaimed as of that date. Please read the full T&C's for more information:-

TVPlayer: Purchase and activate player by 7/1/18. Redeem by 28/1/18. Valid payment method required. Cancel before free period ends to avoid £5.99 monthly fee. Active TVPlayer Plus accounts excluded. Restrictions apply. Full terms:

Hopster: Purchase and activate player by 7/1/18. Redeem by 28/1/18. Valid payment method required. Cancel before free period ends to avoid £3.99 recurring monthly subscription. New subscribers only. Restrictions apply. Full terms:

Love Nature: Purchase and activate player by 7/1/18 to receive offer voucher. Redeem voucher by 28/1/18. Valid payment method required. Cancel before 3 month free period ends to avoid £3.99 monthly fee. Cancel by visiting 18+ and UK only. 1 offer per account & may not be used with other offers. New subscribers only. Restrictions apply. Full terms:

Which brings us nicely onto our next FREEBIE for UK Roku owners and, in particular, those who have purchased (or else been gifted) a new 4K Roku Streaming Stick+ (Roku Streaming Stick Plus) [3810EU] but 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, together with the usual contact information) in order to receive this useful bit of extra kit for their Roku device. Incidentally, this is also available free-of-charge to anyone that purchased one of the original (purple) Roku Streaming Sticks (HD Version) [3500EU]. The HDMI Extender 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 Plus (or 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 Plus (4K UHD Version) or Roku Streaming Stick (HD Version)... 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! ;-)

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, as well as some of the top "premium" channels from 'Sky TV' (incl. "on-demand" access to 250+ box sets) courtesy of the 'NowTV' video library, there is an opportunity for existing subscribers to experience all that this streaming service has to offer & enjoy TWELVE MONTHS OF 'NOW TV' ENTERTAINMENT + 'SKY CINEMA' MOVIES - BY MAKING A ONE-OFF PAYMENT OF ONLY £99.00 FOR THE WHOLE YEAR thanks to a repeat of the 'Black Friday' SPECIAL OFFER from 'NowTV' (that was exclusive to new customers) which means SAVING MORE THAN £116.00 versus their usual fee (currently in excess of £215.00) for 12 monthly 'Sky Cinema' passes plus 12 monthly 'NowTV Entertainment' passes. To get 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 'Sign In' to see the promo banner for existing customers. PLEASE NOTE:- If you are new to the service, simply join-up using the free 14-day trial option (n.b. NOT either of the current '2 Months for the Price of One' offers) - after which you'll then be an "existing customer" with less than 30 days to run on your current subscription (i.e. the trial offer) and will be able to get the £99 offer which is outlined in the screenshot below:-

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


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 2018. 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 seventy-six 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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