Saturday, December 3, 2016

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #195





Hi, everyone !!



The BIG NEWS this week, in terms of UK-specific Roku matters, was... once again, UPDATES - only, this time around, it wasn't a succession of Roku software build updates for Roku OS 7.5 which caught my attention but, rather, a MASSIVE INCREASE IN ROKU UK "SEARCH" PARTNERS that saw the number of featured services multiply from five to thirty in just three days! Sadly there was still nothing to indicate the return of "All 4" (formerly '4oD', or 'Four On-Demand' to some) or "The Great Courses" to the list of Roku UK 'Search Partners' which were both present until the new Roku software rollout began... but seem to have disappeared from my devices since that firmware update was completed. Hopefully they will return in due course but, for the time being, here's a list of the TWENTY-FIVE NEW "SEARCH" PARTNERS ADDED TO ROKU UK DEVICES this week:-



  1. Cracked
  2. Leo Training
  3. Sing and Spell
  4. 4KUNIVERSE
  5. DroneTV
  6. Cell Life Church Live
  7. RANGARANG
  8. desiCinema
  9. Silent Movies
  10. Lucy Show
  11. RMGTV - Rover's Morning Glory TV
  12. Istikana TV
  13. Teeter Taught Animation
  14. DeenTV
  15. RCCG Winners' Chapel TV
  16. HappyKids 3
  17. Great Big Story
  18. Red Carpet Action
  19. Red Carpet Comedy
  20. Red Carpet Drama
  21. Western Classic Movies
  22. Dad's Favorite Movies
  23. Green Screen
  24. Phoenix Flix
  25. Reel Flix


Since I've tweeted about these new Roku UK "Search" Partners in great detail over the last few days, I won't go into it anymore than to provide this list for reference purposes. You can always check-out the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels if you'd like to know more. Either way, those all join the previous (if rather short) list of five channels, which were the only ones Roku UK users were able to "Search" for content until the latter part of the week just gone. To recap, here's the five channels which complete the full compliment of thirty Roku UK "Search" Partners that we can enjoy today:-


  1. Amazon Video
  2. GooglePlay Movies & TV
  3. Netflix
  4. NowTV
  5. SnagFilms


Obviously, the ideal would be for Roku "Search" to find any content, on any channel that is available via the built-in channel store found on all Roku streaming media players... and, better still, have the ability to search for content on any private channels that happen to be installed on any given device. Until then, we'll just have to make do with what we're given. Unfortunately, however, there doesn't seem to have been much thought put into this particular feature when it comes to adding the kind of search partners that would benefit Roku UK users the most. For example, you'd think that having all of the major UK CatchUpTV players on their devices would be reason enough for Roku to include content from 'BBC iPlayer', 'ITV Hub', 'All 4' and 'My5' (bizarrely, still called 'Demand5' on Roku) among their search results!?! These are, afterall, among the 25 "Most Popular" Channels in the UK!


When 'All 4' was added to Roku UK "Search" earlier this year, I thought... "Great, they have added another worthy 'Search Partner' and assumed the other UK CatchUpTV services would soon follow. Instead, it seems Roku giveth... and then taketh away - at least, when it comes to Roku UK search partners - but, given the recent new additions, it's anybody's guess what we'll get next! Perhaps, instead of spamming Roku UK "Search" with channels that contain minimal content - I'm not going to mention any names, but check out the above list and you'll soon discover which ones I mean - they could add partners like 'Sky Store', or; 'WuakiTV UK', or; 'CinemaNow', or; 'CultTV-A-Go-Go', or; 'IndieFlix', or; 'Sainsburys Entertainment', or; 'Shudder', or; 'Stream Now TV', or; 'UltraFlix', or; 'Viewster', or; 'We Are Colony', or; how about some of the channels from 'BigStar Movies', or; 'INC', or; 'MaddyGTV', or; 'OVGuide' and (perhaps) even music services like 'Spotify' or 'Vevo'!?! Come to think of it... whatever happened to 'PopcornFlix', who Roku (themselves) said would be one of the initial Roku UK "Search" partners back when the feature was first introduced!?!! Basically, what I'm trying to say is they should not just add any old channel(s) to make-up the numbers... but, instead, give it some serious thought and make it the useful feature I'd always imagined it would be! So, come on Roku, if we're not getting any new Roku models... at least give us some decent search partners! ;-)



New UK Roku "Search" partners aside, we have (again) been blessed with an above-average crop of new channel additions to occupy our time. As with two weeks ago, when sixty-one channels were added to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store, we've seen a significant increase on the average of 16 new channels which was the average amount for any given seven-day period throughout 2015.


Meanwhile, Roku UK users are still subject to restrictions (imposed by Roku) and (bizarrely) remain unable to access the channel descriptions in the web channel store on the Roku (USA) website. That said, the majority of the text from those web store descriptions can also be found within the individual channel 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 you 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 below and (instead) rely on the link to the right (below each channel icon) which will redirect you to an 'Roku Guide' review for additional details on each channel. As it stands, the links below (and to the left of) each channel icon are (currently) only of use to readers of this blog from the USA. This means 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 all the new Roku channels which were released between 27th November and 3rd December 2016:-







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

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






FFC (Final Fight Championship)...........COST: FREE (n.b. may require additional fees) [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, despite this "FFC" channel being added to the Roku USA Channel Store, it seems to have escaped the notice of the good folks at 'Roku Guide' who (currently) have no review posted for it. This is (probably) due to the fact this "FFC" (aka Final Fight Championship) channel was not listed within the 'New' category (i.e. genre) of the channel store. Instead, anyone wishing to install the channel will need to look for "FFC" within the 'Sports' category... and, even then, it will require you to scroll to the very end of the list of channels to find it. PRO TIP:- Use the built-in Roku "Search" function, found within the channel store, to locate and install it... avoiding the need to scour through the one hundred and fifty-three channel icons which make up the 'Sports' genre! ;-)

Needless to say... I'll endeavour to make contact with the publisher of 'Roku Guide' and tip them off as to the existence of this new Roku channel so that, as and when a review does appear on their site, I will (as a matter of course) add the "missing" link to this post for ease of reference. Meanwhile, those of you who are into MMA, kickboxing and fighting or combat sports in general, will find more info on the Final Fight Championship (headquartered in Zagreb, Croatia) by visiting the official website where you'll find a full schedule of forthcoming events (as well as a list of previous events) together with all the latest news, profiles of the fighters, plus a breakdown of the rules and much more! Should you wish to "get social" with the folks from 'FFC' you can do so either via Twitter: @FFCprofight or else through their FB page: Final Fight Championship (Facebook) with any questions, comments or suggestions you may have about their Roku channel and/or other aspects of their company.  :-)







GREAT OUTDOORS NETWORK......................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






WESTERN ON THE WEB..................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, despite the channel icon for this "Western On The Web" channel using the plural noun, "Westerns", the channel name itself (rightly, or wrongly) features the singular, "Western" format and that's how it appears for the description page on the Roku (USA) Web Channel Store, plus the 'Roku Guide' review, and (most likely) any other reference you may find for this Roku channel on the world wide web. So, in case you were wondering, it is not a "typo" on my part (although, they can and do happen from time to time) but, rather, something the channel developer is responsible for! ;-)







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

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






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

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






CHRISTIAN MOVIES DIRECT TV....................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






FOUNDERS LEAGUE CHANNEL.....................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






GIGLI DI NOLA...................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






FUNKER TACTICAL................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






RESORT CHANNEL............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






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

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






SEEVII SINEMA..................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






SEEVII SPLAY.....................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






SEEVII LIVE TV..................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






NEW MEXICO TV...............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






SANTA FE TV......................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






PEG SOLITAIRE.............................................COST: £0.69 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, since this paid (monthly subscription) version of "Peg Solitaire" is not (currently) available on Roku devices in the USA... the channel description, for which I have provided a link above, pertains to the free (ad-supported) version that was published via the online Roku (USA) Web Channel Store - called "Peg Solitaire Free" - as played by Roku users in the United States. The reason we, in the UK, must purchase a monthly subscription to play this game is that the ads used to support the free version in the U.S. are considered (by the developer) to be of little or no relevance for the UK market. As such, if it helps, you can consider the UK channel to be an ad-free (premium) version which can be played without any interruptions due to adverts! ;-)


ALSO:- For similar reasons, there is no 'Roku Guide' review of the paid version and (therefore) the link provided (above) is for the 'Roku Guide' review of "Peg Solitaire Free" and not "Peg Solitaire" (the paid version) which is found on Roku devices in the UK. The reason I have included this link is the game (itself) remains the same, whether free (ad-sponsored) or paid (ad-free) and therefore the information provided, within the 'Roku Guide' review, about how to play the game (as well as any screenshots provided therein) are equally of relevance to Roku UK as for USA. Just be aware that any mention of the game being "free" and/or "ad-sponsored" are in reference to the version found on Roku devices in the USA and, aside from that, it's the same for the paid (UK) app! :-)







AMERICAN HOTEL CHANNEL.......................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






AMERICAN RESTAURANT CHANNEL...........................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






CHRISTMAS WINDOW...........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






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

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






CHRIST IN MY LIFE............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, despite the channel icon for this "Christ In My Life" channel using the extra word, "TV", the channel name itself (rightly, or wrongly) features the shortened format (as shown) and that's how it appears for the description on the Roku (USA) Web Channel Store, plus the 'Roku Guide' review, and (most likely) any other reference you're likely to find for this Roku channel online. So, in case you were wondering, it's not an "omission" on my part (although they can, and do, happen on occasion) but, rather, something for which the channel developer(s) themselves are responsible! ;-)







GONE TV...........................................COST: FREE + $5.99 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, although this "GONE TV" channel is FREE-TO-ADD to Roku devices and does allow you to browse the content library therein, you will soon find (when attempting to stream any of the videos) that A MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION IS REQUIRED, for which you will be billed the sum of $5.99 PER MONTH - or your local currency equivalent, plus exchange fees - in order to be able to watch anything in full. That said, if you are serious enough about hunting and fishing to require year-round access to this channel, there is also an ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION OPTION at a (slightly reduced) cost of $64.99 PER YEAR which will save you a small amount over the year! ;-)







THE BARBERS NETWORK....................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






PREMIER WRESTLING FEDERATION..............................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






RADIO FREE CYBERTRON...................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






1950s - 1990s OLD COMMERCIALS......COST: £1.49 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, despite the channel icon for this "1950s - 1990s Old Commercials" channel dropping any reference to the years for their 'old commercials' and using the extra word, "TV", the channel name itself (rightly, or wrongly) features the altered format (as shown above) and that's how it appears for the description on the Roku (USA) Web Channel Store, plus the 'Roku Guide' review, and (most likely) any other reference you're likely to find for this Roku channel online. So, in case you were wondering, it's not an "error" on my part (although they can, and do, occasionally happen) but, rather, something for which the channel developer, 'Bluemooner', is responsible! ;-)







FACTS VERSE.........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






DEFEND THE HOUSE..........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






BIZTALES...............................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, despite the channel icon for this "Biztales" channel using the singular noun, "Biztale", the channel name itself (rightly, or wrongly) features the plural, "Biztales" form and that is how it appears for the description page on the Roku (USA) Web Channel Store, plus the 'Roku Guide' review, and (most likely) any other reference you may find for this Roku channel on the world wide web. So, in case you were wondering, it is not a "typo" on my part (although, they can and do happen from time to time) but, rather, something the channel developer, John Hilla, is responsible for. That said, unlike similar differences with other channels (listed previously) in this case... the change of name was more likely necessary due to an earlier (now withdrawn) but similarly-named version of this channel which was released by the same developer, although in a slightly different format! ;-)







NODE. JS FOR BEGINNERS..............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






KARAOKE CLOUD................COST: FREE (7-DAY TRIAL) + $9.99 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, while this "Karaoke Cloud" channel is FREE-TO-ADD and does include some FREE-TO-STREAM content in addition to offering a FREE 7-DAY TRIAL with full access, you will need to pay for a MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION at a cost of $9.99 PER MONTH - or your local currency equivalent, plus exchange fees - in order to be able to continue getting full access to their library of karaoke videos after your trial period has ended. That said, if you are serious enough about karaoke to warrant year-round access to the hundreds of karaoke songs (from many different music genres) found within this channel, there is also an ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION OPTION at a cost of $99.99 PER YEAR which (effectively) gives you TWO MONTHS FREE over the year! ;-)







CULINÁRIA TERAPIA.....................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






FAITH UNVEILED NETWORK...........................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






NAPOLINOVA TV..........................................COST: £10.49 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, to all intents and purposes, this "Napolinova TV" channel offers nothing more than can be found on the earlier (and slightly cheaper) Roku channel - "Napoli Nova TV" - but, having said that, BEFORE YOU SUBSCRIBE to either one, READ THE 'ROKU GUIDE' REVIEW as it contains not one... but, two links to where YOU CAN WATCH FOR FREE ONLINE and (given the overly-high subscription rate being charged for this channel) you'd do well to look elsewhere if this local news and entertainment content (from Naples, Italy) is something you'd like to stream! ;-)







ALL ELECTRONIC MUSIC CHANNEL...........................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






DEEP POCKETS JAZZ.......................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






FUNIMATION NOW..........COST: FREE (30-DAY TRIAL) + £4.99 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That this "FunimationNow" channel replaces the original "FUNimation" channel that was previously available on Roku devices in the USA. Luckily for UK Roku users, the content merger between "Crunchyroll" and "FUNimation" which led to the creation of "FunimationNow" has seen the (previously US-only) service expanded to UK Roku users who now have access to their vast collection of both "subbed" and "dubbed" anime on their streaming media players! :-) You can find out more about "FunimationNow" via their official website and sign-up for a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL after which you can subscribe for only £4.99 PER MONTH to get full access to all of Funimation's streaming content - including hundreds of shows, movies and early-access home video dubs. Those choosing to get this 'Premium Plan' can also watch ad-free anime (in HD quality) anytime, anywhere
on desktop computers or with any of the free mobile and console apps available. Additionally, you'll be among the first to stream exclusive English Dubs shortly after their original Japanese broadcast! Of course, you can always select the 'Free Plan' when you sign-up and still get the 30-day free trial without being charged but, if you don't upgrade to the 'Premium Plan', you'll miss the extra benefits. ;-)


PLEASE ALSO NOTE:- That the link provided (above) to a 'Roku Guide' review is for the original "FUNimation" channel and not this latest incarnation, as "FunimationNow", although there are some similarities and overlap between the two. Until such a time as the 'Roku Guide' review is updated to include details of this new version for 2016, that is all I can offer you by way of information. Should you need to know more, you can always connect with the UK branch of "FunimationNow" through their Twitter Feed: @FunimationUK or their FB Page:- FunimationUK (Facebook) where I am sure they will be only to pleased to help you out by answering any questions you might have! :-)




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Anyhow, like it or not, that is your lot for this week and, though it's barely more than three quarters of the fifty-eight channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store during the same time-frame, it's better to get 44 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 forty-four "public" channels outlined above... or else from the "private" channels, whose access codes were "gifted" to you via the companion Twitter Feed to this blog, at various points throughout the last seven days. That said, 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've said before... when it comes to adding new channels to your Roku, IT'S YOUR CHOICE  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 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 twenty-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 !!