Saturday, February 24, 2018

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #259





Hi, everyone !!



If you happen to follow the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels to this blog, then you will already be aware that the single most significant piece of Roku-related news (from a UK perspective) was the announcement, via press release from the 'UKTV' publicity department, that (after more than a year in development) their Roku channel for 'UKTV Play' has finally been added to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store as well as the 'App Store' on streaming devices from NowTV... meaning that those with compatible Roku (or Roku-Powered™) devices in the UK can now access "on-demand" content from the free 'UKTV' catch-up service. Here is a screenshot of the promotional image which they shared via social media when passing-on the news following it's release:-






Of course...  while the above official announcement came on Thursday 22nd February 2018, which was followed by this belated / related post from the "official" Roku Stream Blog, I actually broke the news first via my companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels on Wednesday 21st February 2018 - i.e. the day before the official announcement(s) from 'UKTV' and 'Roku' were made - so anyone who happened to be "following" my tweets on Wednesday would have known about the availability of the new 'UKTV Play' channel ahead of everyone else, as evidenced by the screenshot below:-






Having said that, my "newsflash" might not have happened in such a timely fashion had I not first been contacted by an UK Roku user named Phil Humphris [Twitter Feed: @PhilHumphris] who had spotted the app while browsing the built-in channel store on his own Roku device just prior to that and brought it to my attention - for which I'm very grateful - so "HUGE THANKS" to you, Phil! ;-)


Anyway, since I've already mentioned NowTV devices, I thought I'd remind you all that their new NOW TV Smart Stick has already gone on sale (in 'bundle' form) at Argos, Sainsburys and Tesco... with your choice of NowTV Entertainment or Sky Cinema Movies passes (other options for Kids and Sports bundles are expected to follow) priced £19.99 (except 'NowTV Sport', which will be £29.99). So, if you're keen to get hold of one, this weekend is your chance to get in ahead of the (device-only) release for 'NowTV Smart Stick' (via NOW TV's website) for £14.99 (with no pass) on Monday! :-)






If you've been following the companion Twitter Feed to this blog: @ukrokuchannels then you might have gathered from some of my recent tweets that I picked-up my very own 'NowTV Smart Stick' on Friday and have already been putting it through it's paces - as well as trying the remote with various UK Roku models, to see which ones it worked with - but (save for that) I won't comment any further for now, in case I decide to publish a full-blown article or (possibly) even a review. What I will say, though, is that nothing about this new 'NowTV Smart Stick' would prevent my recommending people to purchase the £29 'Roku Express' over this latest device from 'NOW TV'... mostly on account of how it still suffers from the same limited 'App Store' (still only 51 apps, even with 'UKTV Play' in it!) and the fact that Roku's official mobile app enables users to 'Voice Search' even without a microphone in the (supplied) hardware remote with their 'Roku Express' model. Like every NowTV device before it, the 'NowTV Smart Stick' might be cheap... but, with no 'Prime Video', or 'Netflix', or 'TVPlayer' - to name but three "missing" apps - it just doesn't cut it as a "go to" streaming device which, as far as I'm concerned, should be able to "do it all" (or close to it) just like proper Roku devices! ;-) :-)


Other than that, the only bit of Roku-specific (as opposed to just Roku-related) news I have for you from the last week... was the announcement, via this Q4 2017 Report from Roku Investor Relations, of the first quarterly earnings since Roku became a public-traded company. The main points from this report were covered in related articles by Variety, and CNBC, as well as Engadget but while most of the mainstream media were quick to jump on the negative forecasts for future income, I preferred to take the more positive view based on what Roku has actually achieved from the figures in that report. To wit, year-on-year (YoY) revenue is up 28% to $188 million (USD), active accounts grew from 13.4 million to 19.3 million, and those same Roku users streamed over 4.3 billion hours of video! :-O


Anyway, with no other major Roku-related (or Roku-specific) news to share with you this week, I'm now going to turn my attention to bringing you details for all the latest new Roku channels (apps) which were released during the seven days since my last 'Weekly RoundUp' post was published! :-)


Firstly, though, I'd just like to mention (on a not entirely un-related note) that I have now added links to most (though, still not all) of the 'Roku Guide' reviews that were previously "missing" for many of the new Roku channels released in the last few weeks... so, if you'd like to see an independent appraisal of those, be sure to check-out my post from last week (see link above), which (itself) contains a link to the previous week's post (and so-on, and so-forth), for details of where to find them. Unfortunately, there are even more "missing" links to 'Roku Guide' reviews for half of the channels that were published during the last seven days... which means, much like other posts in recent months, I'm (once again) going to have to leave it for each of you (individually) to access those details. As of last week, you can choose to do that either via the built-in channel store on your Roku device(s) or by following the links provided in each post to the relevant channel description(s) from the Roku Web Channel Store. Meanwhile, once the "missing" reviews have been published by 'Roku Guide', I will (as I have done previously) ensure that I add the relevant links to each post. Apologies (yet again) for any inconvenience that may have been caused by the absence of active links to an independent review for so many of these new apps but, like I say, it was entirely out of my hands. Hopefully they will catch-up on any they missed sometime in the coming week!?! ;-) :-)


Still, back to the list... which, as always, will help you to identify the very latest apps that 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. So, 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! ;-) :-)


With twice the number of active links to check out, not just for this week... but each and every post that has been previously published as part of my 'Weekly RoundUp' series over the last five years, there's a *lot* of reading to catch-up on. So, without further ado, here's my 'Weekly RoundUp' of all new Roku channels released between 18th February 2018 and 24th February 2018:-







UKTV PLAY..........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, because 'UKTV Play' is solely intended for use in the United Kingdom, you will not be able to use the above link (below, and to the left of, the channel icon) to install this Roku channel in other countries and/or regions where Roku streaming media players are marketed / sold. Likewise, for similar reasons, there is no active link to an 'Roku Guide' review for 'UKTV Play' due to their not being able to access the channel from the United States. Obviously, since the 'UKTV Play' channel is both FREE-TO-ADD and FREE-TO-STREAM on Roku devices for those in the UK, your best bet is to simply add it and see for yourself what is on offer. However, for the benefit of everyone else, I'm going to provide some additional links and information (over & above the norm) to this post. For starters, here's a few screenshots that were taken from the web channel store description:-












All of the above images (as well as a couple more besides) can be viewed either online, by following the above link to the Roku UK Web Channel Store description below (and to the left of) the channel icon for 'UKTV Play', or via the built-in channel store on all compatible UK Roku devices. Likewise, those with a compatible NOW TV Box / Smart TV Stick can view them in NowTV 'App Store' listing for this new 'UKTV Play' app, which (in turn) can be found within the "Film & TV" category... just as it can on all compatible UK Roku devices which feature the channel! ;-) :-)


SO, WHAT IS 'UKTV PLAY' ALL ABOUT!?! Well, if you've not come across it before, UKTV Play is a *FREE* catch-up TV service where you can watch "on-demand" shows from over-the-air (OTA) broadcast TV channels (Dave, Yesterday, Really and Drama) provided by UKTV. With it, you will be able to access themed programme collections and box sets, from comedy and drama, to paranormal and history. The newly released Roku channel for 'UKTV Play' can be streamed on Roku devices, or NOW TV Box / Smart Stick, as well as via computer, tablet or smart phone, by anyone in the UK. All of these platforms enable you to browse hundreds of shows by channel, or search by programme title. You will find more details on the various ways to watch 'UKTV Play' content online and, if you visit their official website, there is also a dedicated 'Apps' webpage which includes links to download both an iOS (Apple) app (from the iTunes Store), plus an Android app (from the Google Play Store) so you can enjoy streaming 'UKTV Play' on your mobile devices, whenever your Roku is not available! Should you have any further questions, there is an online contact form on their website, but you also have the option to connect with 'UKTV Play' on social media, via their Twitter Feed: @UKTVPlay as well as any of several alternative means of contact, outlined below:-


UKTV Viewer Enquiries:
Tel: 020 3192 0504
Post: UKTV, PO BOX 6996, CARDIFF, CF15 5DS

You can also send viewer enquiries via email, or write to UKTV directly, at the following address:-

10 Hammersmith Grove
London
W6 7AP


UKTV welcomes all of your feedback (via any means) but, for general programme enquiries, please complete their online 'Contact Form' (see link above) and, if you have questions pertaining to 'UKTV' in general (i.e. not necessarily 'UKTV Play' related) there is another Twitter Feed: @UKTV as well as a third Twitter Feed: @UKTVPress for (you guessed it!) press-related enquiries! :-)


Meanwhile, if you'd like to share your thoughts on the Roku channel - whether that's on a genuine UK Roku device, or a NOW TV Box / Smart TV Stick - please take the time to leave a comment at the end of this post, because it would be great to know what others think of this 'UKTV Play' app! ;-)







ROCKOLA TV...............................................COST: £1.49 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

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

PLEASE NOTE:- That, although this 'Rockola TV' channel can be found among the latest additions in the "New" category (i.e. genre) of the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store, it won't be immediately obvious (as one of the more recent apps from the last seven days) unless you scroll down further. The reason for this is that it was originally released via the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store more than two weeks ago, on 6th February 2018, and only extended to UK Roku devices after I reached-out to the developer (via social media) to ask if they could edit the channel package (.PKG file) and make it available in the Roku UK Channel Store, as well as on Roku streaming media players in the USA! :-)







FRUIT OF SUCCESS................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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

PLEASE NOTE:- That there was another 'Fruit of Success' channel released a couple of months ago, which featured in my 'Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #252'. Given how that first app had a different number (.../details/206375) by which to identify it in the channel store (and has since been removed) it is likely that the current version (with .../details/217987) is simply a straight-foward replacement for the original. While there is (currently) no review specific to the more recent channel by this name, a 'Roku Guide' review of the original 'Fruit of Success' channel is available online and, until an updated review is made available, I think it is fairly safe to assume that the original review applies (for the most part) to the current version as it did for the first. Needless to say, if an updated 'Roku Guide' review does get published for this newer version of the channel, I will add the "missing" link to this post just as soon as the details have been made known to me! ;-) :-)






HIP HOP MY WAY...............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






MÁS MÚSICA......................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






POWER TO EXCEL...............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






COUPLE THING - DATING IS HARD...................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






LIBERTY BAPTIST LIVE.....................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






BOOM BAP NATION TV.....................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






SEAN PINDER MINISTRIES................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






UTAH YOUTH RUGBY........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






GALAXY WORLDS.................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






THE WALTERS REAL ESTATE GROUP.................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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



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Anyhow, like it or not, that is your lot this week and, while it's barely more than fifty-five per cent of the twenty-nine channels that made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store in the same time-frame, it's better to get a choice of 16 NEW CHANNELS than none at all... as I'm sure you agree!?! Especially when one of those new channels is the long-awaited 'UKTV Play' app for Roku UK! ;-) :-)


In any event, hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the sixteen "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 eighty-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 !!