Saturday, August 3, 2013

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #21

Hi, everyone !!

This past week has seen me dedicating much of my free time to discovering the delights & otherwise of the new NowTV Box [Powered by Sky] which, if you weren't already aware, is basically a stripped-down & rebranded Roku LT streaming media player that has been available for purchase (in the UK only) for a little over a week now, priced at just £9.99, which (despite it's current lack of channel choice, compared to the Roku LT or Roku XS) makes it a bit of a bargain. Sometime in the near future, I hope to publish a more in-depth article on this young upstart in the UK streaming media player market which will highlight the ins & outs, as well as the pros & cons, of this new device. I'm also debating whether to include a small sub-section in my future 'Weekly RoundUp' posts which will then list any NEW CHANNELS that have made it into the heavily channel-pruned Roku Channel Store that features as the 'Apps' store on the new NowTV Box. However, I'm not going to be listing the current selection of channels for the NowTV Box, which were simultaneously made available at launch, during this post. Instead, I will provide that information in a separate blog post, either as part of the in-depth article (referred to above) or as an individual post in it's own right.

ALSO: Let's not forget that, aside from the NowTV Box, there is already a NowTV channel available on UK Roku players. If you haven't already subscribed to this service, you might want to take advantage of THIS GREAT OFFER (brought to you by Total Film magazine) which will give you access to ALL of the SKY MOVIES channels, FOR JUST £2.50 PER MONTH over a six month promotional trial period. If you wish to take advantage of this deal YOU'LL HAVE TO BE QUICK and be sure to sign-up tonight because this DEAL ENDS AT MIDNIGHT on 4th August 2013. Just be sure to read the full terms & conditions because, unless you cancel before the six months are up, the PRICE INCREASES as soon as the promotional trial period ends. If you find yourself reading this post after the day of publication, meaning you've missed out on the above offer, you can still get yourself TWENTY QUIDS WORTH OF VOUCHERS for either MARKS & SPENCER or TOPSHOP or NEXT when you sign-up for a new NowTV Account BEFORE midnight on 30th September 2013, using the relevant link. Of course, you may even be reading this post after all of the aforementioned promotions have ended, in which case... WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ?!!! Still, with any luck, there'll be plenty more promotional opportunities to sign-up for NowTV in future. If so, you will (of course) hear about themthrough the pages of this blog, or via it's companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels, just as soon as I find out about them !!

Anyway, let's get on with the details for the current 'Weekly RoundUp' of NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. This time, there are FIVE NEW CHANNELS which have been added during the past seven days. These latest additions to the Roku UK Channel Store provided FRESH CONTENT to the Film & TV, Internet TV plus Screensavers & Apps genres (i.e. categories).

In keeping with previous installments from the 'Weekly RoundUp' series, details of these new channels have all been listed below, together with links to obtain further information {by clicking on the channel name(s) beneath the respective channel icon(s) as pictured} and to read a 'Roku Guide' review (where available) for each one:-

HOLLYWOOD TICKER..........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

DIGITAL TELE NETWORKS.................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

N.B. Since this channel does not currently feature in the Roku (USA) Channel Store, the link above is for the channel description of Digital Tele Networks as found on the Official Website for the developer. It may therefore interest you to know that the "Digital Tele Networks" Roku channel was developed by whose website can be viewed HERE. There, you can find out about the company & it's innovative Web Marketing, Media Hosting & Video Delivery Solutions. There are readily available links to contact them via email or, if you prefer, their phone numbers (including an EU Hotline) are also listed at the bottom of the main webpage. For anyone interested, there is a HUGE LIST that includes most, if not all, of the featured Roku channels (as developed by for your perusal. If need be, you can always connect with the developer via their Twitter Feed: @lightcast_inc or, if you prefer, you can get social with them via their Facebook Page: Lightcast Inc (Facebook) too.

Meanwhile, you're probably going to want to know that the content of this channel is (currently) made up of FOUR SUB-CHANNELS. The selection features Sapibon TV (100+ videos), African TV (49 videos), Kung Fu TV (76 videos) and Caribbean TV (No Videos, at time of review). Better still is that a few of these multi-lingual channels also INCLUDE ENGLISH SUBTITLES for some of their content, which means you don't have to be fluent in any of the featured languages in order to watch and/or enjoy at least some of them. Amongst these videos, you'll find both TV Shows and Movies, ranging from African to Haitian or Jamaican, and beyond, with many hit shows included. Perhaps best of all, however, is that this truly varied entertainment resource is both FREE-TO-ADD and FREE-TO-VIEW on your Roku player and has been published to channel stores in Europe, Asia and Australia as well as Central & South America. So, if you like the sound of what's on offer here, you'll probably want to add this to your Roku & start streaming now... no matter where you live !!

Lastly, and no doubt due (again) to the fact that the "Digital Tele Networks" channel has not yet been added to the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store, there is no Roku Guide Review available. If & when this situation changes, I will (of course) add a link to this post.

FIREFLIES SCREENSAVER FREE........................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

NFB (NATIONAL FILM BOARD of CANADA)...........................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

N.B. If you're at all interested in documentaries or animated films, this collection of 2,000+ movies from the National Film Board of Canada is an ESSENTIAL ADDITION to your Roku player channel selection. There really is TONS OF GREAT STUFF TO EXPLORE from what's on offer. If you're a fan of the HUGE ONLINE RESOURCE that is the Internet Movie Database, you will find a wealth of additional information in the NFB filmography VIA THIS LINK. Better yet, there are NFB apps for both the Apple iOS and Android platforms, meaning you can easily have access to this vast collection wherever you may choose to go. Once you've had a chance to experience this new addition to the Roku channel store(s), be sure to connect with the NFB via their Twitter Feed: @thenfb or, if you prefer, their Facebook Page: NFB (Facebook) & thank them for making this channel available, as I did. It's not often you get gifted something like this for FREE, so I make no apologies for gushing about this  new Roku channel from the NFB whose efforts have also extended to an NFB YouTube Channel, several noteworthy NFB Apps and an official NFB Blog featuring articles on Documentary, Animation & Interactive Productions... WAY TO GO CANADA !!!!!! Now, if only we could persuade the BFI to do something similar with their film archive on Roku player ?!!!

VODWIZ........FREE (incl. ONE FREE RENTAL) + $1.99 / $2.99 (PER FILM) [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE: As well as pay-per-transaction films at either $1.99 or $2.99, the 'VODWiz' channel on Roku player also allows for the streaming of television series at a cost of $1.99 per ninety minutes, as evidenced by THIS ARTICLE from OTC Markets. The article goes on to say that Hannover House and NanoTech Entertainment, for whom VODWiz was a joint venture, will be "exploring a variety of consumer promotional offers, including FREE movies, multi-title discounts, and the possibility of a monthly subscription-based option" all of which can only mean good news for us, the consumers !!


So, whether it's the vast collection of Documentaries & Animated Films from the NFB, Daily News & Gossip from Hollywood, African Movies, Kung Fu Movies, Haitian Movies, Jamaican Movies, Customizable Screensavers, or Movies & TV On-Demand, we've pretty much got all those bases covered with these latest NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store.

Anyway, like it or not, that is your lot for this week and, whilst it doesn't quite the match-up to the eleven channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store during the same time-frame, I always think it's better to have SOME NEW CHOICES than none at all, don't you ?!!

Still, hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the five channels outlined above. If not, then you'll have to pay us a visit another time when, with any luck, there will be something more to your liking. Afterall, there's no point installing every channel because, as I've said before, when it comes to adding new channels to your Roku player, IT'S YOUR CHOICE and, as with all things Roku... THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS !!

Either way, be sure to come back in seven days' time for my next 'Weekly RoundUp' and, if you can't wait that long, remember you can always keep up with the UK Roku action (as it happens) throughout the coming week, by following our 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 !!


  1. Will the Now TV box work without a Now TV subscription I wonder


    1. Hi, Stuart.

      Thanks for taking the time & trouble to leave a comment. It's much appreciated.

      Having been through the setup process with my own NowTV Box, it seems that YOU MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN a 30-day FREE TRIAL of the 'Movies' on NowTV OR purchase a 'Sports Day-Pass' for £9.99 in order to REGISTER for a NowTV Account before you can complete the installation of the NowTV Box and get it up & running on your television. You are, however, able to use the same email address as your Sky ID (if you have one) when registering for a NowTV Account. Either way, YOU MUST CHOOSE to have 'Movies' (which is FREE for 30 days) or 'Sports' (which will cost you £9.99) when you sign up.

      If you choose the 'Movies' option, and cancel before the trial ends, you will pay nothing more and can continue to use other free aspects of the NowTV Box (e.g. BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, Sky News, etc.) WITHOUT PAYING ANY SUBSCRIPTION FEES. In that respect, I guess you could say that the NowTV Box WILL WORK WITHOUT A SUBSCRIPTION, on an ongoing basis.

      However, if your comment was asking whether you could just order a NowTV Box and set it up for use without a NowTV Account the answer is "No". Basically, you need to opt for 'Sports or 'Movies' through NowTV to register for a NowTV Account and get the NowTV Box installed and working. So, in that case, you could argue that IT WILL NOT WORK WITHOUT A SUBSCRIPTION, because you need to "subscribe" to one or the other (i.e. 'Sports' or 'Movies') in the first instance, to register for a NowTV Account and get the NowTV Box installed and working.

      That said, you can easily LIMIT YOUR SPENDING to the £9.99 for the NowTV Box (including delivery) by choosing the 'Movies' option to get set up, cancelling 'Movies' before the £8.99 subscription fee kicks in (for the month following the FREE TRIAL), and YOU NEED NOT PAY ANYTHING FURTHER so they're not forcing you to pay out every month for the use of the NowTV Box per se. Rather, it's down to you to decide if you want to take advantage of the subscription based (i.e. PAY MONTHLY) channels such as 'Spotify' or 'NowTV Movies' OR just to make do with the FREE channels available on the NowTV Box, like BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, etc. Not forgetting that there's also more FREE CHANNELS to be found and used via the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box. Just be aware that the number of channels available via the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box is SEVERELY REDUCED from what is on offer via the Roku Channel Store on a Roku player. FYI, at the time the NowTV Box was launched, there were 500 MORE CHANNELS in the channel store on the Roku player than the NowTV Box.

      Anyway, I hope that answers your question. If not, feel free to respond again.

  2. Thank you. My first comment went into the ether. I have the box already I was wondering if it would still work if I cancelled the movies
    It is a pity the store on it is so limited.


    1. Hi, Stuart !!

      Thanks for the followup message.

      In case it was not clear in my original reply (above), a NowTV Box WILL STILL WORK even if you cancel your subscription to 'Movies' on NowTV. So, go ahead and cancel whenever you like because you will still have access to everything else on the NowTV Box such as BBC iPLayer, Demand 5, etc.

      As for the restrictions imposed on the number of channels made available in the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box, when compared to the Roku player, we can but hope that it becomes less ring-fenced as time goes by. I'm sure that the NowTV Box [Powered by Sky] will get more channels added to it in future but, for the time being, it is extremely lacking in content as a direct result of it's own channel pruning policy. Technically, there is no reason why they can't have the same channel selection as the Roku LT featured in the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box. Initially, since the box more than pays for itself with the 30-Day FREE TRIAL of NowTV 'Movies', it makes little or no difference to purchasers how much content is available. In the long term, however, I feel that the lack of options could well prove to be more of a problem for those who opt for a NowTV Box over the Roku LT. Since the latter is (currently) widely available for £34.50 in the UK, and any NowTV promotional offers are equally valid on that (as it includes a NowTV channel), the additional £25.00 outlay (which averages out at 5p per extra channel on the Roku LT) is money well spent. Especially when you consider that, in the two weeks since the launch of the NowTV Box, there have been a further TEN CHANNELS added to the Roku Channel Store on Roku player compared to NO ADDITIONAL CHANNELS in the Roku Channel Store on the NowTV Box. If this continues, I can see many NowTV Boxes being consigned to second TV's, or the attic, or perhaps even the bin !! So if you're reading this, and considering which streaming player to invest in, you're better off investing the £9.99 cost of the NowTV Box as part-payment towards a Roku LT which, in the long-term, will reap far greater rewards than the "Netflix-No-Go" player that NowTV are currently peddling.

      Hope that helps all concerned.