Saturday, July 22, 2017

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #228





Hi, everyone !!



If you happen to follow the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels to this blog, then you will already be aware that it has been another fairly quiet week, in terms of Roku-related news, and as a result there isn't much to report other than the fact that there has been a minor update to the recently released Roku OS 7.7 software. Having originally rolled-out with a build number of '4094', this latest update to Roku software 'Version 7.7.0 - Build 4108' should (hopefully) fix some of the bugs which have been reported by Roku users (across pretty much all countries and/or regions) since the roll-out began. Here is a screenshot confirming the latest 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 (which, for total newbies, can be done by pressing the button on your Roku remote that has a picture of a 'house' on it) and clicking through each of the following three options from the on-screen menus which are displayed:-

  • Settings
  • System
  • System update

...and, 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 4108', 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 and that happens to coincide with your "turn" to receive it.


Meanwhile, if anyone is looking to purchase a new Roku device in the UK, irrespective of which model you are after, Tesco has a LIMITED-TIME SPECIAL OFFER whereby anyone who spends over £35.00 on selected 'Technology' items (which includes all current UK Roku models as shown) will be entitled to GET £5.00 OFF THE LISTED PURCHASE PRICE, when shopping online via 'Tesco Direct', simply by USING eCOUPON CODE: TDX-MVPW when checking-out. Basically, that means you can deduct five quid off the asking price for each of these Roku models:-





HINT: Please CLICK on the above image TO ENLARGE IT for easier viewing !!


What this means is that, by using the eCoupon to get five pounds off, you can purchase either the entry-level Roku Streaming Stick (Model: 3500EU) for only £34.00, or else; the mid-range offering in the shape of the Roku 2 (Model: 4205EU) for just £64.00, or, for those who demand the very best; the Roku 3 (Model: 4200EU) for £74.00... making 'Tesco Direct' about the cheapest place to buy any brand new streaming media player from across the entire UK Roku product range at this time! ;-) :-)





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



Of course, there's more than just Roku devices that you can save money on with the above eCoupon code... and you should feel free to browse the entire range of 'selected Technology' from Tesco Direct that is encompassed by this limited-time offer. Speaking of which, it's probably worth pointing-out that this OFFER ENDS: 30TH JULY 2017 which gives you just over one week from the date of this post to take advantage of this deal and save yourself a few quid to put towards something else! ;-) :-)


With little else, aside from software updates and special offers, to bring you... in terms of newsworthy Roku items from the last seven days, I'd best now focus on more important matters, such as bringing you details of all the latest new Roku channels which have been made available in the past week! :-)


Speaking of which, while it's not an epic list of fifty-plus channels like we got three weeks ago, you'll find some more options for "Film & TV" fanatics, a few more "International" channels for those who are fluent in languages other than English, and another free music channel, as well as an additional free gaming channel, plus a specialist shopping channel for those who enjoy auctions to keep you entertained over the coming weeks and months. In fact, there should be something to please most streamers in this list but, if not, I shared details of some more private channels through social media this week which may be of interest. Take a look at the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels if you'd like to know more about those and, while you're there, keep an eye out for some more media streaming bargains which could still be yours, if you act fast! ;-) :-) Anyway, back to the list...


... which, as has often been the case of late, begins with yet another channel that despite being new to UK Roku devices is not listed in the "New" category (i.e. genre) of the Roku UK Channel Store. The main reason for this is it was first added to the app selection found in the Roku USA Channel Store around eighteen months ago and is, therefore, too "old" to be classed as an entirely "new" channel. Blogging specifically about Roku streaming devices & other Roku-related matters, I love discovering apps like this... because they illustrate precisely why it's worth reading my 'Weekly RoundUp' posts. Any Roku users who simply rely on whatever they see listed under the "New" category in the built-in channel store of their streaming media players (to identify the latest apps for UK Roku devices) risk missing-out on channels like this altogether. 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 Roku UK users. As always... my advice, if you really want to know what's available channel-wise, for owners of Roku devices in the UK is to be sure and read this blog 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 16th July 2017 and 22nd July 2017:-






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

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, while this 'BiggyTV' channel is FREE-TO-ADD to your Roku device(s) and does offer a wide variety of (mostly) user-submitted content which is FREE-TO-VIEW for users of Roku streaming media players, the description taken from the Roku (USA) Web Channel Store states that it "May require additional fees" associated with some of the content therein. However, from what I can gather, there are no charges other than (perhaps) those associated with 'BiggyTV Shopping' that invites you to "shop in the comfort of your home" and "purchase products right from your mobile device" while you view the various items on offer via their Roku channel. Aside from shopping, you will find content which includes: movie trailers, infomercials and beauty tutorials, as well as music videos and documentary-style videos, plus other forms of entertainment across multiple genres, that cover everything from Politics to Comedy, Web Series to Vlogs, and some additional content which should appeal to members of the LGBT+ community. You can also upload your own videos and product demonstrations which 'BiggyTV' will then broadcast on multiple platforms (including Roku).

ALSO:- While I have provided an active link to a 'Roku Guide' review (see above) it pertains to an earlier incarnation of 'BiggyTV' which was released back in November 2015. Unfortunately, there is no new review for the latest version... meaning that not all of the information contained within the original review is applicable. There's enough similarity to warrant inclusion here, at least until a revision gets published via the 'Roku Guide' website, but be aware that certain differences will exist. My advice, if you're interested, is to visit the official website for 'BiggyTV' to get the most up-to-date information. You can also connect with 'BiggyTV' via social media, if you have any further questions. They have a Twitter Feed: @BiggyTV through which to get in-touch, should the need arise, so feel free to do just that if the details provided on the website are insufficient to address your concerns! ;-)

LAST, BUT NOT LEAST:- Since the original 'BiggyTV' channel for Roku devices was first added to the Roku USA Channel Store back in late Novemeber 2015, you will not find it listed within the "New" category (genre) of the built-in channel store on UK Roku devices. Instead those wishing to install it in the UK will need to use the Roku 'Search' feature, or look under "Web Video" in the channel store, to locate and then add 'BiggyTV' to the channel selection on their devices. ;-) :-)







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

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






RAINBOW DASH............COST: FREE (ad-supported) OR $1.99 (ad-free) [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, while this 'Rainbow Dash' game is FREE-TO-ADD to your Roku device(s) and can be enjoyed on a FREE-TO-PLAY basis when ad-supported, there is also a (paid) option so Roku users can play the game entirely commercial-free by making a simple one-off payment of $1.99 (£1.49 in GBP) to take advantage of the AD-FREE OPTION which is ALSO AVAILABLE for this game channel. Given you can install and play this game free (with ads), my advice would be to try it out in ad-supported form... and then decide if paying to remove the commercials is worth it for you. ;-) :-)







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

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






VTV NOW................................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






VOICE OF ARUBA.................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






MICHAEL CHITWOOD..........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






AMERICA'S AUCTION NETWORK.....................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






BRASIL TViP...........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






PINE FOREST UMC................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






WICKED HORROR TV...........................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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


PLEASE NOTE:- That, despite 'Wicked Horror TV' having been added to the "New" category of the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store in mid-week, this channel has since been removed for no apparent reason. It is unclear whether this is purely temporary, or if the removal also effects users in all regions and/or countries where Roku devices are supported. For the time being, I have decided to keep this channel in my 'Weekly RoundUp' of new Roku channels from the last seven days but, if the removal turns out to be permanent, I will delete it from this listing to avoid any confusion as to it's availability for Roku users in the UK and elsewhere. In the meantime... I have also reached-out to the developer of this 'Wicked Horror TV' channel, via social media, to try and get clarification as to what is going-on. So, stay tuned for further updates - especially if (like me) you're a big fan of horror films! ;-) :-)







FAITH BAPTIST TV - BOLIVIA, NC.....................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






INNER CITY MD - TV.............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






VIET CHANNELS...................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






MUSICA CUMBIA..................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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






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

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






ATN LIVE................................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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




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Anyhow, like it or not, that is your lot this week and, while it falls just shy of being two-thirds of the thirty-one channels that made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store in the same time-frame, it's still better to get 20 NEW CHANNELS such as these, 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 twenty "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!




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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 fifty-four 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 !!