Archive for Roku

Roku Joins Global Citizen to Stream “One World: Together At Home” On The Roku Channel

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 16, 2020 by itnerd

Roku, Inc. today announced it is partnering with Global Citizen to bring Roku® users One World: Together at Home, a global special that pays tribute to and celebrates frontline healthcare workers. The event, which airs on Saturday, April 18, at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET, will be available on The Roku Channel in the U.S., as well as on partner channels on the Roku platform. For Canadian users, BeIN SPORTS XTRA on The Roku Channel and Global TV will broadcast the event, additionally it will be on Crave beginning Sunday, April 19. In the U.K., Roku users can tune in through Insight TV or watch Highlights of One World: Together at Home on BBC iPlayer, including Elton John, Lizzo and Paul McCartney performing from their homes. Those in Brazil can enjoy on their Roku devices through Globoplay. The historic special includes leading global health experts, alongside performances by the world’s top artists and comedians.

In addition, the One World: Together at Home multi-hour digital broadcast will be available for users to stream on the Roku platform ahead of the live event. The broadcast will show unity among people who are affected by COVID-19, as well as celebrate and support the brave frontline health care workers around the world who are doing incredible, life-saving work.

Curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga and hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert, the global special will feature appearances and musical performances from Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lady Gaga, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Stevie Wonder. The One World: Together at Home streamed event will include performances and appearances from Adam Lambert, Andra Day, Angèle, Anitta, Annie Lennox, Becky G, Ben Platt, Billy Ray Cyrus, Black Coffee, Bridget Moynahan, Burna Boy, Cassper Nyovest, Charlie Puth, Christine and the Queens, Common, Connie Britton, Danai Gurira, Delta Goodrem, Don Cheadle, Eason Chan, Ellie Goulding, Erin Richards, FINNEAS, Heidi Klum, Hozier, Hussain Al Jasmi, Jack Black, Jacky Cheung, Jack Johnson, Jameela Jamil, James McAvoy, Jason Segel, Jennifer Hudson, Jess Glynne, Jessie J, Jessie Reyez, John Legend, Juanes, Kesha, Lady Antebellum, Lang Lang, Leslie Odom Jr., Lewis Hamilton, Liam Payne, Lili Reinhart, Lilly Singh, Lindsey Vonn, Lisa Mishra, Lola Lennox, Luis Fonsi, Maren Morris, Matt Bomer, Megan Rapinoe, Michael Bublé, Milky Chance, Naomi Osaka, Natti Natasha, Niall Horan, Nomzamo Mbatha, P.K. Subban, Picture This, Rita Ora, Samuel L Jackson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sebastián Yatra, Sheryl Crow, Sho Madjozi, SOFI TUKKER, SuperM, The Killers, Tim Gunn, Vishal Mishra and Zucchero. 

Roku Is Making TV Streaming At Home A Little Easier During This Difficult Time

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 14, 2020 by itnerd

Because most of us are spending more time at home these days, Roku has introduced “Home Together,” an initiative with a simple goal: to help you stay informed and entertained by making it easy to find the content that matters most to you right now. 

Roku is doing this by highlighting special offers from a variety of their channel partners, such as Crave, Stingray Qello, Shudder, Insight TV, the Digital Concert Hall and Marquee TV. These channels, and others, have made more of their entertainment available to watch for free or extended their trial periods from 7 to 30 days so you can enjoy more premium entertainment for free while you spend time at home. You can read all about these offers here.

Roku has also prepared a variety of tips to help you quickly find the news and entertainment you want to watch:

Please keep an eye out for more Home Together tips, recommendations, and special offers. Roku hopes they’ll help you find the content that matters most to you as we all spend time at Home Together.

Crave Is Now Available On Roku Streaming Devices

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 8, 2020 by itnerd

Bell Media announced today that Crave is now available on all Roku® streaming devices in Canada. On the heels of Crave announcing 30 days free for new direct-to-consumer subscribers, it’s expanding the reach of its prestige entertainment offering to consumers with a Roku® streaming device. Roku users now have access to programming from HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Hollywood-hit movies, as well as French-language TV and films from SUPER ÉCRAN, directly from their Roku streaming player or Roku TV™. 

Launching on the Roku streaming platform creates additional reach for Crave, which is also available to Canadians with access to the Internet at Crave.ca, via iOS and Android, and through platforms like Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and select Samsung Smart TVs.

With this launch, Roku users can now access Canada’s largest collection of premium content including:

  • Current HBO hits including the new season of WESTWORLD, as well as SUCCESSION, THE OUTSIDER, and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM;
  • Hollywood movies such as X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX, YESTERDAY, and BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, plus upcoming blockbuster hits like FAST AND FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW and ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD 
  • The Family Friendly Collection, with SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, THE KARATE KID (both the classic 1984 film, and the 2010 reboot), and MASTERCHEF.
  • The Kids Collection featuring movies and series such as THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2, DETECTIVE PIKACHU, BARBIE DREAMTOPIA, PEPPA PIG, PAW PATROL, and more;
  • And a vast Sports Collection featuring BALLERS, DARK SIDE OF THE RING, and THE SHOP: UNINTERRUPTED.

Crave recently began announcing weekly programming updates, including several new Crave Collections that assist viewers in curating viewing, such as:

Roku Announces Roku OS 9.3

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 31, 2020 by itnerd

Roku today announced Roku® OS 9.3 will start rolling out to Roku devices in Canada in the coming weeks. The free, automatic software update focuses on helping consumers get to content quickly and improving overall performance.

What’s new in Roku OS 9.3:

  • Increased Performance – A reduction in device boot times, faster launch times for a select number of channels (with more supported channels coming soon) and a more responsive Home Screen. 
  • Roku Voice – Roku Voice™ is enhanced to give users the ability to speak more natural phrases like “Show me …” or “I want to watch …” and also allows users to find movies using a selection of popular movie quotes. Roku Voice now also supports a greater variety of voice commands including media playback controls such as “Fast forward” or “Pause,” device control such as “Turn on closed captions,”.. Roku Voice is available on the remote of the Roku Streaming Stick™+ and through the Roku Mobile App for all Roku streaming devices.
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Works with Google Assistant – Control Roku players and Roku TV models by speaking commands to Amazon Alexa and/or Google Assistant devices. Through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices users can now control media playback and search for entertainment. Roku TV™ users additionally can tune into channels or inputs, control volume and switch their TV on/off.
  • Redesigned Roku Mobile App – The free mobile app features a new navigation bar at the top of the mobile screen providing access to Roku Search, the ability to switch between Roku devices and a shortcut to the remote control screen. The redesign includes quick access icons so users can launch useful mobile app features without the need to exit the remote control screen including the ability to browse and/or launch their recently viewed channels directly from the remote screen and more.

Availability

Roku OS 9.3 will begin rolling out to select Roku players in April and is expected to roll out to all supported streaming players in the coming weeks. Roku TV models are expected to receive the update in phases over the coming months.

Review: Roku Express (2019)

Posted in Products with tags on November 13, 2019 by itnerd

The Roku Express has been around for a while now. But for 2019, it has become a bit like the Six Million Dollar Man. Better. Stronger. Faster.

 

Roku Express Box With ProductIt’s undergone a major makeover when it comes to looks. Before it was a thin box that resembled a compact pencil case. Now it looks a lot more attractive with a rounded more rectangular shape to it. It comes with an HDMI cable which is on the short side. And it comes with an adhesive strip so that you can semi-permanently mount it somewhere that allow you to use the included remote which is a line of sight one. One nice touch is that it can be fully powered by most TVs to reduce clutter around the TV via a USB cable.

The Roku Express is a device that outputs to 1080P and uses 802.11 b/g/n WiFi to do so. That makes it perfect for someone who is starting out in the streaming game. And I had no issues setting it up and getting it going. Nor did I have any issues when I was testing it by streaming the rather large library of content that the Roku platform has to offer. Any sort of navigation was fast and fluid as well. So I think it would be safe to say that you’ll have no issues as well.

Gripes? Admittedly these are first world problems. But besides the rather short HDMI cable which could make positioning it a challenge, the remote control is one of Roku’s line of sight remote controls without voice control functionality. If you want that functionality, you need to download their app to your smartphone which isn’t the biggest deal in the world. Another gripe is that no Roku device supports AirPlay 2 functionality which is weird given that Apple TV+ is available on the platform. And that casting from Windows 10 devices and the like is supported. But none of those gripes should deter you from buying the Roku Express.

The Roku Express goes for $39.99 CDN which is a very low barrier to get into the streaming game. Given what is on offer here, the Roku Express is very much worth a look if you want to add streaming functionality to your TV.

 

Disney+ Is Now Streaming On The Roku Platform In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 12, 2019 by itnerd

Starting today, Disney+ is on the Roku platform in Canada. Subscribe and stream movies and TV series from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic directly on supported Roku devices. New users get a 7-day promotional offer. After that, it’s just $8.99/month (plus tax, where applicable).

Disney+ allows you to stream ad-free and on-demand on up to four devices simultaneously and add up to seven individual profiles. The curated experience also offers personalized recommendations based on your viewing history.

From the magic and mystery of Maleficent to the wonder and excitement of Star Wars, you can go the streaming distance with Disney+. The Disney+ library features something for everyone. Highly-anticipated Disney+ Originals include The MandalorianHigh School Musical: The Musical: The SeriesThe World According to Jeff GoldblumLady and the Tramp and more.

To start streaming, simply add the Disney+ channel from the Channel Store, or find it in the “Movies & TV” category of the Streaming Channels section on your Roku home screen.

Review: Roku Premiere

Posted in Products with tags on November 12, 2019 by itnerd

Roku has a streaming device that is feature packed and affordable which is perfect for upgrading a non “smart” TV with streaming functionality. It’s the Roku Premiere.

Roku Premiere Box With Product

 

Here’s what you get in the box:

  • The Roku Premiere with 4K HDR streaming & 802.11b/g/n single-band WiFi
  • Roku remote
  • A kind of short HDMI cable

Under the hood, you get a quad-core processor and comes in a low-profile form factor that allows you to stick it under a TV to save space (adhesive included). In short, it’s a powerful package that takes up very little space.

Now you are likely asking how powerful is it? Well despite the fact that didn’t have much of an issue streaming 4K video in a bedroom located a room away from my router. There was no buffering or anything of the sort that I noted during my testing. Thus unless you have a large home where a Roku Streaming Stick + may be a better fit due to the fact that it has 802.11ac WiFi built in, the Roku Premiere will work just fine. In terms of picture quality, that’s going to depend on the TV that you have. Mine supports 4K HDR so video looked stunning. Speaking of video, Roku as usual has a massive catalog of streaming services including Apple TV+ and live TV which will keep you streaming for hours.

Gripes? Admittedly these are first world problems. But besides the rather short HDMI cable which could make positioning it a challenge, the remote control is one of Roku’s line of sight remote controls without voice control functionality. If you want that functionality, you need to download their app to your smartphone which isn’t the biggest deal in the world. Another gripe is that no Roku device supports AirPlay 2 functionality which is weird given that Apple TV+ is available on the platform. And that casting from Windows 10 devices and the like is supported. But none of those gripes should deter you from buying the Roku Premiere if you want to get 4K HDR streaming at a great price.

Speaking of that price, the Roku Premiere goes for $49.99 CDN which is a very low barrier to get into the streaming game. Given what is on offer here, the Roku Premiere is very much worth a look if you want to add streaming functionality to your TV.

Adding The Apple TV To My Roku TV Was “Interesting”

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 16, 2019 by itnerd

Yesterday the Apple TV app for Roku devices was released. Since my wife and I have a fair amount of Apple gear in our home, and we have a TCL TV that is powered by Roku, we decided to add the app to our TV.

Now downloading the Apple TV app was straightforward based on the instructions provided by Roku.:

  • Press the Home button on the Roku remote.
  • Scroll up or down and select Streaming Channels to open the Channel Store.
  • Select Search Channels.
  • Begin entering Apple TV. If you don’t get the result, your device may not support the channel.
  • When you see the channel, use the directional pad on your Roku remote to highlight Apple TV.
  • Press the OK button OK button on Roku remote to view details.
  • Select Add Channel.

The next part was to start the channel up and add our respective Apple IDs to the channel so that we could buy, rent, or use purchases. That’s where things got “interesting.” Here are the instructions provided by Roku. And because I am the tech guy in the relationship, I went first in terms of doing the following:

  1. Launch the Apple TV channel.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select Accounts.
  4. Select Sign In.
  5. Two sign-in options appear on your TV.
    1. Choose Sign In On Mobile Device to sign in using your smartphone. You can either navigate to activate.apple.com and enter the code displayed on your TV, or scan the QR code that appears. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the sign in process.
    2. Or, you can choose Sign In On This TV and enter your Apple ID directly on your TV screen using your Roku remote.
  6. If you do not have an Apple ID, select Create an Apple ID. You can either navigate to activate.apple.com and enter the code displayed on your TV, or scan the QR code that appears. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the sign up process. You will be signed in automatically once you are finished.

At step 5 I chose option “a” and scanned the QR Code using the camera app on my iPhone. That opened a browser which required me to enter my Apple ID and password. At that point a notification popped up on both my iPhone and Apple Watch asking me to confirm that I was actually logging in. I did so, then it asked me to enter a six digit number. Now this is Apple’s two factor authentication which is meant to protect your Apple ID from being taken over by someone who wants to buy music or movies, or just make your life miserable. I memorized the six digit code and tried to enter it. Except that it didn’t recognize the code. So I sent myself a new code and tried again. And got the same result. This time I thought about it and the light bulb came on. Because I was signing up on my iPhone, I was clearing the notification which must be clearing the code that it was sending me which in turn made it invalid when I entered it. So I sent a third code to myself and this time I used my Apple Watch. I noted that the notification popped up on both my iPhone and Apple Watch, but disappeared off of my iPhone when I started to interact with it on my Apple Watch. This time I was successfully able to enter the code and my Apple ID popped up on the TV.

I thought at this point I could declare victory and have a beer. But fate had other ideas as the Apple TV app then promptly crashed and I was forced to reboot the TV to get any amount of control on it. When I got back into the Apple TV app after the reboot, my Apple ID was not present and I had to go through the above process again to add it.

#Fail

After doing that I exited the Apple TV app and re-entered the app to confirm that my Apple ID was still there. At this point I could deem this a success. Then I had my wife go through the same exercise. And in the interest of science I didn’t tell her about my experience. Unsurprisingly she ran into exactly the same issues with dealing with Apple’s two factor authentication that I did. After talking her through that, she was successful in terms of adding her Apple ID.

Now what we perhaps should have done to make our lives easier was not to use the QR code method, but instead go to activate.apple.com and enter the code displayed on the TV instead. That may have yielded better results. I will test that shortly and update this post with the results. But as it stands, using a mobile device to connect your Apple ID to the Apple TV app on Roku appears to only work when you have multiple devices handy. In our case the iPhone and Apple Watch. That seems to be a bit of an oversight that really needs to be corrected as it truly makes the on boarding experience frustrating. Which means that people might give up and not want to use the Apple TV app on Roku. My advice to Apple and Roku is to look at this and see if this could be improved.

The Apple TV App & Apple TV+ Is Coming To The Roku Platform Today

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 15, 2019 by itnerd

Roku, Inc. has announced the Apple TV app is available on the Roku® platform starting today. For the first time ever, Roku users can add the Apple TV app via the Roku Channel Store to discover and watch movies, TV shows and more, including accessing their iTunes video library and subscribing to Apple TV channels directly on Roku devices. Starting November 1, Apple TV+, Apple’s home for all-original shows and movies from the world’s greatest storytellers, will be available on the Apple TV app on the Roku platform.

Apple TV App

Through the Apple TV app on their Roku devices, customers can enjoy personalized recommendations of shows and movies; subscribe directly to Apple TV channels and more using their Apple ID and password; browse, buy or rent more than 100,000 movies and TV shows; and watch all the shows and movies they have previously purchased from iTunes.

Apple TV+

Beginning November 1, Apple TV+ will be available in the Apple TV app on Roku, giving users access to exclusive shows, movies and documentaries from the most celebrated creative artists, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and more. Roku users can subscribe to Apple TV+ right in the Apple TV app on their Roku devices for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. Apple TV+ subscribers can also watch on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including the web (https://tv.apple.com). For more information about Apple TV+, please visit https://www.apple.com/apple-tv-plus/.

Availability

Supported Roku streaming devices can add the Apple TV app for free starting today. Apple TV+ through the Apple TV app will be available in supported regions starting on November 1. In addition to the U.S., the Apple TV app is available to Roku users in the following markets: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Tidal Now Available On Roku

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2019 by itnerd

Music lovers, you’re in for a treat. Today, TIDAL, global music streaming and entertainment platform bringing artists and fans closer together through unique original content and exclusive experiences, launches on the Roku platform. Members of TIDAL can find videos, albums, playlists, and other exclusive content to stream directly on the TIDAL channel on their Roku devices.

tidal

The new TIDAL channel features a custom interface for Roku devices and offers some awesome features for music fans:

  • Over 60 million songs and over 250,000 high-quality music videos
  • Thousands of playlists curated by TIDAL’s expert editorial team, industry experts, artists and more
  • Live and on-demand streams of concerts from some of the world’s biggest artists
  • Exclusive music documentaries, original shows, and podcasts

There are two monthly subscription options:

  • Premium ($9.99/month), which offers a standard sound quality
  • HiFi ($19.99/month), which offers lossless High-Fidelity sound quality, allowing you to experience music as the artists intended it to be heard

Both options offer a 30-day free trial, and you can sign up directly through the TIDAL channel on your Roku device.

With the debut of new Roku Smart Soundbar and Roku Wireless Subwoofer this fall, people will be able to enjoy Roku’s streaming entertainment platform with TIDAL’s high-quality catalog in a tailored music experience.

Add TIDAL directly through the Roku Channel Store, or find it in the ‘Music’ category of the streaming channels section on your Roku device