Roku Channel Updates

We took a look at Flimon’s FOTV for Roku. The FilmOn channel for Roku brings a lot of fun content and finally has official support. No more need for private channels. See what the channel is like and explore its features with our latest video from the Streaming Advisor YouTube Channel.

See how to Add FilmOn On Roku

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A truly unique Roku private channels are difficult to find these days but we keep our eye out for exceptional additions. In fact, while there are hundreds of private channels, some used for in-house needs by businesses, it is a select few that are really ready for primetime. The Streaming Advisor has updated its curated list of private Roku Channels or as some people call them secret Roku channels (even though they are published) with a snazzy new version of Filmon, two IPTV based channels along with some other new favorites including Plex Classic, a channel built to work like the original Plex app for Roku that was replaced by the current more graphic happy version available through the Roku Streaming Channels store today.  The major pull of the “Classic Plex” channel is that it gives users the ability to add Plex channels from Plex’s database directly from the Roku interface instead of requiring users to add them via a computer or Internet-based interface. Users can use both Plex Classic and the current official version of Plex concurrently so they can have their cake and eat it too. Plex Classic is actually one of two Roku Private Channels for Plex userss in our listing, which also features Rareflix.

The new version of Filmon, labeled “unofficial Filmon to differentiate it from the other Filmon app we have listed, has a sharp interface that allows users to among other things, watch live TV utilizing a program guide to see what is playing on a channel before selecting it. It gives Filmon a more linear TV feel while adding a much-needed facelift to the previous Filmon channel which is also still available. This is one of the best designed Roku Private Channels that we have seen in a long time.

MaddyGTV Late Night makes its debut on the listing this week after being featured repeatedly in articles on the Streaming Advisor. The Channel which can also be added via the main public MaddyGTV channel offers a number of independently produced shows and movies described by MGtV execs as late night cable-styled shows. The biggest addition might be XTV, which we have been monitoring for a few months hesitant to add the channel while we tested it to see if it would last more than a month out in the world. XTV adds a number of TV shows and movies to the lineup though I have to wonder what sources they come from. Like the popular Channel PEAR channel before it, XTV also features user submitted IPTV feeds. Most likely the channel won’t last forever. As with other Roku Private Channels, the company sometimes push to get the channel unlisted.

The new listings can be found here or via the Roku Private Channel tab on the main website.

By Richard D Chadwell
Sports and Entertainment Correspondent

When the WWE Network was first announced two years ago many critics dismissed it saying that the venture would struggle to attract subscribers to its niche network. That it would damage its PPV product and be an albatross around the neck of chairman Vice McMahon. Those critics are hard to find these days. At the most recent shareholder’s meeting for World Wrestling Entertainment there was a great deal of information about how the network is doing.  As far as the company is concerned the network is doing very well. 

CW Seed is a video service that users can access online to watch CBS owned content that can not be found anywhere else. Now Roku users can access the content through its own app. This is a great addition to the Roku family of apps and will surely be a favorite for scifi and comic book lovers. Check it out here.

 

 

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We recently had a chance to try out a soon to be released game for Roku “Snake”. Not snakes on a plane just snake on a blank screen. The idea behind the game, which should be playable on any Roku model is so simple yet deviously complicated. The player using the standard Roku remote navigates a screen with a snake that grows bigger and bigger with every bite of food morsels, which appear randomly on the board. The object of the game is to grow as big a possible while avoiding running into oneself and ending the game. Depending on which version of the game one is playing other obstacles including a wall and other navigational puzzles will be in place to trip up even the most careful players. The game may look familiar to those who purchased cell phones before the smart phone era. My phone from Cingular featured the game as an option. It translates well to the big screen as a great time killer in a category with the best games Roku offers.

 

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Original Animation has a new home on Roku

MaddyGTV which has been known for its racy late night cablesque programming since its channel debuted on Roku has been working on something altogether different. The new project Maddymation is a more kid friendly channel packed with curated cartoons pulled from a library of independently produced animation material from a diverse set of artists and styles as well as some classic fare from legends in the entertainment field like Ray Harryhausen who produced cartoons before he rose to fame as a special effects master specializing in stop-motion photography. We had a chance to talk to Paul Gorman, an executive from the MaddyGTV (See feature article) and see the channel in action ahead of time recently. Gorman feels that the channel has great potential and we agree. This is not the first foray into animation on the part of MaddyGTV. The company produced a cartoon called Maddy Burger for release on its other properties but due to it’s more mature themes the show will not appear on the new channel. The company does plan though to produce new original content aimed at a younger audience.

A Journey through Storytelling Styles
The selections on Maddymation give viewers a great perspective on animation by providing a range from the

Sintel is a touching tale of computer animated fantasy.
Sintel is a touching tale of computer animated fantasy.

earliest days of animation all the way to to the modern Pixar styled fare. I found it interesting to revisit certain conventions that were used extensively in the 40s and 50’s like a character making a decision based on a debate between the little angel and devil version of themselves. The channel can serve almost as a time capsule for storytelling through animated shorts.

Don’t let the animated features fool you into thinking that all of the stories are fun and games.

Little Lulu is a classic cartoon from the 1940's.
Little Lulu is a classic cartoon from the 1940’s.

Some of the content while not too mature is educational in a heartbreaking way, such as the story of Sintel a dragon raised by a girl, who accidentally kills it while attempting to rescue it. I know my daughter would cry herself to sleep over that one. This channel offers both a depth of content and depth of emotion.

Finding something truly original has gotten more difficult as the platform has matured. For all of the channels available many are nothing more than cash grabs built on YouTube clips and recycled content. If you are looking for something quite different to explore on Roku the Maddymation channel is definitely worth a look. It is by far the only place on Roku that offers such a beautiful and eclectic mix of modern animation and styles throughout the 20th century. The Maddymation channel will be available soon through links in the MaddyGTV channel and later in the public channel store.

Our Roku Channel Reviews this week feature a small but plucky group of entries including the great ABC News app, New recipes to try and Ghosts. Check out the whole group and click on the picture to add them.

Stream on my friends

ABC NewsABC News
The ABC News channel is a great addition to the Roku channel lineup. Apple TV users have been able to watch live ABC news for months but lucky for Roku users that has changed. The channel gives users lean back options, a 24-7 live feed and a group of curated clips from across the ABC News programming lineup that plays as a default when the channel launches. The channel also features an entire lineup of on demand choices including news from select local market channels.

TexAgsTexAgs
This is a subscription based channel for all things Texas A&M. It is a one stop shop for fans, sort of a bulletin board come to life. Football is life in Texas and this channel does its best to encompass it. Want to know about incoming recruits they got it, players to watch it’s there. In order to use the Roku channel you will have to be a subscriber to its premium service. For more information concerning the TexAgs Channel check out the website. http://texags.com/s/2958/subscribe-to-texags-premium.

Awake NationsAwake Nations
Awake nations is a video outreach of the Awake Nations Ministries featuring themed sections of video from the ministry. Some of the videos feature taped church services while others are video podcasts like the Prophetic Training Wbinar. There is also a 24-7 live stream option with a seemingly random program lineup not nessasarily Christian based. Sort of the non offensive public programming leaning things that you find on a community access channel.

FizzyFizzy
New channel for paranormal enthusiasts. The team investigates purportedly haunted sites and shares their experiences. This stuff is just like the shows on the cable channels. The only drawback at the moment is that there is so little content on the channel. There are three categories Locked Into Darkness, Psycho Ghost Trackers and White Noise. All three have the same sort of content while Ghost trackers tends towards the intentionally grainy look for effect. But ghost fans will love this one.

Confesions of a hairstylistConfessions of a hairstylist
This is a collection of videos primarily showing women how to style their own hair through braiding. There are lots of different looks to choose from if you have enough on top to work with. This is not about how to cut your own hair or others. But if you want to make your daughter’s hair look like Elsa’s this is a good place to start. There is even a category for celeb hairstyles. Remember when the “Rachel” look was all the rage?

Handle The HeatHandle The Heat
Newest cooking channel for Roku with a heavy emphasis on bread recipes. Pizza dough, rolls etc. There are multiple categories. Our guide, Tessa shows each recipe step by step showing the ingredients, how to mix and prep them, the cooking steps and the final product. The one weakness is that viewers are told to go to a website for the directions. Not a big issue but it just requires an extra step since you will not be using a computer to watch the Roku channel. In general though this is a worthwhile cooking channel.

KelbyoneKelby One
Kelby One is a channel sponsored by the Website Kelbyone.com. This channel is an incredible resource of photography tips. It has three sections of videos. Photoshop User TV, which contains 20 minute videos on using photoshop effectively, Photography Tips and Tricks featuring another set of 30 minute long videos explaining effective use of camera equipment and methods and the photography talk show, a video podcast discussion about the industry in general what’s new and cool. Photo enthusiasts have to check this one out.

 

Live Church
First Methodist Church Sugarland
https://www.roku.com/channels#!details/45238/first-methodist-sugar-land

Hilltop Country Church
https://www.roku.com/channels#!details/55947/hilltop-country-church

 

This is a wonderful collection of new Roku channels. Each offers something unique and in some cases there are some firsts. Live sports, scrumptious recipes, podcasts and more. As usual to add a new channel just click on its corresponding picture.

Stream on.

CTennis ChannelThe Tennis Channel Everywhere
Great addition for tennis fans giving a fans access to live and archived tennis matches from major tournaments. There is also a portal to “Tennis Channel Plus” which like Watch ESPN requires customers to also be subscribers to a pay TV service that carries the Tennis Channel. Fans can subscribe to Tennis Channel Everywhere without subscribing to a full pay TV service. They just won’t be able to access “Tennis Channel Plus” Yes its really confusing. We will have a more in depth follow up soon.

This week’s list of Roku channels for the Roku Channel Review is small but solid. In fact I don’t think that there is a poor choice in the entire group. In this case it is all about preference. Take a look at what is rolling out and click on the pictures to add new channels.

Stream on my friends.

Super Starlet Movie ChannelSuper Starlet Movie Channel
collection of movies featuring a number of first major female movie stars of the “golden” age of movies. Like other channels from this producer the channel has a once a month fee. What I always worry about with channels like this one is whether the content is updated monthly or if you are paying .99 cents every month for exactly the same movie collection which is about 40 movies. Unless you are going to invest a lot of time in to checking out all of these films it may not be worth it. But it is nice to see something akin to TMC on Roku.

 

Air MozillaAir Mozilla
No this is not a browser for Roku. It is a collection of rather wonky seemingly private videos of Mozilla insiders discussing features of the community’s software initiatives. It is a way to get in to the head of the people behind some of the more innovative web technologies. We may have to wait a little longer before we see an actual Firefox browser on the Roku. Maybe a new model. Want to lean more about what may be coming along on the net? Give this channel a try.

 

UMCUMC
Bob Johnson, the founder of BET brings a new African American based channel to Roku. While not every single one of his ideas have taken off in the market place he does have a track record for succeeding in this field. The channel showcases African American stars and collects films from a number of genres (24) including Family, Horror and Comedy etc. It is an interesting idea that may fill a major need going forward. A similar channel to take a look at would be the Real Hip Hop Network.

 

Cult TVCult TV A-Go-Go
This is not so much “Cult TV” as it is old TV. Some Roku channels remind me of early cable channels. Exactly how do we define cult? The channel provides a lean back experience with the promise of new content weekly. There are both Movie and TV selections along with kitchy commercials. I found the channel enjoyable in general. If it lasts it could grow into something pretty fun. There are some great old cheesy movies available including the Giant Gila Monster and the original Little Shop of Horrors.

 

Red Bull TVRed Bull TV
A longtime and popular private channel Redbull TV has finally decided to go Primetime on Roku. The channel has apps across the spectrum of platforms and devices and now offers its Roku channel complete with live feeds, and multiple categories of content built around extreme sports active lifestyle. On demand features are often full features not clips. I always like to see a Roku channel that has a live feed option if for nothing else other than ease of use. Worth a good look if this is your genre.

 

 

Nolly Land

Nolly Land
This is a channel filled with films focusing on African film makers and performers. African based cinema as in from the Continent of Africa has not had a major platform on Roku before. The library is extensive but a little confusing to navigate at first because the channel has category listings that roatate a set number of titles from larger sub libraries. It is when you explore the subject libraries that you get a feel for the breadth of content offered. It’s a bit expensive at 9.99 a month but worth a look.

 

Live Church Service Feeds

The U

https://www.roku.com/channels#!details/50705/the-u

Freedom Church

https://www.roku.com/channels#!details/55156/freedom-church

Oak Park Baptist Church

https://www.roku.com/channels#!details/48953/oak-park-baptist-church

 

 

GRRL TravelerGRRRL Travelers
Fairly extensive video blog with practical travelling advice. How to catch a bus in  country without speaking the language, Keeping money organized when you travel, How to avoid using expensive Airport Taxis. This is the kind of information that travelers really need to know ahead of time and it is not usually found on these travel sites which usually just feel like clips from a Facebook feed.

 

Safe TVSafe TV
This feels like a church sponsored version of PBS. The channel is a linier stream of programming featuring everything from short clips of musical and cultural performances to preachers giving sermons. The idea behind the channel, which is found on various cable outlets is to provide programming with no violence, sexual content or offensive language. It definitely delivers on that that. In general there is a heavy emphasis on churchy programming. For more perspective check the program guide here

Acolyte CinemaFun collection of pulp films organized by type, Giant Monster, Bigfoot, etc. The descriptions for the movies appear to be written by the creater of the channel as they contain humor “All that any true fan of bad cinema can ask for”. That is not exactly pulled from IMDB. This channel knows it is not offering block busters or great films but it does not try  to trick us into thinking otherwise. The approach is rather refreshing against the landscape of rehashed old movies marketed as though the are rediscovered classics.

Jungle BeatsJungle Beats
Short animated videos about animals. Not restricted to jungle animals which sort of surprised me considering the title of the channel. This is a channel that would be hard to watch over time if you are over the age of 3. Would sort of classify this as educational info for toddlers. Songs like Turtles have  a shell or tigers have stripes. Not exactly breathtaking new information for most of us but then again we are not the target audience. They could be a little less annoying though.

App UpdatesApp Updates
You know that friend who is always showing you the latest app on his or her smart phone. This channel is a lot like that. A group of videos that recommends apps across numerous subject matters. Pizza ordering apps, beauty apps, dating apps. This could be right helpful for someone looking to get more out of the super computer they keep in their pocket. If you have any of the items they feature this channel could turn out to be a great help.

 

Guide US TV
GuideUS TV
Muslim religious educational channel meant to inform the US population on the tenants of Islam. It does so via video shorts, presentations and clips from Muslim religious speakers. The channel is presented in a “live” stream format vs the VOD format which is commonly found on Roku channels.

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