Top 10 new releases and recommendations

Academy Award nominees, love stories, movies to keep the kiddos entertained and much more to fill up your Easter weekend.  What will you be watching?

  • Philomena (Movie, 2013) – Academy Award-Winner Judi Dench stars as Philomena, a woman who alongside a grumpy reporter (Steve Coogan) journeys to America to find the child she put up for adoption so many years ago. Newly released on M-GO, Amazon Instant Video, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Movie, 2013) – Ben Stiller directs and stars in this inspiring story about an ordinary man who finds the courage to discover his destiny and leap into the extraordinary adventure that is life. Newly released on M-GO, Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
  • The Pirate Fairy (Movie, 2014) – From the world of Peter Pan comes The Pirate Fairy, a swashbuckling advanture about Zarina, a smart and ambitious dust-keeper fairy who’s captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. Newly released on M-GO, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu and Blockbuster on Demand.
  • Hop (Movie, 2011) – Reluctant to take over his father’s job, the son (Russell Brand) of the Easter Bunny runs away to Los Angeles, where he tricks an unemployed slacker (James Marsden) into taking care of him. Available on Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, Redbox Instant and Blockbuster on Demand.
  • Labor Day (Movie, 2013) – From director Jason Reitman, Labor Day stars Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin as two strangers drawn together under incredible circumstances. What starts as an unforeseen encounter over a long holiday weekend soon becomes a second chance love story. Newly released on M-GO, Amazon Instant Video, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • The Eagle (Movie, 2011) – Haunted by the disappearance of his father, who vanished with the Roman Ninth Legion on an expedition into the north of Britain, centurion Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) sets out to unravel the mystery and recover the legion’s eagle standard. Newly released on Netflix, but also available on M-GO, Amazon Instant Video and Blockbuster on Demand.
  • 3 Days of Normal (Movie, 2012) – In this thoroughly charming romantic comedy, Bill Morgan, an uptight, lonely, small-town New Hampshire cop has his world turned upside down when a reckless starlet stumbles into town. Newly released on Snagfilms, but also available on Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
  • Short Term 12 (Movie, 2013) – Grace, a compassionate young supervisor at a foster care facility, works with her boyfriend and colleague, Mason, to help at-risk teens. But when a new charge dredges up memories of her own troubled past, Grace’s tough exterior begins eroding. Newly released on Netflix, but also available on Amazon Instant Video, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • Blast Vegas (Movie, 2013) – Starring Frankie Muniz, fraternity brothers head to Las Vegas for spring break. One of them steals the sword of Thutmose III from a hotel, but they don’t realize that they have unleashed an ancient curse in the form of a sand storm that slowly moves down the strip, destroying famed hotels. Newly released on Hulu Plus, but also available on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
  • Lost in Translation (Movie, 2003) – Two lost souls, Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), visiting Tokyo — the young, neglected wife of a photographer and a washed-up movie star shooting a TV commercial — find an odd solace and pensive freedom to be real in each other’s company, away from their lives in America. Newly released on Crackle, but also available on M-GO, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster on Demand, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
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Roku UK: new releases and recommendations for 18th April 2014

There are some crucial football games on over this Easter weekend, so you could treat yourself to a Sky Sports day pass. If you would rather watch a film or catch up on a TV Series here’s what I’m watching – let me know your recommendations in the comments below!

  • Sherlock (Series) – The greatest detective of all time and his trusty sidekick meet in the 21st Century. The sleuth prowls the streets of modern day London in search of clues. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Una Stubbs. Available on Netflix.
  • Shetland (Series) – With the wonderful scenery as a backdrop, this is the story of detective Jimmy Perez , a native to the islands who returns home and of course gets involved in a murder mystery. Available on BBC iPlayer.
  • The Big Wedding (Movie) – A long-divorced couple feigns years of wedded bliss to please a special guest at their son’s nuptials: His birth mother. Stars Robert de Niro and Diane Keaton Available on Netflix.
  • Harry Brown (Movie) –2009 British Vigilante Film starring Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer. The story follow a retires Marines Veteran who served in Northern Ire who lives on a London Housing estate who fights fire with fire when a friend is murdered.  The violence may be off putting for some viewers, so beware.  Available on Demand5.
  • The Battle of Hood and Bismarck (Documentary) – This two part documentary uses unique archive footage, eyewitness testimony, dramatic reconstruction and state of the art computer graphics to tell the definitive story of the epic sea battle. Available on 4OD.
  • Chasing Mavericks (Movie) – The story of real life surfing hero Jay Moriarty who, as a fearless 15-year old set out to conquer the baddest breakers of them all: California’s mighty “Mavericks”. Available on Now TV.
  • About a Boy (Series) –Smart comedy inspired by the hit film and novel of the same name. Fun loving bachelor Will has some growing up to do when his new next door neighbour moves in.  Available on Now TV.
  • WW1 Uncut (Documentary) –An army was as good as the kit its soldiers wore to fight and the food they had to eat. Did German or British soldiers eat better in WW1? Historian Dan Snow finds out. Available on BBC iPlayer.
  • Killing Spree (Documentary) –A forensic analysis of different murders. This week it’s the Miami Murders– About Andrew Cunanan who killed Gianni Versace. Available on Demand5.

A Golden Oldie:

  • Little Britain, (Series). Always worth having another look even though you may have seen it all before. Usually you spot something you missed in this series which became a hit by skewering British Society. Available on Netflix.
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How to Maximize your Plex Experience on your Roku Player

New to Roku or looking for new channels to explore? Get tips and tricks straight from our channel partners in our new Channel Highlight series. Leave your questions or comments below for Plex!

Everybody loves how simple it is to combine all their favorite media streams through their Roku player, and Plex, enhances that functionality by turning your Roku player into a window for all your personal media. With Plex on Roku, you have the ability to better organize your videos, photos, music and movies and stream them to your big screen.

For Roku owners who’ve used the Plex app, you already know about the way Plex makes your personal media look beautiful by automatically pulling in metadata like cover art, descriptions, ratings and more.  If you’re unfamiliar with Plex, here are some tips to turn your Roku Player into the perfect center for your personal media.

  1. Share your media with friends and family – Plex allows friends and family to stream your media directly to their Plex-enabled mobile, desktop or set-top devices.
  2. Queue videos from different websites, like YouTube, Vimeo, Ted Talks and more, to watch later on your Roku. The Plex app allows you to prepare a streaming video list for later viewing, saving you time.
  3. Give the bookmarklet a whirl. Easily bookmark videos from your favorite sites with one-click and watch later on Plex.
  4. For Plex Pass subscribers, now you can easily stream your most up to date photos from your smartphone or tablet to your big screen using the new Camera Upload feature.

With these tips & tricks, you’ll see why Plex is one of the top-10 channels on the Roku player.

In a nutshell, Plex organizes all of your personal media, no matter where it’s stored, so you can access and enjoy it on any of your devices. All Roku users in the U.S., Canada and UK can add the Plex channel for $4.99 after a free 30 day trial.

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Top Roku® Search Results Revealed as Roku Search on Mobile App Released to Roku 3 Players

There are now more than 1,500 channels to choose from in the Roku Channel Store! That’s not just hundreds of thousands of TV shows and movies and millions of songs and music videos; it’s also news, sports, science, food, kids, fitness videos –  that’s countless hours of entertainment and enrichment. With so many choices how does someone decide what to stream?

The Roku Search feature has been helping customers quickly find exactly what they want to watch on Roku since it debuted in 2012. Roku customers access Roku Search on the TV screen with the included Roku remote control. Starting today and over the next week a software update will roll out to Roku 3 players so customers can also use Roku Search via the Roku mobile app for Android and iOS mobile devices. (Roku Search on the mobile app will be available for additional models in the coming weeks.)

Roku Search scours for movie, TV show, actor or director entries across multiple channels including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Vudu, Redbox Instant by Verizon, Popcornflix, Blockbuster On Demand, HBO GO, M-GO and SnagFilms. This allows customers to see all of the options available so they can determine the channel that’s the most convenient and affordable way to stream the entertainment they want to enjoy. Feel like a Daniel Craig flick? Just enter “Da” and Roku Search serves up a list of “Daniel” results. When Daniel Craig is selected a filmography of more than 25 choices appears, each with channel availability and associated pricing for free with subscription, rental or purchase. Simply tap your preferred search result and your Roku player will automatically take you to the channel to start playing your selected entertainment.

When presented with the largest collection of streaming  entertainment available anywhere, what do Roku customers search?

We took a look at aggregated Roku Search on-device results from last few months and Roku customers agree that it’s the golden age of TV with television series dominating the top 25 searched titles. Lord Grantham outclasses Walter White to help Downton Abbey nab the number one spot among most-watched TV series. The top list includes a mix of comedy, drama and kids shows and proves the lasting appeal of Sponge Bob over TV phenomena like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

The “aca-amazing” antics of Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and crew pushed Pitch Perfect to the top of Roku’s now 35,000 movie offerings – it was the number one searched for movie by Roku customers since the start of 2014, followed by Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. The remainder of the top searched for movies include best picture nominees like Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi as well as favorites Star Trek Into Darkness and The Lincoln.

Roku customers are less likely to search for famous personalities than TV series and movies, but when they do, they sure enjoy a classic hero. The top searched for people are surprisingly almost all male, and are headed up by silver screen icon John Wayne. One woman broke through the sea of macho…Sandra Bullock, who defied gravity to land at the number three most searched for spot. See below for the full breakdown.

Happy Streaming!

Top Searched TV Series:

  1. Downton Abbey
  2. Breaking Bad
  3. SpongeBob SquarePants
  4. The Walking Dead
  5. The Big Bang Theory

Top Searched Movies:

  1. Pitch Perfect
  2. Despicable Me
  3. Despicable Me 2
  4. Silver Linings Playbook
  5. Star Trek Into Darkness

Top Searched People:

  1. John Wayne
  2. Clint Eastwood
  3. Sandra Bullock
  4. Jason Statham
  5. Tom Selleck

*Roku Search for the Roku mobile app on Android and iOS devices is available on the Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI version). Roku 3 players will automatically receive the software update which is expected to be completed by April 22.

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Top 10 new releases and recommendations

There are plenty of watch-worthy options this week – from thrillers to dramas; we’ve scoured for only the best releases to feed your streaming appetite!

  • August: Osage County – Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts lead an all-star cast. A family crisis unites a dispersed group of siblings at the Oklahoma house they grew up in with the dysfunctional woman who raised them. (Movie, 2013) Newly released on M-GO, Amazon Instant Video, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • Iron Sky: Director’s Cut – In 1945, the Nazis secretly retreated to the moon. But now the Third Reich is back! And this time they have a galactic battleship and an impressive plan to assume control of the entire planet in this Netflix-exclusive director’s cut. (Movie, 2013) Newly released on Netflix, but also available on Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
  • A Touch of Sin – Weaving together four stories of people living in different Chinese provinces, this drama follows a miner protesting corruption, a migrant worker with a gun, a factory drone always drifting to a new job and a receptionist who’s been assaulted. (Movie, 2013) Newly released on Netflix, but also available on Amazon Instant Video.
  • Afflicted – This terrifying horror thriller follows two best friends who set out on the trip of the lifetime around the world. Their journey, documented every step of the way, soon takes a dark and unexpected turn after an encounter with a beautiful woman in Paris leaves one of them mysteriously afflicted. (Movie, 2013) Newly released on Amazon Instant Video, Redbox Instant, and Vudu.
  • The Bay – Two million fish washed ashore. One thousand blackbirds dropped from the sky. On July 4, 2009 a deadly menace swept through the quaint seaside town of Claridge, Maryland, but the harrowing story of what happened that Independence Day has never been told – until now. (Movie, 2012) Newly released on Amazon Instant Video, but also available on M-GO, Netflix, Blockbuster on Demand, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • Home Run – To cure his drinking problem, pro baseball star Cory Brand returns to his hometown and begins coaching a Little League team as part of his rehab. After faking his recovery at first, Cory starts to glimpse real redemption in the kids playing for him. (Movie, 2013) Newly released on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster on Demand, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • Sunlight Jr. – Starring Academy Award nominees Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon, Sunlight Jr. spotlights hard-working convenience store clerk, Melissa, and her disabled boyfriend, Richie. A young couple at odds with the American Dream. (Movie, 2013) Newly released on Hulu Plus, but also available on Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
  • How Do You Know – In this love triangle comedy, a white collar executive (Paul Rudd) and professional baseball player (Owen Wilson) are each vying for the affections of the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). (Movie, 2010) Newly released on Amazon Instant Video, but also available on M-GO, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • People Like Us –Featuring an all-star cast, including Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Michelle Pfeiffer and Olivia Wilde, a fast-talking salesman latest deal collapses the day he learns about his father’s death. He is called home to put his father’s estate in order and reconnect with his estranged family where he uncovers a startling secret. (Movie, 2012) Newly released on Amazon Instant Video, but also available on M-GO and Vudu.
  • In Dreams – This darkly imaginative film from director Neil Jordan follows Claire Cooper (Annette Bening), a psychic New England housewife who loses her grip on reality when her dreams connect with those of a psychotic murderer. (Movie, 1999) Newly released on Redbox Instant, but also available on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
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Roku UK: new releases and recommendations for 11th April 2014

If you’re like me, you binged through Breaking Bad on Netflix in, well, a very short amount of time. Experiencing some major withdrawals like me? It’s OK, there’s plenty more movies and TV shows to keep you entertained.

Here’s what I’m watching – let me know your recommendations in the comments below!

  • A Dark Truth (Movie) – To expose a bloody corporate cover-up, an ex CIA agent must rescue a desperate activist and his wife who have escaped with proof of the crime. Stars Andy Garcia and Kim Coates. Director Damian Lee won Best Director at Boston Film Festival 2012. Available on Netflix.
  • Act Like You Love Me (Movie) – When Kelly’s sister hires a gorgeous actor to pose as Kelly’s boyfriend for a party, it isn’t long before the charade turns into genuine affection. Stars Essence Adams and Christian Keyes. Available on Netflix.
  • World War Z (Movie) – How would the world respond to a real-life zombie epidemic?  Brad Pitt’s IN Advisor sets out on a global search to figure out how to stop the world from becoming the planet of the living dead. Also stars Mireille Enos and Eric West. Available on Now TV.
  • Angels Sing (Movie) -After moving into a neighborhood drenched in holiday spirit, a man whose brother died at Christmas years before begins to see beyond his own sadness. Stars Harry Connick Jr and Connie Britton. Available on Netflix.
  • The Smoke (Series) – Feel the heat in this adrenaline-fueled firefighter drama from the makers of Spooks. Stars Jamie Bamber (Law & Order UK) and Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch). Available on Now TV.
  • Suits (Series) -Lawyers need to be clever, cunning and silver-tongued. Actually going to law school is optional, right? Available on Netflix.
  • The Call Centre (Series) -The Fly on the wall documentary series following the ups and downs of Swansea call Centre CEO Nev Wilshire and his staff of extraordinary characters. Commercial Director Phil Wilshire has an idea to lift spirits and put him on the map. Available on BBC iPlayer.
  • Kirsty’s Best of Both Worlds (Series) – Kirsty Allsopp helps house buyers negotiate the tug of war between town and country showing that you can have both the rural idyll and the fun of the big city – if you know where to look. Available on 4OD.
  • Ironside (Series) – A reimagining of the 70’s TV show originally starring Raymond Burr, but any resemblance to Burr’s character stops with the wheelchair and the flair for cracking crime (Crime Drama). Available on Demand5.

A Golden Oldie:

  • The Tudors (Series) – All the splendour and scandal of England’s 16th Century royal court comes to life in this series that follows notorious Tudor monarch Henry VIII. Stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Henry Cavill. Available on Netflix.


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Essential TV show series to catch up on

April showers bring May flowers…and a slew of fresh TV show season premieres! Catch up or give yourself a refresher because seriously, who can remember all the people who died in Game of Thrones last season?!

  • Game of Thrones: Season 3 – Season 3 opens up with Jon being brought before Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, while the Night’s Watch survivors retreat south. Tyrion asks for his reward; Littlefinger offers Sansa a way out; and Dany sails into Slaver’s Bay. (TV Series, 2013) Available on Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO and Vudu. Season 4 premieres on April 6 on HBO Go – see trailer below.

  • Mad Men: Season 6 – From writer and executive producer Matthew Weiner, season 6 leads the audience into the captivating world of an ad agency set in 1960s New York – an era when cutthroat business had a glamorous lure. (TV Series, 2013) Available on M-GO, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Vudu. Season 7 (final season) premieres on April 13.
  • Nurse Jackie: Season 5 –Edie Falco returns to plays Jackie Peyton in the fifth season. After leaving rehab early, Jackie finds sobriety and relative happiness, but that is the calm before the storm. With her marriage coming to an end, a careless accident sends Jackie to her own All Saints Hospital for emergency care. (TV Series, 2013) Available on Showtime AnytimeM-GO, Amazon Instant Video and Vudu. Season 6 premieres on April 13 on Showtime Anytime – see trailer below.

  • Californication: Season 6 – David Duchovny returns to his role as a hedonistic novelist Hank Moody. Moody continually struggles to be a good father to his college-aged daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin), while still carrying a torch for her mother and his ex-girlfriend. (TV Series, 2013) Available on Showtime AnytimeAmazon Instant Video and Vudu. Season 7 (final season) premieres on April 13 on Showtime Anytime.
  • Veep: Season 2 – Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is back for another term of screwball politics and firestorms as only she can create. Season two premieres with them fresh off successful campaign appearances for midterm elections. From there she sees an opportunity to expand her role, but must first curry favor with the president’s icy senior strategist Kent Davison. (TV Series, 2013) Available on HBO GOAmazon Instant Video and Vudu. Season 3 premieres on April 6 on HBO Go.
  • Chosen: Season 2 – Season two of Crackle’s original series picks up where the first left off, as Ian (Milo Ventimiglia) and Laura Mitchell (Nicky Whelan) take their daughter Ellie and hide out in a remote cabin hoping to escape the game and pull their family back together. Back in the city, we meet Jacob Orr (Chad Michael Murray), a down-and-out bartender who is struggling to make ends meet as he takes care of his handicapped brother. (Online Series, 2013) Available on Crackle. Season 3 premieres on April 15 on Crackle.
  • The Boondocks: Season 3 – Based on McGruder’s award-winning, syndicated comic strip which was banned in some newspapers, The Boondocks is an edgy, in-your-face comedy brimming with stinging social commentary and biting satire. (TV Series, 2010) Available on Amazon Instant Video and Vudu. Season 4 (finale season) premieres on April 21.
  • Warehouse 13: Season 4 – Season 4 kicks off with the Warehouse Team still reeling from the shocking events of the climactic season three finale — the loss of Agent Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore), Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder), H.G. Wells (Jaime Murray) and the destruction of the Warehouse itself. (TV Series, 2012) Available on M-GO, Amazon Instant Video and Vudu. Season 5 premieres on April 14.
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New on Roku: Qello Concerts

Music festival season is underway and what better way to celebrate than with the launch of the Qello Concerts channel on Roku!

Starting today, Roku customers can rock out in front of the TV with access to the world’s largest collection of full-length HD concert films and music documentaries from Qello Concerts.

Whether you’re in the mood to discover something new or want to enjoy a serenade from your all-time favorite band, Qello Concerts and Roku have you covered to stream all genres – from Beyoncé, B.B. King and Queen to Nirvana, Mumford & Sons and Barbra Streisand!

For $4.99 month, the All-Access Pass subscription transports you to must-see shows, including The Rolling Stones’ “Live at the Max” and Lady Gaga’s “The Monster Ball Tour: Live at Madison Square Garden”.

Now that you’re armed with this exclusive concert and artist footage, get ready to start jamming with the click of a few buttons.

All current-generation Roku devices in the U.S., Canada and the UK can add the Qello Concerts channel now.

*Special Offer*

Roku users new to Qello Concerts can try the All-Access Pass for free by installing the channel on your Roku device and selecting ‘Start a 7-day free trial’ when you launch the channel.

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Get ready for Wrestlemania 30 on WWE Network

This Sunday, April 6 marks the 30th anniversary of WWE’s marquee event, WrestleMania at 7pm ET/4pm PT. You don’t want to miss it – Hulk Hogan is back in the WWE to host! Don’t have WWE Network on your Roku yet? Add it here.

Here’s what WWE has in store for the big event:

  • WrestleMania 2-hour Pre-show on WWE Network starting at 5pm ET/2pm PT
  • WWE World Champion Randy Orton defends his WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Triple Threat match against Batista and the winner of Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan
  • The Undertaker looks to extend his WrestleMania win streak to 22-0 against Brock Lesnar
  • John Cena will face Bray Wyatt
  • 30-Superstars will compete in the first-ever Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
  • Daniel Bryan finally gets his chance at revenge when he goes 1-on-1 with Triple H.  If Bryan pins Triple H, he will earn the right to compete in WrestleMania’s main event for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. If Triple H wins, Triple H will enter WrestleMania’s main event
  • And much more!

What are you waiting for? Sign up for WWE Network on your Roku now.

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Introducing the Roku Watch

Update: unfortunately the Roku Watch won’t be our newest product. Happy April Fools’ Day!

At Roku, we’re all about delivering the best streaming experience to your TV. But hey, why stop there?

Meet the Roku Watch®.

We know that nearly everyone loves watching TV at home on a big ol’ flat screen. The Roku Watch is for the rare individuals who enjoy squinting around a teenie tiny screen or like showing off their wearable tech.

The Roku Watch is the evolution of streaming. Now your Nicolas Cage movie marathons never have to stop. It includes:

  • A crystal clear 1 ½ x ½ inch screen
  • HDTV omnidirectional antenna
  • A Roku Remote for easy navigation (with optional belt clip)
  • A customizable strap (designer straps coming soon!)
  • 40’ power cord

It doesn’t stop there. The Roku Watch will also track your body’s inactivity and grant you rewards when you hit impressive milestones.

  • 10 inactive hours = one large pizza will automatically be delivered to your home.
  • 25 inactive hours = after we confirm you’re still healthy, we’ll send Jean-Claude Van Damme to watch Bloodsport or Double Impact with you.

The Roku Watch is $199.99 and will be available on on April 31, 2014.

Posted in Announcements, Roku News | Tagged | 41 Comments