So you’re the proud owner of a Roku player and love catching up with the latest TV and movies on offer from the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Sky Store.

But how can you make sure you personalise your Roku experience?

This week, we’ve got five tips that will help you set up your Roku player so it’s perfect for you!

Change of theme

In addition to a selection of screensavers, you can also change the theme that appears as the background on your Roku home screen. There’s a range of themes to choose from, including the star themed Nebula option and the bright Daydream theme. On top of this, make sure you keep a lookout for the special featured themes released to mark major occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween and New Year’s Eve!

Themes_DayDream

Order, Order!

In the My Channels section of the home screen, your channels will display by default in the order you add them. But if you fancy switching them around you can! All you need to do is select the channel, then simply press the options button (*) on your remote to bring up the option to move a channel. You can then have your channels appear in an order that suits you.

Total (remote) control

Have a habit of ‘misplacing’ that remote control? Fear not, because there’s a free Roku mobile app for that – available for iOS, Android and Windows! You can launch channels, pause, fast-forward, rewind and much more.

iOS Roku mobile app remote

Smile for the camera

Want something to look at when you pause the TV for that cup of tea? There are a number of different screensavers available to use in the Settings menu and various screensavers in the Roku Channel Store. You can also set your Facebook newsfeed or pictures as a personalised screensaver. To do so just install the Facebook channel from the Roku Channel Store and follow the activation steps!

Know Your Channels

We all have our favourite channels, but did you know there are more than 1,400 channels available in the UK Roku Channel Store? That means hours of excellent content to be found in addition to all of the better-known channels. Take time to scroll through and discover the full range on offer. Did you know you can also browse channels through the mobile app while watching a TV show or movie on your TV? From fitness channels, such as Daily Burn and eFit, to cookery channels specialising in a wide variety of cuisines, there’s something for everyone.

UK_Channel_store

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If you have kids, National Geographic Kids is perfect for your little ones. While this channel requires a subscription to get access to their full library, the nice folks at National Geographic offer over a dozen free full-length children’s videos to give you a sample of their terrific programming. A popular show in our house is Survive This which follows several teenagers  struggle to survive in wilderness with the help of Les Stroud – who you might know from his popular Survivorman TV series. You can find this channel in the Kids & Family section of the Roku Channel Store. Check it out…if you want get your kids excited about adventure, science, and nature.

National Geographic Kids Roku

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Who needs Valentine’s Day or President’s Day plans? We have you covered with the latest Amazon Original Series (behind-the-scenes video below!) and some of our favorite newly released flicks. If you’re looking for a mushy Valentine’s Day movie, take a peek at our top 10 romantic movies.

Let us know what you’ll be streaming!

  • Bosch (TV Show, 2015) – A detective works to solve a murder while standing trial in the murder of a serial killer. Available exclusively on Amazon Instant Video.
  • The Theory of Everything (Movie, 2014) – During the 1960s, Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking falls in love with fellow student Jane Wilde. Despite a diagnosis of a devastating disease, he and Jane break new scientific ground. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Nightcrawler (Movie, 2014) – A freelance cameraman goes to increasingly greater lengths to get shots of the most-lurid and disturbing crimes on the dark streets of Los Angeles. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Fury (Movie, 2014) – During World War II, a battle-hardened Army sergeant leads the crew of a Sherman tank on a deadly mission behind enemy lines to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Kill the Messenger (Movie, 2014) – Reporter Gary Webb becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign after he exposes the CIA’s role in importing vast amounts of cocaine, the sale of which would generate money for Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Peabody and Sherman (Movie, 2014) – After Sherman and Penny take his time machine for a joyride, Mr. Peabody must come to the rescue before the past, present and future are changed forever. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Joe (Movie, 2013) – The rough-hewn boss of a lumber crew courts trouble when he steps in to protect the youngest member of his team from an abusive father. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • The Brothers Bloom (Movie, 2009) — A swindler falls in love with the eccentric heiress he and his brother have chosen as their final mark before quitting con games. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, Hulu, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Young Ones (Movie, 2014) – In a future where water is scarce, a farmer defends his land and hopes to rejuvenate his parched soil. However, his daughter’s boyfriend schemes to steal the land for himself. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Proof (Movie, 2005) – A depressed woman copes with the death of her father, a brilliant but mentally ill mathematician. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, CinemaNow, Netflix and Vudu.
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Valentine’s Day is here and love is in the air. So if you’re looking forward to snuggling up with your loved one we’ve pulled together five of the best romantic movies available to stream this weekend.

But if the whole thing isn’t for you and you’re looking for the perfect escape, what could be better than some anti-Valentine’s Day flicks instead?

Here are our recommendations…

P.S. – make sure you check out on the special Valentine’s Day theme on your Roku player this weekend!

Top 5 Romantic Movies

Love Actually perfect

  1. Love Actually

With a star-studded cast including Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley and Liam Neeson, Love Actually follows the love lives of eight very different couples in loosely interrelated tales set during a frantic month before Christmas in London. The film, which was released in 2003, has already become a romantic classic. Stream it now on Google Play 

  1. The Notebook

Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook tells the story of a young, poor man and a rich girl who fall in love. They are soon separated by their social differences but the film is a heart-warming, romantic tale of their journey towards reunion. Watch it on Now TV.

  1. Dirty Dancing

‘Nobody puts baby in the corner’ in this 1987 classic, featuring Patrick Swayze as a dance instructor who falls in love with one of his pupils during a holiday camp. Stream it on Google Play 

  1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

A Golden Oldie featuring the legendary Audrey Hepburn as young New York socialite Holly Golightly, who finds an unlikely romance with a man who moved into her apartment building. It may have been released more than 50 years ago but it’s still a fantastic watch today. Watch it on Sky Store now.

  1. Titanic

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a young artist who falls in love with a 17-year-old aristocrat played by Kate Winslet. Their love blossoms amid the tragic backdrop of RMS Titanic’s ill-fated voyage. Watch it on Google Play. 

Top 5 Anti-Romance Movies 

500 Days of Summer

  1. (500) Days of Summer

A romantic comedy about ‘boy meets girl’. But nothing works out as it should in this 2009 film, making it the perfect anti-Valentine’s day watch. Stream it on Google Play  

  1. Bridget Jones’s Diary

Renée Zellweger stars as the unlucky in love Bridget Jones, in this hilarious comedy about a single girl’s search for romance. A perfect, heart-warming Valentine’s Day companion for singletons. Available on Google Play 

  1. Die Hard

What better way to take your mind off romance than with an all-guns blazing action movie? There’s not much talk of love as Bruce Willis blasts his way around in this 1988 classic… Watch it now on Google Play 

  1. Revolutionary Road

When Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet appeared together in Titanic it was an altogether more romantic affair. But Revolutionary Road, based on the novel by Richard Yates, is a less than rosy look at love, which will leave you grateful for the single life. Watch it on Sky Store now.

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Though this film has its moments of romance, it is ultimately a tale about the heartbreak of love as a couple whose relationship turns sour look to erase their memories of each other. Another reason to savour the single life then! Catch it now on Netflix.

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We’re proud to be the only connected-TV device that’s featuring the ESPN Cricket World Cup. Can’t make it to Australia and New Zealand? Now you don’t have to miss the action! Roku customers in the U.S. can stream the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 on their big screen from the comfort of their couch.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Starting today, the ESPN Cricket channel is available in the “Sports” section of the Roku Channel Store on current-gen players*. For $99.99 cricket fans will get access to live and on-demand coverage of all 49 matches in the quadrennial tournament in the world’s second most popular sport, direct from ESPN. That’s approximately 392 hours of live cricket from February 13 – March 28!

Some key matches you won’t want to miss:

February 13

  • Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand – 5pm ET
  • England vs. Australia – 10:30pm ET

February 14

  • India vs. Pakistan – 10:30pm ET

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Who doesn’t need a good laugh every once in a while? If you are in need of some comedic relief in your life, or are just a fan of stand-up comedy, then you should check out Comedy Dynamics on in the U.S. Channel Store. Comedy Dynamics offers full-length unedited performances and clips from some of the biggest names in the comedy business. The best part is that this is a totally free channel. You can find it in the “Comedy” category in the Roku Channel Store. Be warned, some of this material is pretty blue — that’s comedy speak for mature language is used to convey humor. They have numerous stand-up specials from the hilarious minds of people like D.L. Hughley, Tom Papa, Kathleen Madigan, and Gary Gulman. Check it out…if your funny bone needs some tickling.

Comedy Dynamics

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Sling TV logo

Last month DISH introduced Sling TV, a live, over-the-top television service. You may have seen the buzz and accolades from CES and recent reviews from the Wall Street Journal, The Verge and Yahoo! Tech, just to name a few. Over the past few weeks, Sling TV reviewers have had the chance to test the new TV service on a variety of devices, including Roku 3 streaming players.

Well, streamers, the wait is over! Sling TV is available on all *current-generation Roku players and Roku TV models. Find instructions on how to install Sling TV on your Roku player or Roku TV on the Sling website.

If you need a Sling TV refresher, for $20 per month (no commitment or annual contract required), subscribers will get access to the “Best of Live TV” core package, which includes top sports, lifestyle, family and news networks—ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, El Rey and Galavision—all delivered directly through Sling TV on the Roku platform. This package additionally features access to WatchESPN and an array of Video-On-Demand entertainment.

In addition to live channels and VOD options, Sling TV customers have access to content from Maker Studios, one of the largest online content networks. Available now is a Maker playlist featuring short-form videos from Maker’s vast library of content. Videos will be refreshed consistently to maintain new content.

You can expect Maker’s Polaris+ channel, featuring long-form original programming, to launch soon exclusively on Sling TV. Polaris+ is an extension of Maker’s existing Polaris brand, the no. 1 online gaming network, and will be included in Sling TV’s “Best of Live TV” core package at no additional cost.

Sling_ESPN_player_view

Looking for more channel customization? Sling TV offers add-on packs to access additional programming at only $5 per month. If you want more channels for children, check out the “Kids Extra” pack, which includes Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV and Duck TV. Or, if you’re looking for more news channels, subscribe to the “News & Info Extra” pack to get access to HLN, Cooking Channel, DIY and Bloomberg TV. Sports fans will love the “Sports Extra” pack, which includes SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports, and college sports live cut-in and highlights networks ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded and ESPN Goal Line. With this collection of programming, customers can watch live basketball, baseball and football, plus La Liga soccer with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

Sling TV also announced the addition of Univision entertainment, news and sports content, as well as content from AMC Networks, and the service expects to expand its core package, VOD content, online video and add-on packs throughout 2015. We’ll definitely update you here on the blog with any news on these additions.

Happy streaming!

*Current generation players include models LT 2400 and later – Roku LT (2400), Roku LT (2450), Roku HD (2500), Roku 2 HD (3000), Roku 2 XD (3050), Roku 2 XS (3100), Roku Streaming Stick, HDMI (3500), Roku LT (2700), Roku 1 (2710), Roku 2 (2720), Roku 3 (4200) 40″ H4 Series Hisense € RokuTV 40H4 (48″ 50″ and 55″ variants are available as well) TCL Roku TV 32S4610R, TCL 40FS4610R 40-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV (Roku TV), TCL 48FS4610R 48-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV (Roku TV), TCL 55FS4610R 55-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV (Roku TV)

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It’s February, which means it’s likely still chilly where you live – a great excuse to stay in and stream! With all these great new releases, you won’t want to leave the couch.

We’d love to know what you’re watching. Let us know in the comments.

big-hero-6

  • Big Hero 6 (Movie, 2014) — Six reluctant first-time crime fighters team up to save their city. Available to purchase on Amazon Instant VideoM-GO and Vudu (available to rent on 2/24/15).
  • Birdman (Movie, 2014) — Michael Keaton heads an all-star cast in this riveting story of a former superhero film star grappling with dwindling fame, an estranged daughter, theatre critics and inner demons. Available to purchase on Amazon Instant VideoM-GO and Vudu (available to rent on 2/17/15).
  • Togetherness (TV Show, 2015)  A comedy that follows two couples living under the same roof who struggle to keep their relationships alive while pursuing their individual dreams. Available to watch on HBO GO.
  • Chef (Movie, 2014)  When chef Carl Casper’s plans for opening a restaurant in Los Angeles fail to pan out, he returns home to Miami and debuts a food truck instead. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, CinemaNowM-GONetflix and Vudu.
  • M*A*S*H (TV Show, 1972)  The staff of an army hospital in the Korean war find that laughter is the best way to deal with their situation. Available to watch on Netflix (seasons 1-5).
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand (TV Show, 2013) — Spartacus becomes ancient Rome’s most-infamous rebel. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Rome (TV Show, 2007) – Two Roman soldiers and their families endure the fall of the republic. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO and Vudu.
  • Tangled (Movie, 2010) — Crowned with 70 feet of magical golden hair, Rapunzel strikes a deal with a charming thief to spring her from her prison tower. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, CinemaNow, M-GO and Vudu.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Movie, 2005) – Children join forces with the lion mystic Aslan to free the land of Narnia from the White Witch’s wintry spell. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, CinemaNow and Vudu.
  • The Princess Bride (Movie, 1987) – A storybook stableboy turns pirate and rescues his beloved, who is about to marry a dreadful prince. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
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British-Academy-Film-Awards

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ annual Film Awards – or the BAFTAs as they’re more commonly known – takes place with a star-studded ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House this weekend.

And to mark the event, which will be hosted by comedian Stephen Fry on Sunday evening, we’ve taken a look at where you can stream some of the nominated films, or watch the nominated actors and actresses in action. You can catch up with the night itself on BBC iPlayer.

Let us know who you’d like to see picking up an award!

Films

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – This film, directed by Wes Anderson, leads the way when it comes to overall nominations. The Grand Budapest Hotel follows the adventures of concierge Gustave H, played by Ralph Fiennes, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft of a priceless painting, a raging battle for an enormous family fortune, and a desperate chase on motorcycles, trains, sleds, and skis. The film is another quirky Anderson classic, following in the footsteps of Moonrise Kingdom and The Royal Tenenbaums. Stream it now on Google Play.
  • Gone Girl – Rosamund Pike will be hoping to scoop the Best Actress award for her role in this film. Cheating husband Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) becomes the chief murder suspect when his wife Amy, played by Pike, goes missing. Despite his protestations, he becomes “America’s most hated man” as the media circus goes into overdrive and evidence of his reckless spending and her fears for her safety come to light. David Fincher directs this superlative thriller, adapted by Gillian Flynn from her own bestselling novel. Watch it on Sky Store now.

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If you want to catch up on the latest breaking news using your Roku player or Roku TV, you have to check out the CBS News channel. CBS News recently updated their Roku channel to feature their new digital streaming news network — available 24/7 with live, anchored coverage. The coverage is outstanding and just what you would expect form one of our country’s leading news sources. You can also catch up on the News using their on-demand library and watch content from such shows as 60 Minutes, Sunday Morning, and Face the Nation. You can find this Free channel in the “News & Weather” category in the Roku Channel Store. Check it out…If you want to be in the know.

CBS News January 2015

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