Amazon Cloud Player coming soon to Roku

As you know, we’re always working to expand the selection of streaming entertainment available on Roku, and we’re thrilled to announce that Amazon Cloud Player is coming soon to Roku in the United States!

Cloud Player makes it a snap to shop from over 20 million songs, upload your own music collection, create and manage playlists, and stream your music from the cloud – all from the comfort of your living room. Today, Amazon launched some great new updates to Cloud Player, including secure backup, scan and match technology, and free audio quality upgrades.

We’re excited to add the updated Cloud Player to our 500+ and growing channel store in the United States, and we’re currently working with the Amazon team to finalize the channel. Stay tuned!

Posted in Roku Channels, US Channels | Tagged , , | 58 Comments

New Pandora channel for Roku

The most popular music channel on Roku just got better. Today, we are excited to announce a major update to Pandora, which includes a refreshed interface and several welcome enhancements.

Here’s what’s new in Pandora version 3.0:

  • New station screen design – Makes it easier and faster to find and navigate to your favorite Pandora stations
  • Genre station support – Explore and add over 275 genre stations from a new genre station grid screen
  • Multiple account support – Connect up to 5 Pandora accounts and switch quickly between them
  • New screen saver – Displays track, artist and album name together with album art that glides across your TV screen
  • Search album art – Displays album art on the extended search results screen

Pandora 3.0 is available now for all Roku players. If you already have Pandora installed, the channel will update automatically within the next 48 hours. (Note: Some graphic effects, like station list button icons and cross fading of album art on the screen saver, only work with Roku software 4.8.)

The channel, as always, is free. If you haven’t yet tried it, you can find it in the Music category of the Roku Channel Store or add it here.

Happy streaming!

Posted in Roku Channels, US Channels | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

New Releases and Recommendations for July 27

Do you hear that? It’s the sweet sound of the weekend. Time to kick back and stream your cares away! Whether you’re in the mood for classic horror, indie comedy or the latest episode of your favorite TV show, we’ve got you covered. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Happy streaming!

Netflix New Releases:

  • The Future- When a couple realizes that their lives will radically change in a month’s time, they quit their jobs, pursue new interests and disconnect from the Internet (2011)
  • Alice- A young woman descends into the twisted world of Wonderland after her boyfriend is abducted by the Queen of Hearts (Kathy Bates) and forced to gamble in her royal casino (2011)
  • Snow on Tha Bluff- Set in urban Atlanta, this gritty gangster drama centers on a dealer who nabs a video camera from some college kids and begins to record his daily operation (2011)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Larry King Now: Will Forte- The actor, comedian, and former Saturday Night Live cast member chats with Larry about life after SNL, his new movie, and his personal life (2012)
  • Master Chef: Top 6 Compete- One amateur cook will earn a second chance (2012)
  • The Daily Show- TV host and author Fareed Zakaria shares highlights from his new book “The Post-American World: Release 2.0″ (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • Metropolis- A visually astonishing anime flick set in a futuristic city at the height of its civilization (2002)
  • Single White Female- A whip-smart thriller emboldened by a creepily inspired performance from Jennifer Jason Leigh (1992)
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula- Academy Award Winner Francis Ford Coppola directs this lavish adaptation of one of the most terrifying tales of all time (1992)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • Project Runway Season 10- Heidi, Tim, Michael and Nina are back to kick off Project Runway’s 10th Anniversary Season with a live runway show in the middle of Times Square (2012)
  • Top Chef Masters Season 4-  A hit reality competition series that celebrates the culinary arts with a fascinating window into the competitive, pressurized environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business (2008)
  • Total Recall (Newly Remastered)- Action star extraordinaire Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a 2084 construction worker haunted by dreams of Mars (1990)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Tiny Furniture- Lena Dunham stars as a dejected film school graduate who moves back home to figure out her life (2010)
  • The Larry Sanders Show- Emmy award nominee Garry Shandling hosts real-life celebrities in this comical account of the day-to-day working and feverish pace of a TV talk show (1992)
  • The Mission- A powerful action epic about a man of the sword and a man of the cloth who unite to shield a South American Indian tribe from brutal subjugation by 18th-century colonial empires (1986)

Fandor New Releases:

  • Something Ventured- A fascinating look at the birth of the venture capital industry, which gave rise to such iconic American institutions as Intel, Apple, Cisco and more (2011)
  • Wilby Wonderful- A young Ellen Page and Sandra Oh star in this surprising indie comedy that follows the residents of a small Canadian town over the course of 24 hours (2004)
  • Thriller- Quentin Tarantino has described this cult classic as “the roughest revenge movie ever made” (1974)
Posted in New to Watch, US | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

UK Customers: Stream the Olympics

The Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Summer Games kicks off in London tonight, and Roku Revolutionaries in the UK will be able to follow all of the Olympic events from the comfort of their living rooms.

How will this work? Well, the BBC is the UK Olympics’ broadcast rights holder and recently announced it will show every minute of every game live – which adds up to a staggering 2,500 hours of coverage over just 17 days. The events will be made available on BBC iPlayer (and your Roku player) after they air live.

Many of you will be working during the Games, but the good news is you can catch up on every Olympic run, skip and jump with your Roku player. Remember to pace yourself and drink lots of water – Olympic streaming is a serious sport!

Posted in New to Watch, UK | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Roku raises $45M in new funding

If you were to take a peek into the Roku offices this morning, you’d see beaming employees. Why the excitement? Today we announced a $45 million strategic investment from News Corporation, British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), and our prior venture investors Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners.

While this strategic investment and the activities that it affords us are great, even more significant for us is the demonstration of the industry’s confidence in Roku – with industry giants like News Corporation and Sky taking notice – as the leading distribution platform to bring streaming entertainment to mainstream consumers.

These partners are actually not new to Roku. We launched, WSJ Live and XFactor channels on Roku in the U.S. last year. And Sky announced last week that Now TV, its brand new Internet TV service, is coming to Roku in the U.K. later this year. NOW TV will open up more choice for consumers by making Sky Movies – followed later this year by Sky Sports – available across a wide range of Internet-connected devices.

Roku has always been a fast-growing company and with this new capital, we’ll be able invest more in brand awareness activities like advertising, develop new international markets, and increase engineering and production to support sales growth of both hardware and digital media services.

Our philosophy is to give consumers the best streaming TV experience with the most content and at the best value in the market; it has served us well as millions of customers have brought Roku into their homes. Now with these new strategic relationships, we are poised to become the TV distribution platform of the future!

If you want to read more details, you can see our full press release here.

Happy streaming!

Posted in Features | Tagged , , , | 64 Comments

New Releases and Recommendations for July 20

TGIF! From new seasons of your favorite TV shows to the latest and greatest indie films, we’ve got an awesome roundup of new releases to keep you entertained all weekend long. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Happy streaming!

Netflix New Releases:

  • Breaking Bad: Season 4- After a searing third season that put them at odds with their ruthless boss, Walt and Jesse regroup in the meth lab to face the consequences of their actions. (2011)
  • Neverland- In Victorian-era London, young Peter and his gang of pickpockets find themselves whisked off to a magical land inhabited by pirates. (2011)
  • Creature- A group of friends partying in the wilds of Louisiana get into a fight for their lives when a beast called Lockjaw comes searching for food. (2011)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Larry King Now- Actor Matthew McConaughey talks to Larry about his recent wedding, the reason for his weight loss and his new movie, “Killer Joe.” (2012)
  • Master Chef: Top 8 Compete- The amateur cooks giddy up and head to the rodeo. (2012)
  • The Colbert Report- Chemical engineer Lisa Jackson talks about building a sustainable future for America. (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee- Larry David sums up Jerry Seinfeld’s hilarious new show best when he says, ‘You’ve finally made a show about nothing.’ (2012)
  • Lords of Dogtown- See how extreme sports got its start with this critically-acclaimed, true-life story of three teenage surfers and best friends who radicalized the sport of skateboarding in the 70s. (2005)
  • Cliffhanger- The most spectacular and dangerous helicopter stunts ever filmed (and Stallone) make this a must-watch. (1993)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Fringe Seasons 1-3- An incredible thriller about an unlikely trio who uncover a deadly mystery. (2012)
  • The Man from Nowhere- A quiet ex-special agent befriends his young neighbor and is drawn into a frantic search when she unexpectedly disappears. (2010)
  • The West Wing- Amazon Prime customers can now enjoy all seasons of the innovative drama series. (2005)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • Breaking Bad Season 5 - As Walt deals with the aftermath of the Casa Tranquila explosion, Hank works to wrap up his investigation of Gus’ empire. (2012)
  • Friends with Kids- Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Jon Hamm star in a daring and hilarious ensemble comedy about a close-knit circle of friends whose lives change once they have kids. (2012)
  • The Three Stooges- Left on a nun’s doorstep, Larry, Curly and Moe grow up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing their way to uncharted levels of knuckle-headed misadventure. (2012)

Fandor New Releases:

  • Wheedle’s Groove- A rockumentary that traces the rise & fall of Seattle’s funk & soul music scene in the 60s and 70s. (2009)
  • Slacker- Richard Linklater’s cult classic follows a group of odd ball characters through the streets of Austin, Texas as they engage in bizarre (and hilarious) activities. (1991)
  • Sherlock Jr.- Buster Keaton is at his best in this slapstick classic about a film projectionist framed for a crime he did not commit. (1924)
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NOW TV coming soon to Roku in the UK

Every day brings new and exciting developments in the streaming world, and today is no exception with Sky announcing the launch of NOW TV, the media giant’s much anticipated Internet TV service in the UK.

Coming soon to Roku streaming players in the UK, NOW TV provides instant access to some of Sky’s most popular content – including hundreds of films from Sky Movies.

Other key features of the NOW TV service include:

  • Great content – Sky Movies with sports and entertainment selections expected to be added
  • Flexible pricing – customers can choose from a variety of pricing options including a monthly subscription for unlimited access to Sky Movies or renting a single movie on an a-la-carte basis
  • Ease of use – with immediate streaming through an intuitive interface, backed up by recommendations and editorial support, customers can quickly and easily find the content they most want to watch

We are VERY excited about adding NOW TV to our 150+ and growing channel store in the UK. We’re working with the team at Sky on developing the channel as I write – and we can’t wait for you to see it. Please stay tuned!

P.S. Speaking of exciting things – are you looking forward to the London Olympics as much as I am?!

Posted in Roku Channels, UK Channels | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments

New Releases and Recommendations for July 14

When the goin’ gets tough, the tough go Roku. This weekend is all about livin’ the stream, and we’ve got the perfect lineup to help you unwind Roku style. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Happy streaming!

Netflix New Releases:

  • The Making of South Park: 6 Days to Air- Go behind the scenes at South Park Studios with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and see how an episode is created in just six days (2011)
  • Absentia- Seven years after her husband went missing, a grieving wife begins to suspect foul play (2011)
  • Ronin- A squad of mercenaries is assembled to recover a briefcase sought by Irish terrorists and the Russian mob in this full-throttle action thriller (1998)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Wipeout: Employees and Bosses 2012- Employees and their bosses team up to face obstacles (2012)
  • Teen Wolf: Wolf Moon- When Scott McCall joins a search in the woods for a missing body, he is bitten by a dark figure and strange abilities begin to take affect (2012)
  • Big- Gyung Joon and Da Ran go on a camping trip together, where he experiences more painful side effects of his soul switching bodies (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • Vacancy- Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale bring star wattage to a keenly shot suspense flick (2007)
  • Wind Chill- A creepy ghost story that provides a respite from the usual slash and spray fare (2007)
  • Christine- Master horror director John Carpenter is at the peak of his powers in a film so scary good it bests Stephen King’s book (1983)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Downton Abbey Season 2- The Great War unsettles life at Downton (2012)
  • Damages Season 4- Glenn Close stars as a charismatic but cunning high-stakes lawyer in this New York-set thriller (2011)
  • Mission: Impossible- Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, a secret agent who is framed for the deaths of his espionage team (1996)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt star in an extraordinary, beguiling tale of fly-fishing and political spinning, unexpected heroism and late-blooming love (2012)
  • American Reunion ’12- The whole American Pie gang returns to make their reunion into the most outrageous weekend since high school (2012)
  • White Collar Season 4- When the world’s most creative con man escapes a maximum-security prison, the FBI decides to use his criminal expertise to catch other notorious criminals (2012)
Posted in New to Watch, US | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

New software update for Roku 2, Roku LT and new Roku HD

Today, we’re rolling out a free software update—Roku software 4.8 for Roku 2, Roku LT and new Roku HD players. Like most of our software updates, this release is a combination of improvements, bug fixes, and new features for the Roku platform.

Improvements for Roku users:

  • Improved video playback for an overall better viewing experience, including significant playback improvements to the MLB.TV and GBTV channels
  • General performance optimizations to make Roku 2 and Roku LT players more responsive in certain situations
  • Expanded language support, adding Spanish and German to the user interface (To change your language, just go to Settings from the Roku home screen.)
  • Under the hood preparations for some great upcoming channels and features – stay tuned for an upgrade to the Roku iPhone and Android apps!

Improvements for Roku Developers:

  • Support for PlayReady 2.0
  • High-performance JSON parsing in BrightScript
  • Extended List screen and Roku 2D API features
  • Increased theme attribute support on many screen templates

The 4.8 software update will be pushed automatically to all Roku 2 and Roku LT players over the next 48 hours and will begin rolling out to new Roku HD players early next week. If you just can’t wait, select Settings > Software update > Check now on your Roku player to update manually.

You can read all about the previous 4.7 release here.

Sweet streams!

Posted in Product News, Roku 2, Roku LT | Tagged , , , , | 91 Comments

New Releases and Recommendations for July 7

Summertime and the livin’ is easy! Kick back and relax with this weekend’s streaming picks. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Happy streaming!

Netflix New Releases:

  • Goon- After dispatching a rude opposing hockey player in the stands, Doug Glatt is hired by a rival team for his fighting skills (2011)
  • 12 Monkeys- In a future world devastated by disease, a convict (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to investigate the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population (1995)
  • Red Dawn- When a group of teenagers witnesses Soviet and Cuban paratroopers descending on their small town and systematically setting off World War III, they hightail it to the hills to wait things out (1984)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Love in the Wild: Week 5- The contestants are challenged to construct an outrigger that leads them into choppy waters (2012)
  • MasterChef- Graham Elliot takes on the mystery box (2012)
  • Hell’s Kitchen- The drama heats up on family night (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • Ironman- Tony Stark is done proud in an action-packed anime series based on the Marvel comics (2011)
  • Pineapple Express- A pair of losers reach the top of the hit-list when one accidentally witnesses a mob murder (2008)
  • The Fifth Element- One of the smartest, sharpest sci-fi adventures of all time, starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich (1997)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Bill Burr: Let it Go- This stand-up special from comic genius Bill Burr is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud (2010)
  • After the Wedding (English Subtitled)- A man is invited to a stranger’s wedding, only to find out that he is more intimate with the bride and her mother than he expected (2007)
  • To Catch a Thief- Grace Kelly romances a former thief (Cary Grant) in this classic Hitchcock crime thriller (1955)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • The Perfect Family- Kathleen Turner plays a pushy mom trying to turn her husband and two grown kids into ‘The Perfect Family’ (2012)
  • The Town- A bank robber falls in love with a former robbery hostage and is forced to choose between his friends and the woman he loves (2010)
  • Back to the Future- Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is blasted to 1955 in a time machine created by Doc Brown and finds himself in a time-shattering situation that jeopardizes his future (1985)
Posted in New to Watch, US | 8 Comments