Roku UK: New Releases and Recommendations for 12th September 2014

The summer is all but over, but darker nights are a great excuse for curling up on the sofa to watch the best that your Roku streaming player can offer. Here are some of our top picks for the coming week.

What programmes are on your ‘must see’ list? Leave your recommendations in the comments section below.

  • Clean Bandit Symphony (documentary) – BBC Radio 1 and the BBC Philharmonic present the Clean Bandit Symphony live from BBC North – a unique collaboration between one of the UK’s most exciting artists and its most accomplished orchestras. Available on BBC iPlayer only until the 17th of September, so get watching.
  • Hot Tub Britain (documentary) – Documentary examining the growing attraction of the hot tub in Britain and the £10 million family business in Blackpool which is the country’s biggest hot tub superstore. See the first episode now on ITV player.
  • Robocop (2014) (movie) – The classic 1987 futuristic action film has been brought back to life by director José Padilha, with Joel Kinnaman as the critically wounded Detroit detective who is rebuilt by the global OmniCorp as a crime-fighting cyborg. The 2014 remake is available at half price on Sky Store until 22nd September.
  • The Motorway: Life in the Fast Lane (documentary) – A new series following one of the busiest stretches of road in Britain, where the country’s longest motorway, the M6, meets four other major routes.  You can catch up on the first episode on BBC iPlayer now.
  • Cycling la Vuelta a Espana (sport) – The race that follows on from the famed Tour de France reaches stage 17. This is the last real chance for the sprinters in this year’s Vuelta, often providing the most interesting finishes. You can watch full highlights from this year’s race on ITV Player and catch up on Chris Froome’s return.
  • Educating the East End (series) – After the success of Educating Yorkshire, it’s the turn of Frederick Bremer School in East London to be thrust into the national spotlight. The series looks at playground high jinks, inspirational lessons and life-changing friendships and events. The first episode, available on 4oD, introduces us to headmaster Jenny Smith, her staff and some lively pupils.
  • Louis Theroux: The Ultra Zionists (series) – As the current problems in Palestine rage on, this documentary from 2011 shows Louis spending time with a small and very committed subculture of ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers who want to populate the West Bank. This episode is part of an extensive series that can be watched fully on NetFlix and highlights many of the issues in the unsettled area.
  • World’s Worst Journeys From Hell (documentary) – This new documentary reveals the moments when things go spectacularly wrong, capturing all the drama. The stories are retold moment by moment and journey by journey in this breathtaking documentary. Catch up now on Demand 5.
  • Two Players (series) – Episode 8 features Made in Chelsea star Jamie Lang and fashion blogger Bip Ling kicking back on a sofa for a chat whilst playing some of the newest, best and worst video games. All episodes are available on 4od and last for just 5 minutes each, so are great if you are limited for time.

Golden Oldie:

  • Trading Places – This comedy classic from 1983 stars Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd as a fast-talking lowlife and a squeaky-clean stockbroker who have their lives completely switched around by the meanest, greediest brothers on Wall Street. This highly rated comedy is available to watch instantly on NOW TV.
Posted in New to Watch, UK | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Top 10 new releases and recommendations

It is the perfect time to catch up and get carried away in adventure before the start of fall TV. If you are a sucker for a powerful love story, or an adrenaline junkie looking for a good spy drama you have come to the right place to indulge.

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Movie, 2014) – Captain America, the Black Widow and a new ally, the Falcon, face an unexpected enemy as they struggle to expose a far-reaching conspiracy that puts them up against a formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, M-GO and Vudu.
  • The Fault in our Stars (Movie, 2014) – Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey.  Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support center. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Le Week-End (Movie, 2013) – A British couple return to Paris many years after their honeymoon in an attempt to rejuvenate their marriage. Newly released on Netflix and also available to watch on Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
  • Trailer Park Boys Season 8 (TV Show, 2014) – Two petty felons have a documentary made about their life in a trailer park. Available to watch on Netflix.
  • The Blacklist Season 1 (TV Show, 2013) – Former government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington had eluded capture for decades. But he suddenly surrenders to the FBI with an offer to help catch a terrorist under one condition. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Refuge (Movie, 2012) – After their parents abandon the family, a young woman works to take care of her younger siblings. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Anastasia (Movie, 1997) – Years after losing her family to evil Rasputin, Czar Nicholas’ grown daughter is able to reunite with her grandmother in Paris. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Filth (Movie, 2013) — A corrupt cop manipulates and hallucinates his way through a bid to secure a promotion and win back his wife and daughter. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • All is Lost (Movie, 2013) – After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all the efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • Mirage Men (Documentary, 2013) – Former government agents discuss their involvement in shaping UFO mythology during the Cold War. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
Posted in New to Watch, Roku, US | Tagged | 1 Comment

TV is better than ever

Adapted from Doug Craig’s talk at TEDxHollywood – watch the full presentation here.

“If it weren’t for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners.” -Johnny Carson

I love this quote from Johnny Carson. It reminds me how advances in technology have changed our lives – we jumped from radio to TV. TV became so integral to our lives and it began to be acceptable to watch while we ate dinner as a family. How many of you had a TV like this in your house?

If you’re like me, you love TV. Right now I can’t stop thinking of that Sons of Anarchy episode I watched last night, but I digress…

As a kid, I had about four channels. I watched what was on or nothing at all. And I had to work for it – remember fiddling with the rabbit ears to get the signal just right? Just imagine me trying to tell my kids that we had to WALK up to the TV to change the channel.

Let’s fast forward to today…

This is my kid’s TV experience. I’m sure it looks familiar. Today kids have no concept of TV networks, schedules or the “TV Guide.” They start, binge-watch and stop at will. Watching TV is complimented with a mobile device. They have complete control of what, when and where they watch TV.

But kids aren’t the only ones who watch TV this way – we all do now.

The Internet has transformed TV and it has made a profound impact on our lives. Today we have access to an unlimited amount of content – content we choose and connect with. There are channels on TV that would have otherwise never had a path to the TV without the power of the Internet and the advent of streaming. The Autism Channel, Diabetic Living and Homeschooling Network have more deeply connected communities with these advances. This year, because of streaming more people than ever united to watch the World Cup all over the world (broke a streaming record too!) and this is just the beginning.

The future is bright for us TV lovers. All TV will be streamed and the experience will only get better and better. If you told seven-year-old me this is how I’d watch TV, I would have been way more excited to grow up.

Stream on.

Posted in Special features | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Top 10 new releases and recommendations

Is it really September already?! On the upside, football season’s underway and fall TV premieres are just around the corner. Football fans, Draft Day and The League are recommendations just for you. :)

  • Draft Day (Movie, 2014)  On the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver (Costner) has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, M-GO, Redbox Instant and VUDU.
  • Blended (Movie, 2014) – Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore star as single parents whose families get swept away for a blended family honeymoon in the African Savanna. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, M-GO, Redbox Instant and VUDU.
  • The League Season 5 (TV Show, 2013) – Men juggle their personal lives with their love of fantasy football. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Criminal Minds Season 9 (TV Show, 2013) – An elite squad of FBI profilers analyzes the country’s most-twisted criminals. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Californication Seasons 1-7 (TV Show, 2007) – A self-destructive novelist tries to raise his daughter. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Cool Runnings (Movie, 1993) – Two Jamaicans make their way to Calgary as long-shot bobsledders in the 1988 Olympics. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Girl Rising (Movie, 2013) – Stories of nine girls from developing countries show them overcoming great obstacles to obtain an education and change their fates.  Available on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Lords of Dogtown (Movie, 2005) – In the 1970s, a group of California surfers pioneers a revolutionary new style of skateboarding.  Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • School of Rock (Movie, 2003) – Fired from his group and desperate for money, a guitarist poses as a teacher for students who play in a school band. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • Swiss Family Robinson (Movie, 1960) – The shipwrecked Robinsons and their three sons build a house in a huge tropical tree and fight pirates invading the island.  Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
Posted in New to Watch, US | Tagged | Leave a comment

Roku UK: New Releases and Recommendations for 5th September 2014

A new month, a new school year, and some great new additions that you can watch on your Roku player.

What are you watching this month? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Harry at 30 (documentary) – Prince Harry turns 30 later this month, and this documentary explores his life so far, with contributions from friends, army comrades, journalists and royal correspondents. Available on ITV Player.
  • In the Club (series)Kay Mellor’s latest gritty British drama follows the progress of six very different pregnant women and their partners who meet at a local antenatal group. The first five episodes are all available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.
  • The X Factor (series) – The annual search for the country’s next singing sensation is back, and the new series sees the return of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (formerly Cheryl Cole) to the judging panel, alongside new judge Mel B and old faces Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. You can catch up on the first rounds of auditions on ITV Player.
  • Masters of Sex (series) – Stylish, smart and provocative drama series set in the 1950s, chronicling the relationship of Dr William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), the couple who gave birth to the sexual revolution.  You can catch up on the second series of the America drama on 4oD.
  • DIY SOS (series) – You might want to have some tissues handy for the latest episode of the home renovation series, as Nick Knowles and his team help a couple who had to stop working on their house when their son Noah was born with spina bifida and only two per cent of his brain. Episode 2 of series 25 is on BBC iPlayer now.
  • TV’s Nastiest Villains with Joan Collins (documentary) – A host of television and showbiz personalities offer their insight into what keeps us rooting for the bad guys. From Walter White of Breaking Bad to Tanya Turner from Footballers’ Wives, Joan Collins counts down some of the nastiest men and women to have appeared on our screens. You can watch it now on Demand 5.
  • The Thick of It (series) – Peter Capaldi may now be the new Doctor Who, but it was as foul-mouthed and aggressive Director of Government Communications Malcolm Tucker that he made his name. You can watch all four series of Armando Iannucci’s satirical comedy on Netflix.
  • Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (movie) – Seven years after the hilarious and hugely popular first film, Ron Burgundy and Veronica Cornerstone are now married and co-anchors for New York’s first 24-hour news channel. See how they get on in the sequel which has just been added to NOW TV.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (movie) – Two years after the events of Avengers Assemble, Steve Rogers – aka Captain America – continues to undertake heroic missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. under the directorship of Nick Fury and the assistance of Black Widow. The latest superhero instalment from Marvel is now available on Sky Store.

Golden Oldie:

  • Cleopatra (Movie) – The historical drama that brought Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton together stars her as the queen of all Egypt and him as her Roman lover. All 3 hours and 53 minutes of this 60’s classic are available on Sky Store.
Posted in New to Watch, UK | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Roku tips and tricks from our customers

Every day our awesome Roku customers share their best Roku tips, favorite channels and much more. We’ve included 10 of our favorite Roku tips below but we’d love to hear yours too – post ‘em below!

See all the tips from your fellow Roku customers on Facebook and Twitter.

Roku app for smartphone is a must. Much easier to search and type than regular remote. – Eric

Use the * (options) key and organize the channels in the order you watch them – Jay

Put your top 3 channels in slots 1-3 and your next 3 channels in the last 3 slots – and simply cursor up. – @tubaman_z

Pairing your phone’s YouTube app with your Roku is easy and awesome. Love watching YouTube vids in 1080p on my 50” TV! #RokuTip – @ballyhewe

Stream your own movie collection with Plex. – Tom

Tip: use Roku app on smartphone to show pictures from your phone or stream music from your phone to Roku. – Phillip

Get some Velcro to mount the Roku to the back of your TV and then use the WiFi remote. That way everything is tucked away and you don’t have to worry about the infrared line of sight with the remote. – Kyle

When you buy a DVD or Blu-ray make sure you get the one with the digital copy. We started doing this and then putting the dvds up where kids can’t get them. Now my kids have access to all their new movies via digital download on Vudu but can’t break or scratch them like they used to. – Wendy

Take it on vacation, plug in, attach to wifi and stream – Rob

Research & explore ALL channels available. Not just the well advertised major ones. There are other channels available. – @SallyJoany

Posted in Product features, Roku tips | Tagged | 12 Comments

Top 10 new releases and recommendations

With an extra day off for Labor Day, there’s no reason you can’t get through most of our top 10 list. We did the math, there are about 50 hours you can stream this weekend…that is if you decide to sleep the full 8 hours each night. ;)

We want to hear from you though. Let us know what you’re streaming this weekend.

  • Godzilla (Movie, 2014) This spectacular adventure pits Godzilla, the world’s most famous monster, against malevolent creatures that, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. Available to buy on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and VUDU.
  • Muppets Most Wanted (Movie, 2014) – The Muppets find themselves entangled in an international crime caper. Available on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and VUDU.
  • Parenthood Season 5 (TV Show, 2010) – Four adult siblings share the joys and heartaches of parenthood. Recently released on Netflix and also available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Revenge Season 3 (TV Show, 2011) – A young woman returns to the Hamptons to take vengeance on the neighbors that set her father up. Available on Netflix.
  • Once Upon a Time Season 3 (TV Show, 2011) – A bail bond collector must fight for the present day world, in which fairy tales are to be believed. Recently released on Netflix and also available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Vudu.
  • Barbershop 2: Back in Business (Movie, 2004) – The owner of a barbershop faces pressure from a corporation that is opening establishments in his neighborhood. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Great Expectations (Movie, 2013) – A humble orphan becomes a gentleman with help from a mysterious benefactor.  Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • From Dusk Till Dawn Season 1 (TV Show, 2014) – A bank robber and his violent brother run from the law but meet vampires. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Thanks for Sharing (Movie, 2012) – An unconventional romantic comedy that follows the topsy-turvy lives and loves of three obsessive characters: an overachieving environmental consultant, a stubborn small-business owner and a wisecracking ER doctor. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix, Redbox Instant and Vudu.
  • Rounders (Movie, 1998) – The release of his debt-ridden pal from jail spurs a law student to resume high-stakes gambling.  Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
Posted in New to Watch, US | Tagged | 2 Comments

Roku UK: New Releases and Recommendations for 29th August 2014

The summer may be fizzling out but there are still loads of great shows and films to catch up on with your Roku streaming player. Here are just some of the highlights.

Let us know what you’re watching at the moment in the comments section.

  • Doctor Who (Series)Doctor Who returned to our screens last weekend with Peter Capaldi starring as the new doctor. He arrives in Victoria London to find a dinosaur rampant in the Thames and a spate of deadly spontaneous combustions. Watch his debut on BBC iPlayer.
  • Reading and Leeds Festival – Reading and Leeds 2014 took place over the Bank Holiday Weekend with Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys among the headline acts. You can catch up on the highlights, including full sets from all the headliners, on BBC iPlayer now.
  • The Great War – The People’s Story (Series) – One hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War, this dramatised documentary starring Daniel Mays and Alison Steadman uses the diaries, letters and memoirs of the men and women who were caught up in the conflict. The first three episodes are available to watch on ITV Player.
  • Dogs: Their Secret Lives (Series) – Using surveillance filming, working closely with the UK’s leading behaviourists and exploring the latest science, Mark Evans examines what our dogs get up to while we’re out, and how to keep them happy in the modern British home. The first two episodes look at the issues of obesity and aggressive behaviour among dogs, and are available to view on 4oD.
  • Match of the Day at 50 (documentary) – With the new football season now in full swing, Match of the Day celebrates 50 years since it was first aired. This documentary charts the history of this iconic programme, with classic clips and interviews with some of football’s biggest names on what makes the show so special. Available on BBC iPlayer.   
  • Educating Yorkshire: One Year On (documentary) – This special one-off programme revisits the Thornhill teachers and students one year after they made such an impact on the nation, and follows a selection of the students on results day as they find out how they did in their GCSEs. Watch it now on 4oD.
  • On the Yorkshire Buses (series) – Continuing with the Yorkshire theme, this documentary series follows East Yorkshire Motor Services, Britain’s biggest family-run bus company. The first seven episodes of the series are all available to watch on Demand 5.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (movie) – The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf, continue their quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. The second instalment of Peter Jackson’s trilogy has just been added to Netflix.
  • Gravity (movie) – With seven Oscars to its name, this nail-biting space thriller has an irresistible pull. When debris hits their shuttle, astronauts Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are helplessly catapulted into space, with little chance of survival. You can see it now on NOW TV.

Golden Oldie:

  • The Great Escape (Movie) – Following the death of Richard Attenborough, this week’s ‘golden oldie’ is one of his most famous films. Attenborough stars alongside Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen in John Sturges’s classic about a group of Allied prisoners who plan a mass breakout from a Nazi PoW camp. You can watch the 1963 film on Sky Store.  
Posted in New to Watch, UK | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Stream your way back to school with a Roku player!

Back to school. Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight. Ohhhh, back to school. Back to school. Back to school. -Billy Madison

Who said going back to school is boring? Roku is chock full of entertaining and educational channels like PBS and PBS Kids, TEDTalks, Smithsonian and more. Hey, you can probably sneak in a movie marathon here or there too. Study hard, stream harder. ;)

Wouldn’t a brand new Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI Version) make a fantastic addition to your back to school list? We’re giving you a chance to win through Twitter*. Plus, VUDU is throwing in $50 in movie credits! Hurry, this sweepstakes ends September 9, 2014.

We hope you win!

U.S. only, excluding U.S. territories

Posted in Giveaways | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Catch up on all the Emmy-nominated TV shows

The 66th Annual Emmy Awards are Monday and there’s no better place to catch-up on all the nominated shows than on Roku. Here are the comedy and drama series nominees. They’re all binge-worthy!

We’re calling it – Orange is the New Black for comedy and Breaking Bad for drama series. Who do you think will win?

Outstanding Comedy Series Nominees

  • Orange is the New Black (TV Show, 2013) – Piper Chapman spends a year in a women’s prison as a result of her dealings with a drug problem.  The series is exclusively available on Netflix.
  • Louie (TV Show, 2010) – Life can be hectic for single father and successful stand-up comedian Louie.  The series is available to watch on Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
  • Modern Family (TV Show, 2009) – A diverse clan bridges cultural and generational gaps. The entire series is available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Silicon Valley (TV Show, 2014) – In the high-tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, follow the lives of a programmer and his roommates. Available on Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO and Vudu.
  • The Big Bang Theory (TV Show, 2007) – A free-spirited beauty moves in next door to two physicists. The entire series is available to watch Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Veep (TV Show, 2012) – A senator tries to make her mark as Vice President of the United States. Watch the whole series on Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO and Vudu.

Outstanding Drama Series Nominees

  • Breaking Bad (TV Show, 2008) – A high school chemistry teacher has a midlife crisis. Watch the entire series on Amazon Instant VideoM-GONetflix and Vudu.
  • True Detective (TV Show, 2014) – Louisiana detectives endure a cycle of violence and obsession within a 17-year hunt for a serial killer. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO and Vudu.
  • Mad Men (TV Show, 2007) – A drama about a prestigious team of account executives in a 1960’s New York City ad agency. Watch the series on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • House of Cards (TV Show, 2013) – A ruthless politician plots revenge on those who have thwarted him. Both seasons available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Game of Thrones (TV Show, 2011) – Noble families in the seven kingdoms of Westeros vie for control of the Iron Throne. Season 4 is available to watch on HBO GO. The rest of the series is available on Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO and Vudu.
  • Downton Abbey (TV Show, 2010) – Follow the life of the Crawley family and their servant in the beginning years leading up to the World War I. All four seasons available to watch on Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
Posted in New to Watch, Special features, US | Tagged , , | Leave a comment