School’s out for summer and we can imagine that many parents are feeling exhausted (and a little light in pocket) at the sheer thought of keeping the kids entertained for the next six weeks or so. But the holidays don’t have to be an expensive, stress-filled nightmare; Roku is on hand to provide your children with their very own summer camp, all from the comfort of your home!

With a huge range of channels, the Roku platform has everything you’ll need to help keep boredom at bay. So read on to find out what’s on offer at the ‘Roku Summer Activity Club’:

‘Let the games begin’
A great selection of games adds a whole new dimension of entertainment to the Roku streamer. Whether your kids enjoy sports-based games or brain-bending puzzles, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Why not try:

Tetris

Tetris – build the blocks into solid lines without running out of space. Simple yet very addictive!
DOTS – an exciting arcade-style game that’s suitable for kids of all ages. The aim is to bounce a coloured ‘dot’ against matching spheres to eliminate them. Just be careful not to bump into the wrong ones or it could be ‘game over’.
Four in a Row – Based on a classic board game where a consecutive line of four counters secures a win, players can compete against Roku or with a friend using the 2-player option.

‘Cooking for kids’
School holidays provide the perfect opportunity for kids to experiment (and make a mess) in the kitchen.  To give them a little guidance, check out the wide range of cooking channels on YouTube, all of which can be accessed via Roku’s YouTube channel. The ‘Kids’ Cooking Network’ and ‘Ella’s Kids Cooking Channel’ offer some excellent, easy-to-follow demonstrations for making all kinds of tasty (and healthy) treats.

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There’s also the Amateur Kitchen channel, which sees a mother-daughter duo share some of their favourite recipes for kid-friendly creations such as Krispy Pops, Peanut Butter Cups and Fruit Dip Delight. Kids Recipes (by ifood.tv) is another great channel for children of all abilities and features a variety of how-to videos, covering everything from easy bake cookies to mini pizzas.

And for kids who prefer to watch somebody else doing the cooking, check out some of the CBBC shows available on Roku through the BBC iPlayer channel: Disaster Chefs and Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch are just two of the popular titles that can be watched on demand.

‘Get creative, get crafting!’
Whether it involves basic potato printing, constructing a masterpiece or creating a special gift, kids LOVE making stuff. Let’s face it, what is there not to love about splodges of paint, glitter glue and brightly coloured card? (except for the clearing up afterwards of course). The Roku platform has some brilliant craft-orientated channels which will bring out the budding artist in any child:

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– CraftSmart: With over 1000 creative ideas, CraftSmart’s instructional videos show kids how to make fun and interesting craft items using paper, card, recycled materials, play-dough and everything in between.
– Kids Activities: A broad range of ideas for keeping the kids busy, including drawing and photography tutorials and seasonal crafts
– Simple Kids Crafts: Another great channel covering bead craft, nail art, DIY fashion crafts and more. Simple Kids Crafts caters for all ages and abilities. What’s more, the videos are also divided into duration categories so your children can enjoy full 60 minute creative sessions, or complete quick and easy projects in less than 15 minutes.

And if quick and easy is your preference, you should also check out CBBC’s Nine Minute Ninja, -a short arts show available on Roku via the BBC iPlayer channel.

‘Learning can be fun too
School may be over for summer but that doesn’t mean that the learning has to stop. With Roku channels such as ‘Mocomi’ and ‘Tell Me Why’, children can explore all kinds of interesting topics based around history, science and more.

And if your child is a wannabe musician, why not check out the Guitar School channel? With step-by-step tutorials for beginners, viewers will be rocking out in no time!

Popular educational series such as Horrible Histories and Blow Your Mind are also available to watch on demand via Roku’s BBC iPlayer channel.

‘What’s on TV?’
Many of today’s most popular kids’ shows are available to watch again and again through services such as ITV Player, BBC iPlayer, All 4 and Demand 5; -all of which are available via their respective Roku channels. This is perfect for allowing children to catch-up with their favourite programmes outside of usual airing times.

Popular shows that are available now include:
Charlie and Lola, The Adventures of Abney and Teal, ROY, Young Dracula (BBC iPlayer), My Parents Are Aliens, Pokemon, Dino Dan (ITV Player), Animal Families, Bert and Ernie (Demand 5).

Other Roku channels that we recommend tuning into are Toontime TV (classic cartoons such as Tom & Jerry, Popeye, Superman), Rhyme Time (nursery rhymes, singing and dancing for little ones) and Angry Birds Toons (animated series based on the popular video game).

‘The Roku Summer Activity Club even has its own cinema’
There are some great kids and family films coming to Netflix this month, including Despicable Me 2, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, The Lone Ranger and National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

And of course, classics such as Monsters, Inc., Wallace & Gromit, The Smurfs..the list is endless!

‘All singing, all dancing’
No summer club is complete without a disco, so turn up the volume and let Roku provide the music. Channels such as Spotify offer a fantastic choice of the latest chart tracks as well as ready-made kids’ playlists, while VEVO brings over 75,000 music videos.

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Kidz Bop, the no.1 kids’ music brand in the US, is a quirky channel which features children singing today’s most popular songs; joining-in is encouraged! And for the little ones, The Singing Walrus channel and HappyKids offer fun, easy-to-learn songs that are guaranteed to get even the tiniest of toes tapping.

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Horror fans get ready to sit on the edge of your seat and never leave it. The Shudder Channel is now on Roku! You can watch hours of terrifying movies that will keep you entertained and looking over your shoulder more than you’d like to.

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Shudder features a free live stream of movies as soon as you open up the channel, so you can dive into some screams right away, or if you prefer, you can browse by selecting featured films, film collections, by genre, and even by monster! Now I can finally watch the Human Centipede and not sleep for a week straight.

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Add the Shudder channel from the “Movies & TV” category in the Roku Channel Store. You can also search for it on your Roku home screen or through our free Roku mobile app. For more suggestions on what to watch check out our Roku Recommends channel.

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Recently we asked you to tell us your favorite free channels. And since our customers know best, we wanted to share all the great recommendations.

Are any of your favorites missing from the list? Leave ‘em in the comments below.

Top Free Roku Channel Store

I am glad you added Twitch. Good stuff for gamers. I watch it several times a week. Games look much better on a 55″ TV than on a tablet or phone. – Lowell W.

The best free channel is YOUTUBE,hands down! – Mitchell M.

ABC News & CBS News. – Ken M.

iHeartRadio – Torrey E.

Did you know there is a Popeye channel? How cool! – Lyn G.

Yahoo Screen is off to a great start with Other Space and Community. – Kyle M.

Indie Wrestling Channel is the best channel ever! – Mandel C.

PBS, of course. – Kyle M.

Youtube and Dailymotion are my most common of the freebies. Pandora for music. But I have about 75 stations loaded so if I feel like watching a particular genre, it’s cool to just click around and pick something. The History & Smithsonian channels have some interesting documentaries. – Ellie P.

Crackle. – Andrew L.

Hooked on TWiT. Best geek channel ever. – Harold M.

History Channel (for the adults in the house) and Hasbro TV (for the kids) – Kellie W.

Pandora, WU, Crackle, I am always finding something new. Snag films is pretty good. I like the classic movies. – Laura C.

Happy free streaming!

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Aid your R&R time with a bunch of new titles this weekend. Stay up all night or spend all day lounging, catching up on all your favorite movies and TV series.

ANGELINA JOLIE stars as Christine Collins in the provocative drama from director Clint Eastwood, ?Changeling?.  Based on the actual incident that rocked California?s legal system, the film tells the shocking tale of a mother?s quest to find her son, and those who won?t stop until they silence her.

  • Changeling (Movie, 2008) – After her son is kidnapped and later found, a woman insists that the boy who was returned to her is not her child. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Faults (Movie, 2014) – A renowned authority on mind control encounters a formidable challenge when he is hired to deprogram a strong-willed cultist. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Serena (Movie, 2014) – In Depression-era North Carolina, the barren wife of an ambitious timber baron sets out to murder the woman who bore her husband an illegitimate son. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.
  • Tig (Documentary, 2015) – An unflinching look at a woman determined to find humor, life and love in the places we all fear the most. Available to watch exclusively on Netflix.
  • Boardwalk Empire Season 3 (TV Show, 2014) – The life of gangster Nucky Thompson at the dawn of Prohibition. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go and Vudu.
  • True Blood Season 5 (TV Show, 2014) – Vampires walk the Earth using synthetic blood. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go and Vudu.
  • Welcome to Sweden Season 2 (TV Show, 2014) – When Emma returns to Stockholm, her boyfriend decides to move with her. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, Hulu and Vudu.
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As the third series of BBC One’s The Syndicate comes to a close, we asked one of the show’s stars, Sam Phillips, to chat about his work as an actor and to give us the run-down on what he likes to watch on his Roku streaming player.

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Roku: So what has working on The Syndicate been like, and how did you find playing the unlikeable Spencer Cavendish?

Sam: It’s been a great series to be involved with and the reaction to Spencer has been great. I think that people have really bought into Spencer as a character who they love to hate. In fact I was approached in the park the other day by someone who had perhaps bought into the role a bit too much and he decided to have a word with ‘Spencer’. It’s great fun though and I guess that kind of reaction means that people have really got into the series.

It’s also fun to play a character with morals and behaviours completely different to your own. Spencer gets to say a whole manner of things that I wouldn’t normally say.

Programme Name: The Syndicate S3 - TX: 07/07/2015 - Episode: n/a (No. 6) - Picture Shows:  Spencer Cavendish (SAM PHILIPS) - (C) Rollem Productions - Photographer: Matt Squire

(C) Rollem Productions – Photographer: Matt Squire

Roku: You’ve been involved with film (Far from the Madding Crowd and Hot Property) as well as TV roles. Do you have a favourite when it comes to TV and film?

Sam: I really couldn’t pick between them. I don’t really change my acting approach when it comes to film and TV. I tend to go on the individual project and how I feel about it. I love the variation that being an actor gives you as I enjoy theatre work too.

Roku: How about your own viewing habits – are you a binger?

Sam: Yes I do binge watch – but part of that is down to my job. I go through periods when I am working and I just don’t get a chance to watch TV. So being able to catch-up when I have some time is great. I also don’t like to wait – sometimes I only mean to watch one episode of something and the next thing I know I’ve watched 3 episodes in a row.

I think that’s what is so good about streaming – there is such a variation of channels and content available when you want it.

Roku: So what do you like to watch and what are you watching now?

Sam: Breaking Bad is one of my favourite box sets, in fact I enjoyed it so much so that I have actually seen it twice! I also really enjoyed the first series of True Detective and am planning to catch up on the new season soon. Bloodline on Netflix is another box set that I have recently binged my way through and I am currently watching Episodes with Matt LeBlanc.

The Louis Theroux documentaries have also been a good watch – and have certainly given me some insight into middle America.

Roku: What about films? What is your all-time favourite and which role would you love to play?

Sam: I never get tired of the Shawshank Redemption – it’s a film that I revisit often. The second question is a bit more difficult to answer! It’s so hard to pick one film role, but if I have to I’m going to go with Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Casino. Robert De Niro is just such a cool customer – the way he deals with people…

You can watch some of Sam’s favourites on the Roku channels below:

Breaking Bad, Seasons 1-5 (Netflix)
Bloodline, Season 1 (Netflix)
Louis Theroux, Weird Weekends / LA Stories and more (Netflix)
Episodes, Season 4 (BBC iPlayer)
True Detective, Seasons 1-2 (Now TV)
Casino (Now TV)
The Syndicate (BBC iPlayer)

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If you need a good laugh, the Comedy Central channel is here to cheer up your day. This channel comes packed with stand-ups, sketch comedy, and Comedy Central’s original shows such as Tosh.0 and @Midnight.

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Even better, for the month of July all four seasons of Key & Peele are available, no login required!

So now you have no excuse not to watch and laugh till milk comes out of your nose*.

Add the Comedy Central channel from the “Comedy” category in the Roku Channel Store. You can also search for it on your Roku home screen or through our free Roku mobile app. For more suggestions on what to watch check out our Roku Recommends channel.

*You’ll need to provide your own milk.

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As summer heats up, crank the AC, hit the couch and get ready to binge! There are a ton of new titles to check out, so there’s no better time than now to stream the movies you’ve been dying to see.

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  • Running Wild with Bear Grylls Season 2 (TV Show, 2015) – Bear Grylls takes celebrities on one-on-one, 48-hour journeys into the wilderness. Available to watch on Hulu.
  • Prime Suspect (TV Show, 2011) – Inspector Tennison contends with sexual discrimination. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video and Hulu.
  • Chris Tucker Live (Movie, 2015) – Comedian Chris Tucker headlines his first full length stand-up comedy. He showcases his mind-blowing comedic chops, from his pitch perfect impersonations to his singular on-stage physicality, as he shares his experiences from childhood to the big time. Available to watch on Netflix.
  • Dirty Dancing (Movie, 1987) – A doctor’s teenage daughter gets slinky with the dance teacher at a Catskills resort in the summer of 1963. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Bad News Bears (Movie, 2005) – A single mother recruits a former baseball player to coach a ragtag team of misfit Little Leaguers. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Flashdance (Movie, 1983) – A Pittsburgh welder dances the nights in a bar, dates her boss and dreams of going back to ballet school. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, Netflix and Vudu.
  • The Brady Bunch Movie (Movie, 1995) – The Bradys and their TV-series clan refuse to sell their home to a shady real-estate developer. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Home (Movie, 2015) – After an alien race called Boov take over earth, a resourceful human girl becomes a banished Boov’s ally. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO and Vudu.
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As you prepare for your summer vacation, first, don’t forget to pack your most entertaining travel buddy
(see Roku travel tips here)! Next, pack up those cameras.

When you get back from your trip, there’s no doubt you’ll want to show off all those gorgeous photos and videos on your living room big screen.  Here are three easy ways you can display personal photos and videos on your Roku player or Roku TV.

For the photos and videos taken on your mobile phone or tablet

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Free
Like most of us these days, you probably take the majority of your photos and videos on your smartphone or tablet because it’s so convenient. To send the photos and videos to your TV, all you need to do is download our mobile app for Android, iOS or Windows Phone*, select “Play On Roku” from the main menu and choose photos or videos. No really, it’s that easy.

You can even add to your slideshow’s ambiance with your favorite music. Click “Add Music” to play music you have stored to your smartphone or tablet to accompany a photo slideshow.

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* Play On Roku video support is not available for Windows Phone at this time.


For the photos and videos stored on your local
network

Free
It’s easy to stream your personal photos or videos (such as MP4, MOV, JPG and PNG files) through our Roku Media Player channel. It enables you to play content from a DLNA server on your local network.

Another option is through a USB drive attached to a USB-equipped Roku 3, new Roku 2 (model 4210) or Roku 2XS. The Plex and MyMedia channels are also very popular among Roku customers to stream their personal media.

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Free with up to 1GB of space
Do your friends and family members also have Roku players? Encourage them to add the AirCastLive Roku channel so you can send photos and videos stored on your smartphone or computer back and forth, right from your TVs.  Visit the AirCastLive website for additional storage subscription packages.

For the photos and videos you’ve uploaded to your favorite cloud photo services

Free
Do you have your photos uploaded to web-based sharing services such as Flickr or Shutterfly? You’re in luck – they’re all available in the Roku Channel Store! Each of these services offer free photo storage as well, so upload your heart out.

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For the vacation videographers, two of the most popular video sharing services, Vimeo, and YouTube, each have their own Roku channels. Simply add the channels and follow the instructions to activate and/or log in with your current account.

Go ahead and relive that vacation from the comfort of your couch!

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Summer has finally arrived in the UK, which can mean only one thing: it’s time to rescue the BBQ from the shed, dust down the sun-loungers and indulge in some al fresco entertaining!

For those planning a warm-weather gathering, Roku is on hand to make preparations just that little bit easier. From outdoor cooking tips to refreshing drinks ideas, we’ve picked out a selection of channels guaranteed to inspire:

‘…food, glorious food…’
Barbeques go hand-in-hand with summer entertaining and the Roku streaming platform has a great selection of channels to give not only recipe ideas, but useful guidelines for getting the most from your grill.

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Cooking Outdoors is a good channel to start with as it provides easy-to-follow instructional videos for preparing a wide range of foods, from pork ribs to grilled fish tacos. If you want to learn more about using grills, fire pits and foil cooking, then this is the channel for you!

Ballistic BBQ is another great source for recipes and demonstrations. It focuses on traditional ‘Low N Slow’ cooking, but you will also find instructions on how to prepare ‘indoor’ dishes on the grill, -with a Ballistic BBQ twist of course.

If meat-based cooking isn’t really your thing, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found on the Totally Vegetarian channel instead. Toni Fiore presents great-tasting variations on popular classics that are quick and easy to prepare. Perfect for those who want to enjoy a barbeque without the meat-fest!

And if you’re looking for an alternative to barbeques altogether, why not visit the Mediterranean Food channel? Enjoy the basics of Mediterranean-style cuisine and the tradition of eating healthily together among family and friends. It’s like sunshine on a plate….

Can I offer you a drink?
No warm-weather gathering is complete without a good selection of thirst-quenching beverages. For tips on the best wines to serve, tune into iwine.tv. Here you’ll find out everything you need to know about wine pairing to ensure your drinks complement your food.

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For something with more of a ‘party’ vibe, check out the Small Screen Cocktails channel. The easy-to-follow tutorials will teach you how to make a wide variety of drinks, from traditional mojitos to the summery-sounding ‘Ramos Gin Fizz’.

Children (and non-drinkers) needn’t miss out on the fun either; Mocktails4kids shows viewers how to make non-alcoholic versions of adult beverages, from a Blue Hawaiian to a Singapore Sling. All equally as refreshing as the real thing.

‘..I love a party with an atmosphere..’
It’s always nice to have a little ‘background music’, either to sing along to while you’re preparing food or to create a nice atmosphere for guests; and Roku can help with that too!

The Roku platform has a number of top music channels, with Spotify and rdio offering a wide range of current and classic hits that you can stream through your TV. You can also stream your own personal music collection from your mobile / tablet with the Roku mobile app, using the ‘Play On Roku’ feature.

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

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Hello fellow streamers! We have great news for you: SHOWTIME, the stand-alone streaming service announced last month by Showtime Networks, is launching today on the Roku streaming platform and comes with a 30-day free trial! Starting today, Roku customers can subscribe to SHOWTIME directly on their Roku players or Roku TV models and enjoy unlimited access to award-winning SHOWTIME original series (such as Penny Dreadful, Homeland and Ray Donovan), hundreds of hours of movies, documentary and sports programming and the live broadcast of the east and west coast feeds of SHOWTIME.

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So how do you get it? Just install the SHOWTIME channel from the Roku Channel Store, set up your subscription and start streaming great SHOWTIME entertainment to your heart’s content. And for a limited-time during the month of July you can receive a 30-day free trial of the new SHOWTIME streaming channel. After the 30-day free trial you can continue to subscribe for $10.99 per month.

So what are you waiting for? Add SHOWTIME to your Roku player or Roku TV model and give it a try today!

Customers who already subscribe to SHOWTIME through a participating cable, satellite or telco provider can continue to enjoy access to SHOWTIME content through the SHOWTIME ANYTIME channel on their Roku players or Roku TV models.

Happy Streaming!

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