Online Video Wes Novack on 24 Nov 2009
Roku Channel Store launches
Roku has launched their highly anticipated Channel Store, allowing content providers to tap into the audience of consumers who own a Roku digital media player device.
“The new Roku Channel Store has just launched with 10 FREE channels for Roku customers to enjoy on their TVs. From internet radio to video podcasts, professional web content to photo sharing and personal videos, the Roku Channel Store provides an open platform for delivering quality content to the TV. New channels now available for all Roku customers include: Pandora, Facebook Photos, Revision3, Mediafly, TWiT, blip.tv, Flickr, FrameChannel, Motionbox and MobileTribe.”
How to get the Roku Channel Store update
Your Roku player should receive an automatic system software update, which will enable the Roku Channel Store and access to the new channels. If you do not receive the update automatically or you don’t want to wait, you can go into the settings section of your Roku device and manually check for an update.
The Roku online content floodgates have been opened
Many companies have promised to bridge the gap between the internet and the living room, but I believe Roku is the company who will be successful with this launch. Opening a channel store and allowing third parties to create channels for Roku devices is a brilliant idea. This strategy creates a new distribution method for online content providers and a method to reach new audiences. I expect to see many, many more channels added to the channel store throughout 2010.
As for the channels available at launch, I’m particularly happy to see support for Pandora, Revision3, TWiT and blip.tv.
What’s missing from the Roku channel store?
No YouTube? Seriously? I’m sure that Roku wanted YouTube on board for their channel store launch, but perhaps there were some sticky-icky negotiations/discussions with Google that we don’t know about. Otherwise, perhaps Google just hasn’t had the time to develop their Roku channel yet. Either way, YouTube is probably the number one missing content provider on the minds of most Roku users, so hopefully it will land on the channel store sometime in the near future. I’ve sent an email to the YouTube press information address and will report back when/if they respond.
Facebook photos but no video? I don’t know what is up with this one, but I find it very odd that Facebook photos are supported, while videos are left out. Let’s hope Facebook updates their channel in the near future to support videos as well.
Hulu. It should be no surprise that Hulu is missing from the Roku channel store. Hulu has repeatedly implemented techniques to attempt to block it’s content from being viewed in the living room. They have implemented measures to block access from the PS3 as well as Boxee (a media center software package). Hulu may also begin charging in 2010.
TV.com. It would be nice to see a TV.com channel show up on the Roku Channel store. The streaming hub hasn’t been as restrictive on distribution methods as Hulu has, so it’s possible that they might show up on the Roku channel store in the future.
Nonetheless, I’m still very excited about the Roku channel store and the possibilities that the platform now offers. Is there an online content provider that I didn’t mention that you would like to see show up on the Roku channel store? If so, let us know in the comments section below.
Read our Roku digital player review.