Roku announces Roku Channel Store, adds Facebook and Pandora (and maybe porn!)

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Your Roku box just got a whole lot more interesting. Roku, if you remember, makes the Roku player, a small device that sits next to your TV and plays Netflix, Amazon Video, and MLB selections. Roku has just added ten new channels to that line-up and built a fascinating platform for adding more down the line.

The current channels will include: blip.tv, Facebook Photos, Flickr, FrameChannel, Mediafly, MobileTribe, Motionbox, Pandora, Revision3 and TWiT. More channels will be available here shortly.


The channels require you to authenticate with the service provider – you don’t enter any passwords on the Roku box, at least in most cases – and will eventually allow protected and pay-per-view access to channel providers. Roku spokesperson, Brian Jaquet, also mentioned at some providers could protect their content behind a hidden pay wall, like Netflix, and offer delightful content like distance learning and pornography. While both of those are self explanatory, it behooves us to note both modes of content are the interface between or among two or more individuals centered on a shared goal.

He said:

While the Roku Channel Store won’t distribute porn publicly, there are some hidden channel features whereby partners can make a channel available using a code. This could be used for things like distribution to vertical markets like education and training videos that can be pushed to private groups for viewing on the TV on demand instead of having to set up a satellite feed or send DVDs.

The upgrade will hit in the next two weeks and will work on all Roku boxes including the SD, HD, and HD-XR.

How does it work? I tried the Facebook was request a token from Facebook for login. You then typed the token into the Roku box and all of your photo albums appeared on the browser, available for playback in whatever resolution you uploaded.

Roku Creates Open Platform for Delivery of Content to the TV; Announces 10 New Content Channels

Blip.tv, Facebook Photos, Flickr, FrameChannel, Mediafly, MobileTribe, Motionbox, Pandora, Revision3 and TWiT all now available on the Roku player

Saratoga, Calif. – November 23, 2009 – Roku, Inc., maker of the popular and award-winning family of Roku players, announced today the Roku Channel Store and the addition of 10 new FREE channels for Roku customers to enjoy on their TVs. From internet audio to video podcasts; professional web content to photo sharing; personal video content to children’s entertainment, the Roku Channel Store provides an open platform for delivering quality content to the TV. The new channels now available for customers to add to their Roku experience via the Roku Channel Store include: blip.tv, Facebook Photos, Flickr, FrameChannel, Mediafly, MobileTribe, Motionbox, Pandora, Revision3 and TWiT. For a complete list of channels and specific channel descriptions and features, please go to http://www.roku.com/channelstore.

“Our customers now have more choice in content and even greater control over their Roku player experience with the introduction of the Roku Channel Store and our 10 new content partners,” said Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku, Inc. “The Roku Channel Store already includes a robust offering of content that will appeal to a wide variety of customer tastes, which in turn will open new customer acquisition avenues for Roku. Because we have created an open platform for development, customers can expect even more new content channels in the near future making the Roku player an even more valuable component of a customers’ home entertainment system.”

To access the Roku Channel Store and subsequently add or remove channels from the home screen, customers will need to create a Roku account. With a Roku account, customers now also have the ability to manage their channels and personalize their entertainment options in a way that has not been possible before. Roku customers can add as many channels as they want. Conversely they can also remove all channels that do not interest them, leaving only the channel or channels they access on a regular basis. And because it is a channel store, new channels will arrive all the time for customers to consider.

All Roku players, including the Roku SD, Roku HD and Roku HD-XR, are compatible with the Roku Channel Store. Our flagship content partners, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Video On Demand and MLB.TV, will continue to be available to existing customers regardless of whether or not they set up a Roku account. However, in order to browse the Roku Channel Store and add and remove channels from the Roku player, customers first must create a Roku account.

Pricing and availability
The Roku Channel Store will be delivered as an automatic and free upgrade to all existing Roku customers over the course of the next two weeks. New customers will automatically be upgraded when they first install their Roku player. To browse and use the Roku Channel Store, existing customers will be prompted to create a Roku account. Existing customers who do not want to wait for their Roku player to update automatically can manually update their Roku player immediately. Detailed instructions can be found in the Help section of Roku’s website under the Roku Channel Store tab at http://www.roku.com/support/faqs.

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