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Roku Launches Open Content Platform and 10 New Content Channels

Written on Nov 22, 2009 by Brian and filed under News

We just posted our review of the Roku HD XR last week, and as promised, Roku has released new content channels for the media streamer. The headline additions include Pandora, Flickr and Facebook photos, but the other content is compelling too. Tbe best part is that while the first three Roku channels were all paid, this new batch of 10 are all free. Most require accounts, but otherwise, there are no subscription fees. Roku has successfully mad what was a must-have media streamer, the preeminent leader in the space and an absolute-must-have for home theaters.

To get access to the new channels, users need to create an account on Roku’s website. From there you’ll add your Roku player to the account, by using its serial number. You’ll then be able to add any of the new channels you like, leaving the ones you don’t want off the Roku home screen.

Roku gave us early access to the channel store, and we easily loaded Pandora, Facebook photos and a few other channels. First users can scroll through a channel listing.

roku channel store

After selecting a channel, the details of that channel, rating and whether or not an account is required is displayed. Simply select add channel and you’ll be presented with the pairing code, if needed.

roku facebook photos

We hooked up with Pandora in a few minutes and were quickly off and streaming, complete with the ability to access all of the Internet radio stations in our profile. As you’d expect, all the skipping, bookmarking and song rating features are there.

roku pandora

roku pandora 2

The other services work just as well, here’s a complete breakdown of all the new channels:

  • Blip.tv – Network that broadcasts independent TV series.
  • Facebook Photos – View your FaceBook photos and your  friend’s latest photo feeds.
  • Flickr – Browse public photo feeds and those stored in your personal Flickr account.
  • FrameChannel – Offers access to news, weather and personal photo feeds.
  • Mediafly – OnDemand access to over 25 audio and video programs from CNN, HBO and others.
  • MobileTribe – Social network aggregation.
  • Motionbox – Video sharing service.
  • Pandora – Access free streaming Internet radio that’s customized for your tastes.
  • Revision3 – Technology, entertainment and video game programs including coverage of the top stories on Digg.
  • TWiT.tv – Independent technology related broadcasts from Leo Laporte and others.

Also, not to go unnoticed is the fact that Roku has formally launched their content platform as part of this release, meaning it’s a certainty that we’ll see the platform continue to evolve with new and interesting content partners. We already loved the Roku media streamer and now there are up to 10 more reasons to love it.

To enable these new features Roku will be pushing a firmware update to all players over the next two weeks. If you don’t want to wait, you can manually download the new firmware now.

There are three Roku systems starting at $79.99 available from Amazon.com.

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