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MilesT
Level 14

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?

Older British TV available for non live streaming from various Roku channel apps in the UK, without needing license.

Latest stuff? not so much, especially not shows broadcast by BBC, who naturally get to have them for a year or two.  No licence, no BBCiplayer app, so you miss those shows.

UK version of Roku channel has different content, less British as other channels have optioned it, obviously, often subscription Britbox or Acorn.

Also some sport is reserved for OTA channels and is live only, so needs a license even to watch on Roku. Watching anything that is currently live on an OTA channel needs license, but can watch non-live boxsets without.

The license thing is just different. Most UK households pay the license (monthly or annually) and hence have a minimum charge to watch TV, but I would say most UK households pay less than a typical US household for a wide range of quality OTA TV, no extra charge on top of license. (And less or no adverts, certainly not adverts for prescription medications!).

Cable/satellite is available but less essential for most, OTA has a dense repeater system for good coverage nationwide with small external UHF antenna or small Sat dish for free sat service.

Sports is the expensive add-on that historically has driven cable/satellite uptake through exclusive coverage of key sports (football i.e. soccer mainly).

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streaming_fan
Level 10

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?

@MilesT Sorry, if you are asking me, I don't know anything about licenses.  

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MilesT
Level 14

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?

@streaming_fan just filling in from a UK resident point of view, especially regarding access to British content, which is different between UK and elsewhere.

Similar differences regarding US content, which is mostly unavailable in the UK (no aggregators like Hulu, Sling, or they aggregate different content), no Peacock or other US major OTA channel apps.

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Benedlr
Level 10

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?

Should have done it years ago. So many choices for free. Not a fan of the updates. I also don't like sharing control of my tv with Roku. Still, a good experience.

streaming_fan
Level 10

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?

@MilesT Well, I'd love to hear about your favorite UK shows.  Pls tell.  

@Benedlr Heck yeah, should have done this years ago!  And how about being able to "binge watch" episodes of your favorite shows, one after the other, isn't it just sublime?  

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MilesT
Level 14

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?

My tastes are a bit biased, over indexing on period drama

Drama

Versailles

Discovery of Witches (my wife was professionally involved)

Looking forward to Becoming Elizabeth (my wife also involved)

His Dark Materials

Hustle

Foyles war

Call the midwife

The Nevers

"Morse universe" (Morse, Lewis, Endeavour)

"Montalbano universe" (Inspector Montalbano, young Montalbano, Italian with subtitles, shown on BBC, well worth dealing with the subtitles, kind of the Italian version of "Morse")

Period dramas of most kinds 

"Whoniverse" (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sarah Jane)

A touch of Frost (but not David Jason's other work)

Taggart

Strike (Galbraith i.e. JK Rowling)

Mr. Selfridge

Sherlock

I'm told Peaky Blinders is good (kind of like Sopranos) but too violent for us.

Comedy

Avenue 5 (Hugh Laurie)

Plebs (roman era sitcom)

Anything by Armando Ianucci (Thick of it, 2012, W1A, in the loop)

Ghosts (inspired by a true story, involving a former presenter of University challenge, and filmed on the property that inspired the comedy).

Game Shows

Only connect

University Challenge (modelled on US College Bowl quizzes)

reality

great model railway challenge

Steam train Britain

Car SOS

kids

Night garden

Sarah & duck

 

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streaming_fan
Level 10

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?

@MilesT Looks like a pretty good list.  I feel a little silly, so are TV shows in the UK totally different than in the USA?  I don't recognize a single one.  

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MilesT
Level 14

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?

There are overlaps, but a lot of local production (and Netflix, Amazon, Disney etc. are investing lots in the UK to produce for their streaming services).

OTA TV in the UK tends to get the best and worst of US TV..lot of coproduction between BBC/ITV/Channel4/Five with HBO, Masterpiece, Starz, Scrips network etc.  A bit of European coproduction (e.g. Versailles, the recent remake of "Das Boot").

Not so much US sitcom (only the best), not much US soap (more from Australia than US, some long running UK soap, plus a very long running soap on the radio "The Archers"), game shows are UK only (some American formats).

Try and find a UK TV guide website online to see the full difference..search for UK Freeview TV guide.

And we get less commercials in the UK. None on BBC, max 8 mins per hour on OTA channels (which means that US shows either need a longer UK edit or will start at an odd time in the hour, and UK shows playing in the US get a shorter edit). No adverts for prescription drugs, although some for gambling (at certain times of day).

BBC national radio is also very powerful, especially Radio 4 and 4 extra, world service, competing with TV.

 

 

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DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?


@streaming_fan wrote:

... I don't recognize a single one.  


[Rechecks list]


@MilesT wrote:
... Doctor Who...

Um...

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert
Note: I am not a Roku employee.

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MilesT
Level 14

Re: Been streaming with Roku for one year. What did I learn so far?

@streaming_fan if you like British TV content then you may find paying for Britbox, Acorn worthwhile.

Britbox has series recently on OTA TV in the UK (and deep backcatlog from BBC, ITV, C4), unless it is a coproduction with another US streamer, and Acorn has other bits and pieces.

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