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RokuGuide Review: CNBC's new Roku channel offers a unique combination of app interaction and video content. The channel provides real-time stock quotes that are linked to videos on the quoted stocks, and you have the ability to set up your own portfolio within the channel.
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The CNBC channel launches with a video, but don't be fooled if it shows the "live" banner. This is a prerecorded video, not the live CNBC broadcast. The right third of the screen lists a variety of preselected stocks with the current prices and the associated change (in both points and percentage) since the previous trading day's closing prices. If one of the stocks has a video associated with it, you will see a video camera symbol next to the stock symbol. Highlight that stock and press the "ok" button on your remote to launch the video. Videos come from a variety of CNBC shows. For example, at the time of this review, selecting the Google stock (GOOG) brings up a 10-minute video from Mad Money in which Jim Cramer discussed tech stocks, including a mention of Google. The video that plays when you launch CNBC is the first available video in the list of "My Stocks". If you don't select a different video, CNBC will play through all available My Stock videos.CNBC

You can edit the My Stocks list by pressing the * button on your Roku remote and following the prompts to add or remove a stock. The right arrow will take you to a list of "Hot Stocks" and a list of currently available videos. I don't know the criteria are for getting on the Hot Stocks list. There are currently six stocks listed and they aren't necessarily showing big price increases, and there are stocks with higher trading volumes, so it may be based on analysts outlooks or some other factors that aren't identified.

This is a nice first-generation app, but there are a number of improvements that would make it more useful. I'd like to see more options for tracking a person stock portfolio, such as adding the number of shares and purchase price, so you could track individual gains. It would also be helpful is you could add multiple portfolios, and if you could rearrange the order in which stocks are shown. However, the primary purpose of this channel, as I see it, is to deliver CNBC videos related to the stocks that you put in the My Stocks list, and the CNBC channel does a very fine job of accomplishing that.

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Developer's Channel Description: Free access to real-time stock quotes, customizable watch list, and CNBC's top video news & analysis.



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