RokuGuide Review: You may already be familiar with NBC News on the Roku Newscaster hannel, but this NBC News channel is different. Roku Newscaster serves up podcasts from the NBC News website, while the NBC News standalone channel provides short clips in a variety of categories, sorted not just by TV show, but also by topic.
There are currently nine categories of news clips:
Some of these, like Decision 2012, will obviously change. Others, such as Nightly News and Today Show, will presumably stay constant as long as these shows are on the air.
Each category consists of up 40 videos that are from just a few seconds to several minutes in length. The videos are clips from other news shows, not recorded as standalone videos. The channel has a "play all" option that lets you play all videos of a given category. This is a nice addition that allows you to catch up on all of the videos without having to constantly select the next on in the series. For Decision 2012, the play-all option will give you almost three hours of viewing time.
The play-all option is useful for topic categories where clips may come from several different shows, but I would like the option of watching an entire broadcast of shows such as Nightly News and Meet the Press.
This is still and option on Roku Newscaster, though. Unfortunately, Roku pulled all NBC podcasts off of the Roku Newscaster channel shortly after launching the standalone NBC channel. Viewers looking for full-length broadcasts can find their favorite NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC shows on Mediafly OnAir and the private channel Nowhere TV.
The NBC News channel is commercial-supported. Not every video displays an opening commercial, but I haven't kept track to figure out if there is a set number of videos you can watch between commercials. Commercial length is 30 to 60 seconds. If you're watching only one video, you may find, like I do, that a minute-long commercial is too much for a 2-minute video, but I found it acceptable when that's the only commercial for multiple videos.
--RokuGuide Reviewed on December 4, 2011
--Update (12/6/2011): Roku has pulled all content off of the NBC category on Roku Newscaster. Viewers are directed to the new NBC channel. However, NBC full-length NBC shows are still available on Mediafly OnAir
Developer's Channel Description: Explore breaking news, original journalism and world-class video from NBC News on the msnbc digital network. Get the best business, political, health and entertainment reporting from Nightly News, TODA, Meet the Press, Morning Joe and The Rachel Maddow Show.
CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: News & Weather
DEVELOPER: NBC NEWS