Roku's Built-in Movie & TV App

March 17, 2014 - 20:08 -- RokuGuide

M-GOHave you tried to find M-GO in the Roku Channel Store and failed? Have you wondered why the Movies and TV Shows selections on the Roku home screen doesn't let you watch Netflix or Amazon? Many Roku users are unaware that M-GO is an app built into the Roku player, accessed from the home screen menu, not from the channel store or My Channels. Read on for more information on the M-GO movie service on Roku.

M-GO is a streaming service like Netflix, Vudu, or Amazon Instant Video, offering access to movies and TV shows. M-GO operates on a rental and purchase basis, with no recurring monthly fees. New movie releases in HD cost around $18 to $20 to purchase, or around $5 to rent; SD versions are slightly less. (Note that some movies are available only to purchase or only to rent.)

M-GO also offers TV series, which may run as much as $20 for a full season, or $2 for an individual episode. As with movies, TV show prices vary.

If you are not an M-GO subscriber, you can browse through the titles and watch movie trailers. To add titles to a watchlist, though, you will need to sign up and log in. A credit card is required, but you won't be charged anything unless you rent or purchase a video. And new subscribers will get 1 free movie rental.

M-GOThe purchase or rental fee model makes sense to those who don't watch enough videos to justify a monthly fee for all-you-can-watch subscription-based services like Netflix. But for those who do have a Netflix subscription, M-GO encourages you to sign up by listing 300 movie titles under a category called "Favorites Not on Netflix". But that doesn't mean M-GO has an exclusive on those titles; The Hangover Part III is not on Netflix, but it can be found on Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, and Redbox Instant, in addition to M-GO.

M-GO lists movies under traditional genres (Action & Adventure, Indie, Family, Horror, Drama, and so on), which to me makes more sense than the silly categories Netflix uses, like Popular on Facebook, Inspiring Movies, Goofy Movies, and Cerebral Documentaries. But M-GO also has several lists under "M-GO Picks" that include seasonal topics that currently include Oscar Nominees and St. Patrick's Day, and a Deals category where all movie rentals are $1.99 and up.

If you're browsing TV shows, you'll find listings of new releases, the top 50 TV shows, and the usual genres that include Action & Adventure, Crime, Drama, Kids, Reality TV, etc.

Should you sign up for M-GO? There's no cost to do so, and you'll get the free rental referred to above. Even if you already subscribe to one or more other pay services, you may find something that isn't offered on any of the other channels.

For those of you who choose not to subscribe to M-GO, here's a little tip: You can remove the Movies and TV Shows links from your Roku home screen by going to Settings > Home screen > Movies and TV Shows, and selecting "Hide" from the right-hand column.

Updated 4/4/2014 to reflect M-GO's current offer of one free video rental for new customers.

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