If you're going to be working around the house this weekend, turn off HGTV and pull up the Ace Broadcasting channel. The
Ace on the House podcast features Adam Carolla, billed as "the funniest carpenter since Jesus", bringing you home improvement tips.
Think Car Talk for Home Improvement. This week's podcast, Artsy Fartsy, brings discussions of installing bathroom exhaust fans and how to build an art studio. Note that the content on Roku is a week behind what's availabe on the podcast's website.
If the great outdoors is more your thing, Heading Outdoors airs shows for the Field & Stream crowd. The Carolina Fishing TV series has titles such as Bluewater Dolphin Fishing and Surf Fishing for Reds. There isn't a great depth of content here, with less than four dozen episodes across all hunting and fishing series, and the production quality is sometimes public-access channel quality, but I find something appealing in the short low-budget videos that I don't get from the slick professionally-produced shows.
Jason Fox, executive chef of San Francisco's Commonwealth, has three new how-to videos on Chow. Fox will show you how to clean squid, make a simple vegetarian soup, and grill with cedar paper. New how-to videos from other contributors cover hard-boiling eggs and testing the heat of chili peppers, and there's also a new video showing you how to make a spinach meatloaf.
When I'm not sure what I want to watch, I head over to Staff Picks on the Vimeo channel. These user-created videos cover a wide range of subjects. Artsy, documentary, movie shorts, animation... but no bad cell phone videos of teenage pranks or stupid pet tricks. These are high-quality, high-definition productions, often by serious amateurs. You can also upload your own videos to the Vimeo website, link your Roku account and watch your productions in HD in your living room.
I've been following the discoveries of the Hubble space telescope since it was launched in 1990. HubbleCast, available under the NASA subchannel on Roku Newscaster, is a monthly presentation with the latest Hubble happenings. The latest episode takes us on a tour of the Tarantula Nebula, "a vast star-forming cloud of gas and dust in our neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud."
For music this week, I'm listening to SomaFM. Commercial-free music is aired on over two dozen channels in categories such as ambient, electronica, jazz, lounge, and world. All music is hand-picked, not queued up by a computer. Getting the most air time in my home is Boot Liquor, an Americana station billed as "roots music for cowhands, cowpokes and cowtippers". I'm still exploring SomaFM, though, and I'm finding a lot of other stations that will be getting just as much play.
If none of my picks interest you, 13 new Roku channels have been added since my last What to Watch installment two weeks ago. Try them out and let me know what you think about them: