Thoughts on a UU Roku Channel?

Roku XDS
Image by abeckstrom via Flickr

Friends, I just received the following message from a user of my site UnitarianUniversalism.TV inquiring about a the development of a ROKU channel for distributing Unitarian Universalist video content via streaming video.

“Hey guys. I wonder if there’s any news about UUTV potentially creating a channel on the Roku box to stream its way into people’s homes? Roku has a huge user-base and features new channels in its channel store. That would be a great way to get the message of Unitarian Universalism out to millions of people. UUTV could make its way right into millions of American living rooms. Other denominations are doing it – Jews, evangelical Christians, Mormons, Catholics, you name it. Shouldn’t UUs if we’re to be the “religion for our time”? Just a thought. I’ve been using my Roku and would love to have UUTV on there. Regards and thanks for all your hard work.”

He reports there being a growing number of other religious channels using the internet streaming video service, see  SPIRITUALITY section of the Roku Channel directory.

I see the potential of being able to stream high quality UU video directly to people on their TVs.  However,  I do not personally use a Roku Box, don’t many who do,  and it would require serious UU collaboration to make such a thing happen.

When it comes to increased outreach, right now I’m thinking that I can do more by focusing what time I have available into producing social media optimized short Youtube videos about our faith. Videos that can capitalize on the social media technology I know people are using such as Facebook and Twitter, and the increasing number of people with mobile devices.

Questions

  • Any thoughts?
  • Any other tech you think we should be looking at?
  • If you could have a one minute UU video produced about any relevant topic, what would you have produced?  We’re talking outreach and education.

Feedback/Ideas

You may learn more about Roku at www.roku.com and watch web based UU TV at UnitarianUniversalism.TV.


Interested in Unitarian Universalism, social media and technology?  See upcoming events including Feb 25th in METRO DC area and Mid-July STAR ISLAND conference.  Subscribe to my e-newsletter to receive updates. Booking: (617) 744-9784 Office | Email Peter.

6 thoughts on “Thoughts on a UU Roku Channel?

  • Not mainstream enough for me, I consider myself a “mid weight tech” person, that is familiar and comfortable with some tech stuff but not all the way there.
    I’m offering some online classes targeted at the 40-70 year olds who make up a big portion of our congregational leadership, and am emphasing beginner technology – a computer with internet access and a phone. I have received more comments about being scared of technology than about using the burgeoning list of options.

    • Thanks for your comment, Katie. We do need to figure out the balance tech wise. I’m preaching on related themes in congregations to address some of the associated anxiety and turn lower tech members into digital ministry cheerleaders for those who are using the tools.

  • Apple TV has a YouTube feed, so I think focusing on YouTube is a better use of your time. Don’t those other boxes have a YouTube feed? If not, I think they’re not with the times, because YouTube is very popular.

  • You should seriously look into Roku. Right now, the religion section numbers over 200 channels – about five times the numbers in other sections of the channel store (and not including the larger number of private channels not indexed on the channel store). The vast, vast majority of these channels are Christian, evangelical, right-wing (of denominational or non-denominational affiliation, including Mormon, Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist, Baptist, etc.).

    By my own comparison, there are around 10+ Jewish/Israeli channels, 5+ Muslim channels, 1 Vajrayana Buddhist channel, and 1 atheist channel on the store.

    http://www.roku.com/channels/#!browse/religion-and-spirituality/by-popular

    If you’re interested in religious diversity and exposure, this status quo should seem lopsided to anyone. But the majority of the Christian channels are created and operated by churches, only broadcasting works from their own edifices (not including TBN, EWTN. BYU TV and the rest). For the complaints of liberal Christians on, say, Religion Dispatches that they’re not listened to enough in “mainstream media”, they don’t do a good job of selling themselves with similar vigor.

    Anyone who has a religious or values-focused message to put out regularly should be aware of outlets like Roku, and should be getting on the ball about it

  • I vote YES for a Roku channel. I have noticed all the religious channels and was searching for a UU one. UUCA (Arlington, VA) has one but I’m not at home right now so I will have to view it later. I will post a comment after I do. I like Roku because they have Free Speech TV which carries Democracy Now!, Thom Hartmann, Bill Press, Ring of Fire, Stephanie Miller and more. Good UU stuff.

Comments are closed.