The Science Fiction and Beer Channel News Page

woman reading newspaper

The channel has 5,032 subscribers.

I am in the hospital for an extended stay, but never fear I brought my computer with me.  I have more free time than I can stand, so I have been putting all of that into getting the channel up to snuff.

I updated the chennel to Roku's Streamfree software.  If I hadn't done this, my channel would have been removed in January 2019.  I made some changes in how the channel looks.  I think it's pretty sharp looking now.  I hope you all agree.

For years, I have believed that a company's performance on the stock market has nothing to do with how well that company is actually doing.  I'm wondering if that isn't the case, especially with Roku.

Get on your Roku and go to the new and notable section in streaming channels.  Do you remember, just a few months ago, when it took several minutes to go through all those listings?  I remember doing that often, and coming up with good channels to watch every time I used it.  Now, that section is a ghost of its former self.  There's hardly any channels listed, and a good deal of them are channels that have been on Roku for months. 

The reason why people have been flocking to the Roku is the variety of channels, and all the new channels that would come up.   And, of course, all of the private channels that had content not available elsewhere.

What can this mean?  Perhaps it's a cyclical thing, and more people will start submitting new channels again soon.  Or it could point to some real troubles at Roku.  The next few months will be very interesting indeed!

And speaking of private channels, that is now a lost cause.  Roku has been shuting down private channels left, right and center.  Since Science Fiction and Beer specializes in pubic domain films, I don't believe it will become a target.

New private Roku channels are few and far between.  One of the most popular pages on this website, My Favorite Roku Private Channels, had readership fall off so rapidly that I removed it from the channel listings.  It's still here, under the "Channels No One Ever Go To" section.  It won't be updated.

Look over websites devoted to Roku: private channels are still being deleted, but there isn't one word about that.  I suspect the webmasters are all doing a collective shrug and saying "Oh well.  Business as usual."

It was a great thing while it lasted, but it's over.  But have no fear: if Roku decides to go after me, I'll make it into a public channel, and continue onward.

Now as for this website, I will still be using my current hoster, Hosting24, despite the fact that they deleted several  of mmy files.  The hoster I was going to move to, Bluehost, seemed like a good pick until I realized that I couldn't upload files bigger than 500 MB-- way too small for videos.  So I'm going to have to bite the bullet and find a dedicated video hoster.


The channel has 4,748 subscribers.

When it rains, it pours. I had payments for Instant TV Channel (the folks who host the data files for the SF&B channel) set up as an automatic payment on my debit card. My debit card now refuses to pay them, as a way to prevent fraud. I'll have to make a bunch of phone calls now, because Master Card is too much of a Nervous Nellie.

On the good side, I found a web server called Blue Host. I can move all of my website and channel files there. They have an unlimited business plan, which essentially means I can do anything I want, such as uploading videos and so on. As soon as I get back from Inconjunction, I'll make the big move to these new, more reasonable people.

I will be appearing at Inconjunction, an Indianapolis IN science fiction convention, I will have a seller's table there, andI will be having panels there on robot building, Roku channel development, and a panel on whether fanzines are dead. I'll also have a kickass room party, with my signature drink s'angrier (like sangria, only angrier), as well as a bathtub full of soda and beer, and excessive amounts of snacks and heartburn inducing foods.

I'll have a Roku attached to the room TV set, and films from the SF&B channel will be playing. This is going to be a great convention, an hopefully I will see some of you there.

Inconjunction website


The channel has 4,696 subscribers.

My web hosting company had always allowed as many files as I wanted on my server.  Then they decided to limit the amount of files.  I had 60 GB of files, when the new, heretofore unmentioned limit was 30 GB.  They never contacted me about the problem.

Their solution was elegant: delete almost all of the biggest files: the mp4 (video) files. 

This is why so many videos are missing on the channel.  I am in the process of finding a new video server.  The old videos will be added, slowly but surely.  I will probably just delete what little they left, and move every video file to a new server.

And, eventually+, I will have to find a new host company for this website.  I can't reward them for the way they treated me.

The channel now has 4,495 subscribers.

I've added a couple of new channel produced videos:

Because Parts is Parts: Robot 4-Q has a lo of new parts in him.  But are they really necessary?

Red Hot Yeast on Elderberry Action!!!: which is about my recent wine making activity.

I've also added several new films, plus a few categories:

Film noir (cheap low budget black and white films)

A Salute to Unhealthy Living: Where all the bad stuff: cigarettes, cigars, snuff, liquor, and so on are celebrated.

Fanbois: Super dedicated, downright nerdy science fiction/fantasy fans.

WW2 German Films: A small gathering of films for history buffs.


An Update Both Happy and Sad

I guess it's time to acknowledge what everyone else is thinking: that the concept of private channels on Roku is now dead.  With Roku doing everything it can to discourage private channels, few new channels are being created, and the old ones are being abandoned, or removed. It was a great era, but it's over.  I'm going to keep up The Science Fiction and Beer Channel, continuing to improve it, making it better and better, until the axe falls.

It's been fun: the channel has a growing base of fans, and the website is doing very well too.  I haven't seen one dime of profit from this, but that doesn't matter.  And who knows?  Someone else may yet come up with a platform that values free speech and creativity above every other concern.  And if that happens, you'll find me there.

On this date, we now have 3,392  subscribers! 

 I found a couple of lists of public domain films, as well as sources for those films.  I've been adding several films per day to the channel.

The channel has been broken up into sections, which I hope the fans will like.  If you like only one genre of films, you can go to that section, and not even have to look at other films. 

However, I do recommend that you try some of the sections outside of your interest.  Years ago I didn't care much for westerns.  Then, out of sheer boredom, I went to my college's free Sunday flicks.  They had The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Showing.  I was hooked!  Spaghetti westerns are just as other worldly as any science fiction or fantasy films.

And here's the thing: the genre doesn't matter.  A good story is a good story, whether it be set on another planet or in 19th century California.


At Last, Some Recognition!

As of today, we have 3,107 subscribers.  Woo hoo!

I have added several movies to the movie list.  I have every Rocky Jones, Space Ranger episode up on the channel, for instance, as well as every Ed Wood film I could get.  Ed Wood is legendary for making what has been called the worst film ever made: Plan 9 From Outer Space. If you're a fan of bad films, check this out!

I promise that 2018 will bring even more SF&B produced shows.  Please be patient: this is a one man operation.

The Science Fiction and Beer Channel has been picked as one of the 25 best Roku private channels!
Thank you,!


"You Don't Need a Weather Man to Tell Which Way the Wind Blows" --Bob Dylan

Roku lost a court case in Mexico, and in a classic case of overreaction, they have decided to go after private channels, and are even threatening to go after the people who view those channels.  XTV has been taken down.

Roku News

Roku Private Channels

What does this mean for The Science Fiction and Beer Channel?  At this point I have no idea.  We specialize in public domain films.  There is always the chance the a few films might still have someone claiming ownership on them.  Witness YouTube, where people use what they, in good faith, think is public domain material, only to have DMCA notices filed against them.

I've worked too hard on the channel, only to have it taken down.  My first step is to go over every title, checking its status.  Of course, that status can change at any time: the movie It's a Wonderful Life was in the public domain for decades, when a technicality suddenly put it back under copyright.

I'll be working on getting the channel reproduced on this website, just in case.  There are other promising avenues, such as something called m3u.  I'm not making a dime off of this: for me, it's a hobby that keeps my creativity going.

Sigh. I guess it's too much to expect Roku to back up the people that built it to the #1 streaming company: its content providers.

I feel betrayed.  I believed in Roku.  I told everyone I could about it.  Maybe I made a mistake.

As Roku owners, we shouldn't just sit and take this.  But what to do?  Suggestions are welcome.

"...Bye roku ... You will feel the pain and a reduced ipo as users move to other platforms..." --Kirk J Carrigan, in a Facebook post


One Big Hiccup, Right at the Wrong Time

 Right after I came back from Inconjunction, publicizing the channel heavily, I noticed that it was buggy.  Very buggy.  A lot of the movie posters had disappeared, as well as the titles.  I eventually tracted this to the image hosting service that I had been using, imgsafe.

Imgsafe was never dependable, and in the last few days it had erased all of the poster images for my videos. 

I should back up here: poster images for ther movies etc. are hosted on image servers, which are often separate from the websites that host the videos.

Recently, I had been using this website to host new videos and images.  But there were still quite a few posters hosted by imgsafe-- that is, until they decided to delete all of them.

So, there is nothing wrong with the channel.  In a couple of days, everything will be back to normal.

This came at a terrible time: all of those new viewers were greeted with a half functioning channel.  Roku lets us view channel analytics, and there is a sharp drop in viewers that happened when imgsafe decided to drop my images.

I admit this is my fault: I was a cheapskate.  Sometimes the word free can have a hefty price tag.


We're Growing and Growing!

As of this date, we now have 2,340 subscribers.  A lot of my viewers are outside of the USA; for some reason, the channel has a lot of fans from India.  Generally, the channel's Facebook fans are college educated, and have careers in the sciences.  I have no idea why this is; however, I appreciate every fan that subscribes to the channel.  

I'm looking forward to Inconjunction, when we will be doing some publicity work for the channel. such as giving away swag bags of SF&B stuff, as well as having contests for giving away Roku players.  If you've never been to a science fiction convention, I'd highly recommend Inconjunction.  Picture a weekend long get together with like minded people, and a selection of at least half a dozen room parties to choose from on Friday and Saturdays, each party having loads of free liquor, beer, and food. 

Inconjunction is a test in marketing.  If I get a decent amount of new subscribers, I can make plans for expanding the channel even further, adding more new programming, and... yes, it hurts: commercials.  As it is, right now the channel costs me practically nothing, but it also takes in nothing.  With ad revenue, the sky will be the limit.

The channel's second robot, The Evil Twin Brother Robot, has been completed, and videos of it have been put on the channel.  The robot was created with the most evil robot parts imaginable, and its personality reflects that.  Some folks might comment that the Evil Twin Brother Robot looks nothing like 4-Q.  The thing is, they're fraternal twins.  So there! 

I am tempted to make a third robot, just so I an make a show called My Three Bots.  I still have a can of black spray paint, as well as some low RPM motors.  All I need to do is purchase a pair of battle tank RC toys, and figure out what to use for a robot body.

The channel can now have an unlimited number of videos.  We were limited to 100 videos at one time, but with much effort (and more than a little hair pulling) all limitations have been lifted.

our two bots

The Evil Twin Brother Robot (left) and 4-Q (right)


The Channel to Have New Robot Mascot in 2017

The Science Fiction and Beer Channel is having a robot mascot built.  4Q, a small, bucket sized robot, will be able to roll on its own, and speak with flashing lights in sync with its voice.  The robot is being assembled by Rossum's Universal Robots, a leader in the field of companion-robot designers. 

"The Science Fiction and Beer Channel executives asked us to assemble what they referred to as a 'smart-ass robot," Ivan Rossum, the company's CEO, said.  "The folks at SF&B were very helpful, supplying us with tapes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to guide our work.  Oh, that's what you want," we said. 

"We went to several thrift stores and a couple of Dollar Trees to get the right parts," Rossum added.  "We think the results will be quite impressive."

"This is the first major robotics project encoded entirely in BASIC," Rossum added again.  "We had to put in a second CPU to handle the mountains of code needed, and a third CPU just to make it run fast enough  Sure, BASIC is slow, and outdated.  But that's what we want: a challenge.  And besides, Android 16 in Dragonball Z was coded in BASIC.  What better example can you have than that?"

channel mascot

The robot, pictured above, is still in the assembly stage, and should be ready around Christmas time, if not sooner.

When asked for comment, the robot's CPU said "I no longer compute.  Where on the graph do must and cannot meet?  Syntax Error Line 233.  Abort, Retry, Fail?  This copy of Windows is not genuine."

The robot will provide commentary on Science Fiction and Beer Channel Channel shows, and will serve as a temporary co-host of The Science Fiction and Beer Channel Talk Show until a human, preferably one with firm, perky breasts, is found to perform the job.

The Channel Has Gone Through a Major Redesign

The Science Fiction and Beer Channel has been redesigned from the top down.  Gone are the straight line listings: now they're in the more common (and easy to access) grid format.

"I could say that it was time to redo everything, but that's not the case.  I finally figured out how to do the grid format, so I spent a week of all-nighters getting the channel changed over," SF&B  creator Flint Mitchell said.  "We've also added several new videos, and given all the videos new poster images to go along with the new format."

As of 11/1/2016, The Channel Now Has 839 Subscribers, and Growing!

The Channel is now getting about 20 new subscribers every 4-5 days.  We should surpass 1000 in a few weeks.  Bear in mind that this is with very little publicity.  In the months to come, when we start going to the science fiction convention circuit, the channel's growth should be even more spectacular.

Exciting things are happening!  Soon there will be even more original programming.


Robot 4-Q Makes His Science Fiction and Beer Channel Premiere

The channel now has 1,350 subscribers.  We've been averaging 100 new installs a week.  The word is out!  I think the next milestone is 2,000 installs, which, if everything goes the way it has been, will happen by the end of January, if not sooner.

Robot 4-Q was nowhere near finished, but he wanted to deliver a special holiday message to our viewers.  As you can see, he still has some rough edges, but he's coming along fine.  He should be ready to co-host The Science Fiction and Beer Talk Show by the end of January.


The Science Fiction and Beer Channel now has 1653 installs.

Early 2017 will mark a time of expansion.  New video production and editing equipment will be purchased.  There will also be some new, exciting Science Fiction and Beer Channel products,.

Robot 4-Q, almost complete, will also be found to have an older brother.  An evil older brother.  Here is a drawing of what he will look like.

brother robot

I did a lot of learning on Robot 4-Q, so this build will go a lot faster.

Robot 4-Q has his own email address.  Fans wishing to write to the robot can click the image below, or send email to . He does tend to get a bit pedantic, ranting about robot rights, Asimov's three laws of robotics, and how vastly unfair robot life is.

                        robot 4-q

2017 is going to be a hallmark year for The Science Fiction and Beer Channel.  Already, the channel is growing week by week.  With further investments in video production, I am sure that the channel's growth will be downright explosive.


I upgraded the channel: the amount of movies is now unlimited.  Look for lots of additions in the months to come.
I added a few movies to the channel, as well as a couple of movie categories.

UFOlogy as it stands now is a form of science fiction.  It's a highly derivative form of the genre, and part of its formula is that it tries to present itself as fact.  Can anyone watch "Overlords of the UFO" or "Mysteries From Beyond Earth" and take UFOlogy seriously?

I've also added "Horrorfreude" (German for "Joyful Horror") as a category.  This includes horror films that are funny ("Little Shop of Horrors" and "Bucket of Blood"), and movies where the actors are obviously having a good time ("The Death Wheelers," "Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street").

I've also added a short film called "Robot 4-Q's First Day Outside," where you can see my robot friend rolling around for  a few moments.