Welcome to our in-depth guide focusing on the Best Roku Channels both Free and Paid you should definitely browse this year. This blog post aims to provide valuable insights to avid streamers, cord cutters, and budget-conscious entertainment seekers.
Related: Discover the Best Free movies on Roku for a fun-filled movie night.
We will walk you through an exhaustive list of over 42 top Roku channels, why we rated them the best, and all the details regarding subscription fees, content variety, and user experience. Buckle up for an engaging deep dive into the world of Roku entertainment.
- Some of the best Roku channels to look out for include Sling TV, Pluto TV, Acorn TV, Tubi TV, and The Roku Channel among the other obvious premium channels (Like HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, Prime video, and more).
The Roku Channel, Roku’s own offering, provides a unique blend of free and paid content in one place, including live news coverage and sports.
In total, Roku offers an extensive range of more than 5000 channels, featuring both publicly recognized and private, not-so-publicized channels. That was back in 2017, the number of total channels is likely much higher now.
Niche channels like Crunchyroll for anime fans, Shudder TV for horror enthusiasts, and FilmOn.TV for international content are also available on Roku.
Best Roku Channels
Navigating through the world of streaming can be daunting, but Roku makes this task pretty straightforward. Home to a vast selection of channels, both free and paid, Roku offers an unparalleled viewing experience for its users. This comprehensive guide will deep dive into some of the best Roku channels that you should add to your streaming repertoire.
Best Free Roku Channels
Free doesn’t imply settling for subpar entertainment. There are countless free channels available on Roku that offer quality content and meet the entertainment needs of varied audiences. The following three are some of the best available, and yes, they are entirely free.
1. The Roku Channel
The Roku Channel emerges as a winner for those seeking diverse entertainment at no cost. This homegrown service provides a staggering array of options – live TV, films, TV shows, children-focused content, and on-demand movies.
See our post: What channels are on Roku? It has a full list of the Roku channel TV shows, movies, and more.
What we Liked: A hub for content from networks such as ABC, WB, and Sony Pictures, where classics meet contemporary shows, it’s easy to see why viewers are hooked.
One advantage of this channel is not only the breadth of its content but also the ease of access and navigation, which resembles familiar platforms like Netflix.
Learn how to add channels to Roku with our comprehensive tutorial.
2. Pluto TV
Yet another free contender on Roku, Pluto TV, is a force to reckon with, boasting a dizzying collection of more than a hundred channels and a sundry of films, all accessible without a subscription plan. The platform’s unique selling point is its resemblance to a traditional cable subscription, spanning diverse categories from sports to drama to cartoons. Although it may not serve up fresh-off-the-air content, the constant rotation of shows keeps the offering fresh and engaging.
When one thinks of free channels on Roku, Tubi is a popular destination. A hub of television shows and films spanning almost every conceivable genre, Tubi’s appeal lies in its variety. From action films to anime to Korean dramas, Tubi has a little bit of everything to keep everyone engaged. This broad array of content makes Tubi an excellent one-stop solution for every family member, no subscription required. Keep in mind that Tubi’s extensive library is an advantage for viewers seeking a comprehensive entertainment experience.
In the sea of video streaming platforms, one that stands out is Crackle. Crackle’s most significant advantage is that it’s entirely free! Owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, it is not your usual on-demand video streaming service. Rather it provides an array of movies and shows that constantly rotate, supplementing viewers with fresh content every month. You can find both a compelling collection of television shows and films to satiate your appetite for entertainment.
Crackle not only hosts movies from popular studios like Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, but it also boasts a range of original content. Interestingly, the channel offers more than just Hollywood movies. One can also find foreign films and documentaries catering to diverse tastes and interests. The best part—Crackle comes with a “watch later” option allowing you to save the videos for later times.
Explore the Best Movies on Roku for your next movie night.
While Crackle attracts with free content, it is ad-supported. So, keep in mind that you would encounter commercials while streaming. However, the channel more than compensates for this by ensuring quality and diversified content. To get Crackle on your Roku TV, simply head to the Channel Store and add it to your channels.
If Live TV is what you prefer, Xumo could be your best bet. With Xumo, you can access over 190 different channels free of charge. With such a vast array of options, you’ll surely find something intriguing to watch irrespective of your preferences. The icing on the cake—Xumo doesn’t require a subscription!
Besides, Xumo stands notable for its user-friendly channel guide interface pleasing viewers with a familiar, cable TV-like browsing. It is well-arranged and offers an array of genres. Whether you are into sports, news, family shows, or comedy, Xumo has got you covered.
Discover how you can watch regular TV on your Roku device with our easy-to-follow guide.
One aspect to note is that Xumo, being a free service, is ad-supported, similar to Crackle. However, with a multitude of options to choose from, Xumo is unquestionably a worthy addition to your Roku channel pool.
For a truly awesome entertainment experience, Fawesome is a perfect contender. It hosts an array of genres from action, comedy, drama, to classics, and romance, making sure to cater to all kinds of audiences. It also takes the entertainment game a notch up with niche-oriented channels like LGBTQ and Bollymix.
Fawesome claims over 10,000 hours of streaming content, which is periodically updated to keep viewers intrigued. This treasure of free on-demand movies and series caters to all tastes with a diverse mix of genres. If you are a lover of Hollywood classics or indie films or if you are a soap addict, Fawesome will keep you hooked.
A unique feature to appreciate is Fawesome’s specialized sub-channels for kids and comedy — ‘Popcornflix Kids’ and ‘Popcornflix Comedy’, respectively. These aim to provide genre-specific content, contributing to an engaging viewing experience. Since it’s free, naturally, it’s supported by ads. Balancing the ads with the variety it brings to the table, Fawsome is indeed “awesome.”
Despite the innumerable sources of news available online, there’s nothing quite like watching the news live. NewsON is a free, ad-supported streaming service that provides live and on-demand newscasts from over 200 trusted news stations in the United States. If you’re away from your local area, you can still keep tabs on local happenings with NewsON.
NewsON’s feature list includes accessing previous newscasts (up to 48 hours), an interactive map for station selection, sharing news clips, and even alerts for breaking news in followed markets. With news segments covering everything from breaking news, sports, and weather, you can stay connected to the world at no cost.
Yes, being free comes with its set of ads, but NewsON makes sure you stay abreast with latest news and updates from your local communities and beyond, mitigating the ad nuisance.
Stirr is yet another internet-based, over-the-top streaming service providing free access to both on-demand content and live broadcasts. Owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Stirr’s content library has more than 120 channels and over 8000 hours of video viewing. With such a mix, you can bid goodbye to your cable subscription.
Stirr stands out with its ability to customize programming according to your tastes. Love old
9. Cooking Guide TV
So, you’re passionate about experimenting with your culinary skills and want to fine-tune them? Cooking Guide TV allows you to do exactly that. It’s an education-focused channel available through Roku aiming to turn amateurs into professional cooks, making sure that viewers can conquer any cooking challenges that may come their way.
For instance, you wish to prepare dinner for your loved ones or guests, this channel can help you design an entire menu from starters to dessert courses, providing easy-to-follow recipes. Worth appreciating is the practical nature of this channel, offering a golden opportunity for cookbook lovers to witness the live cooking process and experience a blend of culinary arts and entertainment. Side note: There may be ads preceding the videos, a slight trade-off for gaining so much valuable cooking knowledge.
Whether it’s understanding the different cutting techniques, learning about ingredient substitutes, or exploring diverse cuisines, Cooking Guide TV can be tremendously helpful. Keep in mind that apart from catering to the cooking needs of adults, this channel also includes healthy snacks and easy-to-cook recipes for kids, which can be a unique and fun experience for the entire family.
Ever yearned for some classic movie entertainment accompanying your popcorn bowl? Popcornflix undeniably makes for an enjoyable treat. It offers you an exhaustive collection of films across diverse genres, serving up streaming thrills for movie buffs. So, whether you are seeking an intense thriller or a breezy romantic comedy, your search will find an end here.
Not just limited to contemporary films, Popcornflix provides timeless classics for a dose of nostalgia. It presents an incredible collection of cinematic masterpieces, all under one roof. One advantage this channel brings to the table is its commitment to regularly updating content, making sure to maintain viewer engagement.
Side note: Although this service is free, you might come across a few advertisements during streaming, which can be a minor disruption. On the other hand, it caters to a large spectrum of audience from kids to adults, presenting them with an entertaining way to spend their leisure hours.
11. CBS Sports Stream & Watch Live
Sports enthusiasts, let’s bring the thrill and excitement of live matches to your living room with CBS Sports Stream & Watch Live. This sports-centric Roku channel provides comprehensive coverage of various sports events, making sure you don’t miss out on any action.
From NFL to soccer, from NBA to boxing, you can enjoy key moments and matches without needing a conventional cable TV. With up-to-date sports headlines and updates, it helps you stay connected to your favorite sporting events. With pre-game and post-game coverage, real-time scores, player profiles, this channel covers the entire expanse of the sporting world.
One advantage is that apart from live streaming of sports events, CBS Sports also provides access to entertaining podcasts, condensed games, and interviews with renowned sports personalities. Viewers can stay informed, entertained, and engaged while watching their favorite sports, all for free.
12. Comet TV
Are you a fan of science fiction or unexplained mysteries? Then Comet TV is the channel for you. If you reminisce about the early days of Sci-Fi TV and love the allure of classics, this Roku channel is bound to pique your interest.
Comet TV is a free-to-air television channel specializing solely in science fiction entertainment. Fans of popular franchises like Stargate and Andromeda can now indulge in their fascination without any hindrance.
What we Liked: One advantage of this channel when I was navigating through and watching it, was its wide range of content, presenting an entire spectrum from cult classics to recent science fiction and fantasy series.
While some may be put off by the inclusion of advertisements, it’s a small concession for the immense value you receive at no cost. After all, not many channels offer such dedicated, niche content. So, tie up your moon boots, get ready for a fantastic voyage with Comet TV.
The phrase “Ideas worth spreading” that is associated with TED profoundly communicates its purpose. TED channel through Roku brings the world’s most influential, inspiring speakers, and innovative thinkers into your living space.
TED hosts an extensive library of short, insightful presentations across an array of topics, including science, business, education, technology, design, art, and many more. It gives you the opportunity to broaden your horizons, learn something new, and gain a fresh perspective on a variety of subjects.
One advantage of using the TED channel is the ability to search by categories or by speaker
For individuals keen on staying updated with the latest headlines, Newsy is a substantial resource on your Roku device. It brings forth news stories in an easy-to-understand format, stripping away the needless punditry and arguments that often punctuate televised news channels. If you have an appetite for direct and straightforward reporting, Newsy is worth a look.
One advantage of this channel is its ability to offer diverse news content. Whether you’re interested in global politics, science and tech innovations, sports updates, or lighter pieces on entertainment, Newsy has a broad spectrum coverage. Being a free-to-access channel on Roku, this makes it an appealing choice for budget-conscious consumers who still crave diverse, quality news content.
Remember, Newsy is providing round the clock coverage, ensuring that you can catch up on your news updates at any time that suits you. This makes it extra convenient for viewers who struggle to commit to scheduled news broadcasting times. Keep in mind that the comprehensiveness of Newsy’s reports helps you absorb significant information rapidly, saving you time and energy.
Vevo is a music lover’s paradise nestled on Roku. This channel is a celebration of music, showcasing a vibrant selection of music videos, live performances, and artist interviews. From pop to jazz, from country to rock, Vevo takes music aficionados on a melodic journey across genres.
What stands out about Vevo is that they do not limit themselves to just showcasing popular and trending music alone. The channel propels its subscribers to explore an extensive library of evergreen classics and obscure indie tunes, boosting the discovery of lesser-known artists and music. Vevo’s focus on delivering high-definition music videos lends a superior visual treat for viewers.
However, the channel is free only with sponsored commercials. The presence of these ads could be a slight hiccup for those who prefer non-stop music. On the other hand, occasional advertising is a small price to pay given the vast ocean of musical content Vevo brings to the table.
Parents seeking to engage their children with entertaining and educational content can turn towards HappyKids.tv on Roku. This channel’s unique selling point lies in its age-appropriate categorization of content. It elegantly caters to the versatile interests and learning levels of different age groups.
HappyKids.tv offers a medley of content flavors ranging from popular TV shows to educational videos. This makes it a hub of infotainment where children can learn while being entertained simultaneously. Enriching animations about alphabets, colors, and more blend education into amusement for preschool kids whereas older children can indulge in popular shows or get hooked onto interactive game videos.
One advantage of this app is that it brings together an array of options for kids to unwind after school or to enjoy an evolving retinue of learning resources on lazy weekends. Side note: while the basic content on HappyKids.tv is free, the channel also offers premium-level content through an associated subscription model.
17. The CW
Brimming with a blend of fresh and classic series, The CW is steadily gaining traction among young viewers. This streaming channel on Roku brings to your screen a host of acclaimed series, ranging from ‘Supernatural’ to ‘Riverdale’, to name a few. Keep in mind that the icing on the cake is that it requires no login and no subscription fee.
One advantage of The CW is that it’s not just focused on catering to the viewing needs of adults. It equally woos young viewers with its lively ‘CW Seed’ section. It meanders around animated shows like ‘Vixen’, character-crammed ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’, and the comedy series ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’
The CW offers an edge over many paid channels by providing its latest episodes for free. However, it implies one rule; the episode cannot be accessed until after it has been aired on the primary TV channel. But whatever waiting time involves, it is amply compensated by the channel’s rich content palette.
Crunchyroll stands as an emblem of Japanese animation aka Anime on Roku. This portal unleashes a vibrant universe of anime and manga content, catering to ardent fans and newcomers alike. Whether your interest leans towards ‘Attack on Titan’ or ‘One Piece’; Crunchyroll houses the big guns of anime under its roof.
One advantage of Crunchyroll is the enormity of its selection. Browsing the channel
19. PBS & PBS Kids
Educational, enlightening, and entertaining content converge on the PBS and PBS Kids channels. The ever-present hub of noteworthy TV shows and programs, PBS, offers an immersive viewing experience suited for diverse age demographics. From iconic documentaries by Ken Burns to popular series like “Masterpiece Theater” and “Downton Abbey,” PBS synthesizes knowledge with entertainment. One advantage of PBS is its trove of local program listings and live news. This feature allows you to stay connected with your local communities and events.
For the younger audience, PBS Kids is a preferential choice. Known for its quality children’s content, it provides an array of educational and entertaining programs. Children can follow the exploits of beloved animated characters like Arthur, Daniel Tiger, and Clifford, among others. Noteworthy is that all of PBS Kids’ content is calibrated to be enriching, promoting learning while retaining a fun element.
Side note: An additional benefit of this channel is the provided parental controls. This ensures children only access content deemed suitable, enhancing safety during unsupervised viewing periods.
Injecting nostalgia into the here and now, Nosey curates a classic collection of talk and game shows from back in the day. With staples like “The Jerry Springer Show,” “Maury Povich,” and “Sally Jessy Raphael,” Nosey transports viewers back to a time when love triangles, surprise paternity tests, and raucous audiences were regular TV fixtures. For those looking for a glimpse into quirky relationships, bizarre predicaments, and human drama, Nosey provides entertaining indulgence.
Every episode of these classic daytime shows is distinct, detailing the distinct trials and tribulations of each guest. These authentic life narratives are both relatable and empathizing, making Nosey an enticing option for viewers interested in real-life dynamics. Keep in mind: Nosey offers unabridged episodes, bringing an unfiltered and honest viewing experience.
Advantageously, Nosey does not require a subscription or login, directly providing access to its content. Catering to a niche audience, Nosey is a dedicated home for beloved retro TV shows, resurrecting laughs, and heartfelt moments of the past.
Best Paid Roku Channels
The affordability and convenience offered by streaming channels have driven audiences to shift from traditional cable setups to digital platforms. Roku stands out due to its vast selection of paid channels filled with exclusive programs and blockbuster releases.
One of the most recognized streaming platforms, Hulu, amasses TV shows, films, and original content into a robust library of entertainment. Be it fan-favorite sitcoms like “The Office” or critically acclaimed original series like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu covers a broad spectrum of genres. One advantage of Hulu is its partnership with network television channels, bestowing access to content from ABC, FOX, and NBC.
Hulu utilizes a subscription-based model, making the latest television events accessible post their initial broadcast. Side Note: Hulu offers varying subscription options, enabling viewers to customize their access level, ranging from Limited Commercials to No Commercials, or even Live TV packages.
Simultaneously, this platform’s robust list of original shows is a draw for selective viewers. These high-production series like “Little Fires Everywhere,” and “Normal People” set Hulu apart, providing unique viewing content.
2. Disney Plus
For big kids and little kids alike, Disney Plus is an enchanting blend of childhood nostalgia and new, engaging content on one platform. With an extensive repertoire of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars shows and movies, this platform has fueled binging marathons since its launch.
Disney Plus is a one-time investment into a whimsical world of classic characters, timeless fairytales, and renowned superheroes. Revisit the enchanting ballads of “The Little Mermaid”, embark on space adventures with “The Mandalorian,” or join Marvel protagonists in powerful quests. One advantage of Disney Plus is the addition of 20th Century Fox content, expanding its library extensively.
Side note: The additional tab for Disney’s nature-focused content is a haven for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Documentaries like National Geographic introduce viewers to the majestic facets of our planet.
Netflix serves as a quintessential media streaming platform for entertainment lovers, spanning across genres and narratives. With a broad spectrum of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and exclusive Netflix content known as ‘Netflix Originals’, it includes big names like ‘The Crown’, ‘Stranger Things’, and ‘Money Heist’. The Basic Netflix subscription plan starts from $9 a month, allowing viewers to watch unlimited content on a single device. Keep in mind, they also offer premium plans priced higher allowing you to add more devices and access 4K Ultra HD.
One advantage of Netflix is the recommendation algorithm which suggests shows and movies based on the user’s watch history, hence delivering a personalized experience. Viewers also have the liberty to download content, facilitating offline viewing, elevating the overall streaming experience. The gist is, Netflix is a powerhouse of diverse content catering to all age groups and preferences, making it a worthwhile addition to anyone’s Roku channel list.
4. Amazon Prime Video
With a plethora of TV series, movies, documentaries, and original content, Amazon Prime Video boasts a highly diverse catalog. Amazon’s subscription service, retailing at $9 per month, provides unlimited access to its varied media content. Some noteworthy Amazon originals include high-paced drama “The Boys”, the enthralling “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, and the engaging “Jack Ryan”. The channel proves to be an entertainment hub, generating immense value through its diverse offerings.
Amazon Prime Video’s distinguishing characteristic is the inclusion of extras such as behind-the-scenes footage and cast interviews, mimicking the experience of DVD special features. Side note: Amazon Prime Video permits users to rent or purchase movies and TV shows outside of the subscription, giving more flexibility. In essence, it offers a well-structured platform, balancing the proportion of its curated and original content while making sure viewers stay gripped.
5. Paramount Plus
Shaped by the merger of CBS and Viacom into Paramount Global, Paramount Plus derives its extensive content from multiple networks, including BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and Smithsonian, for just $5 a month. Shows like “Yellowjackets”, “The First Lady”, and classic series like “Star Trek” add to its rich offerings, making it a solid choice for on-demand content.
Live TV is another prized feature, with local CBS stations, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, and ET Live available for streaming. For die-hard sports fans, the channel provides a feed of CBS Sports network, which airs NFL games, the Masters, and SEC football. Simply put, Paramount Plus emerges as an all-rounder, hosting a blend of on-demand shows and live sports, thereby serving as an absolute value for money.
6. ESPN Plus
For sports enthusiasts, ESPN Plus delivers an immersive experience by covering a vast range of sports. Starting at $6 a month, users can access iconic moments from Major League Baseball, the NFL, college sports, and international soccer matches. Subscribers can also enjoy exclusive ESPN Plus content, including shows, documentaries, and the “30 for 30” series.
ESPN Plus uniquely caters to the needs of fight fans, airing a multitude of UFC events. One advantage of the platform is its capacity to offer group subscriptions alongside Disney Plus and Hulu, proving a comprehensive entertainment deal. In essence, ESPN Plus shoots the right hoop for sports devotees and proves its indispensability in the Roku selection.
NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, stands unique with its ability to offer a notable amount of free content. However, for viewers who want to delve deeper into the full extent of its variety, a subscription fee of $5 monthly will enable this. This channel serves fans by bringing top-notch comedy shows “The Office” and “Girls5eva,” along with a slew of sports coverage, making it a one-stop-shop for casual and entertainment-focused viewers alike.
Peacock showcases a niche area, specifically for those with a solid interest in wrestling. With content from WWE now available on Peacock, wrestling enthusiasts can enjoy archives, documentaries, and new events. To summarize, the budget-friendly subscription and extensive content offering make Peacock another feather in the Roku cap.
8. Apple TV Plus
Kickstarting this section, let’s delve into Apple TV Plus, a treasure chest where the glittering gemstones are highly curated, original shows, and movies. For just $5 a month, one of the channel’s advantages is that it’s ad-free, premium content is icing on top of an already enticing cake. For instance, critically acclaimed series like “Ted Lasso” have wooed audiences globally, while others such as “The Morning Show” have made headlines for their star-packed cast. The cherry on top? The channel also offers gripping documentaries like “The Elephant Queen” for those inquisitive minds seeking to extend their knowledge beyond the horizon.
One advantage of Apple TV+ is that it’s accessible on all Apple devices and selected smart TVs. So, whether you’re on the subway commuting to work with your iPhone or lounging on your couch before the TV, Apple TV+ is just a click away. Side note: if the in-house productions don’t satiate your entertainment cravings, keep in mind Apple TV+ also acts as an aggregator platform hosting content of other popular channels too!
Lastly, an added benefit to mention is that several shows are subtitled and dubbed in multiple languages, ensuring a global appeal. Now that is providing personalized, user-centric content at its best!
Looking to groove with your favorite tunes or discover new music that strikes a chord within you? Spotify, a straightforward answer, never disappoints. It’s a free application available on the Roku Channel Store, catering to a vast audience with diverse musical taste buds. The channel also offers podcasts – a buffet of more than 2 million audio programs covering all the topics under the sun. One advantage of Spotify? It’s a smorgasbord of music and podcast content!
A unique attribute of Spotify is its algorithm, meticulously designed to understand your auditory inclinations. Over time, it curates personalized playlists, the ‘Discover Weekly’ being a fan-favorite. Side note: Music lovers can upgrade to Spotify Premium ($10/month) for an ad-free, high-definition auditory experience.
Lastly, the channel’s ‘Behind The Lyrics’ feature serves an interesting cocktail of facts, fun trivia, and insights related to the song currently playing! So, you can not only enjoy great music but also grasp the creative process and story behind it. Keeping in mind, Spotify is your ideal musical solution on Roku.
10. The Criterion Channel
Next up is The Criterion Channel, a paradise for movie buffs, presenting an assortment of carefully curated cinematic gems. At just $11 a month, its eclectic mix ranges from classic dramas to modern blockbusters, all designed to satiate the most demanding film connoisseurs. For instance, you can relish the astonishing works of directors like Chantal Akerman and Andrei Tarkovsky, unfolding an exploration of cinematic brilliance.
The Criterion Channel extends beyond primary content, housing thematic collections, spotlighted directors, and actors. You might glance upon ‘Directed by David Lynch’ or find an in-depth look into the filmography of Robert Aldrich. The channel’s defining attribute remains its insightful interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and other extra perks, enhancing the viewers’ understanding of each film’s context and production process.
Lastly, the Criterion Channel often features film festival favorites and award-winning films from across the globe. This extensive collection poised on a global pedestal provides an exciting exploration of different cultural narratives!
11. HBO Max
HBO Max, priced at $10 on a monthly basis, is one channel that effortlessly blends quality and quantity. Housing everything that HBO offers – think “Game of Thrones”, “Westworld” – it also brings a vast collection of contents from Warner Bros, DC, and Studio Ghibli. The channel isn’t restricted to Hollywood but entertains global titles, making foreign films and international content just a tap away!
One of HBO Max’s significant features is its neatly segmented categories divided into hubs. This effectively streamlines the process of locating your desired show or movie, offering a smoothly navigable interface for users. Side note: It also includes a tailored kids’ segment that ensures age-appropriate viewing.
Lastly, HBO Max also provides a “Last Chance” section listing the expiring titles soon to leave the platform. This feature provokes the sentiment of urgency, persuading subscribers to watch otherwise overlooked content. HBO Max has solidified its position in the streaming industry as a strong contender, indeed!
With a modest price of $9 per month, Starz presents a treasury of cinematic and television content, making it a worthy addition to your Roku channels. Starz is particularly known for hosting popular movies like “Jumanji” and “Spider-Man”. One advantage of Starz is that it isn’t just a vault of film reels; it also spawns original series like “Raising Kanan” and “Outlander”. The subscription not only unveils an array of engaging content but also keeps you shielded from the expanse of digital advertisements. Side note: Starz can be incorporated into Amazon Prime subscriptions as well, saving you the trouble of channel hopping.
13. Sling TV
Sling TV extends a live TV streaming service, ushering viewers into a world of popular cable TV networks. CNN, TNT, HGTV, and ESPN are a few among the many channels accessible via packages called Orange, Blue, and Orange & Blue. Tick the box of the Orange and Blue option and you have the keys to all the channels Sling TV carries in its armory. This service would cost you around $50 per month, but it sure does bring all your coveted channels under one umbrella.
14. DIRECTV STREAM
Bearing a starting price of $70 per month, DIRECTV STREAM takes leaps over other options by offering more than just a handful of channels. Select from four packages presented and get your hands on any number from 65 to more than 140 channels. While the subscription fee could be a steep climb for some, DIRECTV STREAM repays the favor with unlimited DVR storage, regardless of which package you choose. It stands out as a cable-replacing alternative for folks who favor live TV streaming services.
Starting from $65 a month, fuboTV brings you an authentic blend of live TV streaming, with a generous inclusion of sports, news, and entertainment channels. From networks like ESPN, AMC to National Geographic, Disney, Hallmark, Comedy Central, there is barely a dry day with fuboTV’s excess of channels on your television line-up. As per the package you choose, you will have an increasing number of channels and content to DVR, should you fancy revisiting a particular part of a program.
Showtime is rapidly amping up its content with an array of popular originals like “Yellowjackets” and “The First Lady”. The not-so-ordinary subscription fee of $11 per month not just gives you an all-access pass to these stellar series, but also allows you to delve into the licensing agreements currently possessed by Showtime. Side note: to top off the advantages of subscribing to Showtime, there’s the comfort of ad-free streaming. Keep in mind that it is bundled with Amazon Prime, all while securing four separate accounts for children and setting the adult content on lock-down with a pin code.
17. DAZN (From $20/month)
Sports aficionados will celebrate the inclusion of DAZN, a sports streaming service priced from $20 monthly, into their Roku repertoire. This dynamic platform is renowned for streaming live boxing and combat events, even playgrounds like the NFL, NBA, MLB, F1, and NHL. Original sports programming and an expanding on-demand catalog lend DAZN the potential to become the sports equivalent of Netflix. Indeed, one advantage is its power to diminish your annual pay-per-view costs significantly.
DAZN, pronounced “Da Zone,” streams live sports events, thus significantly reducing your annual pay-per-view costs. With original sports programming and an ever-expanding on-demand catalog, DAZN achieves an industry edge as a potential Netflix equivalent for live sports streaming.
18. CuriosityStream (From $3/month)
For documentary enthusiasts or homeschooling parents, CuriosityStream surfaces as a promising pick. This platform is celebrated for its diverse anthology of documentaries accessible from a modest $3 monthly. From discovering secrets of King Tut’s Tomb to delving into the life of eminent physicist Stephen Hawking or exploring the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reefs, CuriosityStream is an educational delight. One advantage here is the capacity to download 10 hours of content for offline consumption, thus ensuring uninterrupted learning.
19. Frndly TV ($7/month)
For those clinging onto cable TV solely for the Hallmark Channel, Frndly TV comes as a relief. This platform, available at just $7 monthly, offers more than the Hallmark Channel. Users can explore other channels like QVC, Weather Channel, Sportsman, Baby First, Game Show Network, among others. With more than 35 channels up its sleeve, Frndly TV becomes a cost-efficient alternative for Hallmark Channel fans.
For a deeper dive into these platforms, read our Roku Movies on Roku Channel post.
How we Ranked and chose the best Roku Channels
The market is brimming with diverse Roku channels, each promising a unique viewing journey. Our process of finding the best Roku channels centered around three main factors – content, cost, and viewership ratings.
The content quality and diversity take precedence as viewers are always seeking an engaging viewing experience. Thus, having a variety of genres and regularly updated content became crucial evaluation parameters.
Next, we assessed the cost factor. Keep in mind, our objective was to present a balanced mix of both free and premium Roku channels. Thus, we looked into subscription costs, any hidden charges, and the value for money that these channels offered.
Lastly, viewership ratings played a significant role in our making the final selection. By assessing viewers’ feedback and their satisfaction levels, we could deduce the user experience of these channels. This holistic evaluation facilitated the thorough filtering of channels to the final 20 best Roku channels for you to add to your list.
You can also view an entire list of Roku Channels in list format for more options.
Comparison Chart: Best Roku channels
Creating a comparison chart for the best Roku channels brings more clarity to the decision-making process for viewers. By analyzing critical factors like genres offered, whether free or paid, and other salient features, a comparison chart serves as a go-to guide for the viewers seeking the best platform.
Let’s consider an example; while comparing Hulu and Netflix, both offer a multitude of content from various genres, but Hulu stands out by offering Live TV. However, Netflix leans ahead with an array of worldwide acclaimed original series. Similarly, DAZN and ESPN Plus are both sports-focused platforms, but DAZN might be a better choice for combat sports enthusiasts as it streams numerous live boxing events.
Performing a side-by-side comparison using a detailed chart not only simplifies understanding but also aids viewers in arriving at a well-informed decision. As such, employing an illustrative comparison chart is crucial while concluding the best Roku channels to enhance your streaming experience.
Consider our review of the Best streaming devices to see how Roku compares with other devices.
How to Access the Roku Channels
Getting started with Roku channels isn’t complicated, in fact it’s less complicated than the FireStick models, Nvidia Shield TV Pro, Apple TV, and other Streaming devices. The first step is to set up your Roku device, whether it’s a Roku TV, Roku stick, or standalone device.
Once connected to your TV and Wi-Fi, you’ll be guided through creating a Roku account, if you don’t already have one. In the Roku home menu, scroll to ‘Streaming Channels’, this opens Roku’s Channel Store. Herein, you’ll find thousands of channel options divided into categories: Featured, Top Free, Just Added, and so on. Click on any channel that fascinates you, hit ‘Add Channel’, and voila!
One advantage of the Roku platform is that it’s update-friendly. It periodically seeks out updates for all your installed channels, keeping them current. This usually happens when the device is idle. But, if you’re impatient, go to the Settings menu, select System, then select System update, and Click on ‘Check now’. This prompts a manual check and installation of any available updates.
Side note: For convenience, consider adding your most-used channels to the Roku home screen. Navigate to the channel on the home screen, press the ‘*’ button on your Roku remote, then click ‘Move channel’, and reorder as you wish. Remember, the topmost channels load first.
Also, learn how you can install the roku app for more Roku accessibility.
What Other Options You Have Besides Roku Channels
While Roku channels offer a wide variety of compelling programming, be it movies, shows, sports, or news, they are not your only recourse. There thoroughly exist other streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast where you can explore different content.
Amazon Fire TV, for instance, lets you explore a vast content library, from Amazon Prime Video to Netflix, Hulu to Disney Plus. It also supports Alexa voice control. If you’re part of the Apple ecosystem, you might appreciate Apple TV. It supports all the major streaming platforms and benefits from Apple’s stellar user interface. Google Chromecast differs slightly from Roku and its kin in that it is designed to ‘cast’ content from your computer or mobile device directly to your TV.
Regardless of your choice, keep in mind that it should align with the services you wish to access, your tech compatibility, and of course, your budget. If, for example, you are an ardent user of Google applications, Google Chromecast might be more user-friendly for you.
For a broader comparison, check out our post on Roku vs Android TV devices.
What type of content can I access on Roku?
Roku caters to a varied audience with over 5000 channels, garnering free, ad-supported, and premium subscription content. From sports, news, cooking, kids’ shows to documentaries, movies, and TV series, there’s little you won’t find. Channels like PBS, Smithsonian, TED Talks, and Nick Junior offer educational programming suitable for kids and teens.
Can I watch Netflix and other premium content on Roku?
Yes, Roku supports Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and a host of other subscription services. It is important to note that while Roku does not charge for these, you need to have valid subscriptions to the respective services. Roku merely acts as a host platform.
Does Roku require an internet connection?
Roku needs a stable internet connection to function. The strength of this connection significantly affects your streaming quality. The minimum recommended speed varies based on whether you wish to stream in SD, HD, or 4K quality. A wired Ethernet connection can offer a more stable speed than Wi-Fi.
In the realm of cordless entertainment, Roku is a user-friendly and diverse option. It flings open the gates to countless channels, catering to varied demographics and interests, all navigable from a single platform. Whether you wish to pay for content, access free, ad-supported programming, or both, Roku offers flexibility and convenience.
However, as discussed, Roku is not the only avenue for enjoying streamed content. Other platforms like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Google Chromecast also boast impressive features and diverse content libraries. In the end, your preference would depend on your budget, the essential features, viewing preferences, and the devices you are already comfortable using.
The beauty of this streaming era is, you are spoilt for choice, and you hold the reins of your entertainment in your hands, or more aptly, your remote. Happy streaming!