Roku has tons of channels, so make sure you pick the right ones.
The Roku family of streaming devices and products is everything a cord-cutter could want. With the inclusion of everything from a simple streaming stick to branded TVs, Roku offers a complete streaming experience. But if you're new to Roku or just want to learn more about a product you might already have at your house, we're breaking down all the channels you can find on a Roku streaming device or on your Roku TV.
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What is Roku?
Roku is a collection of streaming devices that offer consumers viewing experiences at a variety of price points with a variety of features. No matter which Roku product you pick, though, you'll always have access to Roku's breadth of channels and apps. The Roku product itself is a streaming device that has the functionality for both live TV and on-demand streaming, as well as music streaming and even game play. With a simple internet connection, you have access to everything Roku has to offer.
Roku has both streaming devices and their own TVs, which means you can set up your entertainment hub in a variety of ways. If you already have a TV, you can get a Roku streaming device to plug into it. With a Roku TV, your TV functions as a Roku device (as in, it's designed to just stream the channels and apps through Roku).
The products Roku offers vary in price, and the different price points mark the differing features the devices offer. Products start at $30 for a basic streaming experience in HD, and the top-line streaming device is $100 for a 4K HDR streaming experience. There are also sound system streaming devices that are $130-$180, and the Roku TVs vary in price based on the size and retailer.
Roku Channel List
Roku has an incredibly vast list of channels and apps available for download and use. You'll find everything from the expected favorites to channels you never even knew existed. Check out some of the best channels available on Roku.
Free TV & Movies
One of the prime places to check for free TV and movies is the Roku Channel. This is essentially a streaming service within a streaming device. Similar to the likes of Hulu and Netflix, the Roku Channel offers a selection of free TV and movies that's constantly rotating. You'll find reality TV like The Bachelorette here, as well as Alfred Hitchcock classics.
Other free TV and movie channels include The CW, Peacock, Crackle, Plex, PBS, Tubi, and Filmrise. They all offer a wide selection of on-demand movies and TV shows that you can watch at your leisure.
TV & Movies
You'll find all the go-to streaming services on Roku. With a subscription, you have access to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Sling, Discovery+, Paramount+, Philo, Apple TV+, Showtime, Starz, and Crunchyroll.
With apps like Sling and Philo, you can also stream live TV with your subscription. Each of these streaming services offers a selection of live channels (some of which are local) that you can watch in addition to the on-demand content.
Kids & Family
There are plenty of family-friendly channels on Roku too, like PBS, Cartoon Network, Disney Now, Nick Jr., Boomerang, Noggin, CoCoMelon, Pokemon TV, and Lego Channel. The children's networks cater to kids of every age, so your toddlers and teenagers will all have something appropriate to watch.
Whatever sport you're looking for, you'll find it on Roku. Choose from networks like ESPN, MLB Network, NBA Network, Motor Trend, Tennis Channel, NFL Network, Red Bull TV, NHL Network, F1 TV, UFC Channel, and RTN Horse Racing. You can also watch live sports through one of your live TV apps (like Sling, Hulu + Live TV, or Philo).
News & Weather
You can watch regional news, national news, and international news both on demand and live. For live news, you'll need one of the live TV apps like Sling or Philo, but Roku also has a ton of on-demand options. You can find news or weather on CBS News, Fox News Channel, ABC News, WeatherNation, NBC News, CNBC, the Weather Channel, and Al Jazeera.
Food & Home
Roku's food and home category extends out into the lifestyle universe as well and covers many channels. For food, home, and more, you have People TV, TMZ, Vice, America's Test Kitchen, Wired, Tasty TV, The Crafty, and more. There's a channel to suit any DIY projects you're taking on around the house, as well as a channel to help you cook dinner. It's also worth calling out, though, that this selection of channels also includes a lot of relaxation stations to help you mellow out.
Animals & Pets
Whether you want to leave an animal-friendly show playing for your dog when you leave the house or you just like to watch shows about animals in your spare time, there are plenty of pet-friendly options. You can choose from Animal Planet Go, Happy Dog TV, PetTube, HorseTV, Cat Paws, The Animal Channel, and so much more.
How do Roku Channels Compare to the Rest?
Roku and Amazon Fire TV are quite comparable in terms of channels. Both device families function much the same, in that you download channels and apps to watch on the streaming device. The functionality on them is even the same -- you have a homepage with all your apps to access your TV and movies. There are a couple key differences between Amazon and Roku, though. For one, Amazon Fire TV has the YouTube TV channel, and Roku does not. Roku ended a deal with Google in April, meaning you can't download YouTube TV on your Roku device if you don't already have it. (If you already had it, it still functions). The other difference is that Roku has the Roku Channel, and Amazon Fire TV obviously does not. While you might be able to find some of the Roku Channel's content on other devices, you won't find that specific collection of free viewing anywhere else.
When you look at Roku vs. Apple TV, they're wildly different. Apple has a much smaller collection of channels available, and the list doesn't include Netflix. While you can get premium channels like Showtime and Starz on an Apple TV, the functionality in regard to the staple streaming services isn't there. You can access channels like HBO Max, Hulu, and Disney+, but you have to connect through the Apple TV app. It's just a bit of a clunky system. Aside from this, Apple's focus is also heavily on paid channels, and it doesn't offer much in the way of free viewing. With that being said, Apple TV is easily accessible for free on your Apple devices. Roku, on the other hand, is a paid streaming device but has a number of channels and apps that allow for a complimentary viewing experience.
Our Final Take
If you don't already have a Roku, they're a great streaming device with a ton of content to offer. Roku offers a channel or app for everyone in the family -- from free TV and movies to premium subscriptions -- and the fact that you can get a Roku device for as little as $30 makes this one attractive streaming device. Roku's channel list is practically endless, and you never know what show or movie you'll stumble across when surfing all the apps.