'What is The Roku Channel?': A guide to Roku's home for free and premium TV, movies, and more

RokuHere’s everything you need to know about The Roku Channel, Roku’s home for free and premium content.
  • When trying to figure out what to watch on Roku, many people forget one of their best options: The Roku Channel.
  • The Roku Channel many premium TV shows, movies, and more. You can also subscribe to premium channels like HBO and Showtime through The Roku Channel and pay for them in one bill each month.
  • You can watch The Roku Channel for free (with ads) on a Roku streaming device, from your computer, mobile device, or even Apple TV.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Roku Channel is Roku’s own streaming channel dedicated to delivering free (ad-supported) TV, movies, sports, and news to anyone with a Roku account.

After a free registration, you can watch The Roku Channel on almost any device. A wide selection of on-demand and live content is available at no extra cost.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Roku 4k Streaming Stick (From $US59.99 at Best Buy)


Watch free live news, sports, and entertainment

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A small selection of live news, sports, and entertainment channels are among the free content available on The Roku Channel. News from ABC News, Newsy, and a few others stream live as it’s broadcasted. Sports are streamed live on Stadium and a few other channels.


Access premium channels

HBOWatch the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ by subscribing to HBO via The Roku Channel.

The Roku Channel offers a wide range of content. You can subscribe to premium channels now too. They offer HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix, and Cinemax subscriptions in one service. The pricing is nearly identical to competing streaming-only services and standalone subscriptions, but you pay only one bill.

The Roku Channel is free, so the premium channels alone are what you pay for, instead of a monthly access fee plus premium channel subscriptions as with other streaming providers (and traditional cable/satellite).


How The Roku Channel’s premium offerings compare

Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Pricing for each of the most popular premium channels isn’t any different when you purchase directly from the provider. Cinemax does not have a standalone subscription service available so the best way to stream is through a service such as The Roku Channel, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu + TV.

In addition to popular movie channels, you can also subscribe to a selection of other paid channels such as Smithsonian Channel Plus, History Channel Vault, Lifetime Movie Club, and Noggin. A varied selection of family and lifestyle channels round out the premium channel subscription options.


How to watch The Roku Channel

Roku

The Roku Channel is available on many devices. One of the easiest ways to watch is from a Roku streaming device. You can add the Roku channel just as you would any other channel app.

The Roku mobile app features all Roku Channel content. You can watch from an iOS or Android device without logging into a Roku account. The Roku Channel content is featured on the home screen of the app so you can start watching as soon as you launch it.

You can also watch from a web browser on a computer or mobile device. You must be logged in to watch. You will be prompted to create an account if you don’t already have one. It’s free to sign up for a Roku account, even if you have never purchased a Roku device.

If you don’t own a Roku streaming device or want to watch from another device, you have a few options. Since Roku is a competitor, The Roku Channel is not available as an app for Apple TV or Amazon Fire Stick. You can, however use AirPlay to cast The Roku Channel to your Apple TV. To watch on an Amazon Fire Stick, simply go to rokuchannel.roku.com on one of the device’s web browsers.

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