The Roku Channel has quietly become one of the top apps for cord-cutters. While The Roku Channel offers tons of free movies and TV, it also allows you to subscribe to premium services like HBO, Starz, and Showtime.
I was able to install “The Roku Channel” on my TCL Roku TV, and it worked like a charm. The menu was responsive, and movies streamed with no buffering. You won’t even need to log in. Those interested in checking out the free content, need to download The Roku Channel to their Roku device through the Roku Store.
Free Movies and TV on Roku Channel
The channel offers an ever-changing collection of free movies, as well as many free TV shows. As of the publish date of this article, you could watch new shows like Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, older favorites like Alias and The Unit, as well as classic sitcoms like Coach and Just Shoot Me.
Free movies and TV shows on The Roku Channel are ad-supported. However, expect about half the ads view experience on traditional cable TV. Given that an hour of TV on most networks comes with roughly 16 minutes of commercials expect around 8 minutes of commercials per hour when watching free content on the “The Roku Channel.”
Roku Original Shows
Roku has made a big splash in the pool of original content. Roku announced 30 Roku Originals featuring big names like Kevin Hart, Chrissy Teigen, Joe Jonas, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, and many more. Be sure to check out all the Roku Originals trailers. Below is a description of each of these new shows:
- #FreeRayshawn– From executive producer Antoine Fuqua, award-winning #FreeRayShawn stars Stephan James as an accused man whose difficult pathway to exoneration–and survival–hinges upon placing his trust in a stranger (Laurence Fishburne) and asking a nation to bear witness.
- About Face – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley gets up close and personal with today’s biggest beauty icons including Kylie Jenner, Huda Kattan and more to hear their stories, inspirations, and learn what it takes to build a beauty empire.
- Bad Ideas with Adam Devine– Adam Devine has always had a thirst for adventure. While most avoid danger, Adam not only faces it head on – but he adds his own twist to make what he’s doing a truly bad idea. Now, he’s roped his celebrity friends to come along for the ride.
- Barkitecture – Heartthrob contractor Tyler Cameron and interior designer Delia Kenza build custom, luxury dog homes for the furry friends of celebrity clients.
- Big Rad Wolf– American Apparel was initially celebrated for its provocative advertising and message of social change. Then the unpredictability of its founder imploded the iconic company. This is the story of the brand — good, bad, and ugly — as told by the people who lived it.
- Blackballed– Nominated for Best Sports Show by Critics Choice Real TV Awards. The series highlights the five days during the 2014 NBA playoffs, when Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and the LA Clippers led an unprecedented movement of athletes to hold racism accountable.
- Centerpiece– Visionary Florist and Host Maurice Harris interviews creatives about their process. As they open up about their journey, Maurice uses his incredible flower design skills to create a beautiful centerpiece that reflects their conversation.
- Chrissy’s Court – The cases are real. The decisions are legally binding. And the judge…is Chrissy Teigen.
- Cup of Joe– Joe Jonas has toured the world as a pop star. Now he’s ready to explore it as an average Joe. As he journeys through eight cities worldwide, celebrity friends will help him experience them as a local.
- Die Hart– Kevin Hart, playing a version of himself, is on a death-defying quest to become an action star. And with a little help from John Travolta, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Josh Hartnett…he just might pull it off.
- Dishmantled– Take two blindfolded chef contestants. Blast a dish into their face. Then make them recreate it for celebrity judges to win a cash prize. Hosted by Tituss Burgess
- Dummy– An aspiring writer (Anna Kendrick) befriends her boyfriend’s sex doll and the two take on the world together.
- Fight Like a Girl – Ten women. Paired with WWE Superstars. Together they find the strength, courage, and ability to transform themselves both on the inside and out.
- Flipped– Jann and Cricket think they have what it takes to become TV’s newest house-flipping couple. Unfortunately, a Mexican drug cartel thinks so too. Now the delusional duo has to survive their newest project — renovating the cartel’s mansions.
- The Fugitive – Mike Ferro is an innocent man on the run, desperate to clear his name. Clay Bryce is the determined cop trying to track him down. Let the chase begin.
- Gayme Show – Glitter. Rainbows. Grand entrances. Matt Rogers & Dave Mizzoni host as two straight contestants compete in a series of physical, mental, and performance challenges to test their gay knowledge. Who will reign forevermore as “Queen of the Straights”?
- Iron Sharpens Iron – Top pro athletes from different sports grind in the gym together and trade training secrets. There will be sweat. There will be pain. But most of all, they will learn what gives each other that edge to be the greatest.
- Last Looks – There’s a dark side to glamour. Dakota Fanning narrates this true crime documentary series that looks at real-life crimes that shook the fashion industry, told by the people closest to each case.
- Let’s Roll with Tony Greenhand – Amazing artist. Jaw-dropping joints. Blown minds. Virtuoso Tony Greenhand designs and builds eye-popping smokable creations specifically tailored for stoner celebrity clients.
- Most Dangerous Game – A man (Liam Hemsworth) desperate and in debt. In a dystopian thriller where the hunter turns out to be the hunted. Game on. Cast: Liam Hemsworth, Christoph Waltz
- Murder House Flip – An unconventional home renovation show that takes on the country’s most infamous homes: ones known for the mysterious murders within their walls. Designers Joelle and Mikel remove the stains of the past and make once morbid homes marvelous.
- Murder Unboxed – A samurai sword. A tomahawk. A Playboy magazine. Unbox these real-life pieces of evidence and more while hearing from the detectives, prosecutors, and witnesses who helped solve the actual cases.
- Nightgowns– The stage awaits. Sasha Velour and her cast members are preparing for the biggest drag showcase of their lives. Expect heart, humor, and a hell of a lot of glamour.
- Prodigy– A sports docu-series shining light on top young athletes moments before their big break.
- Punk’d – Punk’d is back, and no one is safe! The iconic series returns with Chance the Rapper as host — masterminding the biggest pranks behind the scenes. The biggest stars are about to learn what happens if their fates were up to Chance.
- Reno 911!– Reno 911! lets viewers ride shotgun with the courageous men and women of the Reno Sheriff’s Department as they lay down the law and put it all on the line. The Reno 911! camera doesn’t blink – and when danger is near, the Reno Sheriff’s Department will be nearer.
- Royalties– Royalties is a take on the oft-untold story of songwriters behind the world’s biggest hits. It follows ragtag songwriting duo Sara and Pierce as they navigate the strange and hilarious challenges of creating great songs for insane artists.
- Shape of Pasta– Chef Evan Funke is on a culinary journey across Italy for all the forgotten pastas you can handle.
- Thanks a Million– Big names. Big money. Big Giving. Aaron Rodgers, Jennifer Lopez, and more kickstart a chain of kindness, each gifting $100,000 to an unsuspecting individual who have had a positive impact on their lives — with a catch. Watch as the “pay it forward” chain unfolds.
- You Ain’t Got These – This is not a show about sneakers. It’s a show about sneaker culture. Fitting in. And belonging to something bigger than yourself. Best of all? Lena Waithe is in it.
Live TV Channel Guide On Roku Channel
To help you access a ton of free linear TV all in one place, The Roku Channel has a tile within in called the “Live TV Channel Guide” The live guide contains over 100 channels including the following:
- News: ABC News Live, America’s Voice, Black News Channel, Cheddar, NewsmaxTV Live, Newsy Top Stories, Now This, OAN Encore, Reuters, TYT-Go, USA Today, WeatherNation, and Yahoo Finance
- Sports: Adventure Sports Network, ACC Digital Network, beIN SPORTS Xtra, EDGEsport, ESTV, fubo Sports Network, MAVTV Select, Outside TV, PowerNation, Stadium, and SportsGrid
- Movies and TV: BET Pluto TV, The Bob Ross Channel, Brat TV, CMT Pluto TV, FilmRise Action, FilmRise Classic TV, FilmRise Family, FilmRise Free Movies, Gravitas Movies, MTV Pluto TV, REDBOX FREE MOVIES, Reelz, XUMO FREE Movies, and XUMO FREE Westerns
- Game Shows: BUZZR, Deal or No Deal, Game Show Central, GOT Talent Global, and Family Feud
- Music: MTV Biggest Pop, MTV Block Party, and Yo! MTV
- Kids & Family: Ameba, Battery Pop, Kidoodle.TV, Kid Gamer TV, Kartoon, KIDZ BOP TV, Moonbug, pocket.watch, Teletubbies, Toon Googles, TG Junior, Rainbow Ruby, Rev and Roll, Ryan and Friends, and Zoomoo
- Lifestyle: A+E Lively Place, Bon Appétit, Architectural Digest, The Design Network, DIY Daily, Food52, Revry, Tastemade, and This Old House
- Fashion: Glamour, GQ, and Vogue
- Comedy: AFV Family, College Humor, Comedy Central Pluto TV, Comedy Dynamics, Funny or Die, and Just for Laughs Gags
- Crime: Crime 360, Forensic Files, Reel Truth. Crime and Unsolved Mysteries
- Entertainment News: Complex, PeopleTV, TMZ, and Vanity Fair
- Reality: Fail Army, Hell’s Kitchen | Kitchen Nightmares, People Are Awesome, Pet Collective, and Wipeout
- Sci-Fi: DUST, FilmRise Sci-Fi, and MGM’s Free Sci-Fi Movies & Series
- Science & Nature: WIRED, Love Nature, and Voyager Documentaries
- Talk Shows: Nosey and Real Nosey
- Spanish Language: AFV Español, AmericaTeve, Latido Music, Love Nature Spanish, MOOVIMEX by Pongalo, and Pongalo Novela Club
Premium Channels on Roku
The Roku Channel also allows you to add premium Channels on the Roku. Users can consolidate billing through Roku for premium subscriptions to HBO, Showtime, Epix, Stars, and more. When you subscribe through The Roku Channel, you will even have access to any free trial offers the particular network is offering. Make sure you cancel before the trial expires if you don’t want to be charged.
Here are all the following networks you can subscribe to and watch through The Roku Channel.
- Up Faith and Family
- Sundance Now
- Hallmark Movies Now
- Fox Nation
- Curiosity Stream
- and more
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