What Is The Roku Channel? And How to Use It

The Roku Channel is a free streaming entertainment channel featuring live television, nostalgic shows, hidden gems, recent classics, and new content. It may supplement your existing streaming channels, especially if you stream using a Roku device or want to access live news programming. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about The Roku Channel.

What Is The Roku Channel?

Roku is best known for its video and entertainment streaming devices. But it was in 2017 that Roku entered the streaming channel game with free and ad-supported content.

“There is a huge demand for free content,” Roku’s then-CMO Matt Anderson told Variety in 2017. “Our customers are really interested in streaming free entertainment.”

The Roku Channel offers free content, including Roku’s original shows, films and short-form videos originally created for the short-lived Quibi platform. In addition, The Roku Channel has an on-demand library of films, musicals, reality shows, children’s entertainment, classic TV shows, mini-series, and more. Live programming includes news channels, classic TV, sports, and various genres.

In addition to the free live and on-demand content, you can subscribe to premium add-on channels through Roku. There are over 40 options available, including Starz, Showtime, Paramount+, and more.

This may be a good option if you are a Roku user subscribing to premium channels and want to keep your streaming entertainment more centralized.

How to Watch The Roku Channel

To watch The Roku Channel on your Roku streaming device, simply add “The Roku Channel” to your channels. The process is pretty simple since the channel is automatically associated with your Roku account. If you don’t already have a Roku account, you may register for a free account through Roku’s app or website.

If you use another streaming device or smart TV, you may still be able to watch the Roku Channel through your device. The channel is available for people who use Samsung TV or Amazon Fire TV. Instructions for each device are available through the Roku help center.

Roku’s smartphone and tablet app also include a tab to watch the Roku Channel, search for content, or launch a show on your TV through your Roku Device. You can download the Roku app on Android and iOS devices for free, even if you don’t have a Roku device. However, if you do own a Roku device, there are many tips to make the most out of the Roku app on your smartphone.

Additionally, you can use Chrome, Safari, or Firefox to access The Roku Channel website and watch all the content available for free.

Keep in mind that free streaming channels are typically supported by ads. Previously, we compared several free streaming channels, including The Roku Channel, Pluto, and Tubi. As you explore your free content options, you may want to consider whether you like the content, the channel’s privacy policy, streaming quality, and how frequently the ad interruptions occur.

The Roku Channel Parental Controls

Free streaming channels have a low access barrier since anyone can open them and choose to watch a show. The good news is that The Roku Channel offers parental control options. According to Roku, the content is tagged with a maturity rating. You can limit playback access to content based on maturity rating and set a PIN to access it. For example, you can set G-rated content to PIN-free playback, while R-rated content requires a PIN.

Is Roku Becoming a Centralized Entertainment Platform?

With Roku’s update to OS 11.5 in September 2022, the platform expanded content discovery capabilities, a cross-channel “save list,” and personalized recommendations. The Roku Channel easily integrates into the Roku streaming interface with additional options for watching live television, Roku Originals, and even premium channels. Roku is moving closer to becoming a unified platform, the question is whether it offers the content and UI that you want.

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