Top 15+ Best Free Channels on Roku to Download and Watch
Since their introduction in 2008, Roku streaming boxes and dongles have remained one of the most straightforward, useful, and user-friendly ways to show a variety of smart streaming apps on your big screen TV.
With more than 5,000 “channels” and apps, Roku media streamers provide access to the broadest selection of online content to watch. However, there are so many channels to choose from that it can be challenging to find the ones you might really enjoy.
The majority of users only use the most popular and well-known pre-loaded or add-on channels, such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon, and delayed playback from TV networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox or Cable channels like HBO and Showtime.
However, if you only choose the obvious choices, you might miss out on some fantastic content from lesser-known providers.
The company even manufactures a line of Roku televisions with built-in access to thousands of hours of ad-supported programming and hundreds of free channels. Some of them are among the best TVs on the market. These are the best free Roku channels, with content ranging from news to music to classic films to kid’s shows.
There are numerous Roku channels that you can watch for free. The majority of registrations only require an email address. There is something in the selection for everyone. The Roku Channel is the first step, where you can watch free online streaming of both recent and classic TV shows and films. Even better, cord cutters have yet another reason to stop paying for cable thanks to the Roku Channel’s live news coverage from local and national networks.
Free movies and TV shows are also available on Freevee, Pluto TV, and Tubi, along with Crackle’s intriguing original programming, Newsy’s most recent news, and even Bob Ross’s painting highlights.
The following is a list of our recommendations for the best free channels available on Roku.
You only need to click the remote to watch free movies and TV shows if you have a Roku player or Roku TV. However, anyone can create a free account even without a Roku. You must watch commercials because the Roku Channel streams free and live entertainment that is funded by advertisements. It features a revolving lineup of old movies, TV shows, sports, and kid-friendly programming. Additionally, the Roku Channel has original programming, including many films bought with the Quibi library.
Arguably the best part of The Roku Channel is its news options. It offers national news from ABC (Ch. 115), FOX (Ch. 120) and NBC (Ch. 116), as well as local news from NBC for major cities such as Dallas Fort Worth (Ch. 135), Los Angeles (Ch. 126), South Florida (Ch. 147) and Connecticut (Ch. 142).
The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, and many other popular past series are available on Peacock, one of the more recent players in the streaming market. Peacock Free offers almost everything, with the exception of the platform’s originals (such as the Saved By the Bell reboot), though access is occasionally restricted to a small number of episodes or a few seasons. Those books that demand a Peacock Premium membership are identified by a purple feather. The free movie and television show selection is still substantial. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Apollo 13, Notting Hill, and the Harry Potter films are recent examples.
Pluto TV is frequently included in lists of the best free Roku channels, and for good reason—it offers hundreds or even thousands of different news, sports, music, show, and movie sources, all with an easy-to-use interface that makes it simple to find the content you want as quickly as possible. It’s safe to say there will always be something to watch, and Pluto TV deserves credit for the variety it offers. The movie selection, for instance, ranges from the uplifting Short Term 12 to the somewhat bizarre Dogtooth.
NewsON is definitely worth checking out if local news and current affairs are what you’re most interested in. It brings together nearly 200 newscasts from across the country, all available in a matter of seconds, and in addition to watching them in real time, you can go back up to 48 hours to catch up on what’s been going on. Naturally, this means that you can stay current on local events wherever you are. It also means that you can get a local perspective on any national or international news that may be breaking.
Popcornflix has a pile of free movies and television shows for you to dive into, offering one of the best selections in terms of both breadth and quality when it comes to free content. From award-winning classics to modern popular hits to little-known titles that deserve a wider audience, there’s no shortage of options: At the time of writing, the channel is carrying movies such as We Need To Talk About Kevin, Troll Hunter, and The Exorcist, as well as TV shows including Merlin and Kitchen Nightmares.
Crackle is one of the best Roku channels for watching free big-budget movies, provided you don’t mind sitting through a few commercials. If you cut the cord on your cable subscription but still miss zoning out in front of cheesy action comedies, this app is for you. The selection at Crackle rotates frequently, but there are usually some memorable films, like Gattaca.
The quality isn’t always the best—obviously studios want to make money from their best stuff—but you can still find top-tier movies such as Let The Right One In, Tell No One, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Hunt For The Wilderpeople. It’s also a great option for turning up hidden gems in lesser-known content categories, such as foreign cinema or music documentaries.
Tubi is another free streaming service you can add as a Roku channel for free. Just sign up with your email address and get access to an on-demand library of hundreds of movies and TV series. Generally, you’ll find past hits and classics, like The Karate Kid, Underworld and The Grudge. The Tubi Kids section is bountiful, but the best part of Tubi is its easy-to-use navigation. You can browse eclectic collections like “Not on Netflix,” “United Against Inequality” and “Highly Rated on Rotten Tomatoes.”
The Amazon-owned FreeVee is exactly what it says on the tin: kind of free Amazon Prime Video. The streaming service offers original content like the new Judy Justice (featuring, appropriately enough, Judge Judy) and is accessible on all popular smart TV platforms. If you don’t have a particular movie in mind to watch, the movie selection is also good. There is still a lot to watch here, even though the selection isn’t quite as large as Prime Video itself because originals like The Boys are only accessible during designated preview weekends.
The home of eSports is Twitch. As a spin-off of Justin.tv, the most popular streaming service at the time, this live streaming video platform was introduced in 2011. Twitch, the most popular live streaming video service, declared in 2015 that it had more than 1.5 million broadcasters and 100 million monthly visitors. You can be sure to find many Twitch streamers who share your interests and preferences, regardless of the games you enjoy playing. Twitch is supported by advertisements, but you can also sign up for Twitch Prime to enjoy it without any ads while the broadcast is going on and with a number of additional benefits, such as access to specific games and in-game content, premium emoticons, or chat badges available to members only.
Stay on top of the latest news in the U.S. and the world with Newsy. The 24/7 news service streams segments on the top stories of the day. You can also dig into categories like U.S., World, Politics, Business, Tech, Entertainment, Science/Health and Sports. Or check out on-demand reports on the coronavirus, sustainability and other important topics.
For a decade, PBS has set the bar for children’s programming. Many of its programs are now available via streaming on the PBS Kids app, which you can add as a free Roku channel. Children can watch anything that is on live or on demand, including Sesame Street, Curious George, and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
PBS Kids will offer an endless supply of free kid-friendly media, including both on-demand shows and content that is broadcast on your local PBS station. Sesame Street, Arthur, Curious George, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood are among the television shows you can access, and the interface was designed with younger viewers in mind. On the Roku platform, there are a number of kid-friendly apps, but it’s tough to top this.
FilmRise impresses in its simplicity and the way it concentrates on the business of serving up the best content for you to enjoy. It has one of the better TV and movie catalogs on the Roku platform, covering everything from the horror film The Ring to the British comedy classic Father Ted. If you’re unsure of what to watch, you can browse through the titles that FilmRise is showcasing or explore the app’s built-in genre categories for some ideas. In addition to offering a ton of adult content, FilmRise also has a ton of kid-friendly programming.
You can watch hundreds of talks and presentations from knowledgeable speakers on a wide range of topics on the TED channel. Browse by the most recent publications, popular talks, or subcategories like Jaw-Dropping, Funny, and Inspiring. Additionally, themed playlists are available to fit any mood, including “What makes you happy” and “The pursuit of justice.” You could also conduct a search for a specific speaker or subject.
The Bob Ross Channel can help you discover your creative side. You can access 380 of the series’ earliest episodes by adding it to your list of free Roku channels. Perhaps admiring Bob Ross’ paintings will inspire you to pick up a paintbrush. Alternatively, use the channel as relaxing background music while folding laundry. Bob Ross is excellent for both.
Do you recall hearing that HBO moved some of its programming, including Westworld, to free streaming services? They are, in fact, on the Roku Channel’s Warner Bros. TV Watchlist channel. In addition to Third Watch and Raised by Wolves, this linear, ad-supported “network” also features a ton of classic TV.
Other than YouTube, no other website for sharing videos receives more than 400 hours of content per minute. YouTube has something for everyone, including instructional videos on just about any topic, memes, fail compilations, music videos, and vlogs. While you can access YouTube on almost any device with an Internet connection, watching it on a larger screen can be more enjoyable than doing so on a smartphone.
The complete list of channels that you can download and stream on your Roku device is provided here. It continues to demonstrate that you can stream an infinite amount of content on a Roku device. There is always a channel available in every genre for whatever you want to watch.
Additionally, KnowInsiders.com has chosen and introduced to you the best totally free Roku channels so that you can watch enticing television shows.
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