Tired of paying outrageous cable bills? Frustrated by expensive streaming services? The solution is Roku – an easy way to "cut the cord" and save money by streaming free movies, TV shows and more!
Roku offers the widest selection of streaming channels, providing an unbeatable variety of free and low-cost entertainment. This comprehensive guide will explore the very best Roku channels available today.
What is Roku and Cord-Cutting?
Roku is a popular streaming device that plugs into your TV‘s HDMI port and gives you access to hundreds of free channels. Roku devices start at only $29.99 for the Roku Express. More advanced models like the Roku Streaming Stick+ and Roku Ultra offer 4K HDR video up to $99.
By using Roku and free streaming apps in place of cable or satellite TV, you can save an average of $100 per month! This is commonly called "cord-cutting" – ditching expensive pay TV contracts.
According to a Deloitte survey, 33% of consumers cancelled cable/satellite services in 2022 to reduce costs. With inflation hitting family budgets, free ad-supported TV (FAST) on Roku provides entertainment at little to no cost.
Roku works with virtually any internet connection. Minimum speeds for smooth streaming are:
- 2.5 Mbps for SD quality
- 5 Mbps for Full HD
- 25 Mbps for 4K Ultra HD
Roku devices have surged in popularity due to their simplicity and vast channel selection. Let‘s explore the very best Roku channels across multiple categories.
Customizing Your Roku Home Screen
Once you start adding more channels, your Roku home screen can get cluttered quickly. I recommend removing any channels you don‘t use to keep things clean.
Here‘s a quick tip to edit your home screen:
- From the Home Screen, go to Settings
- Select Home Screen
- Choose Customize Channels
- Uncheck channels you want to remove
- Confirm by selecting Remove Channel
Decluttering your home screen makes your favorite channels easier to access.
The Best Free Roku Channels
Here are the absolute best free Roku channels available right now:
Movies & TV
Roku offers thousands of hit movies and popular TV shows for free.
The Roku Channel – 10,000+ movies and shows
Owned by Roku, The Roku Channel features a massive library of free movies and TV shows. It‘s completely legal and ad-supported.
Pluto TV – 300+ live channels
Pluto TV provides 300+ free live TV channels spanning movies, news, sports, comedy, cartoons, and more. It‘s all legal and supported by ads.
Tubi – 50,000+ movies & shows
Tubi has an enormous on-demand library of free movies and TV shows across genres. No subscription needed.
The CW – Current primetime shows
The CW offers next day streaming of hit shows like Riverdale for free on Roku.
Crackle – Blockbuster movies & shows
Owned by Sony Pictures, Crackle offers an ever-changing lineup of free movies, TV shows and originals.
Top Movie Genres and Best Channels
- Action Movies – Pluto TV, Tubi, Crackle
- Comedies – Tubi, Crackle, YouTube
- Classic Films – Plex, Internet Archive TV
- Anime – Crunchyroll, Funimation, RetroCrush
- Horror – Shudder, Screambox, Tubi
- Documentaries – Curiosity Stream, Tubi, Crackle
Top TV Genres and Best Channels
- Classic TV – Antenna TV, Buzzr, PBS
- Reality & Dating – Pluto TV, Tubi, Crackle
- Crime/Investigation – Pluto TV, Tubi, Crackle
- Home & Lifestyle – Revry, Bon Appetit, Tastemade
- Gaming & Animation – Xumo, Toon Goggles, PBS Kids
- Latino/Spanish TV – Pluto TV, Univision NOW, Telemundo
This table compares the top free ad-supported streaming services:
|The Roku Channel||10,000+ movies & shows||Roku|
|Pluto TV||300+ live channels||Roku, Firestick, mobile apps|
|Tubi||50,000+ movies & shows||Roku, Firestick, game consoles, mobile|
|Crackle||Movies & shows from Sony library||Roku, Firestick, Smart TVs, mobile|
|The CW||Latest episodes of network shows||Roku, mobile|
Cutting the cord doesn‘t mean losing access to sports. Many key games and events are available free on Roku.
CBS Sports – NFL, College Football, UEFA Champions League
Watch live sports and highlights from major leagues without cable.
FOX Sports – MLB, NFL, Soccer, WWE
FOX Sports provides live streams and clips for top leagues.
NBC Sports – Premier League soccer, golf, motorsports
NBC Sports is the home for Premier League matches, golf majors and NASCAR.
NBA – Live games, analysis & highlights
The official NBA channel offers live out-of-market games, highlights and daily programming.
NFL Channel – Live games (with restrictions)
Watch NFL Network and NFL RedZone live with some blackout restrictions.
While Roku offers many free sports options, die-hard fans may want a full live TV streaming service like fuboTV, Sling TV or Hulu + Live TV.
News & Weather
Stay informed with free live and on-demand news channels. Local weather is available too.
Newsy – Unbiased national news videos
Newsy delivers the latest headlines and develops original news documentaries.
Haystack TV – Customizable local & world news
Haystack TV lets you select topics and sources for a customized news experience.
Local Now – Local news based on your location
Local Now provides local news, weather, traffic, sports, and lifestyle stories.
WeatherNation – Local weather reports & radar views
WeatherNation offers live and forecasted weather conditions, severe storm tracking, and more.
Kids & Family
Keep the kids entertained with free educational programs from PBS Kids, YouTube Kids, LEGO and more.
YouTube Kids – Kid-friendly videos
YouTube Kids provides a safer video experience tailored for children.
PBS Kids – Educational shows & games
From Sesame Street to Arthur, PBS Kids offers 100% free educational entertainment.
LEGO Channel – Ninjago, Star Wars, Friends
LEGO Channel features Ninjago, Star Wars and additional LEGO shows and videos.
Toon Goggles – Family cartoons & anime
Toon Goggles hosts thousands of family-friendly cartoons, anime shows and movies.
Music & Audio
Enjoy free streaming music, internet radio stations, and podcasts.
Spotify – Millions of songs (with ads)
Listen to unlimited music for free with ads or upgrade to Spotify Premium for ad-free listening.
Pandora – Free personalized radio
Pandora streams customized internet radio stations based on your tastes.
TuneIn Radio – 100,000+ real radio stations
TuneIn offers live streams of real over-the-air radio stations from around the world.
iHeartRadio – Podcasts, radio & music
iHeartRadio provides free access to live radio, custom stations, and podcasts.
Learn something new with free educational channels from experts.
TED Talks – Expert lectures on technology, science & creativity
TED Talks showcases thought-provoking talks on innovation, culture, and life.
Curiosity Stream – 2,500+ documentary films & shows
CuriosityStream offers award-winning documentaries on technology, nature, history, science, and more.
The Great Courses – In-depth college-level lectures
From photography to cooking, The Great Courses offers engaging video lessons.
Cable-free doesn‘t mean sacrificing live channels. Pluto TV offers 300+ free live channels on Roku.
For wider coverage across sports, news and entertainment, paid live TV services like Sling TV, fuboTV, YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are excellent options. They provide 60+ to over 100 live channels starting at $35/month.
Best Paid Roku Channels
While Roku shines for free content, it also supports paid channel subscriptions:
Netflix – Industry leader with exclusive original shows, movies, and documentaries. Plans from $9.99/month.
Hulu – Huge on-demand library with original series like Handmaid‘s Tale. From $6.99/month.
Prime Video – Included with Amazon Prime. Award-winning originals and theatrical movies.
Disney+ – Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and National Geographic hits. $7.99/month.
HBO Max – Game of Thrones, DC films, Studio Ghibli and more for $14.99/month.
ESPN+ – Live sports like UFC fights, PGA Tour, and international soccer. $6.99/month.
DAZN – Boxing, MMA and other sports live and on-demand. $19.99/month .
With the right mix of free and paid channels, you can watch virtually anything on Roku without expensive cable or satellite subscriptions.
How to Add Channels on Roku
Adding channels on your Roku is quick and easy:
- From the home screen, select Streaming Channels
- Search for the channel name or browse categories
- Select the channel and click Add Channel
- Follow any additional prompts to install the channel
Once installed, the channel will appear on your Roku home screen for easy access.
For certain channels like HBO Max that aren‘t directly accessible, I‘ve written tutorial guides to help you install them. Roku devices give you endless options for entertainment.
I hope this guide helps you discover the top free and paid channels available on Roku today. With everything from movies to sports, news, music and more, you can cut cable and still watch all of your favorite programs.
Let me know if you have any other favorite channels worth mentioning!