Hey there! Have you heard the big news? Roku‘s popular free streaming channel, The Roku Channel, is now available to install on Firestick and Fire TV devices.
I don‘t know about you, but I love having new cord-cutting options at my fingertips. So I wanted to provide an in-depth look at what The Roku Channel offers, how it stacks up to competitors, and tips for getting it set up on your Firestick or Fire TV.
An Overview of The Roku Channel
First off, what exactly is The Roku Channel?
It‘s Roku‘s free, ad-supported streaming app that provides access to thousands of movies, TV shows, live news and sports. The Roku Channel first launched in 2017 exclusively for Roku devices.
But Roku has now brought it to their competitor‘s platform, Amazon Fire TV, marking a really interesting move in the streaming device market share battle.
Let‘s look at some of the key content available on The Roku Channel:
10,000+ movies and TV episodes – These span tons of genres from comedy to drama to action. Some titles are decades old while others were released in just the past year.
115+ free live TV channels – Including major news networks like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Plus entertainment, sports, movies and more.
Premium channel add-ons – You can subscribe to premiums like Showtime, STARZ and AMC+ from within The Roku Channel. Pricing is competitive starting at just $3/month after free trials.
Ad-supported and free – All of this content is provided for free in exchange for watching a few ads. Much better than paying a hefty cable bill!
To put some figures around it, The Roku Channel currently has around 43 million monthly active users according to Roku‘s Q2 2022 earnings report. That makes it one of the most popular free streaming services out there.
How The Roku Channel Stacks Up to Competitors
Now that you know what it offers, how does The Roku Channel compare to competitors in the free streaming space?
The channel I find most similar is Pluto TV owned by Paramount. Both provide free live TV combined with a large on-demand library.
Pluto TV does have a slight edge when it comes to number of available channels, sitting at over 350+ currently. However, The Roku Channel counters by having premium add-ons and some more robust on-demand content.
Another top competitor is Tubi with 51 million monthly active users. Tubi has a bigger content library overall but lacks any live channels. And the interface just isn‘t as slick as The Roku Channel‘s in my opinion.
So while services like Pluto TV and Tubi will still hold their own, The Roku Channel packs a major punch – especially now that Fire TV owners can install it.
Why This Matters in the Streaming Device Market
Here‘s where things get really fascinating. This launch marks the first time Roku has brought their service directly onto a competing streaming platform.
Roku likely hopes to gain market share by tapping into Amazon‘s large Fire TV user base, estimated at over 50 million active users.
Think about it…by giving Fire TV owners easy access to The Roku Channel, Roku can get their content and ads in front of millions of new eyeballs. Clever move!
But how might Amazon respond?
My prediction is we could see an IMDb TV or Freevee app launch on Roku devices soon. This would let Amazon counter by bringing their free content onto Roku‘s 60+ million user base.
The streaming device competition is really heating up lately between these two giants. It will be interesting to see how each tries to leverage their rival‘s platforms to reach new audiences.
One thing is certain – we cord-cutters reap the benefits of this streaming arms race through access to even more content options!
Step-By-Step Guide to Install The Roku Channel on Fire TV
Ready to get The Roku Channel set up on your Firestick, Fire TV cube or other Fire TV model? I‘ll walk you through the quick and easy process.
Here are the steps:
From your Fire TV home screen, go to the magnifying glass search icon.
Type in "Roku" and select The Roku Channel app from the search results.
Choose "Get" to install – it‘s free!
Once installed, select "Open" to launch the app.
And that‘s all it takes – under a minute to install and start watching free shows, movies and live channels!
Now let‘s dive into how to navigate The Roku Channel and customize your viewing experience.
Browsing The Roku Channel and Customizing Your Experience
The Roku Channel makes it easy to browse its free content. As soon as you open the app, you‘ll see various rows spotlighting movies, TV shows, live channels and more.
You can scroll through the rows horizontally to browse, or use the left side navigation bar to jump to specific sections like:
Movies – Hundreds of free films spanning every genre imaginable.
TV – Binge older TV series or catch up on recently aired episodes.
Live TV – Stream 100+ live channels including major news and sports networks.
Kids & Family – Perfect for keeping the little ones entertained and engaged.
Within each section, you‘ll find relevant rows or categories to explore. Search works great too – just use the magnifying glass icon to find a specific movie or show.
Now let‘s look at some customization and personalization options:
Enable Parental Controls – You can restrict content ratings and set a PIN to prevent kids from accessing mature content.
Customize Your Live Guide – Re-order, favorite or hide any of the 115+ live TV channels.
Limit Ad Tracking – Opt out of interest-based ads in favor of more generic commercials.
Connect Headphones – Plug headphones into your Firestick remote for easy private listening.
Add Channel to Home Screen – Long press SELECT on The Roku Channel icon to add it to your Fire TV‘s home screen for quick access.
Additional Tips for An Optimal Streaming Experience
To ensure the best possible streaming experience through The Roku Channel, keep these tips in mind:
Internet speed – Aim for at least 25 Mbps download speeds for smooth HD streaming. Consider upgrading your internet plan if needed.
WiFi connection – Connect your Firestick with Ethernet or position near your router for fastest and most reliable WiFi.
Allow app to update – Let the channel automatically update to the latest version for performance improvements.
Clear app cache – This frees up storage space and can fix issues like choppy playback. Just force close the app and reopen to clear cache.
Report issues – Use the feedback option within the app to report any bugs or problems directly to Roku.
Following these best practices will help ensure you have a stellar viewing experience.
Closing Thoughts on The Roku Channel Coming to Fire TV
The launch of The Roku Channel on Firestick and Fire TV opens up a world of free movies, shows, news and more to Amazon device owners.
While services like Pluto TV and Tubi offer some competition, The Roku Channel shines with its premium channel add-ons, robust on-demand library and user-friendly interface.
This move also signals an intensification in the streaming device market share battle between Roku and Amazon. It will be exciting to see how each company tries to leverage their rival‘s platforms going forward.
Overall, this release gives cord-cutters another great free option for their streaming arsenal. Try out The Roku Channel on your Firestick or Fire TV and let me know what you think! Happy streaming!