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Roku targets free streaming, adds 100+ live TV channels

Roku announced it is expanding its free/linear lineup on The Roku Channel to more than 100 available channels in the United States. To help navigate through the new sea of content, the company also introduced a new Live TV Channel Guide aimed at making browsing through the substantial catalog ad as simple as possible.

The new channels launched Tuesday, June 2 while the Live TV Channel Guide — which essentially looks and functions similar to cable TV guides that many Comcast and Dish customers may have grown accustomed to — is expected to roll out in the U.S. over the coming weeks. The Roku Channel is available on all Roku streaming devices and TVs with built-in Roku, as well as Samsung TVs and the Roku mobile app.

The Roku Channel
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The 100 channels of free content sound impressive, especially for those who have recently cut the cord and may be missing the options that cable TV provides, but quality matters, too. The good news is that, while it’s not quite premium content, the Roku Channel seems to have gathered some interesting channels across different genres.

For news, you can navigate between channels like ABC News Live, NowThis, Reuters, or USA Today. Sports networks include Fubo Sports Network, Outside TV, and Adventure Sports Network powered by Xumo.

Channels like Redbox Free Movies stick out among the movies and TV options, with Kidz Bop TV and Teletubbies highlighting the children-friendly channels. The Roku Channel loads up lifestyle fans with plenty of options, too, with the Bob Ross Channel, Glamour, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Vogue among the most notable selections.

The Roku Channel
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There are several Spanish-language channels, including AFV Español and Love Nature Español.

Unfortunately, mainstream channels along the lines of ESPN or TNT don’t come into play here. However, the content is free, and there is a lot of it. So while the content may not be as familiar as some might hope, you likely won’t have an issue finding something to watch among The Roku Channel’s 100-plus offerings.

Roku isn’t the only name in the free live TV streaming game — far from it. Services like Crackle and Pluto TV stand out, though there are enough legitimate options available that we’ve done the job of rounding up the best of them.

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Nick Woodard
Former Digital Trends Contributor
  As an A/V Staff Writer at Digital Trends, Nick Woodard covers topics that include 4K HDR TVs, headphones…
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