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Best Roku Channels you Must Have

Updated on April 16, 2012

My Top 5 Roku Channels

If you just purchased a Roku box their are a few Roku channels that you must have in order to enjoy your Roku to the fullest. As a Roku box owner I have learned that a few Roku channels can be less than desirable, but their are a few Roku channels that everyone must have.

Want Free Channels?

Roku provides a ton of free Roku Channels. They offer so many free channels it might be difficult to determine which ones you should focus on. My favorite 5 channels that are free can be found here.

#1 The Netflix Channel

Netflix provides a wide variety of movies and TV shows. Netflix works great if you want to do a marathon of your favorite TV shows. The best part about Netflix is how you can stream video in 1080p resolution. Netflix on Roku also provides amazing sound by supporting Dolby Digital Plus.

In order to take advantage of the Netflix Channel on Roku you will need to setup a Netflix account. The streaming accounts currently cost $8 a month which is all you’ll need to use the Netflix channel. You can also take advantage of the one month free promotion and connect up to 6 devices to a single account.

Whats a Roku Box?

A Roku Box is a great way to reduce your cable bill. It allows you to stream TV shows, movies and music from the Internet to your TV. Have you ever wanted to take your Netflix movies from your computer to your TV? The Roku Box makes it easy for you to do it.

UPDATE: Roku has recently introduced the Roku stick which gives you all the benefits of the Roku Box, but eliminates the need for wires.

#2 The Hulu Plus Channel

Hulu Plus is another great channel that Roku provides. Hulu allows you to watch all your favorite TV shows on your Roku Box. I find that Netflix works best for watching older TV shows and Hulu Plus is perfect for watching current TV shows. The Roku Box is a great way to take your Hulu shows off your computer and onto the big screen in full HD.

Keep in mind, in order to use this Roku channel you will need to have a Hulu Plus account. Currently a Hulu Plus account cost $7 a month. I am a subscriber to Hulu Plus, and I find it completely worth it. Many people don’t like paying for Hulu Plus and having to watch ads, but I think 2 minutes of ads is much better then the 8 minutes of ads you pay to watch using your cable service.

#3 Amazon Instant Video Channel

Amazon Instant Video is another great Roku channel. This channel is free to access, but the content is not free. Amazon Instant Video works a lot like an OnDemand service. It gives you a way to watch almost any movie by either buying or renting it. If you choose to buy a movie it’s added to your Amazon Video Library and you can watch it as many times as you would like and whenever you would like. If you rent a movie you have a limited time to watch it. Rentals seem to cost anywhere from $3 to $4 each and purchasing a movie costs anywhere from $7 to $16 each.

Amazon also offers a membership program called Amazon Prime which gives you access to thousands of these movies for free. Amazon Prime cost about $79 a year which ends up being about $6.60 a month. As a Amazon Prime member you also get free 2 day shipping and access to the Kindle Book Lending Library.


#4 Pandora Channel

Most people are aware of the internet radio site called Pandora. This Roku channel is free and allows you to access your Pandora radio stations on your TV. I like to use this channel so that I can take advantage of my speaker system that’s connected to the TV. It’s so much more enjoyable to listen to my music through the TV rather than tiny laptop speakers.

Pandora is free, but if you want to stop the ads you’ll have to purchase a membership. A one year subscription to Pandora is $36 which in my opinion isn’t that bad. However, the free version is pretty good and the ads are not that annoying.

#5 Vimeo Channel

This Roku channel is completely free and offers a ton of content. Vimeo is similar to YouTube, but has a tendency to show higher quality videos. The "Editors Picks" section changes each day and provides some very interesting videos to watch.

If you enjoy independent films or animation you will be sure to enjoy Vimeo.

What are your favorite channels? Tell us!

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    • profile image

      Jim 5 years ago

      You should try Retrovision. It's free and it has a lot of classic movies.

    • kgala0405 profile image

      Kevin Galarneau 6 years ago from Michigan

      I'm glad to hear you found it interesting. If your interested in media boxes you may want to check out Boxee Box and Google TV as well.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      Very interesting. I hadn't heard of a Roku box before. Thanks for sharing this!