Roku has no officially launched the Roku Channel app, reports indicate. That means Cord-cutters no longer need to own a Roku-branded device to access the service's free TV and movie services. And they won't be forced into a mobile or desktop browser UI either. In fact, the Roku Channel is an entirely new app, too. That's as opposed to existing in the standard Roku app.
The company announced and released the new app, available now for free on both iOS and Android, today.
What's included with the new app?
For clarity, the Roku Channel is Roku's streaming TV and movie platform. It's pre-installed on Roku-enabled televisions as well as Roku streaming devices. Not only does the service include live TV from the likes of ABC News, Fubo Sports, and others, similar to the company's chief competitors in the space. It also has new content being added all of the time.
For instance, Roku reportedly indicates that it will e adding content from HappyKids.tv, The Martial Arts Channel, iFood.tv, The Lego Channel, Sony Canal Novelas, and other entertainment in Spanish at the end of the month. That's on top of the channels and content already available on the platform, from movies to tv shows.
Subscribers to the Roku Channel can also spend some cash to get extra content. That's from traditional paid TV channels. So users can subscribe to STARZ, ShowTime, and more, at the click or tap of a button in an easy-to-use mobile app. Then they can stream all of their content from one place — the Roku Channel. Of course, setting up the subscription through Roku consolidates billing without raising the price of those add-on services. But no cost is necessary to sign up.
A Roku account is all that's needed to access free content right away. And that account is free to sign up for.
The newest devices might still be the best way to stream the Roku Channel
While there's no longer any Roku device required to access the Roku Channel, that still might be the best way to stream the content in question. Not only are the latest Roku devices 4K HDR compatible, allowing a much better picture. They're also Dolby Atmos compatible to offer the best audio experience around.
Roku recently revamped its lineup to meet those expectations with two new devices. The first is a bit more expensive at $129. But that gadget is also a soundbar. The second device is a more traditional Roku Ultra.