Roku’s line of digital media players and audio solutions has taken a backseat to the Roku mobile app. The Roku Channel is a free,ad-supported streaming channel. It allows you to stream licensed content from major movie production companies like Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Warner Brothers. You will also find other content publishers on the Roku Channel such as FilmRise and OVGuide. In addition to being a streaming service, the application can be used as a second remote for Roku player and Roku TV.
The Roku Channel has two kinds of content: free and premium. Its free content is a small collection of live news, sports and entertainment channels. This allows you to watch breaking news and sporting events in real-time. Channels that you can view for free include ABC news and Stadium. The premium content includes HBO, Showtime and Starz.
Roku will charge you per channel. Here is a list of supported apps:
This pricing model is similar to most cable TV providers. The difference is that your shows no longer have commercial breaks and you can watch on-demand. Roku does not have a base subscription. The reason for this is Roku does not produce original content, unlike Netflix and Hulu.
The Roku channel is compatible with the following operating systems:
Android 4.4.4 or higher
iOS version 9.0 or higher
Roku OS version 6.2 or later
The application will not slow down your smartphone as it takes up just 171.5 MB of space.
The Roku app offers the same buttons for both Roku Express 3900 or the Roku Streaming Stick+ 3810. The interface is similar to that of the actual Roku remote; you will find play/pause, forward/back and instant replay buttons on your screen. In addition, the app has its own virtual keyboard.
The mobile platform offers two functions that can be used in a group setting. The first function is private listening. Just like you would with other streaming services, you can listen to your Roku shows with headphones on. What makes this feature so different is that you can invite other Roku users to listen in with you via Bluetooth. The second function is a photo and video casting feature called Play on Roku. It lets you share photos, videos, and songs stored on your smartphone. Once you have chosen what you want to cast, it will appear on your TV.
Feature-packed streaming service
Roku sets itself apart from its competitors like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon by positioning itself as a channel aggregation service. You also feel more in control of what you are watching since you are paying for channels you are familiar with or want to watch. The addition of private listening and TV casting gives Roku more functionality than that of other streaming services.