The Roku Channel is coming to the UK - here's what's on it, and how to watch the free streaming service
Hot on the heels of the recently made-available Disney+, another new streaming service in launching in the UK to keep you entertained during lockdown uncertainty.
And the best part? It's free... if you don't mind sitting through the ads.
The Roku Channel has been a staple of streaming in the US since 2017, but is available in the UK for the first time as of today (7 April).
Here's everything you need to know about it:
What is The Roku Channel?
Roku's set-top boxes have previously been available in the UK, serving as a handy way to access streaming media content from various online services.
Roku launched its own streaming channel - The Roku Channel - in the US on its devices in October 2017, featuring licensed content and movies and TV shows from studios such as Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros., and Disney.
Now, that streaming service is available in the UK.
What's on The Roku Channel?
At it's UK launch, The Roku Channel plays host to around 10,000 TV episodes and films available to stream on demand.
From documentaries to home renovation shows, true crime to kids TV shows, there's a wide selection of content which should cater to most tastes.
In the US, The Roku Channel offers news and live streaming of some of America's biggest networks.
That doesn't appear to be the case here, but The Roku Channel's lauded kids and family section - which shows fewer ads - is available, perfect for keeping the little ones entertained in the face of ongoing school closures.
Movies will come to the service on a month-per-month basis while TV shows be available for longer.
Users will see 'featured' and 'recommended' suggestions and a search tool, and there are also editorial collections by Roku to point users in the direction of content that is leaving soon, as well as what's new.
How intrusive are the ads?
With Roku being a free streaming platform, it has to make its money somewhere, and it does that through ads.
Roku says that it will "try" to limit the amount of ads it displays to viewers to be in line with what they might expect to see on other platforms.
With TV shows, Roku will "attempt" to place the ads where they would have originally appeared during the show's broadcast.
Unlike similar free streaming services, you won’t have to watch an ad before you start watching your content of choice, and Roku say they won't be allowing the same ad to play more than once in a half-hour period.
Users should expect eight minutes of ads per hour of viewing.
How do I access The Roku Channel?
Unfortunately, The Roku Channel is only available to a limited range of people; those who already own Roku streaming devices, Sky Q boxes orNow TV streaming sticks.
The channel requires no subscriptions, fees or even logins, and offers streaming quality up to 1080p.