Best Roku Channels for 2015

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The New Year is here and with it I feel its time to update the latest, greatest and generally the best Roku channels available for 2015!

There have been a few new offerings that make the Roku a much more appealing set-top box, some that have broken boundaries and others that are just plain awesome.

I have included a collection of private channels, plex ‘unsupported app store’ channels and official channels offered through the official Roku website.

I will give a brief description on each but ultimately the real tell for you will be to install and try these channels as experience and preference will vary.

Some of these channels can require some know-how to install successfully, but they are worth the learning curve.

Also to get the best these channels have to offer you should definitely consider a SmartDNS service if you are not in the US because the best content is almost always on the American version.

These services allow a user in say Canada, the UK, etc to appear as though they have an American address. This allows a Canadian Roku user to access the geo-blocked channels like Hulu Plus, Pandora, etc and allows you access to the far larger US Netflix movie and TV options.

If you want improved privacy also you can opt for a VPN package that allows added security and anonymity alongside the SmartDNS advantages. Either way if you are not located in the US then this service will take your Roku experience to a whole new level. Check out my guide on how to setup the Roku to take advantage of this service.


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The Best Roku Channels of 2015 so far are:

 

1. NetFlix

Netflix Channel Roku

 

 

 

This should be an obvious choice to a Roku user as it has become a well known service offering many movies, TV shows and documentaries as well as some exclusive content in all these departments as well as stand up comedy and the like. This service is a must have to anyone with a Roku and especially those who are ‘cutting the cord’ to their cable/satellite subscription.

 

2. Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus Channel Roku

 

 

 

TV shows live here! If you have a SmartDNS service or are located in the US this service offers the most up to date television content of the three top subscription services available on the Roku (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon). If TV is your thing and you can’t wait a whole season for the lastest Family Guy, The Flash or New Girl then you will likely want to check Hulu out, remember for non-American users you will likely need a SmartDNS or VPN service to access this channel on the Roku and the content as well. These services will make Hulu and others such as Netflix US available on other devices on your home network as well.

 

3. YouTube

YouTube Channel Roku

 

 

 

The YouTube Roku channel is an awesome channel! YouTube was a long time coming to the Roku and its only been there for about a year but already it has become a staple for the set-top box. This channel on the Roku 3 in particular is very cool. It allows you to play via your mobile devices and you can connect YouTube accounts to it. This allows you to create a playlist of awesome videos via your tablet/laptop/PC and then play them seamlessly through your big screen TV, think music video playlist for a party 😉

4. Plex

Plex Channel Roku

 

 

 

The Plex channel is my personal hub of awesome content! Now there are many characteristics to this channel and to be honest its sort of a media center all unto its self. There are sub-channels accessible through here and even an ‘UnSupported App Store‘ (download here) which allows the install of channels like ‘Let Me Watch This‘ and ‘iSho.ws‘ which are awesome resources for the Roku. Search YouTube for video tutorial, that’s how I learned.

This channel is best used to automatically and effectively display your media collection in a visually appealing library on your mobile devices, PC and Roku. So if you have a collection of TV series and movies on your main computer’s HD then this channel is your new best friend! It will play almost anything and that includes home videos uploaded from your smartphone or cameras.

 

5. FilmOn.TV

Filmon tv Roku Channel

 

 

 

 

The FilmOn Roku channel is a private channel and the top of my list of private channels, mostly because it is both free and loaded with content, the best content being the live streaming ones. To check out what FilmOn TV offers visit their site. If you like what is available on the website install the private Roku channel here. This is best known for its access to live channels from the UK, in particular live BBC News, Channel 4, etc. This channel has had some rough ups and downs in the past so it is possible the channel will not last forever. That being said while its working its worth a trial run.

 

6. USTVNow

USTVNOW Roku

 

 

 

This channel is unique in a number of cool ways. It offers live regular programming, a TV guide and a DVR service. This service has a free 45-day trial during which you can access 6 live channels (ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, PBS). The paid subscriptions offer more than 25 channels. There are at least two subscription offers each are discounted for the first 3 months before raising about $10/month more. They are available for your consideration on their website. I personally have only used their free services and so far they work pretty good.

 

7. Pandora

Pandora Channel Roku

 

 

 

The Pandora channel is a classic service by this point and if you like music at all its an essential Roku channel. This is the sort of channel that requires a SmartDNS or VPN service, if you are living outside of the US.

 

8. SlingTV

SlingTV

 

 

SlingTV is a new comer to the Roku. This channel offers access to paid subscriptions that give you to access live television streaming straight to the Roku. The service starts at $20/month and offers in this basic package access to networks such as ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. There are also add on packages for News, Kids and Sports. This service is expected to expand on its content in the coming year and unlike traditional TV there are no contracts and no exorbitant costs. Also the service offers other features such as VOD and controls such as pause, rewind, fast forward for some channels.

They offer a free 7-day trial

SlingTV on Roku

 

This channel and service also requires that you are located in the US so if you are not then you will need a SmartDNS or VPN service like Overplay, which I use.

 

 

 

9. DishWorld

Dish World Roku

 

 

 

DISHWorld has a Roku channel that offers access to live streaming of many channels in many different languages. This is a must look into channel if you or someone in your household wants entertainment content in another language. They also offer some English content and sports content. They also offer deals on Roku devices with sign-up.

 

10. CBS News

CBS News Roku Channel

 

 

 

This channel is probably the best single channel for news on the Roku. The CBS News channel is the first major network to offer quality live streaming of their news content for free on the Roku. This live streaming comes with commercials but who’s going to complain when the price is right 😉

 


 

This list is absolutely not intended to be exhaustive and there are many more excellent Roku channels for your consideration. This is just my list of the best channels for the Roku either because of the quality they offer or that they are trying something new that brings new content to the Roku experience.

There are other channels out there such as NowhereTV, Huffington Post Live, Amazon, etc. They also offer an excellent experience to the decisive Roku user. You just have to explore your options and have fun!

If you think I’ve left out an especially awesome channel(s) let me know what you think by commenting below.

 


 

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47 thoughts on “Best Roku Channels for 2015

  1. Hi Daniel, thank you very much for this very helpful overview of best Roku Channels, think now I know how to set up things in the best way, thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    • You’re most welcome Vera! These new channels are really showing the progress the Roku is making into offering cable/satellite customers an alternative that works well.

  2. What a great post. With so many channels out there its hard to know which the best ones are without looking them up indivually and reading numerous reviews. This website gives all of that info on one page…, really helpful. I have a few of these channels mentioned and have learnt something new. Good job keep it up.

      • none of them work here in canada. thanks for nothing. we need americian channels that work here in canada without a vpn or dns provider or an americian address.

      • Sorry to disappoint Denise I’m afraid until content laws change we Canadians are likely to have to put up with the slim pickings unless we are willing to shell out the extra cash for SmartDNS services or VPN. If its any consolation I pay for the SmartDNS service and there are many Roku users or just Netflix aficionados all over the world who do the same.

  3. Hi Daniel – Thanks for the post – Best Roku Channels for 2015. Being in the UK I didn’t realize there were so many different options available.
    I will certainly be looking into what I can access over here.

    Mark

  4. Hi Daniel – thank you very much for all of the helpful information! I learned a lot. What service provider to you use for Smart DNS and how much is the monthly fee?

    • I personally use Overplay’s SmartDNS as it works well with the Roku and has features such as JetSwitch which allows you to easily pre-select your region for individual channels such as Netflix, Hulu, etc. So you can have Netflix on Canada setting at the same time as Hulu is on US setting.

      Check out my guide on how to set it up on your Roku and router. I find UnblockUS has excellent customer service, guides and a forum to communicate issues, they are just a little more tricky to setup on the Roku. Overall I’m very satisfied with Overplay and haven’t ever thought of switching to another service. Their fee is comparable to all the others at $5 USD/month.

    • The only subscriptions I normally pay for are Netflix and Overplay’s SmartDNS, occasionally Hulu and others. While there are many possible subscriptions you can choose which ever you think you will use. The goal is more flexibility and more choice, not just cheaper. If you want cheaper then just get Netflix, Hulu and Overplay’s SmartDNS.

      With these you have access to thousands of excellent movies and tv shows and it will only cost about ~$26 CDN/month. This is on demand, personalized (Netflix anyways) and non-contract. To say nothing of all the free content also available on Roku.

      Compare this price to your cable subscription and if you pay less and have more options then maybe you are better off with cable/satellite. I’ve personally cut cable years ago and don’t for a second regret it. Binge watching on Netflix and Hulu… saving my favorites in Netflix to watch another day. “Orange is the new Black”, “Sense8” and the like make it a better option in my opinion than commercial ridden sub-par entertainment. But it is a choice of preference as much as price.

      Plus with the use of the Plex channel, to stream all the content available on your computer hard-drive to your TV, you’ve got tons of options for entertainment.

      How much do you pay for cable/satellite and are you satisfied with the value? Most aren’t.

      • Daniel
        I am enjoying my roku which i purchased approx 8 months ago. I am able to watch all the free stuff
        but when i try to order a pay service ie. Canada pkg it will not accept my pin #. I have changed my pin and still the same result. I have called the help line but they were unable to help me, Any suggestions or should I toss it ?

        Norm

      • Hello Norm,

        Have you tried setting the PIN to “A PIN is not required to make any purchase or add any item from the Channel Store.” option in the members area of Roku.com?

        Also what are you trying to purchase, what is ‘Canada package’? If you’re trying to purchase services like Netflix and similar services, just purchase the subscription via the official website on your computer. Then download the channel (for free) via Roku’s channel store and sign in with the username and password you set on the website (ie. Netflix.com).

        Daniel

  5. Hi Daniel
    I am new to Toronto and heated lot abt u and yr product here. I want to join in yr roku family. Who will help me to install yr product here in Missisauga. I am Sr citizen and need some help in this. Can u please suggest to get Indian Tamil channels which are my favourite.

    • Hello Krish,

      Welcome to Toronto! I’m not affiliated with Roku, I’m just a fan with a Blog.

      I’m not aware of anyone in Mississauga who could help you install Roku, sorry. I think SlingTV on Roku could offer some Tamil channels but I’ve not tried it myself. Check out – https://www.sling.com/tamil

      • Thank you so much for all the info Daniel.
        Can you please tell me if there is a way to get CBC the national at 9 pm on ROKU.
        I am ready to cut the cord but my hsband wants his live CBC national and I can’t cut the cord until I figure this one out…

      • Hello Monica,

        I’m afraid there is no CBC live feed available on the Roku that I’m aware of.

        I believe more live content is coming to the Roku and other media streaming boxes soon, as there is a growing demand for it. Also CBS, Wall Street Journal and Newsmax TV are live and on the Roku so there is precedent.

        Best of luck with ‘cutting the cord’ even if you think the cable subscription costs and commitments are worth the price for watching CBC news you can still go with the Roku as a supplement. Just a thought, best of luck!

  6. Why is it that if I am on the US Roku site, there is a categorized list of channels available ( Movies etc. ) and on the Canada site, just about a dozen “Ads” for channels and lots of “Buy this Roku, buy that Roku ” and so on, but no search / list of channels? Seems like Canada Roku is WAY WAY WAY behind the rest of the world.

    • Canadian Roku services are certainly less impressive when compared to the US experience. It’s really a numbers game mostly. There are far fewer Canadians who are open to streaming content vs Americans.

      Given some time this discrepancy is likely to diminish making the Canadian content and services more comparable. Until then all non Americans are able to access American content via SmartDNS or VPN, thanks to service providers like Overplay.

      Other countries like Japan and Australia are more comparable to Canada in content and offerings, its really only America that has a dramatically better setup.

  7. I too am Canadian and like many others I am looking to free myself from making my monthly contribution to the Bell Empire to the tune of $130/m to simply watch TV.
    Before I do though I have a couple of questions that I can’t seem to find answers to anywhere online.
    – Assuming I pay for Smart DNS or VPN Service to access American content, will I be able to access specialty networks such as CNN, A&E, Discovery, HGTV, History Channel, Nat Geo and the like?
    – what about local Canadian programming? Is CTV or Global available?
    – Finally is there a programming guide for American network and specialty channels…similar to the guide on cable or satellite? Without one it would be difficult to know air times/ dates of favourite network programs.

    Thanks

    • Hello Jerry,

      Sorry your comment was in my spam folder, I’ve switched services so hopefully this doesn’t happen again.

      1. Some of the networks you list are available on the Roku but not in the form they are available on cable/satellite tv. Roku is a whole other system to these and so the content delivery is different you aren’t going to find a live channel for any of these networks on the Roku as far as I am aware. CBS news and a couple others are offering a live channel on the Roku. BBC does as well as Huffington, SkyNews and a few others. That being said if you are an avid news watcher who likes things as they are on cable/satellite you are likely to be disappointed with any set-top media player. I personally get most of my news online and occasionally supplement with Roku services.

      2. Some Canadian programming is available but not much in the way of local news. I believe you can still find Global news but I think its always a day old. There was some CTV content that I saw but not for Ontario.

      3. This question as with the others leads me to think you have not used a Roku before. The ‘set-top’ media players work very differently than cable and satellite services. With Cable/Satellite you have a predefined menu of delivered content live all the time. With ‘set-top’ media players its more of a on-demand system where you pick and choose as you go. So no there really isn’t any ‘tv-guide’ as the media is generally available at your leisure after its initial release.

      The best way to understand this media environment that the Roku delivers is to try it, perhaps a friend or consider purchasing one and just return it if you find its too different. Check out their channel store, here.

  8. Hi Daniel
    I have a couple of questions.
    Just received roku 3 for Christmas. I am with Telus in Canada and already subscribed to Netflix Canada, can I still go to Smart DNS Service and receive USA netflix. and the the other USA stations ?

    Daughter has satellite internet is she able to use roku 3 in her home ?
    Thanks
    Larry

    Reply

    • Hello Larry,

      You don’t need to subscribe to US Netflix to get access to American Netflix content. Netflix allows a cross border feature that allows Canadian Netflix subscribers to access Netflix while they are traveling to America, in doing so they give access to American content. So whether you are literally traveling to America or using SmartDNS to “appear to be traveling” to America, both are the same to Netflix.

      So setup your Canadian Netflix account, then setup SmartDNS on your router and you can access US Netflix content! Just make sure you can change the DNS settings on the router you have at home and if you run into any problems the most likely issue is the Google DNS hardcoding on the Roku. Which can be solved by following this guide, here.

      Also Roku is pretty universal with ISPs, so generally any internet access (Cable Internet, DSL Internet, Fiber-optics, Wireless) will work with the Roku. Provided it’s fast enough, which nowadays really isn’t much of an issue as most internet service providers offer fast enough internet services for reasonable prices.

      Merry Christmas,
      Daniel

  9. Is unblock-us the same as a Smart DNS SERVICE? I have a Canadian Netflix account and I went through the method of changing my DNS to appear US based and though it shows changed on my router the Roku shows my Canadian ISP and I still only get Canadian content. I have tried to access other channels like espn but it requires a valid us address or subscription. They offer cheats around it but my postal code doesn’t corroborate with a valid us zip. Any suggestions about how to overcome this?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hey Ross,

      Yes, UnBlockUS is a smartDNS service. You will have to have the DNS settings changed on the router first before setting up your Roku. So perform a factory reset via the Roku menu and then unplug the Roku before proceeding with the setup. Then go to Roku’s website (all the while with the router setup with the DNS settings provided by UnBlockUS) you should see “Roku, Inc. [US]” in the address bar before the URL. With this you know Roku sees you as being in America. Then choose any valid Zip Code with corresponding valid city and state for your Roku account setup for the payment information. After setting up when you’re in the account profile screen, turn the Roku on and link it to the account. Then remove the payment information via the internet browser where you have the ‘account profile’ displayed.

      Done! Add American content to your hearts content.

      Cheers, let me know if you require further assistance. Refer to my article written on this very topic, here. I know the random Zip Code selection seems weird just go with it, it worked – and is still working – for me 😉

      Daniel

  10. Hi Daniel. With the Big 3 in Canada all but refusing CRTC’s directive to provide skinny packages and advising their sales people to try anything to avoid giving customers cheaper choices, I want to finally shut them out if I can. I’ve read about some streaming devices and how they can be used to view American sites and channels, but hasn’t there been a recent crackdown on such activity, especially Netflix? Thanks.

    • Hello Gabe,

      If there has been a crackdown it’s been a very ineffective one, as I have not seen anything other than hearsay and rumors. I wouldn’t concern yourself with these rumors as they are mostly attempts at scaring people into choosing the traditional cable/satellite type of services. Reality is Netflix and similar services are expanding to all over the world and making these geo-blocks look more and more ridiculous.

      Give the Roku a try and see what you think, it’s still a developing platform but for me its the only one I’ve used for the past 5+ years. Once you get the hang of the new type of entertainment environment that these streaming set-top players provide you’ll likely never go back to the expensive and contrived offerings of cable and satellite providers. I will only say they are not an exact replacement to cable/satellite services. So if live sports and local news are what you watch most don’t necessarily get your hopes up. On the other hand if its excellent movies and television offered on-demand at your leisure and where you can pick and choose your options to your preferences, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

      Also there is live news and live sports/tv on the Roku, however this is the area which most people find issue with when switching. Feel free to browse the site and the net and get the feedback of others, if you have any other questions feel free to ask! 🙂

      Cheers,

      Daniel

  11. Live Canadian content is available and, as far as I can tell, streaming legally. CBC, Global, CTV, Breakfast television/City Line and more.

    • Hello Tom,

      That’s awesome to hear do you have any suggestions on how to get this content on the Roku so I can share this with others?

      Cheers,

      Daniel

  12. Does Roku still support SlingPlayer? I see SlingTV which is a service, however I am looking for a media player which will support TV streaming through SlingPlayer.

    • Hello Paul,

      I’ve never used this service so I can’t comment on how well it works, however it does seem to be supported still. The Roku channel that facilitates the service can be found by following this link, here (SlingPlayer for Roku), also check out SlingBox’s website for more information, here.

      Cheers,

      Daniel

  13. HI
    I have come across your blog site while trying to find out how to get ESPN channels through my satellite dish and or Roku. Unfortunately I can’t get ESPN as my service provider Shaw does not offer it and neither does Roku in Canada. Can you help me out with some suggestions not totally tech knowledgeable anymore as I once was. You mention smartdns and Vpn what’s the difference do you need both or can you have both? I notice you mention UnblockUS and Overplay are these the best ones to use or are there better ones out there? Are you getting paid to promote these two sites? Next thing I have heard about at a flea market was android boxes and that these boxes are the best thing going do you know anything about them and if so what’s the best and how do they work and do you need any other services with this box?
    Thanks

    • Hello Rob,

      Roku US does offer an ESPN channel called “WatchESPN” this channel needs a qualified cable/satellite subscription to active though (apparently SlingTV qualifies – caution though, I have not checked this). However with the addition of SlingTV and their channel offerings you can access ESPN and many of its subchannels through the Roku. SlingTV is sort of the main ‘cable-like’ replacement for set-top media players like the Roku, AppleTV, etc.

      SlingTV starts its Netflix like monthly subscriptions at around $20USD and you can add the sports package or others to that. With the base package you get channels like ESPN and ESPN2 as well as AMC, CNN, HGTV, Cartoon Network, History, Disney, and more. (SlingTV offers me no monetary incentive)

      Important things to remember are SlingTV is only available in the US so SmartDNS or VPN are required to access them. Yes Overplay and UnBlockUS do offer referral commissions. This is the only incentive I have and all the major and most of all the SmartDNS/VPN services offer these referral commissions so I choose UnblockUS primarily for it’s excellent customer support and Overplayfor their software like JetSwitch. JetSwitch allows you to have access to UK Netflix at the same time as you access US content like ESPN/SlingTV by manually specifying your ‘virtual location’ for both services separately. Something most services don’t yet offer.

      As to whether you need SmartDNS or VPN. SmartDNS is all that is neccessary as it re-routes all the geo-location inquiries you receive via services/websites like Netflix, Hulu, etc. However a VPN service re-routes all your internet through another ‘Virtual Private Network’ so its more comprehensive and fool proof. However not neccessary… think of VPN as High-Octance Gas and SmartDNS as Regular. Both get you where you want to go (with the Roku) but one offers improved performance. Don’t need and can’t have both simultaneously.

      Android boxes often support a platform called KODI which is pretty awesome in general. However I prefer the reliability and performance that is had with a Roku. Android boxes tend to have more free content but at the massive expense of more glitches, failed links, hardware issues and complicated interfaces. If you are really trying to save money give them a try but don’t be suprised if they annoy you over time. I believe in making the TV experience stress free and reliable. Roku and its peers are best at this and unsurprisingly you pay for the quality. That being said lots of content can be viewed via Plex on the Roku, including your downloads and saved media (movies, tv, songs)

      Cheers,

      Daniel

  14. HI Daniel thanks for the quick response.
    So to understand what your saying is I should get a sling tv box and if I get this device I won’t need the Roku box as the sling tv has all the same thing as the Roku plus much more. I then need a smartdns service provider which you are saying to use UNblockUS, so what is Overplay? Is this smartdns or Vpn or a program ? I would love to access the UK Netflix being British that would be a bonus. Are you saying that I could use either smart dns or vpn but not both ? Does this mean it’s cheaper for the smart dns and is it easier to use? Why not just go with a Vpn service if it’s the elite of the two? Being in Canada we only get Canadian content through Roku but you are mentioning the USA Roku and sling tv so how do you go about getting a sling box how do you set all this up and do you not need a USA bank account to pay? Are you saying avoid android boxes because they are not reliable as everyone is saying, would I be wasting my money on one?
    Is plex only in USA ? I guess I am just really not up to date on all of this , sorry
    Thank you

    • Hey Rob,

      SlingBox TV is something different. I’m speaking of SlingTV which is reviewed here.

      UnblockUS and Overplay are companies offering services like SmartDNS. You only need SmartDNS which is a service not a program. SmartDNS is a service that allows you to access geo-restricted content by having providers like Netflix, Hulu, SlingTV and Pandora see you as being in the US, UK, etc. How you appear to these providers is in your hands with this service, if you want Netflix to see you as in the US you can be. Want to appear as if in the UK, no problem just switch the settings in the Overplay members area.

      I’ve not purchased SlingTV before so I’m not exactly sure how to set it up in Canada. I’m sure it can be done and it will likely be a topic for an article in the future. Sorry not sure how to though.

      You can set your Roku up with an American account. Read here for some perspective and instructions.

      So bearing in mind I have not yet done this, it’s just research and experience that tell me it’s likely possible. To make a long story short to watch ESPN on Roku you will need in this order:

      1. Get a Roku (I suggest Roku 2 or 3)
      2. Get a SmartDNS subscription from Overplay
      3. Setup SmartDNS on your Router
      4. Setup an American Roku account
      5. Unpackage the Roku and link it to the American account
      6. Enrol with SlingTV (access to the website is available after SmartDNS is setup)*This step I have no experience with*
      7. Add SlingTV channel to your Roku lineup
      8. Watch ESPN

      I’m not all that familiar with Android boxes. Plex is software and so geo-restriction is not an issue with it, it’s available for use anywhere.

      Cheers,

      Daniel

    • Hello Cam,

      For free streaming of MotoGP on the Roku check out the YouTube Channel via the Roku. Alternatively you can access live streaming of MotoGP through beIN Sports channel available on the Roku through either SlingTV or FuboTV.

      For the SlingTV option you would need the Basic Package for $20/month (USD) plus the Sports Extra Package for $5/month (USD). This is if you have Overplay’s SmartDNS option so SlingTV thinks you are in the US (SlingTV isn’t available to Roku users outside of America). SlingTV offers a 7-day free trail.

      For the FuboTV option you would just need $9.99/month (USD) and you can watch MotoGP on the beIN Sports channel. Unfortunately to watch MotoGP live on the beIN Sports channel via the FuboTV service you would also need Overplay’s SmartDNS to unblock FuboTV if you are outside the US. FuboTV offers a 60-day free trail at the moment!

  15. Roku must stop misrepresenting their products on consumer packaging. It is certainly a great disappoint to hook the device in Canada to find only a few interesting products. Not the thousands of channels your advertising on packaging has us believe. I wonder if any effort is being made to negotiate with Canadian news networks to have at least on of the big three stations available. SkyNews is great, but I want to see news from Canada. At any rate, your service to Canadians is disappointing.

    • Hello David,

      Just to clarify I’m a fan blogger and I’m in no way affiliated with Roku the company. They are found at Roku.com and I’ve been communicating this issue to them for a couple years now, as have other Canadians in an attempt to improve clarity on geo-blocked content and lack of Canadian local content.

      I’m sorry you find Roku’s packaging to misrepresent the products. Media players and digital content in general is a tricky thing where geological borders can pose a confusing mess. Roku is a US manufacturer and some of the content offered through their devices is country specific (only accessible in a single country or group of countries). As for local news and the similar services/content it is something that is a focus for all the media players (Amazon Fire, AppleTV, etc.) however there exists roadblocks to making this available for media player users. Much of the content delivery systems are resistant to change and so it’s not always a simple fix to get this content on the Roku. At other times it’s a perceived lack of interest, so I personally am looking forward to the day Roku and the other media player manufacturers find a way to get streaming content for services like CTV News, Global National, etc.

      As to the “thousands of channels” they can be accessed in Canada if you follow my guide, here. It will cost a few extra bucks a month to get access to all the other channels and many of the best are subscription based (Netflix, SlingTV, Amazon Prime Video, etc.) but many people find it a great alternative to bloated subscription packages that are offered via the satellite TV and cable companies.

      Cheers,
      Daniel

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