Earlier this week, Roku announced it was adding 30 new live channels to The Roku Channel, bringing its total offerings to more than 100 free, ad-supported live streaming channels on the platform.
The new channels, available through the Live TV channel on Roku devices and TVs, include a wide range of news, kid-focused content, game shows, sports, nature documentaries, cooking shows, movies and culture.
There’s a channel that airs nonstop Teletubbies, as well as several dedicated to newer kids shows, like Rainbow Ruby, ZooMoo and Rev and Roll. Kidoodle TV offers a mix of different kids shows, curated by parents, while Ryan and Friends features an 8-year-old YouTube star who made it big after vlogging his toy reviews. Kidz Bop TV is also an option, where viewers not only get an unending chorus of children singing and dancing to cleaned up versions of popular pop songs, but also a glimpse into the making of the group’s music videos.
Several print publications also have a channel to air video content, from GQ and Vanity Fair to Vogue and Glamour. For movie lovers, there are channels dedicated to several different genres: Gravitas for independent films, Xumo Free Westerns for those looking for old-fashioned cowboy stories and FilmRise Action for, well, action. RedBox and and Xumo Free Movies channels offer more of a grab bag.
To help viewers navigate the new options, we’ve compiled a list of the top five new Roku live channels to get you started.
The Bob Ross Channel
It’s a tense moment in the history of the world. Watching Bob Ross, with his calming voice, happy little trees and happy little accidents seems like an appropriate way to exercise self-care if there ever was one. Tune in for an hour or so, witness him turn a blank canvas into a peaceful landscape or pull out an easel and paint set yourself, and then get back to work.
While some parts of the country are beginning to open restaurants back up to consumers at a partial or full capacity, surveys show that there are still a lot of folks who are nervous about spending time in public spaces with others because they’re afraid of contracting Covid-19. Bon Appétit’s channel on Roku Live TV provides cooking inspiration and recipes for those of us who have maybe lost some of the momentum that fueled ambitious dinners and bread baking at the beginning of quarantine.
One way to resume traveling without any risk of Covid-19 is to do it through your television. To avoid that knee-jerk anxiety of seeing groups of people together in most travel shows that feature bustling tourist sites, Love Nature has a simple solution: Focus on the animals around the world instead.
Roku pointed to the importance of news coverage right now as one of the reasons it launched these 30 new channels earlier than planned. While Reuters was previously available on Roku through its own app, it was removed from the platform in January. Now, users have renewed access to the news organization’s content through this live channel. At a time when it feels as through the news is happening faster everyday, access to the publisher’s journalism serves as an important tool for those looking to stay up-to-date on what’s going on.
Joining Roku “allows Reuters to reach a new and engaged audience of news consumers,” said Jessica April, director of strategic partnerships at Reuters, in a statement. “It’s a critical time for accurate and unbiased news coverage, and we’re excited to partner with Roku to deliver our world-class journalism to their users.”
Pride Month has just begun, and even in 2020, LGBTQ-focused movies and TV shows are often hard to come by. Revry, which calls itself an “unapologetically queer” TV channel, was founded in 2015 as a way to fill that void. Available in 130 countries—and now through Roku—the channel aims to give viewers more access to diverse queer stories on the screen.