Surprise! You don’t need a Roku device or television to watch a ton of free, ad-supported movies and shows anymore. This week, Roku brought “The Roku Channel” to the web, and it’s free for you to watch from your favorite browser (or select Samsung televisions).
Roku originally launched the channel in September of last year as a way to differentiate itself from its competition, like Apple TV and Chromecast. Now, the service is a decent way to check out a few cinematic gems, some live television shows, and a limitless supply of B-grade (or worse) movies. Oh, and Madonna. You can watch the entire 1991 Truth or Dare documentary, too, if that’s your idea of a Friday night.
Content in the channel includes movies from entertainment companies like MGM, Lionsgate, and Paramount, to name a few. You’ll also find links to live TV shows, including ABC News, Cheddar, and People TV, as well as plenty of on-demand shows that cover a huge range of interests and time periods: everything from Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen; to geeky shows that never made it past a single season, like Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest; to classics like Bonanzaand I Dream of Jeannie.
The movies aren’t the latest blockbusters, either, but they also aren’t total duds. Some of the options I found from a brief poke around include Nightmare of Elm Street, School of Rock, Searching for Bobby Fischer, and The Matrix. Check out the full selection here.
To watch anything, all you have to do is sign up for a free Roku account on the site. It’s as easy as that. While you probably won’t cancel your Netflix or Hulu subscription, or cut the cord, based on Roku’s offerings, the service has some pretty good free content that’s worth checking out.