Roku launches its free TV streaming service in the UK – if you can put up with the ads

(Image credit: Roku)

If you’ve been looking for a free TV streaming service to fill up those long days and weekends, look no further: Roku has now launched a free, ad-supported TV platform in the UK.

The Roku Channel isn’t a new enterprise, having first launched in the US back in 2017. The service aggregates free content from a variety of sources and publishers into the simple and easy-to-navigate Roku OS, giving those hankering after free TV a handy place to browse all sorts of films, TV shows, documentaries, and the like.

You’ll find around 10,000 TV episodes and films available to stream on demand. They include home renovation shows, cooking shows, kids TV shows, family programming, true crime, and plenty more besides.

The Roku Channel is coming to Roku streaming devices, including the Roku Express, Roku Premiere, and Roku Streaming Stick+ – though you’ll also find it on the Hisense Roku TV that launched in late 2019. It’s on Sky Q boxes and Now TV streaming sticks too.

Exciting times for UK viewers

Roku has been pushing further into the UK market as of late, with a great budget television set – the Hisense Roku TV – now on UK shores, and the recent Roku OS 9.3 update bringing Alexa and Google Assistant support to Roku streamers too.

The Roku Channel may not appeal to everyone, especially those who prefer paying for ad-free content rather than having their viewing experience continually interrupted (though kids shows will receive significantly fewer ads). But for those after free TV shows, or just a supplement to their existing TV streaming service subscriptions – Netflix, Disney Plus, and the like – the Roku Channel is here.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.