Computers & Electronics

Pls explain Roku (on TV)

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  • Jul 19th, 2020 4:39 pm
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Deal Guru
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Jun 26, 2005
10083 posts
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Toronto

Pls explain Roku (on TV)

I'm sure I can Google all this but I bet there are some smart people here who can tell me the answer faster.

So this week I just bought from Costco this new TV (see pic) and it's Roku. I had to set up a Roku account , which included me putting in my credit card for buying stuff later

It asked me to add some channels that I wanted and it said these were free to add. Like CBS, Happykids, Crave, some other kids streaming channel, etc

My question is are these actually free to watch or am I going to be charged later in my credit card?

Also If anyone can give me any details on how Roku works I would appreciate it very much.

That Kids one had tons of shows, looks like Netflix. So is Roku including that for free? Is there a time limit until I am charged again?


Thanks all

Like Crave is a subscription right? On the Netflix I had to login.
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35 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2018
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Vancouver
There are very few channels (apps) for which you would pay Roku. Many of the Roku channels are for paid services like Netflix, but you pay the service supplier directly, Roku does get a cut though - it's their major revenue stream.

Many of the channels are for completely free services, but probably 90% of them are junk, like a long list of religious channels.

The networks like CBS are a special case - the channels are free, but they are only enabled if you subscribe to a cable TV package that includes those channels. That makes the Roku channels pretty pointless, since you would just watch the cable TV channel directly.

Roku does offer a good Plex client, making the Plex media server a good choice to partner with your Roku TV for serving your own content.
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Nov 25, 2009
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Roku has channels/apps even games. Some are free(Crackle,Tubi,YouTube) some are paid(Netflix,Disney+). It's a way to make a dumb tv smart. You should have been able to use Roku without handing over your CC.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2018
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FrostyWinnipeg wrote: Roku has channels/apps even games. Some are free(Crackle,Tubi,YouTube) some are paid(Netflix,Disney+). It's a way to make a dumb tv smart. You should have been able to use Roku without handing over your CC.
Roku normally requires a credit card to register your Roku account unless you follow this: https://www.rokuguide.com/articles/how- ... -or-paypal
Last edited by Scote64 on Jul 12th, 2020 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 18, 2005
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Kitchener
You can skip the credit card info, set a TCL up last week and there's an option to add later
Deal Fanatic
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May 9, 2009
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Scote64 wrote: The networks like CBS are a special case - the channels are free, but they are only enabled if you subscribe to a cable TV package that includes those channels. That makes the Roku channels pretty pointless, since you would just watch the cable TV channel directly.
The Global channel allows you to watch Global shows from the last week without signing in. Everything else requires sign-in but you get to watch on demand which is different from watching live on the channel.
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
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Roku is just a platform to connect to other streaming services. We have like 9 of them in our family, the standalone units, your TV just has it built in. You add the apps you want, like Plex, Netflix etc, and then sign into them if you own those subscriptions. I think they have their own Roku channel as well with some free movies but with commercials. I use mine all the time for Plex, YouTub and Netflix mostly. If your Roku are part of the same account you can have them all sync, so that if you add a channel on one, it adds to all the others.

Beep using mine since Roku 3 came out, so for a good number of years now. I don't know about the built in version, but the standalone ones have remotes with earphone jack so you can get wireless audio to your head if you are watching late at night so as to not disturb anyone, assuming your TV doesn't have bluetooth or you don't have bluetooth headphones. Super easy to use, my parents have 4 of them in the house...and my parents don't know how to use tech..
Newbie
Jul 7, 2020
28 posts
2 upvotes
Roku is a good platform with free OS, you can install some apps free such as YouTube and Free Roku channels. Yiu need to pay to paid channels such as Netflix directly.
Newbie
Jan 25, 2018
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Can I use an Amazon Fire stick on a Roku in order to access my Bell Fibe app?
Deal Addict
Nov 16, 2008
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Jury61 wrote: Can I use an Amazon Fire stick on a Roku in order to access my Bell Fibe app?
yes, I believe you can use your Amzon Firestick all of their apps on Roku. You are a lucky one who can use the Fibe App on it as well! Bell internet I assume?
Newbie
Jan 25, 2018
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redsfan wrote: yes, I believe you can use your Amzon Firestick all of their apps on Roku. You are a lucky one who can use the Fibe App on it as well! Bell internet I assume?
In the process of switching from Rogers.
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Feb 6, 2003
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COU
I had one but I am getting rid of it. I play a lot from my server and the Roku requires a particular format for MkV files to play. I don't know the technical details, but I wasn't going to redo all my rips.

I just got a Fire and all was good.

Other than that and the limited app selection I liked it.
Newbie
Jan 25, 2018
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Riffer wrote: Yes, but why? Just use the Firestick. I don't think there is anything on Roku you can't get on Fire.
The TV I’m looking at has Roku, but I need the Firestick for Fibe TV.
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
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Jury61 wrote: Can I use an Amazon Fire stick on a Roku in order to access my Bell Fibe app?
A fire stick would just be another input on your TV, switch to that input and use the fire stick. If you going to do that, you could just use the fire stick for everything.
Riffer wrote: I had one but I am getting rid of it. I play a lot from my server and the Roku requires a particular format for MkV files to play. I don't know the technical details, but I wasn't going to redo all my rips.

I just got a Fire and all was good.

Other than that and the limited app selection I liked it.
You need a Plex server....relying on built in codec support is so 2000s. Plex on Roku will play every format under the sun pretty much. The default format support on Roku is useless.
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Riffer wrote: I had one but I am getting rid of it. I play a lot from my server and the Roku requires a particular format for MkV files to play. I don't know the technical details, but I wasn't going to redo all my rips.

I just got a Fire and all was good.

Other than that and the limited app selection I liked it.
What did you use on the Fire stick to play your videos?
Deal Addict
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Nov 25, 2009
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Riffer wrote: VLC.

I have everything organized into folders on my sever so I don't really need a groovy app like Plex to find stuff. The server uses Elementary OS which has a reliable DLNA sharing app.
And Roku's Media Player couldnt handle some videos?

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