Zombietron and Arse-bot have broken down for you why they think the Roku is a great little device in their review of the Roku XD|S, so now they are going to give you their top ten list of best Channels (so far) you can get on the Roku! Along with the obvious necessities, they will also give you a few of their personal favorites that have enhanced their Roku experience!
10. MP3 Tunes – Genius idea, free for limited amounts of storage, and a subscription fee to boost your library size on the cloud (20 gigs for $20). Those of us with life on the go and not a ton of storage to take with us can link to the cloud through the Roku and mobile devices to access our media.
9. Kung Fu Theatre – I’m going to copy and paste in the channel description from Roku’s website as justification enough to download this work of genius.
A growing collection of lost Kung-Fu treasures with all the badly dubbed voices and over-the-top action you could hope for.
For just $1.99 per month, you can watch all you want.
8. IMAX – For the reasonable price of $19.99 (one time payment, not a monthly subscription) you can purchase the IMAX Channel on Roku and you’ll get 12 full-length documentaries that were featured in IMAX theaters – perfect for those of you out there with 65 inch flat screen TV’s. The only thing preventing this Channel from being a bit higher on the list? The sound quality sounds hollow and leaves something to be desired. Other than that though, still some very good content for a reasonable price.
7. Roku Newscaster – You’re not missing out on your national news if you cancel your cable. You can watch all of your favorite news programs from CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, and more. Includes full shows like 60 Minutes, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, and Rachel Maddow.
6. Amazon Video on Demand – Amazon offers a “pay-to-rent or buy” service via this Channel on the Roku. Essentially taking the place of Comcast on Demand (and other similar cable and satellite services) Amazon offers the ability to rent newer movie and television titles for 48 hours for $3.99 (SD) or $4.99 (HD) for movies, and $.99 (SD) or $1.99 (HD) for television shows. The nice thing about this channel is there are always weekend deals they offer at a reduced price (i.e. you can rent “this” new release for $1.99 in HD instead of $4.99 this weekend). You also have the ability to purchase movies and TV shows and the Channel will store them right there in your Amazon account for you to watch any time.
5. My Media– Although limited in its current platforms and application this is the first of what I’m sure will be many media streaming solutions for the Roku, as long as you’re running windows and a wireless network you can push content to any tv without plugging anything in. Enough said
4. Hulu Plus – Only appearing at number four on our list has nothing to do with the Hulu Plus interface on Roku. The user interface is clean, easy to navigate, and updates you right at start up what’s new and popular on this Channel. Dropping Hulu Plus to number four is the service itself. In order to view Hulu on any other device than a desktop or laptop computer they require you to sign up for Hulu Plus at $8/month – not completely unreasonable, except that this is the only paid version of a service that I know of that has less content than its free counterpart. Due to distributing rights, some shows are only available from a computer on Hulu and remain to be unseen on other streaming devices running Hulu Plus. For instance – Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show from FOX’s “Animation Domination” line-up are all available on Hulu Plus, but The Simpsons is nowhere to be found. That all being said, there is a lot of content to be viewed on this Channel and the folks at Hulu seem to be making all of their content available on both – the free and paid versions – as quickly as they can. It’s still well worth the $8/month price tag – but there’s a lot of room for improvement.
3. Pandora – I’m not sure I even need to justify this choice.. If your tv has any sort of decent sound system attached, why wouldn’t you shuffle your favorite artists?
2. USB Channel – Finally available as a public channel this speaks for itself for those using the Roku XD|S, plug in any format hard drive and watch your movies. As stated in our review, blu-ray rips anyone?
1. Netflix – The juggernaut of online video streaming has a strong presence on the Roku, and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that it takes our number one spot. With a simple and easy to use UI and ability to manage your instant queue your Netflix experience on Roku will be far from lacking. With the Roku remote you have the ability to of course pause, fast forward, and rewind; if you can’t finish a movie in one sitting the Netflix Channel will start you right where you left off – even if you have since watched other titles.
You can check out ALL of the Channels that Roku offers and what they consist of to see if their programming is right for you!
Own a Roku? Tell us what your favorite channel is and why in the comments below!