Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
CableBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:44 pm

I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU3.

Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:25 pm

First of all, I do not have cable TV. Never had it, so I am not a cord cutter. I have been using over the air TV, Renting DVD's and watching the free movies on Hulu. I used to hook up my laptop to my TV and watch HULU all the time. I watched over 150 movies in the last year. All free.

But I got tired of hooking up my laptop to the TV when I wanted to watch a free HULU movie. So I bought a ROKU 3. I wanted the best. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think to check that the free HULU movies I could get on my laptop would no longer be free on my ROKU 3. I was shocked. What is going on with that?

So my plans for HULU did not work out. Maybe there are other things on the ROKU 3 I could get that would still make it a smart purchase. Well I found very little content that I was interested in. And almost nothing that is truly live. I only found 3 channels I am using. YouTube, Crackle and Pandora. To get my free movies from HULU, I still have to hook up my laptop. Needless to say, I am not thrilled with that situation. This was the main reason for going ROKU.

And now for my other big gripe. Most of the other channels that are quote FREE are only free if you already have cable TV. What's up with that? For example, I tried to get EPIX, but you have to be a cable TV customer, which I am not. I guess there are a few people that have both ROKU and cable TV. But this is not how I thought it was going to work. If you already have cable TV, I don't see a big need to have a streaming device. But without cable TV, you can't get a lot of channels like EPIX and HGTV.

The bottom line here is that I am disappointed with the limited amount of truly free content. It looks like it all works better is you already have cable TV, which I don't. I am still stuck with a laptop hooked up to my TV for free HULU. And to really get the most of the ROKU, you need to pay for subscriptions. And I didn't count on that.

If anyone knows any good free channels (especially movies and "LIVE" programs), please let me know. So I don't have to return this device. Thanks...

P.S. The ROKU 3 works great. I just thought I could get more out of it without spending money for all these subscriptions.
 
mikebdoss
** Valued Community Member **
Posts: 4967
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:52 am

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:31 pm

Just so you're aware, this has nothing to do with Roku specifically - this is true for all set-top boxes, from all manufacturers. It's because of the licensing rights set forth by the networks and content owners, not a choice by Roku (or Amazon, or Apple) to show less content. This is true for Hulu as well as the network offerings.

There are a variety of free channels out there (I'll let others list some of the better ones - I don't use them), but if you can, I'd seriously considering spending $9/month on at least one of the big three (Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video). For your $0.30/day, you get a radical step up in content from anything free out there.
 
trekkeriii
** Valued Community Member **
Posts: 2590
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:10 am

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:33 pm

Hulu Plus (now just Hulu) concept has been around for a while, so you made an assumption without research. That is on you the consumer. You have to pay for the Hulu Plus to get it on Roku, Mobile devices, etc. I think Hulu via website is going to be subscription only soon anyways.

If your grand plan was to get something for nothing, nope, not going to happen. Again, you could have researched this much better. You made a bad assumption. Mainstream media is going to cost you to get it on your TV. You can look into building an HTPC, which might get around some of the issues, but networks/mainstreams are limiting even websites to cable subscriptions now, so that won't work for long either.
http://trekkeriii.com/Roku_PHP_list.php
Router - ASUS RT-AC68U
ISP - TWC - 50 Mbps/5 Mbps
Net+ Cert
 
CableBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:41 pm

mikebdoss wrote:
I'd seriously considering spending $9/month on at least one of the big three (Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video). For your $0.30/day, you get a radical step up in content from anything free out there.


Thanks Mikebdoss for your quick response. I think I might just have to do what suggest. I am also considering SlingTV for $20 a month. It won't break the bank, I just thought I would not need to do that.
 
dfgsrzwer
Posts: 1429
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:47 pm

There are free channels, though none of them are "good". The best of the mediocre may be Crackle, Tubi, and...well that's pretty much it**. The other ones may have some hidden gems, or may have stuff more suited to your tastes than mine, but don't expect much more than B/Z movies or esoteric indie stuff. Most of the stuff is often duplicated on multiple apps as well (since much of it is public domain). Expect lots of commercial breaks in awkward places with lots of commercials in each break (those "free" channels have to pay their bills too).

That's just the way it is, on ALL devices (and that includes the "watch anywhere" apps that require a cable TV subscription*). Don't expect anything else for a LOOOOONG time (if anything, the free non public domain content is going to disappear).

*those exist for on demand programs, which is why someone with both a Roku andcable may want them

**Youtube would be good as well, but since Google seems he||-bent to make watchibg Youtube on Roku a painful experience I would never recommend that app
Last edited by dfgsrzwer on Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Charter Spectrum 60; d-link dual band router
Roku 4210, 3710; Xbox One, 360; Samsung BD player
Samsung tablet; Windows Vista laptop; LG phone
Toshiba DVD-R; Sony AVR; Panasonic AR
1080p and 720p TVs
 
CableBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:55 pm

trekkeriii wrote:
Hulu Plus (now just Hulu) concept has been around for a while, so you made an assumption without research. That is on you the consumer. You have to pay for the Hulu Plus to get it on Roku, Mobile devices, etc. I think Hulu via website is going to be subscription only soon anyways.

If your grand plan was to get something for nothing, nope, not going to happen. Again, you could have researched this much better. You made a bad assumption. Mainstream media is going to cost you to get it on your TV. You can look into building an HTPC, which might get around some of the issues, but networks/mainstreams are limiting even websites to cable subscriptions now, so that won't work for long either.



Hello trekkeriii,

You got that right. I was spending too much time doing research on Roku 3 vs Apple TV vs etc.... That was the research I was doing. I should have been doing more research on content, like HULU. This is where I dropped the ball. It still does not make any sense that I can get HULU for free on my laptop hooked up to my TV but not on the ROKU. I never even gave that a thought. To me its like getting free gas for your car, unless you drive a red car. Red cars have to pay.

I think I am going to go with Sling TV for $20 and keep my laptop hooked up to my TV for free HULU movies. I just have to keep pulling HDMI cables.

Thanks for your comments.
 
dfgsrzwer
Posts: 1429
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:02 pm

CableBoy wrote:
 To me its like getting free gas for your car, unless you drive a red car. Red cars have to pay.

It's because your red car is more convenient to use and can bypass copy protection more easily.
Charter Spectrum 60; d-link dual band router
Roku 4210, 3710; Xbox One, 360; Samsung BD player
Samsung tablet; Windows Vista laptop; LG phone
Toshiba DVD-R; Sony AVR; Panasonic AR
1080p and 720p TVs
 
JordanHarris
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:21 pm

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:07 pm

Yeah there really isn't all that much that you can get for free. You can, however, pay a small amount of money to get a huge amount of content via Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. There's not all that many movies on those services, but I'm more of a TV show my myself. Hulu and Amazon Prime seem to have the same movies (from EPIX I believe). The channels with free content that I have (but rarely use thanks to those 3 services I listed) are Crackle, Tubi TV, Popcornflix, USTV Now, Pluto TV, Nowhere TV, and CW Seed.

You really should do a little research before purchasing a product. Assumptions will just disappoint you in the end
 
User avatar
knuckle
** Valued Community Member **
Posts: 4689
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Florida,USA

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:09 pm

just curious but have you checked out private channels and setting up a server etc etc ?
ROKU 3 4114AT076252
ROKU 2 LT 16A182002191
ROKU 2 LT #2 16A19K025194
ROKU HD 18D2CP067635
Roku TV 2N002P050587 2WE012050587
ROKU HDMI STICK 5S35CF000124
Roku Express + YU000X236772
all running wireless on a Technicolor C2000T
 
User avatar
vnazario
Posts: 1637
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:51 am

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:12 pm

CableBoy wrote:
First of all, I do not have cable TV. Never had it, so I am not a cord cutter. I have been using over the air TV, Renting DVD's and watching the free movies on Hulu. I used to hook up my laptop to my TV and watch HULU all the time. I watched over 150 movies in the last year. All free.

But I got tired of hooking up my laptop to the TV when I wanted to watch a free HULU movie. So I bought a ROKU 3. I wanted the best. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think to check that the free HULU movies I could get on my laptop would no longer be free on my ROKU 3. I was shocked. What is going on with that?

So my plans for HULU did not work out. Maybe there are other things on the ROKU 3 I could get that would still make it a smart purchase. Well I found very little content that I was interested in. And almost nothing that is truly live. I only found 3 channels I am using. YouTube, Crackle and Pandora. To get my free movies from HULU, I still have to hook up my laptop. Needless to say, I am not thrilled with that situation. This was the main reason for going ROKU.

And now for my other big gripe. Most of the other channels that are quote FREE are only free if you already have cable TV. What's up with that? For example, I tried to get EPIX, but you have to be a cable TV customer, which I am not. I guess there are a few people that have both ROKU and cable TV. But this is not how I thought it was going to work. If you already have cable TV, I don't see a big need to have a streaming device. But without cable TV, you can't get a lot of channels like EPIX and HGTV.

The bottom line here is that I am disappointed with the limited amount of truly free content. It looks like it all works better is you already have cable TV, which I don't. I am still stuck with a laptop hooked up to my TV for free HULU. And to really get the most of the ROKU, you need to pay for subscriptions. And I didn't count on that.

If anyone knows any good free channels (especially movies and "LIVE" programs), please let me know. So I don't have to return this device. Thanks...

P.S. The ROKU 3 works great. I just thought I could get more out of it without spending money for all these subscriptions.


Hello:

With all due respect, don't blame Roku for you not doing your research properly before buying. Roku has never been advertised to be a "free cable TV replacement". However, if you learn how to use your Roku to its max potential you will have access to a lot of free content. Lets give you a brief start:

1. (Basic Level) Just look in the channel store and see what is available that interest you that is free. Sadly, a lot of the better free channels include a lot of advertisements that may or may not irritate you but at least offer mainstream content for free. I can recommend:

CW Seed, TubiTV, Pluto.TV, Crackle, Popcorn Flix, Viewster, PBS, SnagFilms, Smithsonian.

The ones that require CableTV/Sat subs sometimes offer unlocked free episodes. Vudu, Google and Amazon also have pilot and free episodes of certain shows.

Youtube has a lot of free full episodes. I suggest you open a YT account and build yourself a library. Do a search using keywords "full episode" and or "full length" and see what comes up. Whatever interests you, add to favorites (watch later) and build your library.

2. (Intermediate) Look into setting up a computer with PLEX Media Server and use Plex Roku channel or Roku Media Player. PLEX includes many free channel plug-ins for free online video. Look at adding private Roku channels not listed in the app/channel store. I recommend http://streamfree.tv Add channels like Channel Pear, FilmOn, SJTV, NowhereTV, Veetlebox (Down at the moment). You may consider looking into PLAYON Media server and Roku channel for even more content but it is not free. However, once you pay for it you can access FREE PC Hulu on your Roku among other content.

3. (Advanced) Learn the different ways to cast content to your Roku. You can use RokuCast Roku channel with RokuCast browser extension, Screen Mirroring (New Roku 2, 3, 4, HDMI stick), Android Firefox Beta Browser and Roku client Channel and PlayTo. Learn how to use a Roku-friendly OTA DVR solution like Tablo, Simple.TV or EyeTV. Learn to use PLEX with unsupported app store to have access to file-sharing sources like Kodi/XBMC does on other streaming devices.

There are many Youtube videos, forums, google searches, etc. that will show you how to do this. I did not learn all this over-night but there is a lot of free content to watch on Roku if you learn how and know where to look and what sources to add.

My advice is "don't be disappointed" but rather learn how to use your Roku to its max potential. However, if all this is too complicated or advanced for you, you can always pay for one or more subscription services (SlingTV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime). With what you can get OTA with an antenna, what you can get free on Roku plus at least one subscription (Netflix maybe) you will get A LOT of good content for just the cost of the subscription service.

Good luck and enjoy your journey into how to use your Roku to its max potential.
Last edited by vnazario on Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
vnazario

2xRoku2 XS,Roku1+SE,Logitech Revue GoogleTV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini+EyeTV DVR+RabbitTV+PLEX+Kodi,TiVo Premiere,Sony BluRay+streaming apps,Equiso Android TV,FireTV,Nexus player,Simple.TV Local TV:QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported apps
 
User avatar
Basil
** Valued Community Member **
Posts: 5125
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:26 am
Location: Savannah, GA
Contact:

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:17 pm

If all you're looking for is a way to put what you see on your laptop browser onto your TV without dragging cords across the room, look at Chromecast. You can get them at Walmart.

Now, to me, it's an inferior device to Roku. But, there are times when what I want is only on a browser, so I fire up my Chrome browser (with the Google Cast extension) and send it to the Chromecast. Now, I have a powerful computer to do that. An underpowered laptop or old desktop might not do the trick. i5 or better is recommended.

As I said, I prefer Roku, but for you, Chromecast may do the trick and be just what you're looking for.
Basil
https://www.basilsblog.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Apple TV (5th gen), TiVo

Previous:
Roku boxes from every generation.
Apple TV (2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)
 
CableBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:27 pm

knuckle wrote:
just curious but have you checked out private channels and setting up a server etc etc ?

I did install Nowhere TV as a private channel. I was not overly impressed. But so far, that is the only private channel I installed.

I have installed about 100 channels so far and most of them want a subscription or they want your cable TV provider information. As I mentioned, I don't have cable TV, so I don't have that ID. So I have been installing them and then removing them. And just getting frustrated.

I also found some lists of free channels, but about half of them are only free if you have cable TV. I wish they would stop calling them free.
 
CableBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:36 pm

vnazario wrote:
Hello:

With all due respect, don't blame Roku for you not doing your research properly before buying. Roku has never been advertised to be a "free cable TV replacement". However, if you learn how to use your Roku to its max potential you will have access to a lot of free content. Lets give you a brief start:

1. (Basic Level) Just look in the channel store and see what is available that interest you that is free. Sadly, a lot of the better free channels include a lot of advertisements that may or may not irritate you but at least offer mainstream content for free. I can recommend:

CW Seed, TubiTV, Pluto.TV, Crackle, Popcorn Flix, Viewster, PBS, SnagFilms, Smithsonian.

The ones that require CableTV/Sat subs sometimes offer unlocked free episodes. Vudu, Google and Amazon also have pilot and free episodes of certain shows.

Youtube has a lot of free full episodes. I suggest you open a YT account and build yourself a library. Do a search using keywords "full episode" and or "full length" and see what comes up. Whatever interests you, add to favorites (watch later) and build your library.

2. (Intermediate) Look into setting up a computer with PLEX Media Server and use Plex Roku channel or Roku Media Player. PLEX includes many free channel plug-ins for free online video. Look at adding private Roku channels not listed in the app/channel store. I recommend http://streamfree.tv Add channels like Channel Pear, FilmOn, SJTV, NowhereTV, Veetlebox (Down at the moment). You may consider looking into PLAYON Media server and Roku channel for even more content but it is not free. However, once you pay for it you can access FREE PC Hulu on your Roku among other content.

3. (Advanced) Learn the different ways to cast content to your Roku. You can use RokuCast Roku channel with RokuCast browser extension, Screen Mirroring (New Roku 2, 3, 4, HDMI stick), Android Firefox Beta Browser and Roku client Channel and PlayTo. Learn how to use a Roku-friendly OTA DVR solution like Tablo, Simple.TV or EyeTV. Learn to use PLEX with unsupported app store to have access to file-sharing sources like Kodi/XBMC does on other streaming devices.

There are many Youtube videos, forums, google searches, etc. that will show you how to do this. I did not learn all this over-night but there is a lot of free content to watch on Roku if you learn how and know where to look and what sources to add.

My advice is "don't be disappointed" but rather learn how to use your Roku to its max potential. However, if all this is too complicated or advanced for you, you can always pay for one or more subscription services (SlingTV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime). With what you can get OTA with an antenna, what you can get free on Roku plus at least one subscription (Netflix maybe) you will get A LOT of good content for just the cost of the subscription service.

Good luck and enjoy your journey into how to use your Roku to its max potential.


Thanks vnazario for all that information. I will definitely look into the first two.
 
User avatar
knuckle
** Valued Community Member **
Posts: 4689
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Florida,USA

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:16 pm

vnazario did a great job of giving you an idea of where to start -- thankyou Van :) ... the thing is to get the most out of it there is a learning curve with Roku ,I have been using them since the first generation product came out and it is one of those things that the more you play with it and research it the more you can do with it
ROKU 3 4114AT076252
ROKU 2 LT 16A182002191
ROKU 2 LT #2 16A19K025194
ROKU HD 18D2CP067635
Roku TV 2N002P050587 2WE012050587
ROKU HDMI STICK 5S35CF000124
Roku Express + YU000X236772
all running wireless on a Technicolor C2000T
 
User avatar
vnazario
Posts: 1637
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:51 am

Re: I am a bit disappointed with the free content on my ROKU

Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:44 pm

knuckle wrote:
vnazario did a great job of giving you an idea of where to start -- thankyou Van :) ... the thing is to get the most out of it there is a learning curve with Roku ,I have been using them since the first generation product came out and it is one of those things that the more you play with it and research it the more you can do with it


Hey knuckle:

Don't reveal my secret identity Dave. :lol:
For now, you are "Underdog" and I am "Kakashi Hatake" (From Naruto)

I have a lot of fun playing around and tinkering with all my electronic gadgets. But Youtube has been where I have learned the most useful of the tips and tricks. If this was not a Roku forum I would also mention tips and tricks for Android TV boxes like Nexus player, Fire TV, Google TV and Equiso Android TV but with these boxes once you learn how to side-load apps and overcome pointing navigation issues, it is just a matter of learning what are the best apps to use. But again, this is a Roku forum so I won't get into details here with those devices.
vnazario

2xRoku2 XS,Roku1+SE,Logitech Revue GoogleTV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini+EyeTV DVR+RabbitTV+PLEX+Kodi,TiVo Premiere,Sony BluRay+streaming apps,Equiso Android TV,FireTV,Nexus player,Simple.TV Local TV:QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported apps

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 49 guests