I think maybe you did not understand how Roku worked when you purchased it. Quite frankly I love it and have not regretted cutting cable a few years ago. Now I get what I want. Even with the channels I subscribe too, I am still saving over $100 a month not having cable.
For myself keeping one cable attach has only saved me a lot money. There are a lot of channels that are free with a cable subscription and there is an antenna is in my other two TVs. $100 a dollars a month for TV, Internet (gigabit) and landline is cheap to myself. The only streaming live TV service that can compare to what I am getting with Verizon FIOS is DirectTV Stream Ultimate which cost $95 dollars for live TV and on demand movies that I don't care to watch.
There are over 40 replies to your thread. I'm not going to read them. But here's my 2 cents in answering you comments/questions:
1. Many people that have a cable subscription also have a Roku, in order to watch most of their cable channels on a TV, but without using a cable box, and the fees that come for the box itself.
2. Many Network channels on Roku offer free stuff to view, but then have other things in their channel restricted to only cable subscribers. So it's a hybrid.
3. I, like you, would prefer, that Roku would not list any channels for me that are subscriber only, with no free things to watch. But I think it's good for Roku to show me channels where some things are free and some things require a subscription.
4. I have an antenna in my attic, so I wasn't greatly impacted by the Locast channel suspending operations while they are in a legal batle with Big Media Corporations. It's a real David vs. Goliath battle there. But on windy days, a few of the OTA channels are hit and miss.
5. Some Local TV stations broadcast their News live on their Roku channels.
6. PBS's Roku channel offers some free things and others are by subscription.
We use our Roku for travel, I Usually watch connected to a computer monitor
We can access our DVR recordings from our cable provider
My parents' provider doesn't support a platform for any streaming services, so they need it for Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Apple etc
And When we visit friends that don't have cable or Streaming, it's just a compact device that travels well and we're able to connect via their TV and and tether to our phones for WiFi
Plus can watch thru the app and use headphones so as not to disturb anyone sometimes, people working from home and all these days
Feel your frustration though, but Roku does provide a lot of non cable provider content
Double check your streaming channels because Disney+ has NatGeo with it and Paramount+ has the Smithsonian channel, etc
I do not want to have to start some channel and then go to some website and input some code and then come back and diddle some more to get a channel started. i get abc cbs fox nbc on directtvstream or off the air but for cw i have to pretend it is like netflix not a tv channel to access it.
If ROKU lists a channel then it should start immediately.
If roku wants to offer 'free' tv channels that play these silly games then those should be in a separate section that you first click through to so you dont waste time on all the nonsense.
it does not note that you have to play games for free tv channels by getting a magic code and entering it on some website then coming back and diddling some more which is a big pain especially without a real keyboard
roku needs 3 separate icons to start
one for things i pay for or are truly free without extra clicking and going to web sites to enter codes then coming back and diddling some more, and can use without any hassle
another for freebies that require the nonsense hassles
and a third one for things that will require payments
with two sub categories - easy and immediate
and those with more hassles after paying