Getting Started - Setup & How-to

Help getting started with Roku devices, including setup, connecting your device to your TV, linking a Roku device to your account at my.roku.com/link, adding channels, subscribing to services, and more.
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write4voices
Level 7

Why do I need a TV provider?

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If I want to watch NBC or certain channels, why do I have to have a TV provider?  I thought the whole idea of Roku was that you don't need one.  It also states that if you have cable or satellite you can watch with Roku anytime.  But why would I have cable or satellite if I have Roku?  I thought that was the whole point.  Is it just easier to throw out Roku and just get cable?

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makaiguy
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Why do I need a TV provider?

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If you're in a location where you can pick up your local broadcast stations by antenna, you can watch these directly for free by connecting the antenna to the coaxial antenna input on your television.  If you can't do this, you'll need a tv provider of some sort to bring these stations to you.

Cable-type channels want to be paid. When you have a paid subscription to a "tv provider" service that carries these channels, they receive their pay out of the subscription fees you pay that provider. When you don't have a subscription to such a provider you are not paying for those channels.

Many cable-type channels make their content available for streaming via "TV Everywhere" channel apps for those paying for the channel through a provider as mentioned above. That service doesn't have to be a bloated cable or satellite service however. There are several services you can subscribe to and run on a Roku that may carry the channels you are interested in. Ones that come to mind to check out for any particular channel would include Hulu plus Live TV, Sling, philo, AT&T TV (which is rumored to have an upcoming name change to Directv Stream), and YouTube TV (which is currently accessed through the ordinary YouTube app on Roku) -- there may be others.

There are several places on the net where you can look up which streaming providers carry a particular channel of interest. Here are several such pages:

Note that savings in cord cutting usually come from picking and choosing which of the offerings you wish to pay for instead of paying for full blown cable or satellite services with scores of channels you never watch.

Roku Community Streaming Expert
I am not a Roku employee, only a user like you.  Please, no support questions via private message -- post them publicly to the Community where others may benefit as well.
If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer by clicking " Accept as Solution.".

Streaming Stick 4K+ 3821 | Streaming Stick+ 3810 | TCL Roku TV 43S245/C107X

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makaiguy
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Why do I need a TV provider?

Jump to solution

If you're in a location where you can pick up your local broadcast stations by antenna, you can watch these directly for free by connecting the antenna to the coaxial antenna input on your television.  If you can't do this, you'll need a tv provider of some sort to bring these stations to you.

Cable-type channels want to be paid. When you have a paid subscription to a "tv provider" service that carries these channels, they receive their pay out of the subscription fees you pay that provider. When you don't have a subscription to such a provider you are not paying for those channels.

Many cable-type channels make their content available for streaming via "TV Everywhere" channel apps for those paying for the channel through a provider as mentioned above. That service doesn't have to be a bloated cable or satellite service however. There are several services you can subscribe to and run on a Roku that may carry the channels you are interested in. Ones that come to mind to check out for any particular channel would include Hulu plus Live TV, Sling, philo, AT&T TV (which is rumored to have an upcoming name change to Directv Stream), and YouTube TV (which is currently accessed through the ordinary YouTube app on Roku) -- there may be others.

There are several places on the net where you can look up which streaming providers carry a particular channel of interest. Here are several such pages:

Note that savings in cord cutting usually come from picking and choosing which of the offerings you wish to pay for instead of paying for full blown cable or satellite services with scores of channels you never watch.

Roku Community Streaming Expert
I am not a Roku employee, only a user like you.  Please, no support questions via private message -- post them publicly to the Community where others may benefit as well.
If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer by clicking " Accept as Solution.".

Streaming Stick 4K+ 3821 | Streaming Stick+ 3810 | TCL Roku TV 43S245/C107X
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