Roku setup

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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Sco
Level 8

Roku Express 4K+ - do I need cable?

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I just purchased Roku Express 4K - but do not have cable - can I use this without cable? Or do I need a different Roku product.   Thank you.

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makaiguy
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku Express 4K+ - do I need cable?

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@Sco--

You don't need cable-supplied television to use a Roku, any Roku.  You do need a source of internet access with adequate speed and bandwidth, as that's how Rokus receive their channel apps, and through those apps, their programming.  Internet access could be delivered over a cable system or some other source.

Many cable stations have companion streaming applications for Roku and other platforms that they provide for people paying for the channel via a paid subscription to a provider that carries that channel.

[Oops, I hit Submit prematurely.  Edited to ad... ]

That provider 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 at a lower cost than you awoukd pay for a cable tv subscription. Ones that come to mind to check out for any particular channel would include:

• Hulu plus Live TV
• Sling
• philo
• Directv Stream (the new name for the former AT&T TV)
• YouTube TV (which is currently accessed through the ordinary YouTube app on Roku)
• frndly
• fubu
• vidgo
... there may be others.

Some streaming channels can be subscribed to directly via their web pages (Netflix, Prime Video, NBC Peacock, Paramount+, etc.). Then you can access them on any platform (Roku, firestick, AppleTV, computer, etc.) for which the channel has made an app available. You just log into their app with the credentials you established with that channel.

In addition there are many free channels that do not require "tv provider" accounts at all. Most (all?) of them are supported by unskippable ads.

Some you can subscribe to which have free or lower cost tiers with ads but also have higher cost tiers with limited or no ads.

So there are a myriad of options open to you.

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:

https://thestreamable.com/channels
https://www.groundedreason.com/cord-cutting/tv-streaming/how-to-stream-by-channel/
https://suppose.tv/ (thanks to @DBDukes for this one)
• .. and again, there may be others

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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3 REPLIES 3
makaiguy
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku Express 4K+ - do I need cable?

Jump to solution

@Sco--

You don't need cable-supplied television to use a Roku, any Roku.  You do need a source of internet access with adequate speed and bandwidth, as that's how Rokus receive their channel apps, and through those apps, their programming.  Internet access could be delivered over a cable system or some other source.

Many cable stations have companion streaming applications for Roku and other platforms that they provide for people paying for the channel via a paid subscription to a provider that carries that channel.

[Oops, I hit Submit prematurely.  Edited to ad... ]

That provider 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 at a lower cost than you awoukd pay for a cable tv subscription. Ones that come to mind to check out for any particular channel would include:

• Hulu plus Live TV
• Sling
• philo
• Directv Stream (the new name for the former AT&T TV)
• YouTube TV (which is currently accessed through the ordinary YouTube app on Roku)
• frndly
• fubu
• vidgo
... there may be others.

Some streaming channels can be subscribed to directly via their web pages (Netflix, Prime Video, NBC Peacock, Paramount+, etc.). Then you can access them on any platform (Roku, firestick, AppleTV, computer, etc.) for which the channel has made an app available. You just log into their app with the credentials you established with that channel.

In addition there are many free channels that do not require "tv provider" accounts at all. Most (all?) of them are supported by unskippable ads.

Some you can subscribe to which have free or lower cost tiers with ads but also have higher cost tiers with limited or no ads.

So there are a myriad of options open to you.

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:

https://thestreamable.com/channels
https://www.groundedreason.com/cord-cutting/tv-streaming/how-to-stream-by-channel/
https://suppose.tv/ (thanks to @DBDukes for this one)
• .. and again, there may be others

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
Sco
Level 8

Re: Roku Express 4K+ - do I need cable?

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Thank you for your detailed response.   I'm assuming there is no way to connect my DVR with Roku so I can tape shows that come thru Roku ?

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renojim
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku Express 4K+ - do I need cable?

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Sorry, no.                                                                                                                                      

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee.
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