Roku Channel just added one of the best TV shows ever — for free

TCL 32S327 Roku TV
(Image credit: Roku)

Forget Chip and Joanna. I want Kevin, Richard, Tom, Kevin and Jenn. And I’m about to get a lot more of them. That’s because Roku announced that it acquired the rights to the entire This Old House catalog — some 1,500+ episodes — and will make them available to stream for free on the Roku Channel.

Flip or Flop and Love it or List It will come and go, but This Old House has endured for more than 40 years, setting the standard that every HGTV show has yet to reach. It’s no wonder that This Old House and Ask This Old House outperformed every other home improvement show last year, according to Nielsen data.

I fashion myself as a DIYer, and over the years have learned dozens of home-improvement tips by watching This Old House as well as the more recent Ask This Old House. From replacing light switches to changing faucets to patching drywall, the lessons I learned watching this show have easily saved me hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars I would have had to pay electricians, plumbers, or contractors. 

If you’ve been following Kate Kozuch’s DIY smart home series (you should) and have questions about neutral wires, I highly recommend watching This Old House to learn more about your home and how to fix it. 

Because Roku’s deal includes the entire back catalog of This Old House, that means I can go back in time and watch the original episodes with Bob Vila and Norm Abram. (Note to Roku: please pick up New Yankee Workshop, too.) It’s interesting to see how home improvement technology has changed in the 42 years the show has been on the air. I wonder what they would have thought about PEX tubing and composite lumber back in 1980.

The good news is that the Roku Channel is available on just about every other streaming platform,

During the pandemic, it’s no surprise that there was a boom in home improvement, as people couldn’t go anywhere, and instead looked to renovate that bathroom or patio. While it looks like we’ll be emerging from lockdown at some point, fixing up your house will never get old.

Roku makes the best streaming device, but the good news is that the Roku Channel is available on just about every other streaming platform, including the Amazon Fire TV Stick and the Apple TV. You can also download the This Old House app on Roku, Apple TV, and the Fire TV stick, but Roku's acquisition means I can get to the shows even faster.

I’ll still continue to watch and DVR This Old House through my local PBS station, but if you want to get your fix of power tools and Boston accents, there’s no better place than Roku. 

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Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.