Roku Live TV Guide includes tons of free channels: Here's what you get

Roku Live TV Guide
(Image credit: Roku)

The Roku Live TV Guide is the latest salvo in the free side of the big streaming war. Introduced today, Roku Live TV Guide is a new way for audiences to find free TV channels (both live and not) without installing a single app.

There are more than 100 channels in the Roku Live TV Guide, and those channels are referred to as live and linear, similar to what you find in Pluto TV. So, when Roku calls it a Live TV Guide, know that some of its programming is live, and other content is not. Linear in this case means aired on a schedule.

The Live TV Guide has all the visual trappings of the TV guide that traditional TV offers, letting you scroll horizontally to navigate time slots and vertically to scroll through channels.

Roku has also revealed how much it's grown The Roku Channel's free and premium streaming content library, which has grown from 200 or so titles to 100,000, with 20,000 kids and family selections.

Roku Live TV Guide release date

Roku Live TV Guide began appearing in the Roku Channel app on June 1. Roku's releasing Live TV Guide in staggered waves, like when Instagram rolls out a new feature to select groups of users over a span of months. 

Roku Live TV Guide

(Image credit: Roku)

Roku Live TV Guide channels

The launch of Roku Live TV Guide happens as Roku launches the 100-plus live and/or linear 'channels' that will comprise the service. Those channels are broken into 6 different groups:

News: ABC News Live, Black News Channel, Cheddar, Newsy, Now This, Reuters, USA Today, Yahoo Finance, WeatherNation

Movies and TV: Crime360, FilmRise Action, FilmRise Classic TV, FilmRise Family, FilmRise Free Movies, Gravitas Movies, Redbox Free Movies, Voyager Documentaries

Sports: ACC Digital Network, Adventure Sports Network, bein sports xtra, Edge Sport, Fubo Sports Network, Outside TV

Entertainment: BET Pluto, CMT Pluto, Comedy Central Pluto, Deal or No Deal, Game Show Central, MTV Pluto 

Kids: Ameba, battery pop, Kidz Bop, Rainbow Ruby, Teletubbies, Kid Gamer TV, pocket watch, Toon Goggles, Toon Goggles Jr.

Home design and lifestyle: Bon Appétit, The Bob Ross Channel, Condé Nast Traveler, Glamour, GQ, Food52, Vanity Fair, This Old House, Vogue

Spanish language: AFV en Español, américatevé, Latido Music, Love Nature en Español, 

Of course, these channels are ad-driven, which is how they're free.

Roku Live TV Guide design and interface

To move back from live content to the Roku Live TV Guide and the actual channels, users can press left on the Roku remote. In the guide window, pressing left again lets you jump to the list of channels you've viewed most recently. 

That's important, because while the grid of channels is organized by category, nobody wants to click through 100 channels to find the right one. The Star/Asterisk button lets you view channels by grouped lists. 

Organized by chronological order, Roku Live TV Guide shows the next 12 hours of programming, so you can see what's coming up later on. That being said, there is no search feature, something that we hope Roku figures out in the coming months. 

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.