The Best Free Roku Film and TV Show Channels
(Full length films, shorts, documentaries, video clips, and/or TV shows)
ONE MINUTE SITE TOUR
Viewster seems to have a good variety of content, both old and new, and quite a few shows I've not seen anywhere else on Roku. As of September 2015, Viewster seems to be using a new Roku company made commercial interruption process to insert commercials into their films and TV episodes to pay for the free service. The good news is that so far the commercial interruptions still seem to be fewer and farther between than on many other free Roku channels-- and the commercials themselves shorter, too.
Viewster seems to be a bit less squeamish than Netflix or Crunchyroll about hosting some content for grown ups (as in sexy). I really like that!
Besides the diverse content, Viewster also seems to exploit the user interface possibilities on Roku more than most channels, making for a more engaging browsing experience. While there's no star rating like Netflix, there is a little flame icon and percentage figure, like '93.8%', which seems to denote a rating or grade of some sort, by someone. Also on the plus side, at least some of the shows are dated as to original airing.
On the main screen you see only the image representing a film or TV show, the title, origin date, and flame rating. But if you click the image you get a text description and the usual theatrical film rating (if one exists), such as R or PG, as well as the type of content, like anime or comedy or drama. That matches channels like Netflix. But Netflix's descriptions are sometimes cut short. In Viewster when this happens, the description is continued to a second screen. Hooray!
And besides all that, you get an option to watch a clip or trailer for the show first too, if you like. That's fantastic!
There's a 'Like' button there as well. So perhaps that's where the percentage flame rating comes from. Oh, and shows will resume where you left off playing them, or play from the beginning via a different button, like they do on Netflix. Many Roku channels don't provide both those options.
One thing Viewster doesn't match Netflix on is fast forwarding/rewinding: you do so blindly in Viewster, where on Netflix you get to see an still image of the film about every 10 seconds or so in the fast forward/reverse screens as you proceed. And Viewster doesn't seem to cope well with fast forwarding more than a moment or two, either (you'll wonder if the show will ever start playing again when you stop fast forwarding, if you've gone too far).
Although many of the offerings seem to offer suitable subtitling options where required language-wise, you might encounter one on occasion which doesn't. For example, I ran into one which was clearly an originally English speaking American-made film, with a foreign language dubbed over it, for which I was forced to choose between only French or Spanish subtitling for viewing. So I ended up unable to comprehend either the spoken language or the subtitling. Of course, maybe there was another way around this which didn't occur to me at the time, and will when next I encounter it: lots of our new online entertainment options possess a learning curve interface-wise.
SnagXtreme is a spinoff of the mothership Snag films. Although Xtreme offers up science fiction and horror as you might expect, it also has reality shows and documentaries, and categories such as Weird, Revenge, Extreme Sports, Monsters, War, Nature Attacks, Killers, and Aliens. Though there's some oldies in the library to be sure, at least half if not more of the titles are of surprisingly recent vintage, like from the 2000s through 2010s.
Watch Free Flix has films, documentaries, and TV shows. Most are not dated, but seem to be of relatively recent vintage (as in made within the past 15 years or so). Though this channel offers up several of the various genres you'd expect, it's particularly heavy in comedy, horror, drama, documentaries, and action/thrillers. It also has a couple of unusual genres including International Cinema and Bollywood.
FilmRise is a collection of films, TV shows, and documentaries. A good percentage of these seem to be exclusive to FilmRise: that is, not to be found in other Roku channels. Shows aren't dated here, but most seem to be in color-- which means newer than the early 1960s. My best guess is that the lion's share of shows here hail from the 1980s-2000s.
Big Star Movies has a most annoying front end, where on the first screen you must choose between its free and premium tiers, and then on the second screen you must do so a second time. I can think of no other reason for them to make us do this than that they are trying to get us to accidentally subscribe, or catch someone's kid or friend or guest entering the channel and trick them into subscribing for the box owner, without their knowledge. :-(
So this is one of those channels where you'll especially want your Roku account to be set to require a PIN number be entered before any purchase can go through.
Big Star doesn't date their shows, but it has star ratings and viewer voting buttons like Netflix, and trailer viewing options like Viewster. My estimate on original airing dates for its inventory is 1900s-2010s, with most of the shows being on the newer end of the range. There seems to be quite a lot to choose from here, and quite a lot of titles I don't recall seeing elsewhere on Roku.
Crunchyroll is what I consider the best Japanese anime channel available for Roku (although I liked it much better before recent changes in their interface, which vastly increased the number of commercials shown per video, and also slowed down the user interface tremendously). However, Crunchyroll offers more than just anime, like live action Asian soap operas as well (which can apparently be addicting for some folks in their own right). Crunchyroll has really been pushing their paid tier hard lately, so you might have to elbow your way through several pestering screens to get to the free stuff.
Crunchyroll, alas, forces you to always start from the beginning of a video again, if you were forced to interrupt your viewing sometime before. This makes sitting through all those extra commercials especially galling the second time around.
Note that Viewster described elsewhere has a sizable anime collection too-- with apparently somewhat fewer commercials (as of September 2015), plus let's you resume watching where you left off in an earlier session, unlike Crunchyroll. But Crunchyroll's anime library is bigger, and usually (but not always) offers brand new releases faster than any other Roku channel. And Viewster sometimes does no more to differentiate between different anime series episodes in their catalog than the display of their series order in the upper right hand corner of your screen (e.g., “5” or “6”, etc., and all the icons display the same pic): so it can be easy to have to try playing a couple different episodes to find where you left off.
The past few months though Crunchyroll has suffered lots of glitches, like sometimes not showing any more of an anime episode after one of its many commercial interruptions. And their fast forward sometimes screws up and dumps you out of an episode as well. Here I mean fast forwarding through the parts Crunchyroll used to allow you to fast forward through-- the parts between commercials. For instance, I like to fast forward through the lengthy credits section of anime episodes (which are usually the same in every show of a season) and get to the first mandatory commercial already, to speed things up. But lately doing that often dumps you out of the episode entirely, or else you can't stop the fast forwarding, and it just zips through the entire episode before you can stop it. :-(
OVGuide lists films, documentaries, and TV shows, both old and new (I saw some 2013 titles in here). Their inventory seems to lean mostly to newer material-- the opposite of many free Roku channels. You're likely to see well known present day stars in films and roles here that you never knew existed. The day I wrote this, OVGuide was having trouble pulling up the selection screens for some of their 1960s sitcoms though.
Shout Factory TV is an unusual and good-sized collection of films and TV series. For example, here you'll find episodes of Elvira's Movie Macabre, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Gerry Anderson's animated puppet Fireball XL5, and the computer animated Reboot.
Shout Factory doesn't offer all the usual categories of films that many Roku channels do, but it does present westerns, martial arts, action/adventure, horror, art house films, and both general documentaries and music documentaries. Its comedy TV section hosts the Dennis the Menace TV series.
Much of the Shout Factory's content isn't dated, but my estimate is it ranges from the 1930s-1970s for the most part.
PBS appears to be the major Public Broadcasting System channel (for grown ups), offering at least some (and at times a LOT!) of episodes of your favorite PBS shows. The channel was running a bit slowly when I checked it for this write up.
Tubi TV has a good-sized, diverse collection of films and TV shows, the vast majority of which appear to have been released in the 1980s up through today (so it's one of the fresher collections available on Roku). Though Tubi tries to get you to register up front, that doesn't seem to be necessary to watch their content. There seems to be something for everyone here, including maybe some sexier stuff than you'd usually find on Netflix, which is heavily weighted towards programming for families with itty bitty children. In fact, Tubi even has a section called 'Not on Netflix'. Tubi seems to offer all the usual categories to be found for such fare, plus more. The extra (and lesser seen elsewhere) categories include things like Modern Must See; Best of British; Food, Food, Food; Film Festival Favorites; Wild Things (Nature); Foreign Favorites; Women First; Really Real Reality; Your Lifestyle; Crime TV; After Hours; Grind House; Killer Kung Fu; Highly Rated on Rotten Tomatoes; Get Fit!; Man Cave; Action Reality TV; Sports; Music; and Travel.
OVGuide Comedy is a good sized collection, as well as perhaps one of the freshest on Roku, with most of its films seeing their original release dates between the 1990s and the 2010s. The main exceptions to this range I found were in the animation and parody categories, which sported elderly films such as you might find on many other Roku channels. But the much newer fare dominates the other categories of comedic film here: romantic, action, horror, family, sports, crime, adventure, sex, and mockumentary.
Watch Free Horror Flix is a good-sized collection. It doesn't date its films, but my best guess is that they stem from the 1980s-2010s in origin, with most tending to be from the 1990s or later. There seems to be some unique content here too, relative to other Roku channels.
Crackle offers an ecelectic selection of films and TV shows which might seem sort of like Netflix's little sister-- only for free. In a move that reinforces its similarity to Netflix, Crackle too is trying to produce its own original content now.
Although it might not happen often, on occasion it's possible to find something good here that's not on Netflix-- especially if it's an old favorite of yours that you'd like to see again. One thing I don't like about Crackle is it seems that sometimes when it offers up an old TV series, some of the episodes of that series are missing. And I don't mean just the current season missing, as is usually the case on Netflix, which doesn't show a season of a currently running primetime TV show from a major broadcast network until after its successor season has begun showing. No, with Crackle, it might be a defunct show that ended years ago, and just random episodes in the series are missing.
Fright Pix seems to be a huge collection of reasonably modern horror films. No, you're not likely to find any well known horror blockbusters here. But you'll almost certainly find lots of horror flicks you never knew existed (and some of these are foreign films). This is probably the best single channel for horror fans on Roku at the moment (Am I a horror fan? No. But I added the channel for family members who are).
Film Festival Favorites seems to be produced by the creators of Extreme Sports and Big Star Movies, due to similarities in the screens. This channel offers maybe twice the number of choices of Extreme Sports content-wise. The films are star-rated but not categorized by genre. Some are full length films while others are shorts. Some of these are documentaries. One documentary was billed as being 20 hours long(!). There seems to be considerable unique content here.
SnagFilms is a huge repository of mostly independent and/or foreign films and TV shows and documentaries, as well as older content, which in some ways may outweigh Netflix inventory-wise. There's lots here that will likely never be available on Netflix, for one reason or another.
Asian Crush houses a decent variety of Asian films and documentaries, of which I have partaken on occasion. Most of the stuff seems fairly modern too, compared to the material you'll find in many free channels.
Kdrama is a spinoff of Crunchyroll's live action Asian films, should you not desire to deal with the anime content at all.
Popcornflix may be a slightly wilder, less picky alternative to Netflix, with films, documentaries, and TV shows across many genres. There's plenty of B-movies, but also some overlap with titles Netflix offers.
Vanguard seems to be much like Snagfilms, only much smaller, but still offering a large enough selection to be worthwhile. And Vanguard does seem to have some different content from Snagfilms-- though to be honest, Snagfilms' library is so freaking huge it'd be tough to make certain of that.
Movie Club is a large collection of films, cartoons, TV Specials (like by Elvis Presley), TV series, and isolated single TV episodes, documentaries (some of them from the lunatic fringe), old commercials, and silent films. There seems to be some unique content here. Most all the basic video genres can be found here. There's also a significant amount of religious material. 90% of the library appears to stem from the 1920s through 1960s, with a bit more coming from still earlier, like the 1900s and up, and a small handful of shows hailing from the 1970s-2010s.
The Grindhouse Channel offers up content from the 1930s-2000s, with most of it being newer rather than older. It's a sizable collection of a good range of major action and thriller genres, with martial arts being the largest I think, at 137 films.
There seems to be a lot of movies here not to be found elsewhere. The channel also offers up some privately made video where clips of old films are shown, and someone makes snarky remarks about it, much like the TV shows Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Elvira's Movie Macabre from decades past.
Here's Looking at You offers up several of the usual genres of films, but its centerpiece seems to be 76 romance films. The content here appears to be from the 1920s-1970s, with the majority coming from the middle of that range.
Into the Sunset Westerns offers content from the 1930s-1980s. And the channel isn't as dedicated towards westerns as it sounds, also including 'Extras' of Horror, Animation, Musical, Drama, and Action/Adventure.
Dorado Films is a small collection of what seems to be B-films and a few TV shows from mostly the 1960s through 1980s, with a sprinkling of far older fare among them. Most of this content seems to be unique to Dorado Films on Roku.
At least some of Dorado's content seems to be films foreign producers made for American audiences, using foreign actors who at times only spoke English with a thick accent. So at times you might wish there were English subtitles, when there are not.
Kino Lorber is a small collection of shows which includes both films and documentaries. Maybe half the stuff here is ancient, such as Buster Keaton works. On the other hand, there's some surprisingly recently made films to be found here too.
Popcornflix Kids is a spinoff from the mothership channel specializing in kid's stuff, of course. I'm pretty sure that there's considerably more kid's fare here than can be seen in the main Popcornflix channel: maybe enough to rival Netflix's kid's content category. Wow!
The BW shows ancient TV shows and ancient commercials in a single stream, as if you were watching an ancient broadcast channel off an antenna in the 1960s. Maybe most of the content is in black and white too, rather than color. However, I've also seen a modern color commercial playing there too, I guess to pay for the service. I think I've caught the Addams Family on here before. My Favorite Martian was playing at last check, with Gunsmoke to follow.
Retro Sci-Fi is a very small collection of very old, weird, outlandish, and/or horror films and TV shows, much of which couldn't have realistically been classified as science fiction even at the time they were originally released. Some of the movies appear to be of the Japanese monster variety (but not Godzilla). The channel creators know their inventory is modest, and so offer up some other fare as well which they call 'bonus' material.
Funny for Free offers up a collection of comedy films and shorts ranging in date from the 1920s through 2010s.
B-Movie TV is a single stream of old (likely 1970s or so) B-movies. On occasion topless women will be seen.
Classic Horror Movies' content looks to stem from the 1930s-1980s. It mostly offers films, but there may be a TV series or movie serial or two in there as well. It also has quite a bit besides just the horror genre.
Spud's Cowboy Movies is a single stream channel, but you can fast forward or reverse through the available titles via your Roku remote as they're playing. A sampling displayed films from the 1930s and 1940s.
Digital Drive-In is a sizable collection of films apparently from the 1900s-1970s, with the majority dating from 1920s-1960s, I think. There seems to plenty of titles here not to be seen elsewhere on Roku.
Public Domain Movies and Series includes lots of very old TV shows, films, and video clips regarding a wide range of subjects. There's a few newer items in here as well, like from the 1960s or 1970s.
Yahoo Screen seems to be Yahoo's attempt to compete with both Youtube and Netflix at the same time-- and it looks like it's off to a great start.
Spud's Funny Channel is a single stream channel funneling very old comedy shows and films, along with maybe the original very old commercials too.
ToonTime TV is another one of those fixed schedule one-show-at-a-time streaming channels, this one showing old cartoons like from the 1930s, with the occasional modern commercial showing up to pay the bills.
Toontime 2 is apparently the follow up or companion channel to ToonTime TV, and is another single-minded streaming channel rather than video on demand offering. So far as I can tell from sampling both, there's at least some difference in the cartoon show line ups each draws upon.
DC Network is an odd beast that many Roku users will likely overlook, due to failing to notice its sizable library of short films, documentaries, and full movies (I found Dr. Strangelove here; but maybe 50% of the films are old or ancient westerns; however, there was also a couple of Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films (these seem rarer on Roku than you'd expect)), to be found in its Movies and Short Films section.
King Fu Classics gives you a choice of video on demand or continuous play, and hosts at last check 27 martial arts films from the 1970s-1980s.
Youtube is the Roku's channel to the well known web site, offering up tons of video clips, films, TV shows, movie trailers, and the like. Personally, I rarely run across anything interesting during my own browsing of Youtube. I tend instead to spend most of my time on Youtube watching things brought to my attention by others posting links on reddit.com or elsewhere (when I'm using my PC, rather than Roku). So in other words, discovering interesting items on Youtube via your own browsing doesn't seem to work very well. There's just too many videos to look at, and if you're like me, your preferences usually differ from what's most popular to the masses at the moment, and so seen on Youtube's front page.
Youtube's app on Roku seems unnecessarily sluggish in its responsiveness as well, on my Roku 2 XS boxes.
Comedy Dynamics has shows and clips by stand up comedians. It's a pretty small inventory though, that could probably be fully consumed by a big comedy fan in only a week or two.
Cape Television doesn't have a very big inventory, but it does contain old TV serials, films, cartoons, and TV shows about comic book heroes and superheroes, as well as some documentary videos about a comic artist, and some low budget fan-made superhero parodies, it appears. Most of the content appears to be pretty old, probably 1930s-1950s, though I did spy one animated short dated 2015.
Indie Crush is a small collection of independent films and documentaries, with at least a few items not to be seen elsewhere, I believe.
FoxNow is one of a new breed of Roku channels created by major cable TV channels to deliver teaser trailers for their shows, along with a few recent full prime time episodes, in an effort to get you to sooner or later switch off your Roku and just watch the regular channel via antenna or cable. They sure can't get to me that way! But I keep this channel for the sake of visiting relatives who might find it handy for the recent episodes part.
Lifetime is a teaser/sampler channel on the Roku which exists mainly to get you watching the cable TV channel instead, just like the Fox Now channel I described previously. However, there are some clips and full show episodes and films you can watch for free here, although you'll frequently run into obstacles on the ones which aren't available, but listed there just to annoy you.
AETV is another teaser/sampler Roku representative for its parent cable TV network, in this case A&E. So there's the usual sample clips, and a handful of films or TV show episodes you can watch for free, plus a lot that you can't.
Cafe Noir seems to house primarily tragic dramas about the ill-fated, in the form of nearly 60 films, most of them old, like from the 1940s and 1950s I believe (though the site doesn't date them).
American Cowboy Classics can be viewed as a single continuous stream, or via video on demand. Seems to be 1930s-1940s fare. It's a small catalog, of some 34 or so titles. But offers a somewhat better (read: larger) view of the original film poster images than most similar Roku channels do.
Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy is a single stream channel, so it'd be tough to judge the age of its inventory without hours spent sampling. But my brief efforts seemed to indicate 1970s-1990s content.
Adventure Awaits bills itself as 'classic adventure movies', and hosts nearly 200 films plus many episodes for ten different movie serials and TV series. The original air dates for their library seems to be the 1900s-1970s.
Pub-D-Hub is an archive of ancient TV, cartoon, commercials, and movie fare from the 1900s through early 1960s (so mostly just black and white material).
NowhereArchive probably has a lot of overlap content-wise with Pub-D-Hub (ancient TV and film fare), but it'd take a real aficionado to figure out how much. I get the impression NowhereArchive is bigger and more inclusive than Pub-D-Hub, but that's just my opinion. The Archive also has quite a bit of community media videos.
Cartoon Classics gives you a choice of single stream or video on demand browsing. It's a decent sized collection of very old animated films/TV shows.
Hub Kids is very thin on content, with but a handful of single episodes of various kid's shows-- but they're pretty good kid's shows, like Rug Rats.
Silent Night showcases only silent films from the 1900s-1920s, so its catalog is understandably small, and perhaps best appreciated by film students and aficionados.
Rewind is another collection of oldies-- sometimes very oldies. There appears to be quite a few items here not to be found elsewhere. Most all the general film genres are represented, and more. Besides full length movies, there's also short clips, single TV episodes, and cartoons. Original airing dates for the content range from the 1890s(!) to the 1970s. Rewind is one of the larger collections of films to be found among Roku channels.
Blood Moon Theatre is a moderately sized library of 1920s-1970s films in genres like horror, monster, the undead, action/thriller, violent mystery, and sci fi.
Hasbro Studios offers up a small collection of kid's TV cartoon shows. It most consists of various Transformer and G.I. Joe series/shows. My own nephews liked them, but seemed able to go through all the episodes in only around two weeks.
Timeless TV Westerns seems to be a very small collection of western TV shows from the 1950s through early 1960s (prior to mainstream color TV), with some of it perhaps older. This is a smattering of content, with several different series only represented by perhaps one or two episodes (such is the case with the Rifleman). One link didn't work when I tried it. Lots of these shows besides the Rifleman I'd never heard of, so maybe they're somewhat rare.
Moonlight Movies basically offers a selection of ancient films from the 1900s through 1970s (mostly towards the early to middle of that range), listed by their color movie posters, which makes it a little more fun to browse than Pub-D-Hub. Their inventory seems to be the sort of old movie you might catch playing at 3 AM on an obscure cable TV channel these days-- but sometimes such things can be quite good!
Drive-in Classics offers up the usually trashy, campy B-movies shown at drive-in theaters in the 1950s through 1970s. This is stuff you probably never knew existed, unless you're an old timer like me who frequented drive-in theaters in his youth. Alas, there's a good reason you never heard of these films. But older folks might like them for nostalgic reasons, young men for the scantily clad women, kids for the monster movies, and stoners for laughs at ridiculous plots and even more ridiculous special effects, etc.
Kung Fu Theater offers up old films (probably the majority B-movies) about martial arts battles and contests.
Cowboy Classics is a library of old western films, maybe both American and foreign-made: the sort of thing that today gets shown on the OTA (over the air) broadcast channel Grit. You get to browse the films by their original movie posters, which is nice.
8ctave HD is a hodge podge of content which seems to change fairly regularly. It's difficult to pin down in a description, but it can offer up stuff like local news and community public access shows, some PBS material, sample/teaser clips of various cable TV channel shows, etc. It's not all just teasers though. Sometimes an entire show will be behind the click. This channel is where I first ran across the continuation of the classic Star Trek series, as created by devoted fans of the franchise.
Six Gun Cinema is one of those channels which only streams a single thing at a time-- no video on demand here folks: it's more like a regular cable TV or antenna station where you either watch what's scheduled, or leave. Of course, the older folks among us often seem to prefer that old fashioned sort of media over the newer on demand choices. A random sampling of the content gave me very old western films or TV shows, such as starred Roy Rogers. So figure westerns from the 1950s and 1960s at the latest, I guess.
Timeless Television is a collection of very old serials, documentaries, films and TV shows, which by default streams offerings on its own schedule, just like an old fashioned cable TV channel. However, ot also offers a video on demand option: if you press your star or asterisk button on your Roku remote to call up a search screen, you can search for something to your liking and watch that instead of the default content. TT seems to support itself with modern day commercials, but also shows many original ancient commercials with its old TV shows.
Pop Flix Classic Movies doesn't have a huge selection, but what it does have seems to have been carefully chosen. Like many other of the smaller film channels on Roku, this one doesn't date its movies. But I get the impression its selection mostly consists of 1960s works, or thereabouts.
GoDIGITAL doesn't have a lot of content, but many of its films and documentaries seem to be unique to it (not being seen elsewhere on Roku).
Cartoon Club has mostly ancient cartoons, but also some relatively modern computer generated 3D for the kindergarten set. It also has 1950s or 1960s slapstick like The Three Stooges. Here you can find Popeye the Sailor Man, Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, Superman, Looney Toons, Disney, etc. PBS Kids is a collection of cartoons from PBS (I was surprised by how many different shows PBS possessed in this regard).
Spud's Chop Socky seems to be a martial arts/kung fu channel, which opens as a single stream, where you can quickly scroll through its different available videos via use of your Fast Forward or Reverse buttons on your remote. Its films appear to be of 1970s vintage.
Cowboy Star Movie Channel hosts only a handful of films from the 1930s and 1940s (20). Its library is so small I wouldn't include them at all but for the fact that westerns are so popular with many men, and old westerns nostalgic for elderly men, such as my own close relatives.
Acolyte Cinema hosts a moderately sized (90+) library of mostly 1950s-1980s films, with only two movies which are newer than that, that I noticed. However, some of the content appears to be unique on Roku. Here you'll find horror, cartoons, documentaries, sci fi, creature features, and B-films in general.
Great Movies has a small stock of films and documentaries, almost all of them of recent vintage (unlike many other Roku channels).
Ebru TV isn't video on demand like most Roku channels, but rather a single video stream of shows, films, and commercials very much like what you'd get via a TV antenna or single cable TV channel. So the more old fashioned among us may like it just for that. Others may like it because it shows old Dr. Who episodes (well, not too old right now-- maybe from 2006 or so?). It also has Kung Fu and kid shows, and more.
Oh the Horror! ...is a small collection of films mostly from the 1960s and 1970s I think (they aren't dated), with a few older than that. The channel also offers some other (non-horror genre) movies at the bottom of their catalog screen.
Film Movement bills its content (or content creators?) as 'award winning indies', and offers a small collection of what I assume to be independent films, without too many labeled categories as to theme. Lots of these are foreign films, but apparently subtitled in English (I started one to make sure).
Pro Classic TV at first glance has the most limited roster of shows of anything on this list. But its roster is all TV shows, with each having lots of individual episodes. So there's more there than it appears.
Like many other channels on Roku, all Classic TV's shows are old. But they'll ring the nostalgia bell for lots of my fellow old folks, with shows like My Favorite Martian and The Rifleman. Plus, the TV shows are categorized as either from the 1950s-1960s, or 1970s-1990s.
Classic Romance is a pretty old collection of movies of this genre. The films aren't dated, but my guess is the newest ones would be from the late 1950s or early 1960s. At least there's recognizable actors in some of these, like Cary Grant, John Wayne, and Bob Hope.
Don't underestimate the entertainment value of these flicks: I've seen some examples of such stuff here and there over the years, and often been impressed by the quality of the story and its impact on me. In some ways it seems people put more effort into making films in the old days than they do today. Or at least into writing up a good story for them.
Popcornflix Comedy is another spin off of its parent Roku channel. The films aren't dated, but I'd guess they're mostly releases from within the past 10-15 years-- which makes the channel's offerings VERY fresh compared to most other Roku channels. I know at least a few of these films aren't bad, as I've seen them some years back in other venues. I'm pretty tough to please comedy-wise though. So frankly I suspect that most of these movies would be best watched stoned, for maximum entertainment value-- and watching them any other way would be disappointing.
On the other hand, if you laugh more easily than I do, this channel just could be comedic paradise for you.
Cultorama TV is one of the smaller libraries of films listed here, with pretty much all the usual genres represented category-wise. However, most of the representative movie posters seen within seem to depict horror or gore or weirdness of one sort or another.
Musical Movie Memories includes 80+ film and TV show musicals from the 1930s-1980s.
Saddle Up! Westerns is a collection of old early western films (I think the newest here are from the 1950s).
The Director's Chair is apparently meant for historical film aficionados, as it categorizes its films by their directors, rather than genre. I think the films hail from the 1900s-1950s.
World Worth Watching is another collection of old films and documentaries in diverse genres, browsable by their original movie posters. This one seems to be a bit more curated or carefully chosen than most others though, with lots of famous and semi-famous titles on the list, as well as B-films which were certainly memorable for young people like me who watched them decades back. The selection also seems to try to focus on films with top tier actors and actresses in them, wherever there's no other over riding theme to their selection.
Premiere offers a variety of genre films and documentaries from the 1920s-1990s, but is especially heavy in the combination category of sci fi/horror/fantasy. It seems to offer some items not to be seen elsewhere on Roku, like a couple dozen made-for-TV movies, and a few serials from the 1930s of the kind that inspired George Lucas decades later to do things like Indiana Jones. But many of its TV series are missing lots of episodes.
Adeys TV is a small collection of independently made modern TV shows, films, and documentaries, I believe, covering most of the major genres. So basically its content is the very opposite of your typical Hollywood film or prime time TV show (and sometimes you might want that).
Filmon.TV is an unusual combination of video on demand and single streaming video. That is, you're free to choose from lots of variously named categories; but once you choose a category, you get a single stream of the TV show episodes or films housed in that category. So basically you get to loosely choose what sort of random video stream you wish to watch. Pretty much all the basic film (feature length and shorts), TV show, and documentary genres seem to be represented here. But Filmon also offers categories like French, Italian, and German TV channels. Filmon sort of reminds me of NowhereTV, only with a more international flavor, and more of a Las Vegas 'spin the wheel' approach to what shows you might get.
Comedy Classics Station offers 100+ 1900s-1960s era cartoons and comedy films, plus 'bonus' content of a few other genres like westerns, action/adventure, and musicals.
Cartoon Station appears to offer 1920s-1960s cartoons, as well as some similarly dated live action films in the comedy and fantasy genres, and others.
Manga is an anime channel. It's nowhere near as good as Crunchyroll library-wise, but it can have its moments. Mostly though it tends to host old anime (sometimes amazingly old, like the Astro boy from the 1960s I watched in early mornings before going to my first grade class). However, it also has things like the much newer Ghost in the Shell, and sometimes other good and reasonably modern picks.
Pop flix classic TV offers a small collection of American TV shows from the 1950s and 1960s, mostly in black and white, like Dragnet, Bonanza, and the Beverly Hillbillies.
Midnight Pulp is a collection of weird, cheesy, and/or horror films, some old, some reasonably new.
Family TV is a channel I hesitate to list here, due to its small inventory (under 40 items at last check). But it also seems to have interesting and substantial content not to be easily found elsewhere on Roku, in the form of films, documentaries, TV shows, and specials for both children and grown ups, and a line of long running videos of beautiful places worldwide meant to simply help viewers relax.
American Pop lets you browse via original color posters through films and documentaries ranging in release from the 1920s through 1980s.
NowhereTV is a smorgasbord of videos from the web sites of several prominent major cable TV channels and online news sources, as well as others, and specializes in compiling a list of local TV news channels available on the web. So NowhereTV was a major facilitator for helping Roku users wean themselves from cable after cutting the cord. I don't use it nearly as often as I used to, but it helped me a lot in the changeover, especially before I'd found many of the other channels listed here.
Honor is a military themed channel, with documentaries about war, the US Marines, and various air force aircraft, as well as some Hollywood war films. Honor's inventory isn't very big at all, but its documentaries might be hard to find elsewhere.
Movie Chick shows posters, trailers, text descriptions, and show times of movies playing in theaters near you, in a highly categorized list as to theme or genre. It also has trailers for movies soon to be released. I like it!
Fandango basically shows trailers for current and upcoming theatrical releases.
The Movie Trailer Channel is a single continuous stream of movie trailers in arbitrary order, that you apparently will see until you press the Home button to exit (no video or demand or browsing here).
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