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The Best Free Roku Instructional, Educational, How-To, Presentation, and Real World Video Channels


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Twitch is tough to categorize, since it's a selection of videos where you watch others playing video games and/or commenting on them. I don't get it myself, but am sure my nephews will like this channel during their next visit, as they were searching for videos like this manually on Youtube when last they were here.

Extreme Sports seems to be made by the same folks responsible for Big Star Movies, judging from the user interface-- only it's still more annoying than Big Star Movies to any one trying to get to the free content without subscribing. Note that the free content has commercial interruptions, so somebody somewhere gets paid that way if you watch, too. Anyway, if you can get past the opening screens all right, you'll see the inventory here consists of a fairly small collection of sports related videos. However, as some of these videos are of people risking their lives for little reason other than fun, adrenalin junkies may find satisfaction here, none the less. And I suspect the paucity of videos is largely due to (1) the scarcity of people willing to do stuff like this, (2) the high fatality or crippling rate among such people, and (3) the tendency of channels like this not to show those videos where something goes horribly wrong.

PowerBlock is for car, truck, motorcycle, and 4x4 enthusiasts, with tons of TV series episodes and standalone videos about hot rodding, customizing, repairing, and restoring such vehicles. I did plenty of that decades back with my Mustang Shadowfast, but wanted to make this channel available to my nephews to encourage them to learn how to work on and maintain their own cars today. It's a survival skill even a rich guy can need if he's not able to call in expert help somewhere. And it can save the rest of us a ton of cash and inconvenience.

TEDTalks are intended to be a mix of entertaining, educational, inspirational, and motivational video monologues, for the most part, based on the handful I've seen. Some of the presenters seem like combination teachers/comedians, offering up often well polished speeches or presentations on various topics of scientific, technological, and maybe political interest.

Angie's List TV is pretty much one huge advertisement for the web site-- but it's an unusual advertisement, in that it offers up lots of great tips for people about DIY home improvement and auto care, and other household matters, in lots of little video clips. The web site itself offers reviews of professional carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and similar service personnel you might need for repairs or revamps.

Tech Smart is a library of brief (1 to 5 minute) video clips of news, how-to's, and reviews of tech devices and matters. I add channels like this in the hopes visiting relatives will watch them at some point and learn something which will reduce their need for my own tech support skills.

The Gardening channel I added to my Rokus in order to possibly teach skills to visiting relatives which could be useful to basic survival as well as stress relief: how to grow stuff yourself for food or decorative purposes (as well as feed the bees; the world seems to have a mounting bee crisis these days).

All Fitness TV is a health and fitness video collection I mostly added to hopefully encourage such habits among my extended family if/when they run across it. This channel has a little bit of health fad stuff in it which might be of questionable utility (like advice on detoxing), but overall it seems a better influence than bad.

(I don't need such stuff because I get much health info from my daily research, and work out regularly, as well as try to eat well).

My Combat Channel is about fighting and staying fit, with movies, documentaries, how to's, and match/contest videos. There's not a tremendous amount of content here, but enough to keep fans busy for a while.

Wired Outdoors is mostly about hunting/trapping of various animals, via various means. I mostly added this channel as a substitute for me ever taking my nephews on real hunting or camping trips, so they might get some sense of the activities (they often visit, and might use the Roku). I want my extended family to retain some connection to the old ways in case they ever need them for survival reasons.

MIT Open Courseware is a bunch of videoed college lectures on lots of different scientific and technological subjects, which are probably among the most advanced educational videos available online today. Although I've got college engineering training and on occasion like to immerse myself in things along these lines, I haven't had much opportunity for it in recent years-- so I mainly added this channel in the off chance I do, but mostly in case something in it might catch the fancy of some of my visiting younger relatives (for I like to make such stuff easily available to them).

The First Aid Show contains videos about various injuries and how to treat them. Personally, I like to have valuable references like this around everywhere, in the hopes everybody will pick up a tip or two for emergencies. Hence, the reason I added it to the Roku.

The Aviation Channel offers up videos of many aspects of the aviation industry, from people undergoing pilot training to tours of business jets to how airports and control towers work.

The Yachting Channel is for boat fans what a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is for supermodel fans.

Pursuit Channel is about hunting, and is a single stream channel.

The Knowledge Network is a collection of mostly short videos about science and technology. I haven't encountered any commercials here, but maybe they should add some to pay for beefing up their site (since it can be slow to load at times).

Sportfishing with Dan Hernandez is another outdoors show I hope my young nephews might view at some point for both educational and survivalism reasons. However, I also have adult relatives who used to fish regularly who might find it interesting.

World War Channel offers up a collection of videos about war in general, with much about the US military and some about our enemies in WWII.

Test Tube is a group of videos apparently meant to enlighten viewers on a variety of recent news topics as well as random scientific and technological questions. The choices of topics covered seems pretty random to me, but would likely appeal to most anyone with a healthy amount of curiosity.

Stars and Stripes TV contains a LOT of US military related videos. Fans of military matters in general will surely find some things in here to their liking, but I'd guess that veterans and the presently enlisted would like this channel the most.

MMA Warriors offers up videos of professional mixed martial art fights. There's just barely enough content here for me to include the channel on my list, but hopefully enough to keep even a binge watcher busy for a week or two.

Smithsonian Channel is primarily a collection of lots of bite-sized (30 second to five minutes long) video snippets regarding nature, science, technology, and history-- with commercials attached to their front ends. If that was all there was to it, I wouldn't keep it around. But it also offers 28 much longer and more indepth presentations on these topics too.

Congressional Video Stream shows video of sessions of Congress for recent days. Note that the NowhereTV channel described elsewhere may have a better link to such things. Some old folks love to watch politicians shoveling smelly materials...

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Copyright © 2015 by J.R. Mooneyham. All rights reserved.