Roku has now added a ‘Live TV Zone’ to make it easier and quicker to access free live TV channels as well as popular live TV streaming apps on players and devices running the company’s Roku OS. Although the rise of streaming has made it easier to watch content when a consumer wants, the need and desire to tune in and watch live remains strong.
Similar to many of the services that specialize in providing consumers with access to free live TV and on-demand content, Roku also offers its own solution which consists of more than 200 live linear television channels that users can watch for free. While these free channels won’t replace a traditional live TV subscription for many homes, they can be a good alternative for those tired of paying the increasing costs of a subscription, or as a complementary service to an active live TV plan.
The new Live TV Zone is designed to make finding live TV channels and content to watch even faster. As the announcement makes clear, Roku has not added any new live TV content, but is simply streamlining the approach to getting to the right location. Effectively, the new Live TV Zone is a Roku OS shortcut to the various live TV channels that Roku already offers.
The new Live TV Zone can be accessed by either searching for ‘Live TV Zone’ or by clicking on the “Live TV’ tab on the left-hand navigation menu. Once the ‘Zone’ is clicked on, the Roku user will be directed to a live TV channel guide where they can browse what’s currently showing live and quickly switch to any of the free channels to start watching.
Overall, the Live TV Zone does act as somewhat of a live TV hub in general. In addition to the live TV guide, the Zone also now houses various live TV apps, including Philo, fuboTV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. Whether it is any quicker than opening any of these apps from the home screen is another question. However, if already ‘in the Zone’ and not finding anything to watch for free, it will be slightly quicker to open a paid live TV app than having to return back to the Apps section of the home screen to find the same app.