If you’re toying with the idea of buying a Roku, chances are you’re pretty confused about the pricing side of it. You might have the same questions circling around your head, like: How much is Roku? Are channels free? Do I have to sign up for a subscription? Can I rent a movie on Roku? This Roku pricing guide aims to answer all of your questions.
Although Roku is one of the most budget-friendly streaming devices you can get, there are different costs involved when tallying up the total price of using one. For starters, the device cost varies considerably, but confusion often revolves around the actual channel prices.
To curb your confusion, we’ll go over the cost of each Roku device. We’ll also run through the different prices for Roku channels, as well as any subscriptions you may opt for. You can read our Roku beginner’s guide to learn more about Roku in general and we also have a Roku history piece in case you’re wondering when did Roku come out.
How Much Does Roku Cost In Total?
The total cost for using a Roku will vary from user to user. That’s because you first need to decide on a device, and they’re all very different in both price and features. A Roku device can cost as little as $29 or as much as a few thousand dollars. How much you spend really comes down to what you want.
Aside from the actual device, though, there are costs involved with certain channels and streaming services. Some channels and services are free, but others require you to set up a subscription or pay a one-off fee. However, even those that cost money aren’t at a set price. Again, it depends on what you want.
On top of that, there are on-demand channels, such as Redbox, that offer a pay-as-you-go option. The initial Redbox account is free; you can then rent or purchase movies as you please.
How Much Is Roku?
In this section, we’ll list all of the current Roku devices, along with their prices and features. From there, you can pick a device that suits your needs (our Roku buyer’s guide goes into more detail for each device).
Roku Express — This is the cheapest option, but it can only stream up to HD 1080p, not 4K. It includes a Simple remote. It’s great for first-time streamers, second TVs or if you’re on a budget.
Roku Premiere — The Premiere may look a little different, but it’s basically the same as the Express except for one detail — it can stream in 4K.
Roku Streaming Stick+ — This is Roku’s most portable device. It’s about the size of a flash drive and plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port. It also has a long-range wireless receiver and includes the Enhanced Voice remote.
Roku Ultra LT — The Ultra LT is intended to be a permanent entertainment system. It includes extended wireless and it’s the cheapest Roku with an Ethernet port. You can insert a micro SD for expanded channel storage, and it comes with the Enhanced Voice remote. However, it doesn’t include an HDMI cable.
Roku Ultra — This is the 2020 model, the Ultra 4800R. It is the fastest and most powerful option you can get. It includes the best wireless receiver and an Ethernet port. It also supports Bluetooth connectivity and can stream in Dolby Vision, on top of its 4K capability.
Roku Smart Soundbar — The Smart Soundbar is a great option if you’re looking to improve your TV’s sound, as this is basically a powerful speaker that has a Roku player built in. It supports Dolby Audio, and has different sound modes and speech clarity options. It also supports Bluetooth and has a USB port for local playback. It comes with the Voice remote.
Roku Streambar — This is another 2020 model. It’s basically the same as the Smart Soundbar but cheaper and more compact. One main difference, though, is that it doesn’t have a dedicated Ethernet port, but you can use the USB port to connect an Ethernet adapter. Like the Smart Soundbar, you get the Voice remote.
Roku TV — This is the most expensive way to bag yourself a Roku player, but it could prove worthy if you’re already looking to upgrade your TV. Having a TV with a Roku player built in gives you a unique smart TV experience. It comes with the Simple remote.
Price: We can’t give you an exact price due to the different brands and sizes available, but they start around $214.99 and can go into the thousands.
What Are the Prices for Roku Channels?
As we mentioned before, the pricing of Roku channels varies. We’ll go over the basics of the different types of channels and costs you may come across, but you can check out our dedicated piece on Roku channels for more detailed information.
First, although Roku calls them “Roku TV channels,” they’re actually just apps. As with many other devices, such as the Amazon Firestick, you can add apps for TV channels and streaming services — like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video — to your home screen (also read our Roku vs Firestick comparison).
There are thousands of channels available, too, and you can search for them in the Roku Channel Store. Roku even has its own channel, The Roku Channel. It includes lots of ad-supported but free content, as well as some optional premium content.
However, having both “Roku channels” and “The Roku Channel” is part of the reason things got confusing in the first place. The latter is simply another app.
There are other free channels, too, such as network TV channels, like FOX News and ABC. Plus, there are some free apps that have a selection of content available, like Pluto TV, which has free sports, news and live TV channels, as well as some on-demand movies and TV shows.
Paid Roku Channels
After that, there’s the paid content, and that can come in the form of a one-off payment or a subscription. For instance, you might want to ditch your cable or satellite provider but still benefit from the same type of channels. For that, you can subscribe to a service like Hulu, which starts at $5.99 per month, or FuboTV or Sling TV (both $30 per month).
If you’re more inclined to watch movies and series, you might prefer a subscription with Netflix or Apple TV. Oh, and let’s not forget the Disney fans, who might want to sign up for Disney+. Such subscriptions can start at as little as $4.99 per month.
As you can see, after the initial device cost you could pay absolutely nothing and enjoy some great TV. When it comes to the cost of content, it really depends on what you want, and possibly what you already have.
Add together the cost of any TV channels and streaming platforms you want to subscribe to, and there’s your usage cost. Remember that you may have subscribed to some of them before investing in a Roku, though.
Is There a Monthly Subscription Fee for Roku?
There is no subscription fee for a Roku. Once you’ve paid for your device, that’s it. If you then add paid channels and subscriptions to your account, that’s your choice. There are many free trials available, though.
If you have preexisting subscriptions, you can simply add the channel to your Roku home screen and log in. Otherwise, you can add a credit card or other payment method to your account and manage your Roku subscriptions through there.
To get the best free experience from your device, you can check out our Roku free channels guide.
We hope our Roku price guide has cleared up any confusion you had about how much TV with Roku costs. To put it simply, you have the device price and that’s it. There’s no Roku subscription. You’ll only pay extra if you decide to subscribe to a channel or service, or pay a one-off fee for some content.
New channels and new content are added frequently, and devices are updated automatically, so you’ll never miss out on new Roku streaming options. Plus, our best VPN for Roku guide will help if you want to access channels or services that aren’t available in your region.
If you’re ready to start streaming with Roku, you can check out our guides on how to set up Roku and how to add channels to Roku.
What do you think about the options available in the Roku Channel Store? Is there a Roku device that you would recommend? Do you think we’ve missed anything? Let us know in the comment section and, as always, thank you for reading.
Is Roku Free?
A Roku device is not free -- you need to purchase the device. After that, though, you can certainly use the free channels with Roku.
Does Roku Charge a Fee?
You will need to pay for your Roku device initially. After that, Roku does not charge a fee. There’s no monthly subscription.
Do I Have to Pay for a Subscription?
No. You will only need to pay for a subscription if you sign up for a TV channel or streaming service.