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Watch free with your Roku device: live news, kids' shows, Showtime, and more

Roku device
Roku device (Image credit: Android Central)

Self-isolation and quarantine doesn't have to be a terribly boring thing. A lot of online services have been encouraging people to stay home by offering free stuff, and right now Roku is joining in with offers of its own. The popular streaming platform has introduced the "Home Together" initiative (opens in new tab) designed to help people with Roku devices, which is over 100 million apparently, connect to the news and information that matters in this moment. In the same vein, Roku is also offering 30-day extended free trials for a number of premium channels you'd normally either have to pay for or only get a couple days free on. That includes channels like Showtime and Epix.

You need a Roku device to access the Roku streaming platform. There are very inexpensive ways to do this, and the only limit to your access is based on the features of the device itself. No matter which one you choose, you gain full access to the entire Roku content library, all the accessible apps, and more. The Roku Express is only $29.99 at B&H (opens in new tab) and other retailers. Your stream will max out at 1080p, but if you want the least expensive 4K option go with the Roku Premier (opens in new tab) for $10 more. The Streaming Stick+ (opens in new tab) offers voice search, better Wi-Fi, and a better remote for another $10 after that. You could also have a TV like the TCL R625 (opens in new tab) that has the Roku platform built right in.

Roku plans to highlight programming centered around what Roku streamers are searching for, namely: live news, local news, at-home fitness, education, kids entertainment, and faith-based channels. All of these, and others, will be centrally located on the Roku platform under The Roku Channel, the "Featured Free" section, and other places like Roku social media. The whole point is just to add a little convenience to your life while you're looking to pass the time when stuck at home. Fox News, for example, has unlocked its live stream for all Roku customers, while NBC Sports is offering free access to golf, Indy racing, and other sports coverage.

In addition to this, Roku is offering 30 day free trials for more than 20 premium channels. These are channels that would normally cost a subscription and require individual logins. You will still have to submit a credit card when you sign up, but you can always cancel before the 30 trials end to avoid being charged. The channels include a variety of options that will vary depending on your preferences. Some of the big names include Showtime and Epix, where you can stream all their shows and movies for the next 30 days. You can also find the Lifetime Movie Club and Hallmark channels, FitFusion, and more.

J.D. Levite has been in the deals game since 2012. He has posted daily deals at Gizmodo, The Wirecutter, The Sweethome, and now for Thrifter. He was there for the first Prime Day and has braved the full force of Black Friday. If you cut him, he bleeds savings. But don't try it for real. That's a metaphor.