There’s no shortage of ways to watch online video on a TV these days. You can get an Apple TV, an Amazon Fire TV, a Chromecast, a Nexus Player, or any number of cheap Android-powered boxes from China. And of course you could always buy a smart TV from Samsung, LG, or another company and just use the built-in apps.
Or you could get a Roku. The company offers smart TV products that range from the $50 Streaming Stick to the $100 Roku 3. And while Roku hasn’t been around as long as most of its competitors, it currently offers support for a wider selection of online video sources than just about anyone else.
Now you can add Google Play to that list.
If you’re using a Roku in the US, UK, Ireland, or Canada you can now add the Google Play Movies & TV channel to view content from your video library.
That gives you another way to buy movies and TV shows… and if you have a Nexus phone or tablet, there’s a good chance that Google gave you some free content at one point or another. I’ve rented a movie or two from Google over the years, but I don’t think I’ve ever paid to purchase a video… but I’ve got 5 movies and 11 episodes of TV shows in my library.
Roku users will also get a free copy of X-Men in high definition when they visit the “Gift from Google” section.
If you’re keeping track, this mean Roku can stream content from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Crackle, CrunchyRoll, Showtime, HBO, and a wide range of other sources including many which aren’t yet available from Android TV, Apple TV, or some other smart TV platforms.
Meanwhile Android TV and Apple TV lack support for Amazon. The Amazon Fire TV lacks support for Google Play and YouTube (unless you use a third-party YouTube app).