Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?

Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations? http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file 33834roku.jpg
We are very low tech where I'm asking if I can get free TV with the low tech equipment that I have already at home.
I picked up two unopened Roku streaming sticks at a garage sale where the husband who worked for Roku had left the ex wife where he had a few cases of these things that the ex wife was selling for a buck each but she didn't know what they're good for - and neither do I.
The gray box is a Roku 3810R and the green one is a Roku 3800R.
Googling, everyone seems to already know what they do, where I can tell from the hits that they connect your TV to the Internet over your router so that you can use Netflix and stuff.
But we are really low tech so my question is how much free stuff can this Roku thing give me? All the articles assume you have Netflix, and they even assume you have cable, and they assume you have a TV, none of which I have.
I don't have a TV antenna to get over the air broadcast TV, and even if I did, I'm remote so I'd likely get one station or two at best.
THere is no cable service. Just electricity. Nothing else by way of services.
I'm on WISP. About 5 Mbps down and up. The router is an old WNDR Netgear N with the USB port unused.
The kids have a PS3 connected to an old Sony TV.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?fileb86595sony_model.jpg
The Sony TV is too old for HDMI.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?fileu49633sony_cables.jpg
I know the Sony TV can do Netflix over the net through the PS3 which is wired to the router because we had a friend stay for a few days and her account worked where the kids set that up, but we don't have Netflix account.
We have Windows 10, one of which has an HDTV monitor.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?fileE61584hdmi_1.jpg
So that one kid's desktop is the only HDMI connection in the house. http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file 54901hdmi_2.jpg
In our low-tech situation, with only my kid having an HDMI monitor, which nobody shows on the net, can the Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
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On 3/26/2018 6:56 PM, Amethyst wrote:

Best I know is that a Roku device only makes a dumb TV into a smart TV and only free TV available is what is on the internet like this stuff:
ttps://www.killthecablebill.com/tv-channels/
But you say you do not even have a TV.
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On 3/26/2018 5:56 PM, Amethyst wrote:

  The short answer is yes . That stick is meant to plug into the USB port on a TV set , but it MIGHT work in the USB port of your son's computer . You'll find the free stuff on roku is riddled with some very annoying commercials , if you can tolerate them thren go for it . Otherwise , netflix can be as cheap as around 10 bucks , CBS all access is around the same . Prime is OK , but a bit more expensive at 14 a month - but you get free shipping and a ton of commercial-free programming .
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scribbled:

Prime's $99 a year with a one-time payment ($8.25 a month). Decent free movies and TV, Prime movies and originals (some quite good). Free access to a couple million songs and thousands of playlists. Free two day shipping on eligible items. Unlimited could storage of images. One free eBook book a month before release. Free lending library of eBooks. Well worth the cost of a fast food meal a month.
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Terry Coombs wrote:

Not a USB, it connect into an HDMI port. I have one.
Short answer to OP is yes, there are some free channels of varying degrees of value. Better channels need subscription or some cable tv package, but like me no cable access here. Works on my slow DLS < 3mbs.
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On Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:23:12 -0400, "Jonathan N. Little"

Thank you for confirming there are "some" free channels, which is all that I care about since the goal is free TV, where all this talk of commercials isn't the point at all since you all have a completely different setup (eg cable, which we don't have) and most of you likely have Netflix (which we don't have and don't want to pay for).
It seems from the other discussions that the kids and I need HDMI "IN" where the monitor to the desktop computer is the only device with HDMI "IN".
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?fileE61584hdmi_1.jpg
The Sony Playstation 3 only has an unused HDMI "OUT".
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?filed17873ps3.jpg
And the DVD player also has an unused HDMI "OUT".
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file232054dvd_player.jpg
The desktop is connected to the router by WiFi and the playstation is connected to the router by Ethernet.
The playstation then goes directly to the back of the TV, as does the DVD player.
Given the monitor has multiple different connections, I can free up the HDMI "IN" of the monitor by using a different cable out of the back of the desktop tower.
That would free up the only HDMI "IN" that I have. http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file 54901hdmi_2.jpg
So the only question remaining is whether the Roku streaming stick would work connected to that HDMI "IN" of the desktop computer monitor.
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On 3/27/2018 2:30 PM, Amethyst wrote:

Just read the manual and plug the thing into the HDMI of the monitor and see what it does. As I recall, you wifi into it to set it up. Should be clearly described in the manual. Worry about other devices after you determine that the content is usable. Depending on your model, the only audio output is thru HDMI, which can severely limit your options.
I played with mine for about ten minutes before I gave up on the useless free content.
I think you'll find that the stuff available for free is absolute CRAP. Anything you want to watch is NOT FREE. And you can get most of the same stuff with an app on the computer.
roku is for people who have a dumb tv and want to get content without dedicating a whole computer to the process...and are willing to pay for content.
You can get free movies you'd actually want to watch using your internet browser on your desktop or smartphone. Google tubiTV and Crackle to get started. Go the the national TV network websites and see what they have for streaming. Used to be a lot of free network TV, but I think they are now charging for access. Check it out. You should be able to get anything network accessible in a standard format to go thru your roku. I haven't looked in a while, but networks like to force you to use their viewer app so they can control the advertising content. My neighbor swears that buying netflix is the best bang for the buck. YMMV
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On Thu, 29 Mar 2018 22:58:28 -0000 (UTC), John Doe

That brings up a good point where I wonder of the Roku Streaming Stick can "stream" a movie onto a TV that was previously downloaded onto a desktop computer using the youtube downloader?
[C:] youtube-dl.exe
https://youtu.be/dcaYmLgXsPo

https://youtu.be/dcaYmLgXsPo

I got the YouTube downloader from here: https://youtube-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl.exe
And the MP3 encoder from here (if I want to download just the audio): http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/win64/static/ffmpeg-20170711-0780ad9-win64-static.zip
Can a Roku streaming stick stream from the local desktop to the TV?
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Amethyst wrote:

Yes, quite easily with Plex.
https://www.plex.tv/apps/streaming-devices/roku/
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wrote:

+1 Plex is probably the most popular method. There are other Roku channels that work similarly.
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On 3/26/2018 7:58 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

Terry-
Perhaps your Roku stick is made to plug into a USB port or fits a USB port, but my Roku stick fits into and requires a HDMI port on a TV. The two plug/socket configurations may look very similar, but they have different dimensions and wiring. The OP will require an HDMI port to use the Roku stick.
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On 3/27/2018 8:19 AM, Peter wrote:

  I don't have a Roku stick ... the picture looked like a USB plug and you're right , they do look a lot alike . We have 2 Roku's , both plug in with an HDMI cable . Sounds like the OP needs to buy a new TV ...
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On 3/27/2018 11:41 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

That's my opinion. Its been about 2 years since I bought a 30 inch Samsung smart TV for only $239. I've got bigger none smart sets but this one considered small was for a spot in my den.
Also think I would opt for higher download speed which may be needed for streaming.
Also wanted to mention when it comes to Netflix you can put it on all of your devices which means that the devices do not even need to be in your house. Restriction is that you can not have more than two or three viewers at once. One of my friends here had a son living out of state that offered him access to his account at no cost to him. I like a lot of the Netflix series and they might put on 10-12 one hour shows per season but when the next season comes out they put out the whole series so you can binge.
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Frank wrote:

Nothing prevents an ISP from throttling Netflix, even if you buy Gigabit service. That's the beauty of net neutrality or the lack thereof.
This is one reason that people cannot see Netflix in HD, because the connection to Netflix is throttled, no matter what grade of service you thought that you'd bought.
The ISP could have been cut out of the picture, by the usage of a VPN to "hide" the traffic, except Netflix has anti-VPN provisions to prevent people from other countries from subscribing to US Netflix service (by using a US billing address).
Netflix has a lot of nuances. One size bandaid doesn't fit all.
Paul
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On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 3:41:25 PM UTC-4, Paul wrote:

Some ISP *might* throttle Netflix. But the OP is on wifi where he has only 5 mbits total. I think you're far more likely to see a problem there with any streaming content, as opposed to folks on cable with 100 mbits+. Especially if someone else in the house is using the link for other purposes at the same time
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Our DSL runs about 6 mbytes. We can watch TV via Roku on two TVs and operate two computers, all simultaneously. OP should have no problem.
Note: bits and bytes are two different things :)
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On 3/28/2018 4:34 AM, dadiOH wrote:

OTA is generally better than what you can get over cable. Windows media center just sends the raw data to the hard drive. Cable, or tuners like HD Home Run or Roku or netflix seriously compress the data before saving it.
Watch a football game OTA, then on Cable. When the camera follows the runner, there's a LOT of detail in the background changing quickly. On Cable, it's a blur. OTA you can see everything clearly.
Watch a TV soap opera that has a lot of closeups on cable. The actors have facial blemishes and wrinkles etc. When the camera switches to them, their face is clear. The details fade in as the compression algorithm catches up. When they turn their head, the wrinkles disappear, then fade in again. It's very annoying. OTA doesn't have that problem. Wasn't as noticeable on NTSC, but ATSC shows the problem big time.

Indeed. Who is the vendor of your 6MBytes/sec DSL? I could never get over 3Mbits/sec on DSL. At 6MBytes/second, I could cancel fiber and double my speed on DSL.
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Originally, Verizon. Now, Frontier but they use the same gear Verizon used; basically, Frontier bought the gear, customers and upkeep from Verizon, only the name changed.
However, keep what you have...mine is 6+ megaBITS, not bytes. My excuse is that I had not had my morning coffee :)
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I just want to say that all the articles assume you'll pay for Netflix, which isn't the question here.
I don't want to pay for anything since I think it's foolish to pay for what you can get for free, if you can get it for free.
That's why I asked what comes with the Roku sticks. It seems, from the answers, "stuff" comes for free, so that's good.
Now all I need is to figure out if the Roku can plug into the HDMI "IN" of the monitor (with a Y adapter) or if the Roku can plug into the HDMI "OUT" of the Sony Playstation 3.
If the Roku can plug into the HDMO "OUT" of the Sony PS3, that would be perfect because the Sony PS3 already has cables that go into the old but rather large (48 inch?) Sony TV (maybe through the DVD player?).
Come to think of it, I didn't look at the back of the DVD player yet.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file232054dvd_player.jpg
The DVD player also has an HDMI "OUT" that I ask if I can plug the Roku stick into?
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On 3/27/2018 4:00 PM, Amethyst wrote:

  If I could get OTA TV for free ... but i live over a hundred miles from the nearest "big" city , and down in The Hollr . No reception at all .

  You'll find that those outputs are just that - outputs only . The input on the monitor should work though .
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