by Don Blackwell, GBN Executive Director

DALTON, Ga. (BNc) — The Gospel Broadcasting Network went public today with their new Roku channel.

Anyone is now able to get GBN live on his home television, 24/7, with the aid of device called a “Roku box.”

One may ask, “What is a Roku box?”  In answer to this question, the Roku website states:

“Roku is a little box that allows you to instantly stream tons of entertainment on your TV. Watch movies and TV shows from Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Instant Video, listen to music on Pan­dora, catch the latest ballgame, and more—it’s all available whenever you want it.”

This box also allows others to create custom channels that can be added to the Roku library and streamed to the viewer’s television.

It seemed like an obvious choice for GBN. In February, we started development of our own custom channel, which will stream GBN live, 24/7, to anyone who owns a Roku. The process is easy and free.

First, one will need high speed internet and a Roku box, which may be purchased online at www.roku.com. The cost ranges from $59 to $99, depending on the options chosen.

The setup is easy, similar to setting up a VCR.  I set mine up in about ten minutes. The Roku box may be connected to the internet via a cable or wirelessly.

Once the box is installed, the GBN channel is available for download at the online Roku channel store free of charge. That’s it! GBN is ready to watch whenever you desire!

We believe the GBN Roku channel is going to be a wonderful way for Chris­tians to get GBN, but we also believe it is going to be a great evangelistic tool. There are already over one million homes that currently have Roku boxes, and the number is climbing all the time.

Of course, most of the people who are buying Rokus are getting them for entertainment purposes; but, when they do buy them, GBN will be sitting there waiting for them!  In the first few hours of becoming available almost 100 people had add GBN to their custom channel list.

Also in development are apps for the iPhone and Android smartphones. When they are finished, a person who owns one of these smartphones will be able to click on the app store (market) and download a native app for GBN. After installing the free app, it will be as simple as a few clicks to have GBN streaming in the palm of one’s hand.

There are 51 million iPhone users and 8.5 million Android users.  In light of these staggering figures, we would be remiss not to try to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity for teaching the gospel.

The Roku channel is available now, and the iPhone app should be available before the end of April.

We are tremendously excited about these new opportunities to preach the gospel using the technology that God has given us!  Of course, you can always visit us online at www.gbntv.org.

GBN is under the oversight of the Highland church, Dalton, Ga.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us