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Best Channels for Roku

Updated on October 2, 2012

The Best Roku Channels, Subscription, Free and Private

If your looking for the best Channels on Roku, you have come to the right place. Not just the featured channels, but also private channels that are hard to find. I've been using the Roku for years to watch TV, movies, radio, etc. I don't have cable TV anymore and my antenna signal is terrible so I watch everything through the internet. Here are my favorites so can learn from a pro.

1. Netflix

Netflix alone makes the Roku worth it. Most of what I watch now is Netflix. They have the best content and actually the Roku app for Netflix is the best. The app streams at 1080p unless your internet connection isn't strong enough and then it can downgrade the quality to meet the speed of

your internet signal. The Hulu Plus app has issues with this.

I watch a lot of TV through Netflix. Monk, Psych, The Dick Van Dyke Show, House, Doc Martin, etc. There are so many great shows on Netflix that I never run out of stuff to watch, so I don't miss having Cable. And even though there is a monthly fee, we share this fee with our family. So my parents and in-laws can watch on their Roku as well. I don't know how many devices you can have on one account but it's like 5. Your supposed to all live in the same household but how do they know?

2. Hulu Plus
Behind Netflix, Hulu Plus has the best content. However the app has some issues. You get one quality regarless of your internet connection, so if your connection is a little slow, the app will pause. And sometimes it just gets stuck. But the content on Hulu Plus makes up for it. Where else can I watch "Modern Family". I think I pay the $8 or so a month just for that show. But I also like to watch "Community", "New Girl", "The Office" and some other shows. You get the shows a day after they air on live TV usually. And like Netflix, we share this account with my family, so the monthly fee is spread out.

3. Amazon Instant Video
If you have an amazon Prime account (my mother in-law does and you can share it), then you can

watch a lot of shows/movies through Amazon Instant Video for free. The app is real good quality and the content is pretty good as well. It's much of the same stuff as on Netflix, with some exceptions. And if you really feel like watching a movie that isn't offerred on Netflix, you can rent it through Amazon Instant Video for a few dollars.

One of the hardest things about getting rid of Cable is finding sports over the internet. There is no Roku channel for ESPN3 which makes me mad. So MLB.TV is the best channel for sports although it's just baseball. With MLB.TV Premium, you can watch over 2,430 MLB regular season games LIVE or on-demand in HD Quality.

1. Pandora

If you don't know about Pandora yet, then your missing out. Pandora let's you setup your own radio station based on your preferences in artists, style, etc. I have Pandora on in the background whenever I'm not watching a TV show or movie.

2. Crackle

Watch free movies on Crackle. Tons of full-length, uncut Hollywood movies and TV series - all free and on demand. They don't have the best content, some B grade movies and such. A few blockbusters. But it's all free and high quality so you can't really go wrong.

3. Weather Underground

This is how I get my weather now. They have 5 day forecast, live satelite and radar, local web cams. All of the stuff a good weather station should have.

Best Private Channels on Roku

What are Private Channels?

Roku has a channel list, but that's not where the channels end. You can also add Roku Private Channels, which do not show up in the Roku Channel Guide. You have to get the Private Channel code and then add the Private Channel through It's like the underground tunnel of Roku Channels.

1. Nowhere TV

Nowhere TV features free content from providers like HGTV, Food Network, Smithsonian Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and CNN as well as local news content from stations around the country. It's really a compilation of the best free content you can get on the Roku. This is how I get my HGTV fix. And if you want to watch an old movie, it's easy to find a free one here. It's kind of like having one channel with many sub-channels. I even watched the Sweet 16 College Basketball live through this channel.

Channel code: H9DWC

2. CNN

Streaming world news. I think this is CNN World, not the US channel, but still it's good news coverage. This is what I watched when Osama Bin Laden was killed.

Channel code: RBFA1

3. BBC

British Broadcasting Channel. I watched a lot of this during the London Olympics. Another good news Channel for free.

Channel code: BBCN

4. Youtube

Watch Youtube on TV. Enough said!

Channel code: B8VVK

5. Archive Classic Movies

Streaming classic movies from the archives. Actually you can get this on Newhere TV, or you can add it as a stand-alone Channel.

Channel code: WSW1P

6. Food Network Nighttime

Full episodes from the iPhone app. Good content, but not the best quality signal.

Channel code: FNNIGHT

7. Nasa TV

Nasa Hubble News and Video. My father in law loves to watch Nasa TV. I don't know why. I guess he finds it soothing.

Channel code: HIBMX

8. Hubblecast HD

Nasa Hubble News and Video. Again, My father in law loves to watch Nasa stuff.

Channel code: 9OFQX

9. Aljazeera

Another good news Channel for free.

Channel code: EA7NG


Watch various shows from

Channel code: TVCOM

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      tvstream 4 years ago

      These are all great channels. Roku is my favorite media streamers because of all the great channels available. For a lot more Roku channels and some which you won't find on Roku's site be sure to check out the free huge list at mkvXstream.