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Roku is a brand of digital media players that can stream a near-endless amount of TV and video on demand.

They come in a variety of different models and specifications 7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Digital Media Player 7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Digital Media Player If you're thinking about buying your first digital media player (also known as streaming device), these questions will help you to avoid making any grave mistakes. Read More , but at their core they all operate in the same way: you add channels and watch the content you want. For this reason they’re a vital weapon in a cord-cutters armory Cut That Cord! How To Ditch Cable Cut That Cord! How To Ditch Cable Have you been thinking about cutting your pay-TV cord? I want to show you some of the pros and cons of cord cutting: it's not all major sacrifices. Read More .

There are actually two sources of channels. One is the Streaming Channels library on the device itself. Sure, there is more than enough in there to keep you entertained, but the Roku really comes into its own when you start adding private channels.

In this article we explain how to add private channels to your Roku, and recommend 20 of the best that we think you should install immediately.

How Do You Add Private Channels?

Before you can add a private channel to your Roku box you’ll need two things:

  1. The channel’s code (we have included the codes in our list below).
  2. A Roku account (they can be set up for free on the Roku website).

Once you have the code and have created an account, it’s easy to then start adding channels.

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Head to your account portal and click Add a Channel. Insert the code, accept the on-screen confirmation, and you’re done. Yes, it really is that easy.

The channel should immediately appear at the bottom of the channel list on your Roku’s home-screen. If it doesn’t, you can force a refresh by going to Settings > System > System Update > Check Now on the device.

So, now you know how to add channels, you just need to know which channels to add…

1. Nowhere TV (H9DWC)

Nowhere TV is the quintessential private Roku channel Cut the Cord Forever With These 15 TV Streaming Channels Cut the Cord Forever With These 15 TV Streaming Channels Cable TV is in decline, as the internet provides cheap, on-demand entertainment. Here are 15 of the best TV streaming services to help you cut the cord. Read More . It has been running since 2010 and is the most-subscribed-to private channel by some distance.


It streams live TV and free-to-air channels from around the world. The channel line-up varies from time-to-time, but at the moment you can watch entertainment from most local Fox channels, government/politics channels like C-SPAN, and news from NBC and CBS, as well as lots more.

2. FilmOn (NMEVA)

FilmOn needs no introduction Watch Live TV Online, For Free, With FilmOn Watch Live TV Online, For Free, With FilmOn Watch TV, on your computer – without the need for an antenna, TV card or subscription. FilmOn is a free service offering a wide variety of TV channels in the US and UK. Read More . It’s an Internet-based television service which licenses more than 600 global channels along with 90,000 video-on-demand titles.

It’ll give you access to the complete range of over-the-air UK TV channels, as well as a selection of other offerings that range from the incredible (“FilmOn Classic Films”) to the ridiculous (“UFO News”!).


If you create an account, you can also record one hour of video to playback at your leisure.

3. iTunes Podcasts (ITPC)

This channel will let you browse, add, and listen to the entire iTunes Podcast Directory 5 Places to Discover New Podcasts That You'll Love 5 Places to Discover New Podcasts That You'll Love Love the idea of podcasts, but have no idea where to get started? Here are five sites that can help you find the best podcasts on the planet. Read More directly from your Roku.

It’s surprisingly full-featured; it supports multiple search filters, playback recall, and favorites.


4. Television Shopping (TVS)

Admit it – there is something strangely addictive about watching wannabe big-shot presenters on QVC and ShopNBC trying to sell you food processors and exercise equipment.

You can enjoy hours of their attempts with this channel.


5. Dr. Bill Bailey Netcasts (DrBillTV)

Dr. Bill Bailey describes himself as a “computer curmudgeon”. He takes a regular look at all things tech, including the Internet, computers, handheld devices, and cloud computing.


Best of all, he serves it all up with a healthy dose of humor!

6. Saveur Magazine (Saveur)

If gourmet food and drink is your thing, you’ll probably already know about Saveur Magazine. It’s packed with recipes Love Food & Healthy Recipes? Check Out These Windows 8 Apps Love Food & Healthy Recipes? Check Out These Windows 8 Apps Get great meal ideas for all types of diets. With a portable touchscreen device, you can even prepare your meals with your computer in the kitchen! Read More , cooking tips, travel food, and articles about culinary traditions.

Downloading this channel will deliver the magazine’s best video content straight to your device.


7. Cowboy Classics (cowboy)

Are you addicted to John Wayne, Butch Cassidy, and Tonto? The Cowboy Classics channel features hundreds of old westerns that’ll keep you going for months.


8. My Channels (MyChannels)

My Channels is a bit different to the other channels we’ve looked at so far. Its primary purpose is to help you keep your channel list organized. It’s a great idea – channel lists can quickly get out of control when you add a lot of content.


Features include the ability to group channels and to add favorites, as well as allowing for more channels to be displayed on a screen at any one time.

9. Great Chefs (greatchefs)

Great Chefs is a cooking show that used to be on PBS. It has been discontinued, but you can find all the episodes in one place on this channel.

You’ll be better than Gordon Ramsey in no time!

10. Popular Science (Popular Science)

Popular Science is at the cutting edge of technological and scientific news. Whether it’s 3D printing 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping: Future or Fad? 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping: Future or Fad? What went through your mind the first time you saw 3D printing in action? Did you think, "Hey that's moderately cool"? Or did you think, "Wow. I could build ANYTHING with that!" Read More or self-driving cars How Self-Driving Cars Work: The Nuts and Bolts Behind Google's Autonomous Car Program How Self-Driving Cars Work: The Nuts and Bolts Behind Google's Autonomous Car Program Being able to commute back and forth to work while sleeping, eating, or catching up on your favorite blogs is a concept that is equally appealing and seemingly far-off and too futuristic to actually happen. Read More , you can tune in and stay abreast of all the latest goings-on.

All the videos are in short and digestible chunks, so it’s perfect to dip in and out of.


11. Neon Party Games (H2CLHP)

Neon Party Games does exactly what you’d expect, offering a selection of fun games that can be played by an unlimited number of people via your Roku box.

Download the accompanying smartphone app to use as the in-game controller.

(Note: the channel is still in beta, so could be occasionally buggy).


12. Al Jazeera (aljazzeraenglish)

Streaming a 24/7 feed of the Qatari network’s English-language news channel, this is probably the best and most reliable of the all the news channels.

Unfortunately, it is geo-blocked for U.S.-based users, but if you’re located elsewhere you can watch this at your leisure.

(Note: the channel code is not a typo!)


13. Dream Catchers Multimedia (XRGPXN)

Dream Catchers Multimedia focuses on documentaries, short films, and foreign films 20 Secret Netflix Codes Guaranteed to Help You Find New Content 20 Secret Netflix Codes Guaranteed to Help You Find New Content Here’s our list of the 20 secret Netflix codes guaranteed to help you find new content. Read More .

This is a brand new channel. It only went live on February 18 – but it’s already got rave reviews. More and more new content is being added every day.


14. Capital TV (capitaltv)

Capital TV brands itself as being the UK’s premier hit music station. That’s certainly debatable, but either way this is a live stream of their TV channel, with 24/7 music videos From MTV to YouTube: A Brief History of Music Videos From MTV to YouTube: A Brief History of Music Videos While music videos are mostly viewed on YouTube these days, this is only the latest stage in the evolution of a medium that can be as elaborate as film and as personal as photos. Read More that’ll keep your partying until the small hours.


15. Space Time (CN6MRTG)

The NASA channel in the Streaming Channels library is one of the best stations available, but this private channel takes it to a whole new level.

It features some video content from NASA and from all of the other world’s space agencies, and it’s all neatly categorized into Featurettes, Deep Sky, Solar System, Space Travel, Historical, and Astrophysics.


16. Goats Live (GoatsLive)

No, this isn’t a joke – it really is a channel about live goats.

Sure, it sounds ridiculous, but bear in mind that it was recently listed in EarthCam’s “25 Most Interesting Webcams of 2015”. There is also an accompanying YouTube channel.

As one viewer said, you simply “can’t get enough of goats in a tree”.

17. Wilderness TV (fl821095)

Sticking with the theme of the outdoors, the Wilderness Channel features live videos from the National Parks Service and Parks Canada, as well as masses of TV content about the North American countryside.

It also includes occasional survival videos.


18. Update My Channels (UpdateMyChannels)

Update My Channels is another admin-based channel. If you install lots of private content, it can be annoying to either wait 24-hours or perform a power cycle just to get them to show up on your channel list.

This removes the hassle – open the channel and it will refresh your entire list. Simple!


19. Silent Movie Channel (ROLLEM)

We live in an age of crash-bang-wallop Hollywood blockbusters and big-budget cinema. Wouldn’t it be nice to return to the golden olden days?

Well, maybe not. But you can at least see what those days were like with this channel. It features hundreds of silent movies, featuring everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Greta Garbo.


20. Relax Time (VRQHQ)

Is day-to-day life all getting a bit too much? Do you wish you were relaxing on a tropical island somewhere? Sadly, Roku isn’t quite advanced enough to physically transport you there, but it CAN mentally transport you there.

This channel features loops of turquoise waters, palm trees, and gentle waves – as well as some other genial environments.


What Are Your Favorite Channels?

Those are our pick for the top 20 private Roku channels, but there are thousands more available.

The important thing to realise is that Roku private channels have something for everyone. If you’re not using them, you’re seriously limiting the enjoyment you can get out of your device and limiting its potential.

If you want to do some more of your own research and discover some different content, head to or and check out their regularly-updated lists.

Which private channels do you watch every day? How do you discover new ones? Let us know all your tips, recommendations, and thoughts in the comments below.

  1. Farideh
    October 11, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Where can I find beta private channel code? Looking for HD TV Box channel that is streaming international stations.

  2. Karen m
    October 9, 2016 at 4:31 pm


  3. Mike
    October 5, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    The article, number 12, about the Arab channel Al Jazeera:
    "probably the best and most reliable of the all the news channels."
    What?! Who wrote this article? ISIS? Al Qaeda? There is a reason it's blocked in the US!

    • Dan Price
      October 6, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Al Jazeera blocks itself in the US, it's not blocked by the government or cable channels.

      • Mike
        October 21, 2016 at 5:54 pm

        You are right. Al Jazeera did it themselves because of they tried to launch "Al Jazeera America".
        A lot of people have talked about it because of Al Jazeera's very biased pro-Muslim and pro-Arab reporting, while in Quatar itself, journalists are subject to prosecution for criticizing the Qatari government, the ruling family, or Islam.

    • JD
      October 11, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Uhm, al Jazeera may not be the best and most reliable news channel (it has an editorial slant, as well,) but it certainly is not some sort of terrorist news organization. It's alarming that you seem to be under that impression.

      • Mike
        October 21, 2016 at 5:40 pm

        Don't twist my words!
        I didn't write or imply that it's a "terrorist news organization".
        What I inferred was that only Arabs and Muslims would claim that Al Jazeera is objective and neutral. Al Jazeera has a clear pro-Islam, pro-Arab, and anti-Western slant. E.g. left-leaning BBC, even though actually pro-Arab, is infinitely more objective when it comes to Middle-Eastern or Muslim reporting.

      • Mike
        October 21, 2016 at 5:55 pm

        And FYI a quote from Freedom House:
        "While Qatar’s flagship satellite television channel, Al-Jazeera, is permitted to air critical reports on foreign countries and leaders, journalists are subject to prosecution for criticizing the Qatari government, the ruling family, or Islam."

  4. Saul Howard
    September 28, 2016 at 5:09 am

    Just added Synctrix as a Roku private channel. Synctrix allows you to stream video/audio files you have stored on Dropbox/Google Drive to your Roku. It's currently free during the beta period so check it out! (

  5. kuljeet
    August 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I would love to do showtime anytime activate on roku . please help

  6. Bikash
    July 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    A new hindi english indian channel. please check out. private channel code TVDIARY

  7. Tammy
    July 25, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    I would love to watch the Relax Time (VRQHQ) but Roku says this is not a valid channel name. If anyone knows a fix or an updated code, please let me know.

  8. Victoria Mathis
    July 23, 2016 at 9:04 am

    If someone could share a working BBC news channel well, that would be a very good addition to the Roku news line up.

    • Dan Price
      July 23, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Use Plex and add Film On from the unsupported app store :)

    • robertjm
      August 4, 2016 at 4:49 am

      Channel Pear has it.

  9. Larry Eustice
    May 29, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Could you please add my channel?

    Vanity Access Code: ispyradio

    A multi-genre Spy Themed 24/7 streaming radio station. Airing Songs With a spy feel. Selections from Spy movies, TV and other places from around the world. The music you listen to while plotting world domination or saving it from evil masterminds..

    Join us for 007 weekends, Saturdays and Sundays will be everything and anything about James Bond 007 radio.

  10. Jo
    May 28, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Is there a private Overdrive channel? Any code for Overdrive? The googles say it's coming, it's here but I sure don't see it.

  11. Mike
    May 21, 2016 at 9:36 am

    "Sfntv" from SFN TV NOW

  12. dan
    March 13, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Haven't tried them all, but 'Popular Science' was the only one my ROKU could find; 'DrBillTV' and some others weren't there; should I keep trying or is there a way the ROKU website can verify if they actually offer it?

  13. moe
    March 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    One channel is the single greatest roku channel.pretty much every TV show and movie you can think of

  14. Rambler2
    March 11, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    The Relax Time code gets only the "Tropical Beach" link, and I could find no way to link to the other themes listed, such as "aquarium". Can this be corrected so that the other Relax Time themes are available?

    • TomR
      March 11, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Rambler2, I just checked the Relax Time channel using that code, and all of the videos are accessible, although a couple of titles have changed from screenshot above. After the splash screen, all of the videos should be listed.

  15. fred
    March 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Why is the Roku link at the very top of this article linking to Amazon to buy a roku and not the Roku site (especially with your referral making sure you make a cut)? Is this site selling out that much?

    MakeUseOf has been one of my favorite sites for a long time, but if ya'll start only caring about advertising & selling yourselves out that much no one is going to trust your articles since they're obviously helping YOU and not anyone else.

    • michael
      March 11, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      The whole site has become an Amazon advertisement - get used to it.

    • TomR
      March 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      If you hover over a link that goes to Amazon, you'll see that the link was added by an app that, to paraphase their website, "identifies commercial products mentioned within a publisher’s content, automatically transforms them into revenue generating hyperlinks whose destinations are determined in real-time, advertiser-bid auctions." It's not a sellout - somebody has to pay the bills!

    • Jackson Chung
      March 11, 2016 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Fred,

      Thanks for your feedback. Honestly, I find it a bit of a stretch to claim that we're selling out and that no one will trust us just based on two links to Amazon.

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