6 Best Roku Private Channels

6 Best Roku Private Channels

Image via Roku

There are a lot of alternatives available these days if you don’t want to pay for cable. From streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to networked devices like the Amazon Firestick and Roku, you don’t have to be attached to the cable box anymore. One feature Roku offers that many users overlook is private channels, which are unofficial, user-run channels that stream everything from movies to conspiracy theories and everything in between.

If you’re like a lot of Roku users, you might not even realize private channels are an option. In your defense, Roku doesn’t go out of its way to let users know this is an option. You can’t flip through the private channels like you would on cable. You have to know the code for the ones you would like to add, then go into your Roku account on a computer and add each one manually.

That’s part of what makes these channels so difficult to use. If the user behind the private channel you’ve chosen decides to abandon it, it will still be on the list. The channel won’t have anything playing, so you’ve wasted the time it takes to add it.

Once you’ve added a private channel, it can take up to 24 hours for it to show up in your list.

Here is our rundown of the best private channels Roku has to offer.

1. The Silent Movie Channel (Channel Code: rollem)

Silent movies may have had hit their prime during Prohibition, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy them today. This channel plays silent black-and-white comedy, science fiction and horror films 24 hours a day, making it perfect for anyone who is nostalgic for the glory days of silent cinema.

2. TwitchTV (Channel Code: TwitchTV)

Twitch has had a love-hate relationship with Roku since Amazon purchased the streaming site. It has vacillated back and forth between offering an official app and deleting it multiple times, so a Roku user stepped up and made an unofficial app you can use to watch all your favorite Twitch streamers. If you stream on Twitch, which is easier than you might think, having your Roku on and turned to your stream can help you catch problems that might occur before they reach your audience.

3. Science Fiction and Beer (Channel Code: TZG6P92)

This is the perfect free Roku channel if you love science-fiction movies. The channel streams classic science-fiction films, and while it won’t make sure there is beer in your fridge, it is the perfect channel if all you want to do after a long day is pop open a cold one and enjoy some classic sci-fi.

4. Nowhere TV (Channel Code: H9DWC)

Getting local or free cable isn’t as simple as plugging your TV into a co-axial cable anymore, since almost all TV stations have switched to digital feeds. Nowhere TV makes up for that by collecting as many free cable channels as it can from around the world and streaming them in one place. The channels that are available are subject to change, but you can find everything there from BBC and CNN to Cartoon Network and NASA TV, so you won’t need to install each channel individually. While it isn’t as comprehensive as SlingTV, which lets you pick which channels you want to watch, it is free. For many people, that’s the most important part.

5. LodeRunner (Channel Code: LodeRunnerPreview)

Believe it or not, you can play games on your Roku. It might not have the processing power to run modern computer games, but some savvy users have discovered how to add older classic video games to Roku’s private channels. LodeRunner is a game that came out in 1983, originally on the Apple II, but it is still fun to play even to this day. You can get in on this fun from the comfort of your living room, through your Roku.

6. The Internet Archive (Channel Code: NMJS5)

When they want to binge-watch something, most people turn to Netflix or Hulu for their fix. They can be great tools, but if you need to cut something out of your budget, streaming services are usually the first to go. The Internet Archive is basically the free Roku Netflix and has a ton of movies, TV shows and videos you can watch. It might not have the newest shows, but if you just want something for background noise or want to catch up on something you missed the first time around, this is the perfect channel.

These Roku private channels are ideal if you’ve gotten everything you can out of the official ones. You just may find a new favorite to binge on.

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Kayla Matthews is a technology writer and the editor of Productivity Bytes. Her work has been featured on Digital Trends, MakeUseOf, VICE, VentureBeat, The Daily Dot and WIRED, among others. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest posts.

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