10 Roku Channels You’ve Likely Never Heard Of

Take a look at some of the content you can find for free on your Roku.

Craig Hanks
Jul 12, 2023
Icon Time To Read5 min read

Maybe you’re getting just a little bit bored of the Netflix, Hulu, or Max content and want to look through a new streaming library. 

Well, that’s where these Roku Channels come in—the secret Roku Channels that you might not have heard of before. If you want to best of the best Roku channels, we have a list of those too. 

Here, we're going to skip right past the must-have streaming apps and go to the stuff that is a bit buried underneath the surface. I just hope you find two or three new channels for yourself that you can really get into.


On my Roku home screen, I'm going to skip right past all the big stuff and I'm going to come down here to FilmRise. This is our first pick. You’ll see that there’s FilmRise Free Movies & TV and FilmRise Free TV. Here's the dirty secret: it's basically the same thing. They've got a few versions like FilmRise Kids, but they all do the same thing.

FilmRise Home Screen

FilmRise has plenty of titles to browse through.

Which is kind of similar to what Netflix does, but commercial-supported. This is similar to something like Tubi.

It's going to have lots of titles, some titles that you don't care about, of course, but some that you do. 3rd Rock from the Sun is a fantastic show from the '90s. And who doesn't want to watch Batman all over again? Or Lost in Space—the good one. So yeah, there’s a lot of good stuff on here. I highly recommend FilmRise TV.

Haystack Local and World News

Haystack Local and World News is one that not a lot of people have heard of yet, but that I think is pretty darn good. You can customize your feed with the types of stories that you care about.

So it may be politics or global current events, and in my case, I've got my local stuff. And I like science and technology. 

Stay up to date on business and international news with stories from news outlets, like ABC News, CBSN, Newsy, AP, CNET, Euronews, Cheddar, CBC, and Bloomberg. And you can get it all in one place.

Haystack My Headlines page

Baby Boomer TV

Next up is another pairing that I quite enjoy: Baby Boomer Cartoons and Baby Boomer TV.

Can you guess what's in there? You should be able to—it's pretty easy. Baby Boomer TV includes both the cartoons and the live action stuff that you used to watch—well, I don't know how old you are. It's going to have a lot of classic TV.

Baby Boomer TV cartoons

So whether it's classic TV cartoons, Mister Ed, or The Dick Van Dyke Show, all of this stuff is there for you to stream—commercial-supported, of course.

The other one, Baby Boomer Cartoons is just the cartoon side of the Baby Boomer TV app. So if that's all you're interested in, it's a great channel. But I like the TV channel a little bit more because it incorporates both of those concepts.

Eater and Bon Appétit

All right, next up another pair: Eater and Bon Appétit. Now these are both food-related apps, but they are different. They do pair well together like fine wine and cheese, you might say.

Eater Food & Drinks

Eater Food & Drinks focuses on food and drink-related content. Who would've thunk?

But it doesn’t concentrate on recipes and how-tos. This secret channel is more about stories that have to do with food.

So you can click through and see all the stuff that they're going to be talking about. You know, food porn, I like to call it. It's really pretty good stuff and I love watching all these people talk about their food adventures.

Eater browse page

Eater has all the drool-worthy food stories in one place.

So they've got people who travel for food-related experimenting or promoting, they've got Eater profiles, restaurant profiles, that sort of thing. So this is food-related stories for the foodies. 

Bon Appétit

On the other hand, Bon Appétit will have some of that food-related story content, but it's going to be a lot more about the recipes and the how-tos.

Bon Appetit desserts menu

You can browse the Bon Appétit channel by recipe categories.

So for instance, Molly Makes Chicken Soup will walk us through the actual process. We're going to see exactly what she does and how she does it. Or if we pop over here to Recipes, we can find something you want to make, like a dessert. So if you click on the desserts, you might find Molly again making pumpkin bread and strawberry shortcake. Whatever your taste buds are asking for, an excellent cook or baker is going to walk you through how to make it.

This Roku app is a great kitchen companion. If you have a TV in your kitchen, I highly recommend Bon Appétit to go with it.

LEGO Channel

Next up, the LEGO channel. Did you know there is a LEGO channel? It's true. What's in there? LEGO content! People making LEGOs, people competing over LEGOs, people using LEGOs to tell stories. All sorts of stuff. There's so much LEGO content, they actually have categories for all this.

LEGO TV categories

On the home page, if you want something specific, you can easily select one of the above options. Or you can go to “skip this screen,” and it will take you to everything: LEGO Star Wars, Ninjago, and Minecraft. So much LEGO content. So if you or your kids (I'm not judging, either one) are really into LEGOs, then this is an awesome Roku channel.

Stirr TV

Stirr TV is Sinclair Broadcast's app. If you've never heard of Sinclair Broadcast, it's one of the biggest names in media that you don't typically hear—because they own all the channels or some of the channels that you like to watch, a lot of local news stations, and other networks, as well.

So anything owned by Sinclair Broadcast is going to be fair game on Stirr TV.

In this case, I can watch classic stuff, or I can go into KUTV, which is the Salt Lake City station that's owned by Sinclair. And I can watch live feeds or on-demand content.

Court TV

Court TV is going to be for anybody that loves courtroom drama and wants to try the real thing—right into your veins.

Court TV is just that: this is live feeds and updates from various trials that are going on now. For example, when the Weinstein trial was going on, I was able to follow the progress of that case. So Court TV gives you live feeds and updates in realtime. 

You also get access to classic trials, in case you want to brush up on your O.J. stuff.  

Court TV Homepage

Court TV has feeds and updates from various current and classic trials. 


Nosey TV is exactly what it sounds like. This is talk show programming: both current and classic stuff, like Maury, Jerry Springer, and Blind Date.

Nosey if for those who miss their favorite episodes of drama, confusion, and excitement. Honestly, and maybe a little sad to say, but it's entertaining. So take a visit to the past with Nosey.

FilmRise Sci-Fi

And last up is FilmRise Sci-Fi. This Roku channel is filled with sci-fi TV shows and movies, like classics, thrillers, and speculative disaster films. And most of this stuff is going to be things that you have not heard of unless you're a real sci-fi junkie. 

My personal favorite is the TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000—absolutely fantastic. And you can search through the library to discover all the "new" sci-fi content that your heart could possibly take. So enjoy fellow nerds. You're welcome.


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All right so that's it, our top ten hidden gems on Roku:

  1. FilmRise
  2. Haystack TV
  3. Baby Boomer TV
  4. Eater Food & Drink
  5. Bon Appétit
  6. LEGO Channel
  7. Stirr TV
  8. Court TV
  9. Nosey
  10. FilmRise Sci-Fi

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Roku doesn't come equipped with a web browser and it doesn't have a web browser app to download.

You won't find your Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or the like in the Roku Channel Store. 

You can get a Roku device for as low as $35 and you'll be able to download and stream on apps that are free. 

Similar to Apple Store and Google Play, you'll find apps that are free to use, a few dollars to download, and monthly subscription requirements. 

Roku has apps for all local channel, but only the local news channels apps are going to be free. 

You can download ABC, ABC News Live, CBS News, FOX LOCAL, NBC News, or one of the dozens of regional local channels that Roku offers—all for free. 

Craig Hanks
Written by
Craig Hanks
Craig is a long-time writer, presenter, and podcaster, and he now runs the Reviews.org YouTube channel, where he strives to be far more charming and presentable than he is in real life. Within the Reviews.org umbrella, he has accidentally become a streaming expert after covering the streaming wars for almost three years. Craig is also the founder and host of The Legendarium Podcast, his outlet for his love of fantasy and sci-fi literature.

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