10 Free Hidden Gems on Roku

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

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Craig Hanks
YouTube Channel Manager & Streaming Expert
April 27, 2022
5 min read

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Today we're going over some Roku channels. Now we've done a video like this before, but it was the top ten Roku apps: the really good stuff, the best of the best, the stuff you can not do without. Today's a little different. These are the hidden gems on Roku.

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Let's dive into Roku. We're going to skip right past the must-haves and go to the stuff that is a bit buried underneath the surface. Some of them you may have heard of, while others should be new to you. 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 commercial supported content. 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 TV

Next up is Haystack TV—they're all named “something” TV, right?—Haystack TV Local and World News. So there are a lot of news aggregation apps out there. Haystack 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.

Haystack My Headlines page

Haystack TV lets you customize your feed with the stories you care about.

So it may be politics, and in my case, I've got my local stuff here. And I like science and technology. So it’s going to have picks for you based on what you actually want to see.

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. I'm going to go into Baby Boomer TV because it 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

Baby Boomer TV has lots of classic TV and cartoons.

So whether it's 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 focuses on food-related content. It doesn’t concentrate on recipes and how-tos. This channel is more about stories that have to do with food. And 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. I love watching all these people talk about their food adventures.

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

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

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. So if we click into here, Molly is going to 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. Yeah, I'm a big fan of desserts, obviously. So if I go in here into the desserts, here's Molly again, and she's making pumpkin bread and strawberry shortcake. Whatever the case is, they're going to walk you through how to do this.

This 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

There's so much LEGO content, they actually have categories.

On the home page, if you want something specific, you can pop in to it. 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 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 stuff.

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 or maybe classic trials, if you want to brush up on your O.J. stuff. If I want to follow the Weinstein trial, I can do that. And Court TV is going to give me live feeds and updates on all this stuff. Pretty cool.

Court TV Homepage

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

Nosey TV

Nosey TV is exactly what it looks like. This is talk show programming: both current and classic stuff like Maury and Jerry Springer. It does have a few other things that you can click through, but let's be honest, if you're downloading Nosey, it's for the daytime talk show content. So if you just can't get enough of that and you miss those old Jerry Springer shows, it's got a few of those on there.


And last up is Dust. Dust is sci-fi TV shows and movies. And most of this stuff is going to be things that you have not heard of unless you're a real sci-fi junkie. But it's got featured films, it's got TV marathons like Mystery Science Theater 3000—absolutely fantastic. And you can click through and get all the 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
  5. Bon Appétit
  6. LEGO TV
  7. Stirr TV
  8. Court TV
  9. Nosey
  10. Dust

Let me know what you thought. Or if we missed anything that you absolutely love, hit the comments below. If we like it too we'll feature it in the next hidden gems video that we do.

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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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