The Best Roku Content

Roku_LT_FamilyThe Roku private channels list being sold on Ebay can easily be found by performing a web search. Below is a list of some of the many websites, in no particular order of breadth or importance, where you can find Roku private channels. In this article I will discuss what I believe are some of the best private channels out there and the many ways I have learned to cut my cable and watch everything I want for little to no cost.

Ok. Now that I have shown you a list of where to get private Roku channels let me tell you what you can only get from experience that, to the best of my knowledge, is not currently being shared on the web. Before we get started let me also tell you that the sphere of Roku content is a macrocosm rapidly evolving and I can only inform you of the information available at the time of publishing this article, so basically what you can get on Roku today may not necessarily be there tomorrow. At one point, for instance, the Futubox app would let you watch Discovery Channel live 24 hours a day but there is chatter out there claiming that Roku restricted access to this based on an agreement with a content provider (be it true or not the end result is the same). Now I will share what I believe is the best game plan for accessing the most popular cord-cutting content via the Roku platform for a fraction of the cost of cable or satellite TV.

The PlayOn app is by far my favorite Roku private channel. With PlayOn I am able to watch on demand programming from all the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX), but additionally I can watch free content from Comedy Central, History Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic, SYFY Rewind, etc. PlayOn provides an application that will essentially transfer the content that you normally could only watch on your personal computer for free online through a server installed on a compatible Windows PC that makes it readily available to watch on your Roku, smart phone, tablet, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, WiiU or other compatible device. Not all the channels have new content, for instance the National Geographic Channel* seems to only be posting months old content, however, with thousands of new to recent programming to watch on PlayOn I have never found myself longing for the freshest content. Another great aspect of PlayOn is the ability to watch free Hulu programming that normally you could only watch on your computer. Hulu Plus only makes specific content available to watch on your television and the rest has to be watched online, however with Hulu on PlayOn you can watch all of the free Hulu content on your television as well. If you are a sports fan and you have certain internet providers another great feature of PlayOn is the ability to watch ESPN live without having to pay any additional monthly fees. For me I simply entered my Cox email address into a form and I was watching instantly. I especially like that PlayOn currently has a free trial which doesn’t require your credit card upfront so there is no virtually no risk to try it out. You need a sufficient internet connection and a decent Windows PC to run the server so if you skimped on your internet bandwidth and your wireless router, modem and computer are dinosaurs (as mine once were) you probably won’t get much enjoyment out of PlayOn as it will lag and cut out frequently. What I have found with PlayOn is that the company seems to be constantly coming out with promotions to grab new subscribers and after my free trial I was able to get a lifetime subscription for a fraction of the cost (about $36 I believe) by simply waiting for the right promotion to be offered to me (save your applause I’m only halfway through!).

I previously mentioned Futubox and how it once allowed streaming of the Discovery Channel. This is a free private channel that you can link to from I think this program at this time is still worth adding because you can still watch Animal Planet, FX, and Sky Movies (kind of like the British HBO) for free. If you like Discovery Channel they do post a few episodes of some popular shows you can watch on Demand through PlayOn, but unfortunately unless your stealing it I don’t believe you will find it streaming live for free anywhere these days. Another thing to note about the Futubox channel is that the commercials are all British (‘ello govna!) so if American commercials are a must this may not be a good fit for you. Additionally there is always the frustrating lag or blackouts of Futubox to deal with currently, however if you have an Apple TV and an IPhone, IPod, or IPad you can go online and subscribe to Futubox for fairly cheap and Airplay it from your Apple device to your Apple TV, but don’t get too excited yet I know what you are thinking; Futubox itself no longer even contains an English language version of the Discovery Channel (Doh!). At least, to the best of my knowledge, not one you can purchase here in the US.

I love CNN International. This is another Channel you can download at and it streams live. It seems most of the world news is US news anyway (or at the very least relevant nonetheless) so you can keep up with current events without having to pay for an expensive cable contract. Additionally if you like business and finance news you can download the Bloomberg channel and watch Bloomberg 24/7 live in the Roku store itself. Another great new source is the British channel Sky News which you can currently stream through a number of sources I use the Nowhere Man channel for this and it can be found at Finally if you just have to get your fix of Fox News or Fox Business you can always watch clips run end to end by hitting play all and these are currently free channels you can get from the Roku store. There are many other great news sources out there available on Roku, far too much to discuss here, but I will mention that my personal go to channels are CNN International and Bloomberg while I watch my local news straight from an HDTV antenna. Speaking of which let’s talk about that next.

Do you like to DVR Sunday Football? Like to pause and rewind the game get a good second look at the action? Well you don’t need cable for that either. For this I use SimpleTV and the SimpleTV app on Roku. The SimpleTV device takes over the air signal interfaced with a sophisticated web connected program guide that provides you DVR capabilities for over the air TV that is comparable to those offered by subscription cable and satellite services. You can watch SimpleTV on your Roku, iPad and internet browser to name a few and you can connect up to five separate devices at once so just one SimpleTV is good for the whole household (I have a Roku in my living room, bedroom, and outdoor TV all running on the same SimpleTV). Now the first thing to check before spending the money on this is whether or not your reception is sufficient enough to get any use out of this as it requires an HDTV antenna for over the air television (you can check the reception in your area by going to I hardly ever DVR major network programming on my SimpleTV because it’s all on demand on PlayOn so if you get the SimpleTV and you have or intend on getting PlayOn you most likely won’t need to buy a large hard drive for the SimpleTV. With my SimpleTV it’s nice to be able to change between internet and live TV without leaving the Roku platform (just one remote!) and I love being able to pause and rewind programming like Monday Night Football, the Olympics, or my favorite Primetime programming when that pesky late evening call comes in (No means no Mr. “insert Indian salesmen using American name here”!). At this time SimpleTV is not wireless so keep in mind you will need to keep your TV antenna close to where you’re router is so they can all hook up. Additionally I recommend getting a decent HDTV antenna they seem to be light years ahead of the older technology and you can get usually get a pretty good one for about 36 bucks.
I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface here of what you can do with your Roku, but it is in my hopes that in reading this article you can take away some decent information that will help you get the most out of this amazing device. Feel free to email me any questions you may have through Ebay and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. Stay tuned for more potential articles to come.

* If you like Nat Geo you should also check out the free Octave app in the Roku app store.

Click Here for my other Ebay Sales –>

  1. n8twolfe says:

    Just want to make an addition. Just for giggles I tried out the Futubox app again and Discovery Channel actually worked (in HD too!) for a brief time so I guess it’s not totally dead yet.

  2. n8twolfe says:

    OK so it looks like there is something really wrong with Futubox as yesterday I could not access any content at all.

  3. n8twolfe says:

    O.K. So I have had some question about how to actually add a private channel to your Roku. The easiest way to do this is go to 2) Search the private channels there and once you’ve found one click add channel. This will take you to the Roku site to loggin and confirm adding the channel. Once the channel is added you will need to perform a system update on your Roku from the settings menu for the channel to show up or if you are lazy like me just unplug the Roku for a second and plug it back in and it will automatically update.

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