Best Roku Channels in the UK (2021)

In this article, we have compiled a list of the Best Roku Channels in the UK. Streaming services have revolutionised how we consume movies, TV shows, sports, music, and other content. Gone are the days of waiting for a particular time to watch something that we find interesting. Plus, we get to stream our favourite content across a variety of smart devices, no matter where we currently happen to be.

Although the UK hasn’t become as flooded with streaming services as the US yet, there are still dozens of streaming services to choose from, making many of us rethink our purchase decision. Some of the services are surprisingly free, while others ask for a premium.

If you happen to have a Roku in your home entertainment setup, we hope to help you out with our detailed guide on the best Roku channels in the UK. Note that we haven’t included any channels that are exclusive to the US for apparent reasons.

Best Roku Channels in the UK

Best Roku Channels in the UK

Roku users in the UK have access to plenty of different premium video streaming channels that require a monthly or annual subscription. Most of them offer not only excellent content but also an intuitive user experience, as well as extra features like personalised profiles, simultaneous streaming, and 4K HDR playback.

Here are our picks for the best premium video streaming Roku channels in the UK:

1. Netflix (Paid)

Netflix channel

When it comes to streaming services, Netflix is the real deal. It offers a vast selection of movies and TV shows, with hundreds of exclusive originals produced by Netflix itself every year. The service is available on several major platforms, with Roku being one of them.

Although Netflix UK has a slightly smaller content catalogue than its US counterpart, you still get access to some of the best films and shows the service has to offer to this date. It includes originals like Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, Cobra Kai, The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit, The Umbrella Academy, Lupin, and many more. Most of Netflix’s originals are available in 4K (2160p), with support for HDR and Dolby Vision. Select content also offers Dolby Atmos audio playback.

You can also enjoy popular TV shows from British and American networks, such as the Chappelle’s Show, Parks and Recreation, Friends, The Office, Spaced, The Thick of It, Breaking Bad, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, etc. Acquired TV shows like these are presented in up to 1080p Full HD.

Additional key features of Netflix include personalised profiles and up to four simultaneous streams (with the Premium plan). Netflix’s sophisticated user interface is also intuitive to navigate on Roku, with easy access to watchlist and curated content catalogue for individual profiles.

If you get to choose only one premium video streaming service for your Roku, Netflix is the best option. It has three subscription tiers at different price ranges: Basic, Standard, and Premium.

Unless you have a 4K TV or a supported Roku device, the moderately affordable Standard tier subscription with Full HD support and two simultaneous streams is the sweet spot.

2. Amazon Prime Video (Paid)

Netflix’s main competitor, Amazon Prime Video, also provides an extensive library of movies and shows sourced from British and American content partners. While not as solid as Netflix, the service also has its fair share of quality originals and exclusives in the UK. However, Prime Video has a bigger movie library and more kid-friendly content than Netflix.

Not only that, but Prime Video UK also has an impressive range of on-demand content. Its inclusion of popular TV shows, such as The X-Files, South Park, The Office, Wayne, Hannibal, Vikings, Scandal, The Shield, Mad Men, and The Handmaid’s Tale, make Amazon’s streaming service a compelling option.

Plus, originals like The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, The Boys, The Expanse, Bosch, Goliath, Utopia, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan are some of the must-watch shows on the service. Much like Netflix, Prime Video has been acquiring exclusive films for its catalogue, with some of the recent highlights being Coming 2 America and the Borat sequel.

Since the standard Prime Video library is part of the Amazon Prime subscription, it gives a bit more prominence to rentals and additional purchases. Unlike Netflix, Prime Video on Roku feels slightly sluggish to browse due to its overly simplistic interface, but it’s getting better slowly.

On top of that, only a handful of titles are currently presented in 4K, with the rest being available in either 1080p or 720p. You at least get individual profiles with personalised recommendations and advanced parental controls on the Prime Video Roku channel.

3. Disney Plus (Paid)

Disney Plus channel

Disney Plus is a family-friendly streaming service from none other than The Walt Disney Company, and it has been around in the UK for some time now. Its on-demand streaming library culminates every movie, show, and documentary from Disney’s various franchises, including Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic, and Disney’s own classics.

On its initial debut, Disney Plus didn’t have much to offer in terms of originals. But its first Star Wars original series, The Mandalorian, was an instant hit. 2020 was a slow year for the service for obvious reasons, but 2021 is the year Disney Plus finally shows its strongest aspects with the first AAA Marvel limited episodic series, WandaVision.

Other Marvel Cinematic Universe originals like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, and Ms Marvel are stated to release subsequently on Disney Plus in 2021, with several more in line for the next year and so on. The service has recently announced a dozen shows based on the Star Wars universe as well.

And that’s not even scraping the bottom of the barrel when you consider that Disney Plus is already offering access to years of live-action and animated films and shows from our beloved franchises, with most of the titles available to stream in up to 4K HDR.

Disney Plus offers a terrific user experience, at least on Roku. Similar to Netflix, you also get user profile support and concurrent streaming on up to four devices.

4. NOW TV (Paid)

UK’s biggest pay-TV provider Sky provides a complimentary streaming app for subscribers. However, their NOW TV streaming service is a contract-free solution for cord-cutters in the UK, offering flexible passes that are quite cheaper than conventional TV packages.

One of the main highlights of NOW TV passes is their inclusion of live channels alongside on-demand content. At the time of writing, the service offers five different passes at varying prices: Entertainment, Sky Cinema, Kids, Sky Sports, and hayu. Depending on the one you choose, you can stream your favourite Sky channels live on your Roku device.

Sky has a history of putting up new movies and boxsets faster than other providers, and NOW TV is no exception. If you are looking for Sky originals and HBO content, the following streaming service is for you. However, newer content tends to disappear after a few months from NOW TV’s library due to short-term contracts between Sky and content providers.

If you don’t mind that the default streaming resolution is limited to 720p only, NOW TV is a decent service. You can pay a few more pounds on top of your subscription pass to unlock 1080p streaming on up to three devices.

At its current state, we aren’t particularly fond of the NOW TV Roku channel experience. But the service’s live and on-demand offerings are top-notch nonetheless.

5. BritBox (Paid)

BritBox roku channel

BritBox is a streaming service focused on delivering British TV content, and it’s a joint venture between BBC and ITV. You get access to decades worth of classic British shows and movies, as well as exclusives and original programming.

BritBox offers more British content than anyone else in the streaming business, be it Netflix or Prime Video. You will find both old and new titles in its library, including a complete archive or the classic Doctor Who episodes and several other BBC series. However, its collections aren’t as diverse as other services. It seems pretty deliberate, considering BritBox is targeting a niche audience.

If you know what exactly you are signing up for, you probably have no issues paying for the BritBox subscription on a monthly or annual basis. The BritBox Roku channel also has a simple and straightforward user interface.

Honourable Mentions

While we don’t consider the following Roku channels as the best for video streaming in the UK, you may try them out and be the judge. Here is our list of honourable mentions:

Apple TV Plus (Paid)

California-based electronics giant Apple also has its own streaming service on Roku and other platforms. The service’s slowly growing library consists of relatively high-budget originals, starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jason Momoa, and many more.

You also get access to thousands of movies and shows in 4K HDR (or Dolby Vision) from the Apple TV Plus Roku channel, along with a handful of premium channels. Purchases and rentals are also available.

Google Play Movies & TV (Paid)

If you rent or purchase movies and shows from Google Play on your Android device, you can enjoy them on your Roku as well with the Google Play Movies & TV channel. It also allows buying or renting titles directly from the catalogue.

Rakuten TV (Paid)

Rakuten TV offers rentals and purchases for a vast selection of films and TV series. It has 4K HDR/Dolby Vision playback and Dolby Atmos surround sound.

While its catalogue isn’t as substantial as Apple TV Plus and Google Play Movies & TV, Rakuten TV provides an effective rewards system for free film rentals. It also has overall better cross-platform features.

Best Free Video Streaming Roku Channels in the UK

If you are looking for free video streaming Roku channels, there are a few fantastic options available in the UK. Most of them are ad-supported, but you get to enjoy all the content without paying a subscription fee.

If you are willing to watch frequent ads, we recommend checking out the channels below and giving them a shot.

1. The Roku Channel (Free)

The Roku free Channel UK

In 2020, Roku officially launched its free, ad-supported streaming channel in the UK, known as “The Roku Channel.” It currently offers 10,000+ movies, shows, and documentaries; no subscription or login required. The service is also available on Sky’s NOW TV Smart Stick, which runs Roku OS.

The Roku Channel has an excellent selection of on-demand content, thanks to its 40+ content partners. You get to stream Hollywood blockbusters like Les Miserables, Get Carter, Faster, The Wicker Man, and many more on the platform. Dozens of new ad-supported movies are added every month.

Its library also has TV hits, such as Fifth Gear, Britain’s Best Bakery, Skins, Ultimate Force, the Commander, Homes Under the Hammer, etc. The channel even offers a curated “Kids & Family” section for children and family-friendly content.

Although The Roku Channel’s streaming library is mainly built out of older titles, there isn’t really much to complain about a free video streaming service. Plus, it has tight integration with Roku devices.

2. Pluto TV (Free)

Popular US-based ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV made its debut in the United Kingdom in 2019. It combines the traditional cable experience with a dedicated on-demand streaming library, offering all its content to millions of users at no cost.

Besides 1000+ on-demand titles, Pluto TV gives you access to 250+ entertainment, news, and sports channels. They aren’t exactly the same as regular cable channels, but they offer a linear experience that many people prefer over the on-demand model. Most of the live and on-demand streams on the service max out at HD resolution and include many advertisement breaks.

You can add Pluto TV to your Roku and dive right into its offerings. It doesn’t ask you to create an account or link your banking details. Although most of its on-demand movies and shows are older titles, they go through rotation every month or so.

3. Freeview Play (Free)

Available only on Roku TVs, Freeview Play allows UK users access to OTA (over-the-air) TV channels from aerial and on-demand content over the internet.

You can tune into the on-air programs on British networks, including BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, and ITV. Furthermore, you get to stream catch-ups on-demand from services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, etc.

If you don’t have a Roku TV, it’s possible to add the following catch-up channels individually on other Roku devices as well.

4. BBC iPlayer (Free)

BBC iPlayer roku channel in the uk

BBC iPlayer is BBC’s free catch-up service, but it also offers on-demand content. Thanks to BBC’s new licensing agreements with its content partners, the service can now provide new movies, shows, documentaries, and boxsets for more than just 30 days.

Besides British programming, you will also find select series from American network FX. If you are into classic programs, BBC iPlayer has a surprisingly large collection to offer. Furthermore, the service provides access to a selection of blockbuster films that rotates every month. Some of iPlayer’s content is now available in 4K as well.

That’s a lot considering that BBC iPlayer doesn’t ask for a subscription fee. The BBC iPlayer Roku channel also has nifty features like profiles, save states, and parental controls.

5. ITV Hub (Free)

ITV Hub on Roku allows you to stream the live ITV channels (e.g., ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, ITVBe, and CITV) and their programming on-demand for free. Its library isn’t as solid as BBC iPlayer, but it does the job if you are into the shows ITV broadcasts on the television.

ITV Hub also offers boxsets and made-for-TV films, and you also get to stream a handful of sports events. It even provides early access to the latest episodes from your favourite ITV programs.

6. All4 (Free)

All 4 roku channel in the uk

Like ITV Hub, All4 lets you tune into Channel 4, E4, Film4, More4, and 4seven TV channel streams, as well as catch-ups and original box-sets on-demand.

The All4 Roku channel is easy to navigate, and you can quickly access your favourites from the watchlist. Everything from All4 is free; no subscription or account creation required.

7. My5 (Free)

My5 on Roku brings free on-demand content from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select, and Paramount Network. You can also watch the channels live without paying for the service.

Plus, the My5 library offers acquired shows from American networks like PBS, BET, Spark, BLAZE, Together, etc. Original boxsets, documentaries, feature films, and kids’ programming from the Channel 5 networks are also available for streaming on the service.

8. UKTV Play (Free)

UKTV Play roku channel in uk

UKTV Play sources various on-demand programs from the following three channels: Dave, Yesterday, and Drama. You can also stream the channels live on your Roku for free.

UKTV Play is mostly a catch-up service, but it also has a few boxsets and made-for-TV films to offer.

9. STV Player (Free)

STV Player is home to all the daytime and primetime entertainment shows, drama, soaps, and select sports events aired on the STV channel. Like the previous apps, STV Player provides its network programming live and on-demand.

Some of the shows you can watch on STV Player include The Jeremy Kyle Show, Britain’s Got Talent, Marcella, Gilbert and Sullivan, Emmerdale, etc. It also lets you stream STV News and Scotland Tonight live.

Must-read

Except for The Roku Channel and Pluto TV, all the other services we have featured on the list of free video streaming Roku channels require you to pay a £157.50 annual TV licence fee. At least that’s what the law says in the UK and its territories.

Note that you can access BBC iPlayer, All4, My5, ITV Hub, and UKTV Play without entering your TV licence details, which seems pretty intentional to us!

Best Music & Podcast Streaming Roku Channels in the UK

Sometimes, we all get bored with watching movies and shows. If you feel the same, listening to music or a podcast is a much better option than burning your eyes in front of the big screen for no apparent reason.

Fortunately, there is plenty of music and podcast streaming channels for Roku devices in the UK, with most of them being free to use. Be sure to check them out below.

  • Spotify (Freemium): It offers millions of songs and podcasts for free, but you can get the Premium subscription to remove audio ads and unlock high-fidelity streaming.
  • myTuner Radio (Free): It lets you tune into live radio and personalised stations for free. myTuner Radio also offers podcasts on a variety of topics that suit your preferences. It neither has a paid option nor does it ask you to register.
  • Tidal (Paid): Tidal offers high-quality music, podcasts, and video playlists at a relatively affordable price. You can also stream music videos and original series on-demand, as well as live performances from your favourite artists.
  • Amazon Music (Paid): If you pay for the Prime subscription, you can listen to over two million songs on Amazon Music for free. The Amazon Music Unlimited plan unlocks 70 million songs and curated playlists.
  • BBC Sounds (Free): You can listen to thousands of music tracks, radio channels, and binge-worthy podcasts for free on BBC Sounds.
  • TuneIn (Freemium): TuneIn offers thousands of podcasts and radio feeds worldwide, along with live news and sports stations. Its Premium subscription plan removes audio commercials.
  • Deezer (Freemium): Deezer offers access to 73 million tracks in high-fidelity formats. Its ad-supported tier is limited to MP3 quality, but you can pay for the Premium or HiFi subscription to enjoy high-quality music on your Roku device.

Wrapping UP

These are our picks for the best Roku channels in the UK. Remember that the availability of some channels solely depends on the Roku player or TV model you have. Furthermore, you must have a high-speed internet connection and compatible devices to stream on-demand content in 4K (2160p) resolution.

If you think your favourite Roku channel is worthy of getting a place on this list, let us know in the comments. We will try it ourselves to see whether it’s any good. While you are here, we recommend you check out our solo guides on various Roku channels.

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