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Rockit247's avatar
New Contributor

Roku Channel Activation

I'm trying to activate channels on my Roku such as HBO, History, etc. and cannot find where to go to activate them on the Cox website. Everything I have read says go to: My Connections and then Online TV. It lists all the apps for mobile devices and PC streaming but nowhere does it list how to obtain a subscriber activation code to activate the channel on the Roku.

What am I missing????

Please point me in the right direction.


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  • Bruce's avatar
    Honored Contributor III

    You don't use the Cox website to add channels to your Roku.  You use the Roku website.  If you don't have a Roku account, create one.

    As I recall, after you select the channel on your Roku device and click Add, it'll provide an Activation Code (or Validation Code...I can't remember), then you enter the code and provider in your Roku account.

    Roku then verifies with Cox if you're authorized to view the channel.

    There's also an option to browse and add channels via your Roku account.  I haven't used this method.  I only needed the HBO Go channel because Panasonic doesn't have an HBO app for their TV sets.  Roku again verifies.

    I may be foggy on the details, but you don't use the Cox website for Roku.

  • Jerry's avatar
    Contributor II

    Activating channels and adding channels are two entirely different processes. When you hook up a new Roku for the first time it will say on screen to go to to set up an account and activate your device. You can't proceed to do anything else until this step is completed. And from Rockit's post we can discern that it has.

    You can, but you do not have to go to the Roku website to add channels. You can add channels to your Roku from the device itself, through what is known as the Channel Store on the home screen menu. Private channels, however, those not listed by Roku in their Channel Store because of the nature of the content are added through the website only with a code number from the channel developer. You can add as many channels as you wish to your Roku. Some require no further action. Just click on one to begin viewing.

    Now, to activate the subscriber channels, those that are free with a cable subscription, HBO, History, etc., that Rockit already has added. On the Roku home screen on your TV, click on and open your channel of choice, HBOGO for example. The HBO logo will appear and things spin around finally you're connected to HBO. Roku is out of the loop at this point. On the screen it will say "To activate your device go to on your computer and enter the code seen below."

    Sounds pretty straightforward. It is not. You go to on your computer but there's no place to enter the code. Yet. On the screen it says "Please choose your device" and from a drop down menu you to scroll to select Roku. A new screen appears and it says "Please choose your provider" and yet another drop down menu and you select Cox. It will then say "You are being redirected to your provider's website, please log in with your username and password."

    All of a sudden, there you are on the Cox log in page, the same one you used to log in to the forum. You enter your username and password. And now you're back on the HBOGO website. And now, finally, there's the box where you enter the code you got like 30 minutes ago. And maybe didn't write down, or maybe expired. If so, click on the TV screen where it says "Get a new code" and a new code appears that you enter in the box on your computer. No, you don't have to go through the entire process again.

    Enter the code number that currently is on your TV into the box on your computer and click the "Activate" button under the box. A new screen appears that says "Your device is activated, you may now begin to use HBOGO on your device". Or words to that effect. The TV screen will tell you the same thing. Follow the prompts on the screen and you're in. You can watch the Red Wedding over and over or go back and try to figure out exactly what happened in that diner after the screen went black.

    For pay channels that are not cable subscriber based, e.g., Amazon Prime, all the log in and activation is done on your TV. Note that none of these processes involve Roku. Roku does not verify your cable subscription. Happy streaming.

  • Bruce's avatar
    Honored Contributor III

    That sounds about right.  I remember a lot of redirection and timeouts.  Whatever the process and whatever the step, it always pointed you to the next.  The Roku device tells you how to get started.

  • tonguetwister's avatar
    New Contributor III

    For most users, when adding a channel to their Roku the journey begins on the Roku home screen. The sixth selection below Home should be "Streaming Channels". Heading right from there (using the North, South, East and West control in the remote; in this case, east) you should see a new column beginning with "Featured", flowed by New, Most Popular, Top Free, Roku Recommends, and so on.

    Since AMC for me was the most recent we'll use this channel as an example. Highlight and select it by clicking "OK" on your Roku remote. Next option on screen is to "Add Channel". Hit "OK" on Roku remote. There will then appear an additional window on your screen showing the status of the addition process. When finished the window will read "Channel Added". You will see a prompt to press "OK"; do that on your Roku remote. That additional window will now disappear. You should see "Go To Channel" highlighted by default on screen. Press "OK" on your Roku remote. At this point AMC logo (as in this example, or the logo of whichever channel you choose will appear on screen) should populate the screen and perhaps display thumbnails of current TV shows. 

    Keep in mind that you have not as yet activated the added channel at this point. 

    Top right of the Roku screen should read "Search & Options", followed by an asterisk (*), which corresponds with the asterisk (*) on your Roku remote. Press that key.

    You may see "Search" or "Options" as onscreen choices. Select "Options" and press "OK" on Roku remote. You will be brought to a new screen.

    Again, using AMC as the example in this tutorial, the new screen will have multiple choices. Find and select "TV Provider". In the case of AMC I arrowed right (east, or 3o'clock position on the Roku remote) to select "TV Provider Log In". Press "OK" on Roku remote. 

    A new screen is populated showing the recommended website to navigate to as well as additional instructions for once you get to that site. It also includes a multiple-character Activation Code. 

    In a preferably new or different browser tab enter the suggested activation web address (most will be, for instance, Once loaded the page will provide a blank area where you enter the activation code provided you earlier.

    A new screen will display several providers. Select yours (Cox, in this scenario). At this point you should be directed to a Cox log on page. After successfully signing in, and after a short while (depending on your internet speed) the page for the channel you added will appear with a greeting, welcome or "Success" message on it. 

    This process is pretty much the same for every channel you add on a Roku. Note that at no time have you ever gone to or been directed to Roku's webpage.

    As mentioned, the above process is universal for all users who wish to add channels to their Roku selection screen. I have an added step which has saved me much time and effort. If you already have one installed on your phone or device it shouldn't be too difficult. I'm referring to a password manager. Once I've selected by TV provider and clicked "OK" the screen will change to that of (in this case) Cox' log on page. Since the password provider I have installed on my computer has been set up to automatically log on to Cox it not only eliminates my having to type in user and password data, but fills out both fields rather quickly. Total time on the Cox log in page is less than a couple of seconds.

    Again, the password manager step is what works for me as the only deviation to the above process. Besides the added and obvious convenience as demonstrated by adding channels to your Roku it's immeasurably useful in terms of personal internet security and privacy.