The streaming devices made by Roku are among the most popular boxes on the market today. One main reason for the popularity of these media players is the ability to browse through and add a variety of channels from Roku’s channel store. What many people don’t realize, however, is that there is a whole other set of channels available for the Roku. Known as “Private Channels,” these channels aren’t vetted by Roku, but many of them are free, and they can provide extra content in a wide range of categories.
Admittedly, “adult” channels hold a monopoly when it comes to Roku’s Private Channels, so if you are looking for this kind of content, you will find you are in luck. Other types of content that are available as Private Channels, however, can include local news, international news (like BBC and Al Jazeera), and many local radio stations. Certain streaming video providers like UStream have Private Channels, or you can find channels that are more nature-oriented like the live-streaming Shamu Cam and Hawk Cam. For those viewers looking for more standard TV content, the Nowhere TV channel and the Playon channel both offer access to streams from various networks, though both have subscription fees. You can find many lists of available Private Channels by doing a Google search for “Roku Private Channels.”
Once you have a Private Channel in mind, you will need to figure out how to get it onto your Roku player. Unlike regular Roku channels which can be added straight from your player, Private Channels must be added from the Roku.com website. Sign into your account from the link at the upper right hand corner of the main screen. After entering your email address and password, you will be taken to the “My Account” page. Under “Manage Account,” you will see the option to “Add a Private Channel.” Click that link and it will take you to the “Add Channel” page. Roku Private Channels each have a unique three to ten digit code associated with them. When you find the listing for your private channel on one of the third-party websites, it should also tell you the code. Copy and paste the code into the box on the Roku site and select “Add Channel.” You will be asked to confirm that you want to add the channel, and then it will be done.
Once you’ve added the channel, it can take up to 24 hours for it to show up on your Roku box. If you want to expedite the process, go to the Home screen of your Roku and select “Settings.” Go to “System Update” and select “Check Now.” Not only will this check for any software updates the Roku might have, but it will also download any channels that haven’t made their way onto the box yet. Once your channel has appeared in the “My Channels” list, you can access it like any other channels you have on your Roku. Enjoy the unique programming provided by Private Channels as another special feature of your Roku player.