As if the Roku didn’t have enough chains already, there is a decent selection of “private” channels that you won’t find in the channel store. Here are some of the best private channels to check out.
Technically, private channels and apps are part of the Roku Channel Store, but are not displayed publicly. A channel can be private for a number of reasons: maybe it has adult content, maybe it’s still in beta, or maybe just an unofficial third-party channel for a service without official application. You won’t find them when browsing the channel store with your remote, and to install them you’ll need a passcode or link.
The best private channels
There are hundreds of private channels, but you can find most of the best channels in a few places. For example, at The Nowhere Man website, you can access:
- Bloomberg News Live
- John Green’s Intensive Course
- NBC Nightly News and CBS News Archives
- NASA TV and Hubblecast HD
- Khan Academy Learning Videos
- Government-focused channels like C-SPAN, The Pentagon Channel and White House press briefings
- International news from Al Jazeera (English, American and Arabic), BBC and CNN International
- TED talks
- Adult swimming shows
- Universal sports network
- Live local news for most major areas
You can watch them all in one place when you download this interesting channel called Nowhere television (code: H9DWC). The chain acts as a sort of chain hub with a bit of everything. There are even subchannels for home and garden, cooking and spirituality. Some of the content is audio podcasts only, but there is a lot of video. If you want even more, here are some of the other more interesting private channels and apps:
- Nowhere bullet: a Roku screensaver that displays your Pushbullet notifications (code: nowherebullet).
- Nowhere Tweet: a Twitter reader and a screen saver (code: V8MRS).
- Vine nowhere: an app that reads Vines on your Roku (code: nowherevine).
- Unofficial Twitch: Let’s watch all Twitch.tv streams on your Roku (code: TwitchTV)
- Great Chefs: A cooking show originally on PBS, but now is a collection of episodes available to watch whenever you want (code: greatchefs).
- Internet archives: A massive collection of old movies, cartoons and TV shows (code: NMJS5).
- Amateurlogic: A video podcast channel that covers amateur radio, photography, computers, the Raspberry Pi and other electronics projects (code: Alogic).
- Relax television: Nothing but hours of tropical lagoons, rainstorms, chimneys and waterfalls to relax (code: vrqhq).
- Desert channel: A complete TV channel dedicated to hunting, fishing, survival training and nature (code: fl821095).
- Ace TV: B-movie, horror, sci-fi and kung-fu action movies broadcast 24/7. May contain mature content (code: acetv).
Keep in mind that these channels are either in beta or developed by third parties. Bugs are therefore a reality that you may have to face from time to time – a small price to pay for free channels. You can find more private channels on sites like Roku-Channels.com, RokuGuide.com, StreamFree.tv, and RokuChannels.tv.
How to install private channels
Once you have chosen some channels you want to add, installing them is quick and easy. There are two ways to do this:
- Go to the Roku website, sign in to your account that you used when setting it up, and navigate to the My Account page.
- Then click Add Channel under Manage Account. Once there, enter the channel code and click Add Channel.
Or, you can find a link that automatically takes you to the Add channel page and enter the code for you. It will have the same URL as the Add Channel page, but the code will be at the end. Either way, it works fine as long as the code is correct.
Once you’ve installed the channel or app, you’ll need to update your Roku for it to actually appear. They will appear normally within 24 hours, but you can speed up the process by going to Settings> System> System Update. In a few moments, your new channels will appear on the home screen. Do you know of any interesting private channels not just for adults? Tell us in the comments below.
Image remixed from cluckva (Shutterstock).