What are “private channels”?
Also referred to as hidden channels, these are a bit like the publicly-listed options you see within the Roku Channel Store. The sole difference is that you simply need a code to seek out them, and Roku won’t provide support for them. Usually, channels become private because they’re still in beta testing, and developers might want together user feedback on the way to improve performance. But some private channels also remain that way because they’re targeting a really limited audience, or they contain adult content.
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The ability to shrink the likes of Chrome and Google Maps to a popup window and layer it on top of other apps is also useful. Love to see something similar on the iPhone 6 Plus you just get the Note 4 anyway?
Despite the unusual, curved screen, it still packs all of the good things that made the Note 4 such a strong choice. But bragging rights aside, is there enough of an argument for a curved screen.
How to add private channels
The best part about Roku private channels is that they’re accessible across all Roku devices. So you can use them with your Roku Express, Roku Streaming Stick Plus, or Roku Ultra. But for the initial installation, you need to do it through the official Roku website. Here’s what you need to do:
- Log in to your Roku account through the website.
- Go to the “Manage Account” section and select “Add channel with a code.”
- Enter the channel code in the given field and click on “Add Channel.”
- This will bring up a pop-up warning you about the channel being non-certified. Click on “OK.”
- Tap on “Yes, add channel” to confirm that you want to add it to your Roku channels list.
Best private Roku channels
1: Arirang TV and Radio (Free)
Arirang TV and Radio provides you with live access to South Korean TV and radio programming in English. This includes cultural features and documentaries as well as language programs so you can get a realistic view of Korean culture.
Channel code – ArirangTV
2: Home Movies (Free)
This channel features authentic, vintage home movies that showcase everyday life and family vacations. Originally filmed using 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8 cameras, these home movies give you a glimpse of family life and cityscapes from past generations. This is a must-add channel if you enjoy nostalgia-inducing content.
Channel code – HomeMovies
3: iTunes Podcasts (Free)
This private Roku channel lets you listen to free podcasts from the iTunes library. You don’t even need to have an iTunes account to run it. And since the channel streams podcasts straight from the iTunes directory, you won’t even need to install iTunes on your computer. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to know which podcast you want to listen to as it no longer gives you an option to browse through the listings.
Channel code – ITPC
4: RokuCast (Free)
The official Roku Channel Store offers an app to cast videos from your mobile device. But RokuCast is a private channel that you can use to cast HTML5 content from your computer browser. It comes in the form of a Chrome extension and uses Roku’s native video player. So you won’t have to install a companion channel to cast content on your Roku device.
Channel code – CL9D5D
5: Skitter TV (Varies)
To watch local over-the-air programming in select markets using your Roku device, you can install the Skitter TV channel. But you’ll need to pay for one of the local TV packages with prices varying by region. For instance, the BEK Sports package costs $11.99/mo. and gives you access to sports broadcasts from high schools in North Dakota.
Even for those who don’t live within the designated market areas, Skitter TV also offers a national package for $8.99/mo. The national package gives you access to 24 video and 41 music channels, including Blue Highways TV, Newsmax, One American News, and Outdoor Channel.
Channel code – skittertv
6: StreamNowTV Beta (Free)
For indie movie fans, the beta version of StreamNowTV is currently available as a Roku private channel. This provides you with free access to on-demand videos in various genres, including action, comedy, drama, horror, and kids/family. All of these videos come from independent contributors and explore original storylines through movie shorts and webisodes.
Channel code – sntvdemo
7: The Odeon Theater (Free)
The Odeon Theater is a private Roku channel that gives you access to classic, cult, and indie movies with a new title every Wednesday. All of these movies stream without any commercial breaks, and they begin with a short intro about the channel and fun facts about the film. This makes it an excellent private channel for cinephiles.
Channel code – odeon
8: The Silent Movie Channel (Free)
Another private Roku channel for cinephiles, The Silent Movie Channel is exactly as you’d expect. It gives you access to silent films from the early 20th century, spanning genres like adventure, comedy, drama, and fantasy/horror. It also has a decent selection of animation and science fiction. The channel’s developers regularly update it with new content, so it might be an excellent choice for the long run.
Channel code – rollem
9: The Space Opera Channel (Free)
For those who love indie fan films and sci-fi series, The Space Opera Channel is a must-add. This private channel provides access to both live and on-demand content in a wide variety of categories. So you can watch 24/7 space opera serial and independent fan films as well as sci-fi short films. Plus, you can also stream iconic titles like Captain Z-Ro, Flash Gordon, Malice, Space Angel, and Undersea Kingdom.
Channel code – soctv
10: What’s On? (Free)
This private channel lets you check local movie listings based on your location so you can see if there’s anything interesting coming up in theaters near you. It even lets you watch trailers for those listings and check showtimes. What’s On? also lets you check local TV listings to find out the programming schedules for your favorite channels.
Channel code – WhatsOnChannel