Roku Private Channels Apps & Themes

Roku Private Channels Apps & Themes

How Roku reinvented the way we watch TV

Add these Private Roku Channels
Click Here for our Huge List of Private and Public Roku Channels

Someday when we look back in history, if there was ever a device that changed the way we watch television it will most certainly be the humble Roku media streamer.

Let's rewind to a time when, DirecTV, Dish Network and various Cable companies still controlled the TV landscape. For many of us, this was the only way we could watch television. Sure, over the air antennas was still an option for some, although most of us still depended on Cable TV or Satellite channels to watch television at home.

Once Roku media streamers hit the market, along with popular low cost streaming services from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant, it did not take long for the magic to happen. Consumers now had a much better way to watch TV at a lower price without endless boring commercials. Plus, it finally put an end to almost constant price increases by TV cable providers who loved to bundle a large list of worthless channels with a few good ones.

What made Roku popular and really helped it stand out from other media streamers was their willingness to open their box. By letting developers have access to their free channel development software, it let them create Apps or channels and publish them on their streaming platform for free. This helped Roku media streamers explode in popularity almost over night.

Roku has over 2000 channels available. Roku also differs from cable and satellite since they only build and sell media streamers. They don't rent them for an ongoing monthly fee. Roku also sells advertising on their platform which is another form of revenue to help support their company.

Instead of being spoon fed what the networks want us to see and told when we can watch it, Roku gives us a choice of mostly free on-demand streaming content from the internet through it's large selection of public and private channels.

Rather than bundle channels together the way cable and satellite providers do, Roku owners can subscribe to one or as many channels as they like. While some individual channels may charge a one time fee or an ongoing monthly fee, the large majority of channels on Roku are free.

Now you can even Purchase Showtime and HBO separately on Roku without also needing to have a subscription with a cable TV provider. More and more of the Networks that you could once only watch on cable or satellite are now offering a la carte streaming packages that can be purchased alone.

Roku Apps or Public Channels

Roku channels which are sometimes also called apps are nothing more than a pretty shortcut to content that lives on the internet. They are basically just folders represented by icons or pictures that contain lists of links to mp4, m4v or mkv video files which are hosted on various web servers on the internet. 

When you click a video you want to watch, it will begin streaming the file right through your Roku player onto your television set.

Roku Private Channels

When a developer builds a Roku channel he may choose to keep the channel either private or make it public. Once made public it will be featured in the Roku channel store and be available to a much wider audience.

Some developers would rather keep their channels private. They may only want to share their channel with a small limited group of people. To add these private channels, you will need the channel code or channel install link. Our Roku channel listings we have here on this website all include a quick Add Channel link which takes you directly to the channel install page where you can add the channel to your Roku.

Some developers may not want to jump through the extra hoops of of getting their channel approved by Roku and are perfectly content to release the channel code or link to the public and just leave their channel private.

  • Early on we wanted to experiment with the Roku developer software and created our mkvXstream private Roku channel. It is Free and you can learn more about it and add it here

  • Another excellent Roku Private channel we really enjoy is Nowhere TV.  This channel is  one of the best free Private Roku channels which offers a ton of great content to watch. Learn more about Nowhere TV and add it here.

  • iTunes Podcasts is another great Private channel you will want to add. It let's you access all the podcasts available from iTunes. Click here to add the channel to your Roku player.

For many more Top rated Public and Roku Private Channels, please see our Top 80 Best Roku Channels List.

Another group of Private Roku channels that Roku won't allow in their public channel store are "Adult Channels". There is actually a long list of these private Adult Roku channels. While many are subscription only, there are even a few you can watch for Free. We have included these channels in our popular Adult Roku Channels Guide, which Adults can access here. 

Why Some Roku Channels May Not Be Available in Your Country

Some Roku channels will not play in every region. While some channels like Netflix restrict their content due to licensing agreements with content providers. Many channels may not be available in your country simply because when the developer uploaded the channel to Roku, they forgot to check the boxes to make the channel available in other countries.

If you contact the developer and let them know you would like to be able to watch their channel, many times they will comply and re-upload the channel with the additional countries checked.

This is a great way to get new or popular Roku channels.

Roku Themes

Themes are basically just the background images you see on your Roku when you are browsing through your list of channels. This is something that was added as a feature not too long ago and will let you customize your Roku. 

There are many different Roku Themes available to choose from. The best way to find and add a new theme is to visit the Roku website and add one from this list

From time to time, Roku may change the background theme to one of their own. This often occurs during a holiday season or special event. 

Stop Roku from Changing Your Theme

If you have a particular theme you enjoy and don't want Roku from messing with it, you can prevent them from doing so.

To Stop Roku from changing your default theme go to Settings > Themes > Custom Settings and turn off the option to allow featured themes.

Roku Screensavers

To keep your expensive UHD TV from burning in, Roku media streamers come with a built in screensaver. While this is rather boring and just has their logo. You can also choose from a large selection of screen savers which include everything from Puppies, to Fish tanks, or an LED clock to the latest Radar weather maps for your area. 

Click here to see all the screen savers available for your Roku. Some are free and some charge a small one time fee.

Tips On Adding Roku Channels

When adding private or public Roku channels, it's not like they show up instantly on your Roku. It usually takes 24 hours. To speed up the process and make them show up right away, you need to enter and exit the Roku channel store on older Roku players. 

Newer or current models will need to force a system update by going to: 
Settings > System > System Update

Only then will the new channels appear up on the end of your channels list.

UpdateMyChannels is a Roku channel you can add that will toggle this for you and will automate the process.  Once you enter the channel, it will give you the option to add new channels. Once it finishes this process your new channels will show up at the end of your channels list on your Roku.

Click here to Add UpdateMy Channels.

Best Roku Player

Just this year Roku updated their Roku 3 with voice search, they also updated their Roku 2. It now shares the same performance of the Roku 3. 

Last year's Roku 2 was slower and did not have the same features. To learn more about the differences between these rated Roku models, please click here...

ROKU 4 New Kid on The Block

If you want the fastest and best Roku, then the the new Roku 4 is worth checking out. It is the first Roku to let you watch 4K content, has a faster quad core processor and comes with some cool new features. Learn more about the Roku 4.