We are closing in on 300 unique channels this week in the Roku Channel Store. There you will find channels that range in topic from movies and TV to music, sports and special interests. However, not all channels available for Roku can be found in the  Channel Store. A significant number are published as private channels. While private channels look and feel similar to channels found in the Channel Store, they are in fact, very different.

Roku does not review or approve private channels. So why would a developer choose to release a channel as a private channel instead of submitting it to the Roku Channel Store? A few reasons:

  • The channel isn’t ready for the Roku Channel Store. Developers use private channels to test their apps during the development process.
  • The channel contains content not appropriate for the Roku Channel Store. An adult-oriented channel is a good example of a channel that Roku would not publish publicly.
  • The channel contains content that is confidential or intended for members or employees in a specific group or company. For example, a company might develop a channel that contains training videos for franchisees.

Last month, Roku users installed more unique private channels than unique public channels. Nearly 25% of all active Roku users have installed a private channel on their Roku players at some point.

How do you find Roku private channels? Well, in many cases, the publishers of those channels intend to keep them truly private. However, if you conduct an Internet search for “list of Roku private channels” or “best Roku private channels,” you can find various lists of private channels and their associated installation codes. [Note:  While you may find some great content on private channels, you may experience more issues (e.g. video freezes, poor video quality) than you would on public channels.]

Users install private channels by entering a unique code here on Roku.com.  A couple of my favorite private channels are Archive.org (code: NMJS5) and RadioReference.com (code: ENGBH).

Be sure to explore what’s out there – we’re sure you will find something you like.

About Tom Markworth

Director of Product Management, Roku
Posted in Roku tips | Tagged , |
  • Scott Carle
    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    If they are not listed, how can you explore? Is there a list?

    • Sv

      You should try re-reading the article.

    • Exactly

  • izzy

    Thanks for keeping the adult content private. That’s one of the appeals of Roku, which we use instead of cable because it’s easier to keep out the non-adult content altogether.

    • Cliffy44

      Izzy, do you shower with your clothing on? And do you allow others to see you showering (with and / or without your clothes)?

      • Yourmom

        Why does it matter how he showers? Why do you even care?

        • cliffy44

          Hey, Mama’s boy – are you writing a book?

          Id so, then, kiss my butt and call this chapter a love story.

          IF I want any obama from you, I’ll squeeze your head.

          • MrPeach

            Can we get some grown ups in here?

      • Most people like to keep their young children from viewing pornography. If that is the action of a “prude”, I’ll wear that badge with honor.

  • Kevin

    There is an great updated list of private channels here: http://www.rokuprivatechannels.com

  • claudiapatx

    Cons : Inconsistent performance, No Playon, No JustinTV
    Pros : None found yet!
    Where shall I begin….I had a Roku 1 I had purchased at a local Wally-World…In the Roku forums I was informed by many that Wally had ripped me off and sold me a defunct box…That I should HURRY and return it and get me a new one, since they are the same price…
    First off, the old Roku 1 from Wally did work fine…PlayOn worked fine, as did JustinTV. Which are 2 really major channels for me…See I don’t really get into the 1930’s and 1940’s movies that Roku offers in their “free” assortment of channels. Hey if you don’t mind it, great. More power to ya…But I like my TV in color every once in a while, ya know! Gullible me figured, heck yeah, I want the newest! Hurried back to Walmart and returned my poor lil’ ol’ Roku 1(I am so glad now I didn’t get ugly with them when I returned their OLD OUTDATED ROKU)
    OK here we go…sets up just like the old one, except only uses wireless to connect to your router(I have a 2 wire and AT&T Elite DSL) No issues there…
    I get my channels set up and all and go to JustinTV…and this is what I get on all channels…Error is “playback has ended”
    Okaaay…Not good but maybe I can deal with this through PlayOn, which I had also installed…Well, it gets to PlayOn and all, goes thru the folders and all, but can’t stream it…I am SCREWED I see this now…
    Now it’s time to call Roku for assistance….Oh lord….Not India….Yeah, Roku has outsourced their jobs to India! So in a nutshell, calling Roku is just like calling HP or any other big American company that doesn’t feel Americans here need jobs!

    My botton line on Roku2…The new Roku 2 box sucks, in my opinion. It makes PlayOn&JustinTV useless….And to me, those are my main goto channels…Roku, you let this rat out of the box too soon. Did y’all even do any testing on this box before you released it? Did you even try hooking it up to an actual tv and try it out? Besides the ability to add a memory card , it just BOMBS! I want my money back so I can go try to find an old box before everyone figures out how suckie this new box is and buys up all the old ones…Boo Roku.

  • Jenefer81

    if i pay for the ufc account do i get all the fights on roku for free?

  • Anonymous

    I wish there were a way I could flag all the proliferating “religious” channels in the official Roku store. It’s tiresome to have to find secular channels in the middle of so many “religious” channels. They need their own strip: New Religious. At the bottom of the scroll. Seriously, what will you do when the store gets so clogged with non-feature-worthy stuff that it gets absurd to try to use? I’d also like to see a $-sign on the channel thumbnails so I know without wasting time clicking on it that that channel is going to require me to pay to see it.

    • Devlin

      Feature worthy is relative to who is viewing it. We could say the same about violent/horror channels, ones with sexual content or fowl language. It’s all relative. Quit thinking they should prioritize the list as the minority sees it ( higher percentage of the population believe vs. non-believers) and stop whining.

      If it really bothers you that much there are other streaming players that display differently.

      • Vandall

        Yeah like that horrifying show Duck Talk. Higher percentage believe in what?? There is a higher percentage that believe in Yahweh than Shinto… what’s your point?

        Steve, just because you want to save time and effort by requesting that Roku improve their interface you should really just throw your Roku away and get another player. Awesome point, Devlin.

        • 5th Element

          If roku doesnt improve quality while apple does…is a very bad business model.

          I say let the religous channels make their own box so their followers wont be taited by the other channels and leave the good shit to the rest of us. Let them tithe till they come and take their tv away!!!

      • Anonymous

        I had to laugh when I read this: “sexual content or fowl language.” I haven’t seen any channels in which we hear birds talking to one another.

        I think you meant foul language. 🙂 Just saying.

      • 5th Element

        Higher percentage of people dont use rational thought, reason or science which brings down progress!!!

        So the comment is correct. Some things are just not subjective based on individual belief or thought when a group consensus provesnotherwise with evidence.

        It is up to you with the extraordinary claim to provide extraordinary evidence. Basing one’s life on something that has had no evidence of ever existing…means you are livingba fraud. People who enjoy sex is basing it in a real everyday fact existence in nature.

        So when your roku becomes overwhelmed with fraud you do become irritated like getting so much spam From Nigeria in your email.

        • devlin7

          Your way off topic. It isn’t a discussion thatGod does or does not exist. It is one of how ROKU displays content in it’s own channel store.

          • I think you make a valid point, devlin7. This will also be advantageous for us who are religiously inclined and want to quickly find the channels we are interested in.

    • I also wish as you do that I could have just one chance to could flag all the proliferating channels in this store. It’s all that I believe people also wish for.

    • El Rubio

      Isn’t that why you select and build your own channel list on your own Roku? Come on, it really isn’t all that difficult to sort through the lists and select.

    • Jimbu1

      Nothing wrong with a bit of God in our lives. You have a choice to hit the button or pass it by. I could have the same situation with some of the movies out there. But again, I have a choice to hit the button or pass it by!

      • Daz

        that’s like saying “nothing wrong with a bit of tooth fairy in our lives.” Spamming us with mythology is harmless, but annoying.

        • earldumarest

          poor Spaz.

        • mike


        • devlin7

          if you don’t install it and watch how is it spamming or annoying you?

    • Anonymous

      How do we “proliferate” all the pinko commie pukes from our country like you?

      Research Mao and the tens of millions he murdered before you flash that stupid avatar, Stevo.

      • Connor

        You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    • I agree with Steve, and so do a lot of people. Notice how the freaks come out in droves to observe in a reply but Steve is not allowed to have his initial observation? Typical.

      Asking them to streamline the interface isn’t telling Roku to “kill god”. Get a grip, thumpers.

    • stephanie0408

      it is still religious any way you look at it whether it is new or old. and to tell you the truth, the ‘new religions’ you speak of are older than a lot of other ones. Wicca and pageanism especially. a lot of people consider those new just because they are what a lot of the population is starting to believe now. when in reality, christianity and all of those are based on wiccan beliefs.they are the very beginning religions. and if they aren’t, A LOT of them are based on similar principles and have similar traits as all of the other ones.. you are judging and saying that your views are better than everyone else’s. if you were saying something different than i am very sorry, but this is what i got out of your comment. 🙂

    • joeaverage21

      Exactly Steve. At least unlike satellite I’m not paying for the religious channels. Roku, keep them in their own category so I don’t need to wade through the religious channels. We are not drawn to TV religion.

  • Bonette

    hi is there any way to get my i tunes library to play on my roku? also anyway to tape what i see on my roku ?/

  • Now I finally understand why there was this option thanks!

    Tech Support

  • Msaalize

    How do I add a private channel to Roku?

  • Very good post. I like it. Thank you for sharing.

  • Vik

    good idea Steve.. By having category of religious channel doesn’t mean you dont have God in your life, It is just a category like politics, sports, music..thats all… and yes $ sign would help differentiating free and paid channels…

  • Jnjr888

    There is an international channel that caters to Pilipino movies, do you know how to access it? I’ve been trying to but couldn’t find it. Please help me.

  • I really like your blog just wanna thank you for sharing.

  • Did anyone else take away from this article that private channels should not be called private if people can get in? I want a private channel for my video collection, but then if people can get into it, then I will have feds busting down my door to arrest me for broadcasting copyright material. Cartin’ me away muttering, “Stupid *private* channel!”

    • Texmom

      But don’t they have to have the code to get it? So don’t give out the code.

  • lcmarie

    Very happy to see religious channels of so many faiths on Roku. Finally something for people who are tired of all the violence and nonsense on regular TV.

  • I wish there was a roku channel that streamed 80’s and 90’s tv shows from the US….without a subscription….80’s shows like- The Cosby’s, Macgyver, Magnum PI, and 90’s Shows like- The Drew Carey Show, Walker-Texas Ranger, Jag, and etc…..

    • Guest

      Exactly Steve. At least unlike satellite I’m not paying for the religious channels. Roku, keep them in their own category so I don’t need to wade through the religious channels. We are not drawn to TV religion.

    • joeaverage21

      Who pays for the TV licensing? Advertising? I’d forgo TV entirely before I’d endure the advertising cable tv throws at its customers who are already paying subscription fees. Don’t screw this up Roku…

    • Frankie Dymond

      you’ll find them on playon

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    I just stumbled
    upon this site. Thanks for sharing such a valuable discussion here.

  • pvsummer

    When it comes to the winged voice, I prefer bird lingo over angelic pontification any day.

  • Diggindeeep

    NFL Rewind needs a Roku app!

  • Galaxy_Surfer_007

    Are private channels legitimate?

    I mean, are they gathering data on viewing habits without our permission or doing other illicit actions?

    I’m interested in watching NASA TV via a private channel as the “public” one is advertising riddled and doesn’t work well at all. I have seen several different private ones for NASA TV listed, using different codes! How is one to tell which are worth instilling and which are risky?

  • danny

    i can’t get cnbc to load from xtv does anyone know how to correct this. i have reinstalled both roku and xtv and it has not corrected the problem.

  • Mark Little

    Guys what is the itv hub and all 4 access codes for roku please

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