Even if you just stick to the stuff that’s offered right up front with a Roku, they sure do provide a lot of great entertainment. Most of us around the FlashRouters office tend to stick with the usual suspects – Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc. – but there’s a whole other world of material on your Roku just waiting to be accessed.
You might have heard about Roku Private channels and, if you’re like us, you probably assumed that they had to cost. Well, we were wrong, and once we realized that, we were adding private channels to our Rokus left and right. Let us tell you all about them below.
Roku Private Channels
The difference between your average Roku channel and a private Roku channel is simple: private Roku channels are not approved, nor reviewed, by Roku. Roku private channels are distributed independently, and simply need to be in accordance with Roku’s developer agreement.
Other than that, Roku’s standard channels and private channels are basically the same. Choosing to offer a private channel rather than a verified Roku channel can mean that the developer is working out some kinks, or eager to avoid seeking re-approval when making changes to the channel. But the content, assuming you have the right private channel, is often delivered with the same amount of professionalism. All you need is the right code (and we’ve got the codes for some of our favorites listed below).
How to Install Roku Private Channels
The process of getting a private channel on your Roku is quite simple. All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Go to the Roku website and sign in to your account. Proceed from there to the My Account section. Under Manage Account, you’ll find a link to Add A Private Channel.
- Once you’ve reached the Add Channel page, you have to enter the private channel’s code.
- Presuming the private channel code you’ve entered is valid, the channel should be added. If you’re in no rush, the channel will be added to your Roku within 24 hours. If you want to watch the channel immediately, go to the Settings section of your Roku and click on System Update. Once there, click on Check Now. The private channel should be added once the update is complete.
And that’s that. Now let’s get to some of our favorites…
A Few Popular Roku Private Channels
Nowhere TV – There’s plenty of terrific content to be found on Nowhere TV; there are entire sections devoted to Astronomy, News & Politics, PBS…there are even local news streams out of Washington, D.C., Johnstown PA, and Grand Rapids, MI. But honestly, the thing that got us to recommend this channel is that there are free streams of Conan, The Late Show with David Letterman, and content from the Adult Swim section of The Cartoon Network. Like we said, there’s a lot more to love on Nowhere TV if you don’t share our tastes.
Nowhere Archive – And while we’re talking about Nowhere TV, we might as well tell you about a hugely enjoyable sister channel, Nowhere Archive. This one’s a choice better suited to those who get a kick out of kitschy little curios, as you can wile away the hours watching old-timey television like Dragnet, Bonanza, and The Lucy Show. You can even watch a whole slew of vintage commercials (you’d be surprised how many hours you can spend watching those; they’re wildly entertaining)! We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention all of the movies the channels features, including that great camp classic, Plan 9 From Outer Space.
CNN International – Admittedly, this is another one with a connection to the Nowhere network, as there used to a channel strictly devoted to bringing CNN International to Roku watchers, but it’s now defunct, so this is your best way to access it. In fact, we don’t even have the code for you, but we’d direct you to this website to get Nowhere News. Once you have Nowhere News, you’ll have access to a live-stream of CNN International, which will keep you in touch with top-notch reporting on important developments around the world.
iTunes Podcasts – Here’s one we added just for the sheer convenience of it. If you’re like us, your iPhone’s storage fills up quickly, and there’s simply not enough room to store every last podcast that we listen to. That’s why it’s nice to have the iTunes Podcasts channel. Save room on your phone and just stream your favorite podcasts directly from your television.
Roku Streaming Media Players Available at FlashRouters
Of course, if you’re going to get a Roku, you’re going to want to make sure that it runs as fluidly as possible. For that we recommend the products from which we derive our name.
A FlashRouter is a router that’s designed to be stronger, faster, and more versatile than any other available on the market. In order to ensure that our devices reach that standard, we flash all of our routers with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, replacement firmwares that give users access to a variety of advanced features. With a FlashRouter, you can extend your wireless range, control how your bandwidth is allocated (this will allow you to prioritize high-volume tasks like streaming), and even take advantage of extra security options.
If you’d like to find a router that suits you, perhaps you should check out our recent best-seller’s of 2013 list, or we can recommend a few right here: for example, the Netgear R8000 DD-WRT router is our newest Wireless-AC router, making it one of our fastest, most dependable devices we offer. You also can’t go wrong with the Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight Tomato router, which earns it’s name by towering over its competitors with a combination of speed and power. If you’re looking for something a little less costly, you can always go with one of our great new devices, the Cisco Linksys E1200 Tomato, which performs like a router that costs twice the price!