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Here's how to add hidden private channels to your Roku

Not every Roku channel is shown in the channel memory. There are some hidden "private channels" that are difficult to find.

On a Roku, channels are basically the same as "apps". This means that there are a number of additional apps for your Roku that you can find using your web browser. They're easy to install once you know where to look.

What is a private channel and why are they private?

Private channels are channels that are part of the official Roku channel store but are not shown publicly. This means that average Roku users will not see them when they click through the channel store on the remote or search for channels on the Roku website.

Some of these channels are private because they are in beta and not ready for full release. Some require membership and are hidden so average Roku users don't come across and install them. Some types of content offered by Roku are not intended to be displayed publicly in the Channel Store. Others can be unofficial third-party channels for various websites and other services such as Twitter.

Find a private channel that you want to install

First of all, you need to find the private channel you want to install. Searching for “Roku Private Channels” or “Roku Private Channel [Topic]” will help you a lot. Here's how to get started.

The Nowhere Man has created a variety of private channels that you can install, including clients for Twitter, Vine, CNN, USTREAM.tv, Songza, and the Khan Academy. There's even Nowhere Bullet, a PushBullet screen saver that can display your Android phone or tablet's notifications on your TV.

He also offers Nowhere TV - a popular private channel that presents free online video content from various websites in one convenient interface.

You can also find directories of Roku private channels on other websites. Take a look at the streamfree.tv directory or that of mkvXstream to browse the available files.

Look for a private channel code or link to click on. The link is in the form "https://owner.roku.com/add/CODE" - this is just an easy way to enter the code on the Roku website.

Add the private channel

You now need to add the private channel to your Roku. This process is mainly done in your web browser as you cannot enter a private channel code on the Roku itself.

Log into your account on the Roku website and go to the "My Account" page. Click the "Add Channel" link. You'll need to use the same Roku account that you linked to your Roku device.

Enter the private channel code - also known as the "Channel Access Code" or "Invitation Code" - into the field on the Roku website. Click on "Add Channel". The channel will be added to your Roku account and queued for installation on your Roku.

Next, go to your Roku. The channel will appear on your Roku within 24 hours when it automatically checks for updates. You don't have to wait, however.

To have it checked and download the private, immediately open the Settings screen, select System, System Update, and Check Now. Your Roku will automatically download any new private channels you've added.

Start watching the private channel

Once the private channel is installed, it will appear alongside all other installed channels on your Roku's home screen. The private channel comes from the same Roku channel memory that your other channels come from and is automatically updated.

You can remove a private channel as you remove any other channel. Simply select it with your remote on your Roku's home screen, press the * button and select the option to remove. You'll have to re-enter the code on the Roku website if you ever want to add it back.