Roku have just banned XTV, a popular uncertified channel that provides ‘illegal’ streams to Roku users. The move comes after Roku became tangled up in a lawsuit in Mexico that resulted in a ban on Roku devices on Mexican territories. XTV isn’t the first channel to be removed and probably want be the last either. Roku’s clamp down on private channels that offer illegal content started back in August.
Illegal Channels on Roku?
To those who don’t know, there are private channels that aren’t available on the public Roku store. When you attempt to add these channels to your Roku device, you’re usually presented with the following message.
“THIS IS A NON-CERTIFIED CHANNEL. Roku requires all channels to abide by Roku’s terms and conditions and to distribute only legal content. Roku does not test or review non-certified channels. By continuing, you acknowledge you are accessing a non-certified channel that may include content that is offensive or inappropriate for some audiences. Moreover, if Roku determines that this channel violates copyright, contains illegal content, or otherwise violates Roku’s terms and conditions, then ROKU MAY REMOVE THIS CHANNEL WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.”
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Was XTV a Pirate Channel?
While we personally never tried watching content via XTV, it appears that the channel did offer some illegal streams. The Roku ban came as a result of that. Now Roku channel developers are required to use a verified email address, link at least one Roku device, and even register a payment method in their Roku account. It seems that these steps are aimed at identifying all independent Roku channel developers.
How Do I Know If My Roku Channels Are Legal?
In general, you should have nothing to worry about as long as all the channels you watch on Roku are available on the official Roku Channel Store. Private channels that are not found on the Roku store fall in a gray area as there is no way to find out what they have to offer unless one tries them out himself/herself. Keep in mind that the channels available on Roku Channel Store also differ from region to region i.e. channels available on the American Roku Channel Store differ from those available in the UK region for instance.
What’s Next for Private Channels on Roku?
Roku had initially introduced the ability to create private channels in order for developers to test their channels before making them available for the public. Whether Roku decides to scrap private channels all together is yet to be seen.