Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blocking ads in Roku launcher

New Roku interface sucks! I will talk about it in my later post in details. The size of ad is increased probably 8x. Before I did not think  it would be worth blocking Roku ad servers because ads were not in your face and not intrusive. Now ad occupies almost half of the screen and is very annoying.

After some research online I found the servers that Roku uses to host its ads. Below is the list of servers that should be blocked to stop Roku from serving ads:
  • api.roku.com
  • cloudservices.roku.com
  • channles.roku.com/images
Most modern routers have some sort of URL filtering abilities. Adding these URLs to the filtering list solves ad problem nicely. So far the only downside that I found is that Hulu Plus starts a bit slower. It maybe trying to hit the server for updates. Another side effect of blocking these links is that the Roku channel store is no longer works. Your loaded channels work OK but you can not get the new channels. This works for me, in fact it is an additional benefit as you child will not be able to browse the channel store and to download any unwanted apps. If you start the app store when these URLs are blocked, upon returning in to the main menu you will not be able to see your apps for a few minutes. This most likely caused by the network timeout and check for application updates.

If you have older Roku software you can block zedo.com domain and that would block all ads in the older Roku software.

I can not take credit for discovering these URLs, I just looked them up on the Internet. I hope this post will save you some time.

11 comments:

Brian and Nicole said...

Thank you so much for this post! It was very helpful!

MOCA PICTURES said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MOCA PICTURES said...

"Hulu Plus starts a bit slower" "when these URLs are blocked, upon returning in to the main menu you will not be able to see your apps for a few minutes"
"I hope this post will save you some time."

Save some time? In Roku a tv commercila just take 15 sec

Bernie said...

Fantastic. I've just sent a blistering email to feedback@roku.com. I know they don't care and won't do anything, so this approach has brought my blood pressure back. I just want to keep my kids from being bombarded with ads and I thought buying a Roku box to run Plex was the answer - didn't realise about the ads until too late. Thanks again for this!

Cam.ron said...

I was able to block ads by just blocking cloudservices.roku.com and nothing else. This allowed me to also keep my channel store and update channels (something most people say they lose when blocking, but also are blocking other domains).

I did this with 90 roku's on one account with no problem.

Diana Davis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.
Cool flash games

Cam.ron said...

Here's a blog post I wrote about how I set up my blocking: http://cshurtz.blogspot.com/2014/04/blocking-ads-advertisements-on-roku.html

biodavid said...

Thanks Cam.ron. Blocking cloudservices.roku.com on my wireless router worked for me. I got one more ad after blocking that site, and then no more; just the "Roku" placeholder.

Bob Kepford said...

Blocking api.roku.com blocks updates.
Blocking channles.roku.com blocks access to the store.

xwin said...

I now completely blocked all roku domains at my router. I do not want updates or access to the store. I want a choice when to update a device which I own.

Joe said...

AMEN, xwin!
I'm sick and tired of Android, Apple, Microsoft, Roku, Various Apps, etc. updating when they want. It's my device and I will update when I want to.