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Get Roku up and running in no time
- San Diego State University
Robert Silva has extensive experience in consumer electronics and home theater product sales and sales supervision; he has written about audio, video, and home theater topics since 1998. Robert has articles published on HBO.com and Dishinfo.com plus has made appearances on the YouTube series Home Theater Geeks.
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Updated on November 18, 2021
- The Ultimate Guide to Roku
- Fire TV
- Apple TV
What to Know
- Turn on the TV. Select a Language. Connect the Roku to your network router and choose your preferred network.
- For the Roku Enhanced remote, select Check Remote Settings, create an account, and enter the activation code online.
- To change or set up the remote, go to Settings > Remote > Set up Remote for TV Control.
This article explains how to set up a Roku TV, Box, or Streaming stick. Instructions in this article apply to most Roku TV's and devices.
Initial Roku Setup Preparation
You purchased a Roku, and now you have to get it up and running. Whether you have a Roku box, streaming stick, or TV, the basic process is the same, and it's easy. We show you how to do it below.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind before setting up your new Roku device:
- Connect the Roku box or streaming stick to your TV using HDMI, or turn on the Roku TV.
- If you have a 4K-enabled Roku streaming stick or box, such as a Streaming Stick+, Roku 4, Premiere, Premiere+, or Ultra, connect the stick or box to an HDMI port that's HDCP 2.2 compatible. There should be a label on the input. This is especially important for compatibility with HDR-encoded content.
- Whether you have a 4K-enabled Roku stick, box, or TV, make sure you have access to internet speeds that support 4K.
- If you have a Roku 1 or Express Plus, you have the option of connecting a Roku box to a TV using composite video and analog audio connections. However, this should only be used for analog TVs.
- Put batteries in your remote control and plug the Roku TV, stick, or box into power with the provided power adapter or cord.
Roku streaming sticks provide the option to use USB power. However, if your TV doesn't have a USB port, use the power adapter. Even if your TV has a USB port, it's typically better to use the power adapter.
What Is Roku And How Does It Work?
How to Set up Roku
Once your initial prep is done, follow these steps to get your Roku device up and running:
Turn on your Roku TV or the TV your Roku streaming stick or box is connected to. The first thing you see is the Roku power-up page, featuring an animated logo.
Select the language used for the onscreen Roku menu system. For Roku TVs, you may also have to select the country you're in.
Your country determines which features and services are available in your location, such as region-specific streaming apps.
Connect the Roku TV, stick, or box to your network router for internet access. Roku streaming sticks use Wi-Fionly, while Roku boxes and TVs provide both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity options. If using Wi-Fi, the Roku device searches all available networks. Choose your preferred network and enter your Wi-Fi password.
Once your network connection is established, you may see a message that a software/firmware update is available. If so, allow Roku to go through the update process.
If using HDMI, the Roku device automatically detects the resolution capability and aspect ratio of the TV and sets the video output signal of the Roku device accordingly. You can change this later if you wish.
This step is not included in Roku TVs, as the display type is pre-determined.
Your Roku remote should work automatically, as you need it to perform the steps outlined so far. If it does require pairing, you'll see a notification and instructions on the TV screen.
If you have the Roku Enhanced Remote that's provided with select devices, the Check Remote Settings option appears and automatically sets up the remote to control the power and volume of the TV.
To activate or change this later, go to Settings > Remote > Set up Remote for TV Control.
Create an account by going to the Roku signup page. Create a username, enter a password, provide address information, and provide a payment method.
There's no charge for using Roku devices. Still, payment information is requested to make it convenient to make content rental payments, make purchases, or pay additional subscription fees through your Roku device.(Video) Roku Express Setup: 5 Easy Steps to Start Streaming TV
Once you create a Roku account, further instructions display on the TV screen, including an activation code. Go to Roku.com/Link using a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone and enter the code number.
You will see a message on the TV screen that your Roku device has been activated.
The Roku Home menu appears and enables you to access the device operation and channels/apps selection. If the Home menu does not appear, click the right arrow to the right of the All done message.
Additional Steps For Roku TVs
Roku TVs have some additional required and optional setup procedures before they can be used in a home theater setup. Here's what you need to do:
- Select Home Use: Unless you're setting up your Roku TV for use as a store display, select Set up for home use. This sets the default video settings to the typical lighting environment in a home. The store display setting maximizes the TV's light output, color, and contrast settings to be suitable for brightly lit store environments.
- Connect Your Devices: You can connect devices to your TV at any time, or you can do it all during the initial setup. Examples of input devices include a cable/satellite box, Blu-ray/DVD player, VCR, or game console. External audio devices include a soundbar or home theater receiver.
- Turn On Your Connected Devices: The Roku TV can detect some devices and prompts you to turn on those devices before proceeding. When you're ready, select Everything is Plugged In and Turned On and follow any additional prompts.
- Assign Input Names: You can assign a name and icon to the device connected to each input. To do this, choose from a pre-selected drop-down menu or select Set Custom Name to customize the input name and choose an icon from an available selection. The screen also displays a window showing the program playing on the device connected to the input. Use the up arrow and down arrow buttons on the remote to scroll through the list, then press the OK button to make your selection.
At the conclusion of the above steps, your TV might play a welcome or demo video. If you don't want to watch it, press the Home button.
Options for Roku TV
- (Optional) Connect an Antenna: If you receive the non-streaming portion of your TV programming via antenna or non-scrambled cable channels without a box, select the Antenna TV icon on the Roku TV Home screen. The TV prompts you to scan for available channels you can view.
Although all Roku devices share common setup and activation features, additional settings may be available on most players that can fine-tune your Roku user experience.
Once your Roku streaming TV, stick, or box is set up, you can explore all the streaming content that Roku provides.
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There's no way to bypass it, because every Roku must be linked to a user account. The Factory reset removes that link, so it has to be set up again.
- Use your computer or smartphone to access your inbox and locate the email from Roku with the activation link. ...
- Open the email from Roku and select the activation link.
- From the Roku website, follow the instructions to create a free Roku account or log in to your existing account.
Find That Lost Remote
If you have a Roku Ultra, long-press the button on the right side of the device and the remote will emit a beep. If the remote you've lost is the Voice Remote Pro, say, "Hey, Roku, find my remote" and it will start beeping.
- Set up your Roku.
- Switch to your Roku's input channel.
- Select a language.
- Choose wired or wireless (Roku sticks do not have a wired option).
- Select your wireless network from the list.
- Enter the network password (if you have one).
- Select Connect.
If you are unable to connect to the internet, try restarting your router. Improve the strength of your wireless signal. If resetting your router does not improve your connection, the issue may be the strength of the wireless signal. The farther your Roku device is from your router, the weaker your wireless signal.
You need a Roku account to activate your device and access entertainment across thousands of streaming channels. There are no monthly equipment rental fees with Roku. Adding a payment method lets you easily rent/buy movies on demand or subscribe to popular services like Netflix.
- Press Home five times.
- Press Fast Forward, Pause, Rewind, Pause, Fast Forward. The Platform secret menu should open.
Way at the bottom of the Roku payment method area is an option in very small print that allows you to skip this step for later. Select that option, proceed to rest of setup and there will be no credit card linked to the account.
Remember, activating your Roku device is always free, and always has been (i.e., Roku has never charged for device activation). If you need help, review the steps required to complete the device activation process.
1. Go to my.roku.com in a web browser and sign into your account, if needed. 2. In the PIN preference section, you can see your current PIN preferences.
There's no Roku subscription. You'll only pay extra if you decide to subscribe to a channel or service, or pay a one-off fee for some content. New channels and new content are added frequently, and devices are updated automatically, so you'll never miss out on new Roku streaming options.
There is no way to jailbreak a Roku streaming stick, or a Roku TV, as of yet. Roku runs on Roku OS, a proprietary or modified operating system that is exclusively available to authorized developers.
Here is how you can Jailbreak a Roku TV:
Open up the settings menu on your Roku TV. Navigate to Screen mirroring (beta), then toggle the checkmark to 'enable screen mirroring'. Select between 'prompt' and always allow'. The always allow module is recommended for jailbreaking your Roku TV.
HOW TO ACCESS TCL ROKU TV SECRET SERVICE MENU ...
Note: You do not need internet access on the phone acting as a mobile hotspot to use to mirror your screen. Step 1: Turn on the mobile hotspot on your spare phone. On most Android phones, you can do so by opening Settings, heading over to Network and internet > Hotspot and tethering > Wi-Fi hotspot, and turning it ON.
- Launch the Roku mobile app.
- Tap Devices.
- Tap Get help?
- Select Connect manually.
- Enter the IP address of your Roku device and tap CONNECT.
- Download and install Roku remote program on your smartphone, either Android or iOS, e. g. iPhone.
- Open the software for the first time, it will guide you through its different options including how to use it to replace a Roku remote.
By using the Roku app
You'll need a functioning Wi-Fi connection to your Roku for this one, but if you're still interested in an IP address, the official Roku mobile app for Android and iOS has you covered. Open the Devices tab. Tap the triple-dot icon next to the Roku you're concerned with. Tap View System Info.
With the Mobile App
- Download the Remoku app from your app store.
- Open the app.
- Click Settings.
- See your IP address under My Network.
Power Cycle the Router and Reboot Roku TV
You can power cycle the router and reboot your Roku TV to solve Wi-Fi error messages on your device. Rebooting will troubleshoot the internet connectivity issue and reestablish the network. Your Roku TV should connect to the network after the process.
If you received a bill from Roku, it's for one of two reasons: You, or a family member, added a premium subscription (like Showtime or STARZ) through The Roku Channel app (this would be a recurring bill) You rented our bought a TV show or movie through Roku (this would be a one-time charge)
First, simply connect an HDTV antenna to your Roku TV. Next, follow the easy on-screen steps to scan for channels. Then, start watching your local stations for free! It's really that simple.
Major network apps on Roku include ABC, NBC and CBS. These let you watch some content for free, but for the latest episodes of your favorite shows, you'll need to sign in with a valid paid TV subscription like a cable TV login. If you have a Roku TV, you can connect an HDTV antenna and access the channels from there.
The buttons labeled “1” and “2” can save any voice command that Roku supports; just long-press either button after the voice command, and it'll be set as that button's function.
Choose the Advanced System Settings option from the list of settings. Pick the option for Network Connection Reset. Press the select button on Reset Connection to clear all of your network connection settings. Your Roku will reboot immediately.
When you create a Roku account, you will be prompted to link payment information to Roku Pay to let you purchase hardware and entertainment directly through your streaming device or account. Your Roku account stores your preferences, settings, which Roku streaming devices you own, and which channels you have installed.
You can download the Netflix app for free, but you need a Netflix subscription to stream its content. Netflix has multiple plans starting at $9.99 per month, and you can cancel or upgrade at any time. It does not cost more money to have Netflix on Roku.
Sling TV today announced an upcoming free experience for Roku users that will allow them to try out the streaming TV service without starting a free trial or entering payment information.
First, make sure that your power cable is connected properly and plugged in. If it still won't turn on, remove the power cable for five seconds, and then plug it back in. If that fails then you will have to reset your Roku device using the reset button.
- Step 1: Connect your Roku to your TV. Plug your Roku into your TV's HDMI port. ...
- Step 2: Pair the Roku remote. ...
- Step 3: Connect the Roku to Wi-Fi and complete the rest of the setup process. ...
- Step 4: Link your Roku account and activate your device.
How to set up a Roku TV - YouTube
Connect the Roku player to an HDMI cable and then plug that cable into an HDMI input on your television. If you have a Roku Streaming Stick, you don't need an HDMI cable. Instead, just insert the Streaming Stick directly into the HDMI port.
Rokus can work without Wi-Fi, but their capabilities are extremely limited. You can use external media like a hard drive or a USB stick to watch content on the Roku if there's no internet.
Download video on your phone and use screen mirroring
Instead of streaming online, you can download movies and TV shows from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime View on your smartphones and then play this content at a later time by mirroring your smartphone screen onto your Roku device.
Even without the physical remote, you can use your phone to connect your Roku device to your Wi-Fi network. To do this, download the Roku remote app for Android or iOS. When the app starts the first time, it will walk you through its different options—including how to use it as a Roku remote replacement.
A Roku® PIN (personal identification number) is a four-digit code that allows you to authorize who can make purchases and add channels on your Roku streaming device. It can also be used as a parental controls feature to keep children from watching certain kinds of content on The Roku Channel.
Once your Roku streaming device is connected to power and the network, it may be necessary to download new software. After that your Roku streaming device will display a link code, that you'll have to enter on: roku.com/link on your computer or mobile device.
If you don't remember your Roku PIN, please follow the steps below to update: Go to my.roku.com on your mobile or desktop browser. Sign in to your account if prompted. Under PIN Preferences, select the "Update" button to open the PIN settings menu.
All Roku streaming players will work for any television with an HDMI connection, so any Roku player can be connected to a 4K or HDR-compatible television. However, to stream movies and TV shows in 4K or HDR you will need a compatible Roku streaming player and television that supports 4K or HDR.
While you don't need Roku if you have a smart TV, when compared to a standard smart TV, Roku has: more content options, an easier menu to navigate and manage, a better remote, faster and smoother load times, more frequent updates, and less garbage or “throwaway” apps!
The Roku Channel is your home for free TV, Roku Originals and premium entertainment. Watch an ever-changing selection of original series, hit movies, TV shows, 24/7 live news (in U.S. and Canada only) and popular kids' entertainment —all totally free.
You need a Roku® account to activate your streaming device, access entertainment across thousands of streaming channels, manage your subscriptions, and personalize your experience.
What if My TV Doesn't Have an HDMI Port? You can still connect Roku to your old non-smart TV or any other TV that lacks an HDMI port. You'll just need to purchase an HDMI-to-composite converter or an HDMI-to-component converter. Alternatively, you can buy the Roku Express Plus 2018 model instead of a newer Roku.
All you need is a high-speed internet connection, a streaming device, and streaming channels. With free channels like The Roku Channel and Tubi, on-demand services like Netflix and Disney+, and cable alternatives like Sling, it's easy to enjoy the same entertainment while saving money every month.