Roku: From perks of owning it to setup and installation

The Roku streaming devices deliver their users’ entertainment without limits or restraints. Revolutionizing the world of internet TV, Roku has a set number of benchmarks in streaming quality content. For example, the Q4 active accounts were over million and the Q4 streaming hours were 7.3 billion in 2018. And for the entire year of 2018, the total streaming hours go up over 24 billion. A Roku player brings to your home screen, leading channels and media platforms such as Netflix, CBS, Hulu, FOX, etc.

Roku has many generations of devices since the time of its inception, like the Roku HD and Roku HD-XR. Today, there are four generations of Roku devices, with the Roku 4 being the latest model. Roku TV incorporates the Roku Streaming Devices functions into the TV while the streaming stick is significantly and comparatively smaller.

It is possible to stream channels on Roku via Skinny bundles and Cable TV subscriptions. And you also have the advantage of streaming content free on the Roku free channels. Tubi TV, Pluto TV, Crunchyroll, YouTube, PBS Kids, Crackle, Sky News are some of the free channels on Roku. Whereas, the Wilderness channel, Roku Movies, EuroRoku, Ace TV and Great Chefs are some of the private channels.

Quick Setup and Installation of your Roku Players

A Roku player needs to be setup before you can stream the free and paid content. Traversing through the Roku setup process could not be any simpler if you tread the steps given below.

Getting your Roku player up and running

  • Start the Roku setup by fixating or mounting the Roku streaming device close to your Router.
  • The first link to your Roku player will be through an HDMI cable that operates at high speeds.
  • Inserting one end of the cable into the Roku’s HDMI port, connect its other end to your TV. While you execute this step, keep track of which HDMI input on your TV you are using. Subsequently, this will come in handy as you will have to tune your TV to the very same input.
  • The second link to your Roku is the USB that supplies power to your streaming player.
  • Conjoin the smaller port of the USB cable to Roku and another end to the AC adapter.
  • The third link to your Roku may or may not exist as it relies on your choice of the network connection. When you opt to use a wired network over the wireless options, this link will come into existence. Additionally, it also relies on the type of Roku player that is currently in your possession.
  • Roku Ultra has an Ethernet port whereas the Roku Express, Streaming sticks and Premiere don’t.
  • Hence, if you’ve got a supporting model, then connect your Router to Roku with an Ethernet cable.

Configuring the Network Connections and Display types on various Roku Streaming Devices

  • By pressing the power buttons, turn on all devices that are in link with the Roku player.
  • Tune your TV to the suitable input to which you’ve coupled the HDMI cable.
  • The “ROKU” logo will turn up on the screen after which you’ve to choose a language. This is the language in which all descriptions, prompts, options, and instructions will display on your Roku.
  • Succeeding the language setup, you’ve to pick a mode of network connection, either wired or wireless.
  • When you choose the wireless mode on Roku, a list of nearby available networks will appear on the screen. Search and opt for your home network to which you would usually connect devices other than Roku.
  • However, no matter which mode you opt, you’ve to key in the network’s correct SSID and password. Various errors will show up on your Roku player in case you key in incorrect credentials.
  • So as to type the password, SSID or username of your network, make use of the on-screen keyboard option.
  • Three green check marks will appear next to the options that say ‘Making the connection to’ your wireless network, your local network, and finally, the internet.
  • In this conjuncture, Roku will install the latest firmware or software from the Roku servers.
  • Thereafter, select the ‘Set display type’ option in order to let Roku automatically detect the allowable display type. Resolutions on Roku are pertinent to the HDMI input of your TV and the HDMI cable you’re using.
  • Proceeding, confirm the display type by selecting ‘Yes, screen looks good’ or if you disagree select ‘No’. And then manually choose the grade of resolution that you prefer from the display settings on Roku.

Validating the Roku activation code on your TV screen

  • The forthcoming screen on your TV will show a Roku link code which you should use to activate Roku.
  • For example, you’ll see a Roku activation code such as ‘T9OPMN’. Keeping in mind that it expires after 15 minutes, make note of it on a sheet of paper.
  • But, if your Roku link code expires, then press the * button on your remote. Now, generating or retrieving a new Roku activation code, get a hold of a laptop or a smart phone.
  • Launch or open a browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome and visit the website
  • The webpage will have a dedicated, separate field where you can enter the Roku link code.
  • Tapping on ‘Submit’ you’ll redirect yourself to a webpage that’ll ask you to sign in. Sign in to your Roku account using your Roku credentials after selecting ‘Yes, I already have one’.

Creating a Roku account, setting a PIN and adding the channels

  • Creating a Roku account is imperative so that you can use the services that it offers.
  • In the webpage that succeeds after you enter the link code, select ‘No, I need to create one’.
  • Key in your ‘First Name’, ‘Last Name’, ‘Email ID’, and set a complex ‘Password’ that includes special characters.
  • Approving the ‘Terms and Conditions’, tap on ‘Continue’ and proceed to the next webpage.
  • So that you can protect your Roku account from unauthorized purchases, set a ‘PIN’. Before you continue, check the toggle option that says ‘Always require a PIN to make purchases’. Alternatively, you can also choose the toggle that says ‘Always require a PIN to make purchases and to add items from the Channel Store’.
  • Produce your Credit or Debit card details or PayPal account and ‘Billing Address Information’ in the following webpage.
  • Successfully completing all the above steps, you’ll lead yourself to the page where you can add channels.
  • Adding the popular channels that you want, tap on ‘Continue’ one final time, go back to your TV.
  • The channels that you chose will update and add onto your Roku streaming device.

Types of Roku remotes and pairing them with the device

Two kinds of Roku remotes are available with the Roku Streaming Devices depending on the player’s requirement and model. For instance, the Roku Express comes with a ‘Standard IR Remote’ which works on the Infra-red technology. A slightly powerful remote is the Enhanced “Point Anywhere” remote that comes with the Roku Ultra player. Preferably, “Point Anywhere” remotes are used with the Roku streaming stick and stick+ as it works on the RF technology. Doing justice to its name, it’s possible for you to place or point the “Point Anywhere” remote wherever; even out of sight of the Roku player.

As the Standard IR remote needs to be in line-of-sight with your Roku, it cannot be used with streaming sticks. This is because the small and compact Roku sticks, more often than naught, are connected to the HDMI port on the rear side of your TV. Luckily, you do not have this constraint with the “Point Anywhere” remote, though you’ve to pair it to Roku.

In most cases, the “Point Anywhere” remote pairs with Roku without any external intervention whenever you turn on the device. Sometimes, this remote doesn’t automatically pair with Roku and requires you to manually instigate the pairing process. Checking whether the batteries of the Enhanced “Point Anywhere” remote are working fine should be your first concern. If they are, then sliding the back cover over the remote, press the pairing button for a few seconds. The blinking of a green LED light next to the pairing button will indicate the pairing of the remote.

Roku mobile app, an alternative to the Roku remote

The Roku mobile app incorporates all the functions of the Roku remote, enabling you to control Roku using your mobile device. Android users can find the Roku mobile app in the Google Play Store whereas iOS users in the Apple Store. As of January 2019, the Roku mobile app is available in three languages namely English, French and Spanish. All Roku Streaming Devices that utilize the Roku OS version 6.2 or higher will support the Roku mobile application. With the Roku mobile app, you get the ability to screencast other apps onto your TV.

Downloading the Roku mobile app, connect both Roku and your mobile device to the same Wi-Fi network. Launching the Roku mobile app, you’ll find it detecting all the Roku devices that are on the same Wi-Fi network.

  • Troubleshooting the Roku mobile app error: Whenever the Roku mobile app is unable to discover the Roku Streaming Devices, press the ‘Home’ button on the remote.
  • On Roku, choosing ‘Settings’, select ‘System’ and then opt ‘Advanced system settings’ before selecting ‘External Control’.
  • Under ‘External Control’, selecting ‘Network Access’, either choose the option that says ‘Default’ or ‘Permissive’.

Understanding the Red Lights and White Lights on Roku Streaming Devices

  • Most users have the right preconception of powering off the device when seeing a red light.
  • Roku player will emit a solid white light when the power supply to it is adequate.
  • Whenever the power supply to Roku is inadequate, you will see a flashing red light on it.
  • Always use the USB cables and Roku AC adapters that you got along with the device. If you try to power Roku by connecting the USB to your TV, unplug it and connect to the adapter.
  • You could also try a different USB port on TV but linking to a power socket via an adapter is advisable.
  • Also, if you see a solid red color light on Roku, follow these steps as it means the device is overheating.

Swift and sleek steps to troubleshoot the Roku errors on Roku Streaming Devices

The software updates error (003): Roku’s software will update during the initial setup or whenever new software is available in the market. Roku will accomplish this by randomly scanning for the latest software or for every 24 to 36 hours. During this procedure, if network connectivity is poor, you’ll see the error code 003 on your TV screen.

This error code signifies that the Roku streaming player is unable to update the software. Before you restart or reset the Roku player, analyze your Router to see if it is working fine. When you place the Router too far away from the Roku device, this error might pop-up.

Network error (009): This error code pertains to your Internet Service Provider in most cases as Roku is unable to connect to the internet. On encountering this error, you’ll see a pop-up with red-cross marks next to ‘Wireless Connection’. Connect some other device aside from Roku to your home network to check your internet connectivity. If that device connects to your network without hindrance, then reset Roku by going to the settings menu. When all devices fail to connect to your home network, you need to call up your ISP for support.

Screen Casting or Mirroring the Roku apps onto your TV

  • Screen Casting is a method by which you can replicate the screen of other Roku Streaming Devices.
  • Though Android devices support screen mirroring to some extent, it is not possible with iOS devices. At the same time, some screen mirroring compatible like YouTube or Netflix allow you to cast their content.
  • Enabling the screen mirroring feature, you can cast photos, videos, music, etc onto your TV.


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