11 Best Roku Tips that you need to know right here and right now (Plus one bonus)

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These are the best Roku tips that you need to know right now.

It matters little whether or not you have actually pre-ordered the latest version of Roku and/or its line up of premier offerings such as,

  • Roku Premiere
  • Roku Premiere+
  • Roku Ultra

Our list of best tips and tricks will work for everyone.

Even those users who have not bought a new Roku model for years.

The thing we want you to know right now is that there is a lot more to Roku than the simple basics such as marathon movie sessions.

The fact that you are a new breed of cord cutters or not also does not matter.

Everyone can now find a use for a streaming device for their television sets.

And the most popular streaming device that is quickly eating up the remaining market share is Roku.

Consider the fact that Roku somehow managed to increase its monthly active users from just 11.3 million users back in Q3 of 2016 to close to a total of 20.8 million users as early as Q1 of 2018.

All statistics regarding Roku have come from Statista.

Our research shows that there are many reasons why Roku is so popular right now.

One of the reasons is that Roku offers users a good variety of different Roku devices.

Currently, the official lineup of Roku includes streaming devices such as,

  • Roku Express
  • Roku Express+
  • Roku Premiere
  • Roku Premiere+
  • Roku Ultra
  • Roku Streaming Stick
  • Roku Streaming Stick+

Simply put, there are lots of choices.

Again, the Roku device that you have or the device you might have ordered matters little.

We have worked hard to put together this guide which talks about all the ways in which Roku users just like yourself can get a lot more out of your specific Roku streaming device.

The Roku Channel

Yes.

That is indeed a tip.

Allow us to explain a bit though.

No one can, or rather should debate the fact that streaming devices have a lot of good in them.

However, they tend to cost a lot of money relatively speaking.

This is where The Roku channel comes into play.

It is absolutely free.

And it is more than just an alternative.

The Roku channel currently offers movies from a good number of Roku partners such as,

Warner Brothers

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

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Lionsgate

The Roku channel does not require any kind of login information.

There are no charges that you may have to deal with.

All that the Roku channel demands from the user in return for a good number of channels is a few commercials.

Or more specifically, they watch a few commercials.

Watch it

Now, the thing about Roku is that it mainly organizes all of its content by channel.

Because of that, Roku users do not really have a choice but to do a bit of navigation to each given channel and then see what that channel is offering them to watch for free.

With that said, it is also true that the official Roku app pretty much does away, and for good, with a lot of the effort that Roku users have to put in via the What’s On feature.

In order to use this feature all that the user has to do is to click on the icon that says What’s On which is located at the very bottom of the official Roku app screen.

Once you do that, you should not have any problems in finding movies and shows which are organized into different categories.

You can watch anything within these categories with the help of a single click on that same page.

Hidden Channels

Here is another interesting bit.

The official Roku Channel store does not list all the available and legitimate Roku channels.

In order to actually search for and then find the secret channels, we suggest that you check out the comprehensive Roku guide here.

All you have to do in order to get going is to click the exact link that you want to click on and then click the option that says Add Channel.

Once you do that, you should have no problems in reaching the official Roku account page that belongs to no one else but you.

When you arrive there, input your credentials.

After that, add the exact code for that specific channel that you want to watch and you are pretty much set.

Movie-Star Quality

Did you know that Roku actually allows Roku users to go ahead and control the actual quality of the streams that they consume via Netflix on their Roku device?

After all, there are many reasons for having a quality control function.

Some users may opt for a higher quality video stream because they want to see various little things in a given movie with more clarity.

Other Roku users may want to make sure that they stay well within their permitted data cap.

In order to get started, log in to the official Netflix website and then go to your official Account tab.

After that click on My Profile.

And then click on Playback Settings.

Universal Search

Some believe that there is simply no such thing as unreasonably too much high-quality content.

We don’t know if that is a healthy state of mind or not but the fact is, there is really too much content on the internet.

And a lot of it is actually good.

But unless you have made up your mind and are actually looking for something very particular in taste, then instead of wasting time and effort to scroll through a ton of different offerings of each and every official Roku channel, Roku allows you to simply perform a search across all of those channels.

Whenever a Roku user clicks on the shown icon in the shape of a magnifying glass while engaged in a Roku-level search, the user actually gets all the results that may belong to over 100 of different channels regardless of the fact if the user has access to them or not.

Roku allows you to search either via title, director or actor.

Once you perform the search, Roku should return a more or less comprehensive list.

In a similar way, you should make use of Roku Search to do other stuff as well.

What kind of other stuff are we talking about here?

We’re talking about other stuff such as comparing various costs that are associated with different streaming content.

If you simply type in the name of a star, TV show and/or movie, you should be able to get a complete list of all available high-quality titles.

Not only that you will also get the related prices across different services and channels.

Fewer Clicks

No one likes clicking.

Unless it is for money.

Or maybe even that is not true.

As great and smooth as Roku is, there is no hiding the fact that navigation via the official Roku remote could actually use a decent bit of help.

In order to enhance your streaming experience, you need to download the official Roku application.

Currently, Roku has dedicated apps for platforms such as,

Once you do, you will quickly realize that the official Roku app actually grants you the benefit of using a keyboard.

Not only that it also enables easy streaming and searching from your tablet or phone.

Speak up now

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Did you know that Roku allows users to navigate through its menus by actually talking to it?

That has to be the easiest way for any given Roku users to interact with his/her Roku device.

Roku users can actually get started on this if they happen to have the official Roku Voice Remote.

What is Roku Voice Remote?

It is nothing but a Roku Touch official tabletop remote.

It comes as an add-on with the official wireless speakers from Roku.

You can also make use of the official Roku app to do the same.

In order to get started, simply grab the remote and then press either the magnifying glass or the microphone icon and keep holding them as you are speaking to Roku about your content request.

While on the official Roku app, choose the icon in the shape of a magnifying glass to make your way to the search page.

Once there, tap the icon in the shape of a microphone.

And then let it rip.

In other words, speak out your content request.

After doing that, tap the middle section of your device’s screen.

Our research also shows that Roku has actually opened up its entire platform to the search engine giant Google.

What does that mean for the end user?

It means that you have the opportunity to actually use your Google Assistant app in order to make Roku-related voice requests.

In order to get started on this feature, first, you need to check if your Roku device or streaming player has the ability to run Roku OS 9.0 or later.

Otherwise, you better have access to the official Roku TV which is running on Roku OS 8.2 or later.

When that is ensured, then you need to set up the official Google Assistant offering/product on your official Google app or device.

After that, you must open up the official mobile app for Google Assistant and then continue to tap Explore.

Then you have to tap on Settings.

After that, you must click on the option that says Home Control.

And then you should click on Add Device.

Once that is finished, you should go ahead and click on Find.

And then on Roku.

At this point, you should continue to sign in to your official account with Roku.

When that’s done, then you should select whatever device you wish to have control over with the help of Google Assistant.

Volume leveling that is automatic

Count the number of times when a show has lulled you into a state of near-somnolence only to jolt you full awake by a loud commercial?

Well, then say hello to Roku OS 9.

With Roku OS 9, users must like yourself can actually turn on a feature called automatic volume leveling.

Once you have done that, you would no longer have to worry about a channel change or a commercial resulting in a huge spike in the current volume.

Now readers should take note that you only have the option of activating this feature when you are, in fact, streaming.

So once you have started to stream, all that you really need to do is to press the button in the shape of a star that appears on Roku remote and then do a bit of navigation to arrive at the option that says Advanced Sound Settings.

Then you have to go to Volume Mode.

After that, you should make your way to Leveling.

On another note, you also have the option of going to the option Advanced Sound Settings and then to Volume Node and then to Night in order to enhance and/or increase the actual volume of sounds that are softer.

From the same place, you can also decrease the column of sounds that are too loud.

Screen mirroring in Roku-level

Did you know that the majority of Roku Devices actually support features such as screen mirroring?

Well no you know.

Of course, the screen mirroring feature for your TV is only available on the Android and Windows platform.

No candy for iOS users.

In order to hook everything up, you first have to press the button that says Home on the official Roku remote.

After that, you need to select the option that says Settings.

After that, you have to click System.

And then you have the tap on Screen Mirroring.

With that out of the way, you have to click the option that says Enable Screen Mirroring.

There is also the possibility of you not really seeing any kind of Screen Mirroring functionality.

If that is indeed the case then know that your Roku does not support this screen mirroring feature.

As far as the Android platform is concerned, Roku supports screen mirroring feature for all those devices that are running Android 4.2 and later.

Again, the Screen Mirroring feature will not work on any Google-branded smartphone device such as Pixel or Nexus that is running Android 6.0+.

Why is that?

Well, you can always read the official FAQ section here.

Of course, if you don’t want to read all that then know that Roku explains that some modern Android devices tend to make use of different terms for the same screen mirroring features such as Cast or Smart View.

As far as desktop machines go, our research shows that the screen mirroring application works on both the Windows 8.1 operating system and everything that has come after it.

Screensavers

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This feature is for all those users who tend to pause their streaming experience and simply walk out of the given room for whatever reason.

In fact, it is also a very useful feature for those Roku users who have this habit of sleeping through their movies and/or TV shows.

If you do not take advantage of this feature then you are going to have to sit through the Roku logo that continues to bounce around the screen just like all the thousands of those new millennium toasters.

In simpler terms, all Roku users should give themselves something special to look towards.

You can do that with the help of Roku screensavers.

All that you have to do in order to get started is to choose the option Screensavers & Apps from your official Roku device.

From there you should have no trouble in getting to the art gallery mode.

There are also some other modes such as weather information instead of a picture screensaver or people just hanging about a cracking fire.

Big Game

We’ll be the first ones to tell you that Roku is by no means comparable to the likes of Nintendo Switch or Xbox One X.

However, that does not mean that Roku is not even in the game.

All that you have to do in order to get some action is to first go to the option of Games and then select games such as Pac-Man if you are interested in going retro.

There are also other games available such as Chop Chop Runner where you have to race the world in order to save some special relative of an emperor and Jeopardy for those who want t to put their smarts to the test.

Perhaps some of our readers might also appreciate the fact that the official Roku Enhanced Gaming Remote product that comes with Voice Search also happens to support features such as motion-control gaming.

Options for more organization

By default, Roku actually displays all of your channels in a specific order.

That order it follows the time that you add those channels to your library.

And that will continue to happen unless and until you do something about it.

So go to Options which is available in the top right corner of the screen while you are on the official Roku Home screen by using the asterisk key and then reorder all the channels so that Roku places the channel that you watch most frequency at the top rather than someplace else.

The mounting system of Roku

Roku also has a mounting system.

Yes.

It does.

But this option is only suitable for those of you who have with them a non-streaming Roku device or stick.

And if that stick or device is also taking up a good bit of real estate which is right next to your television set.

So what you can do is to move it right out of your way by purchasing the recently-released product called Roku Mounting System.

What does it do?

Well, as the name suggests it has the ability to attach itself to the Roku user’s TV’s behind.

It costs around $10.99.

Cast Away

No.

Not the movie.

We’re talking about casting videos.

More specifically, if you are one of those users who have purchased Roku instead of purchasing Google Chromecast streaming device, then you still have the option of casting YouTube videos straight from your Android or iOS mobile screen to your television set.

To do that, first, you have to make your way to Roku.

Then you have to click on Settings.

And then click the option that says Pair Device.

Once you have done that, you should have no problems in seeing a reasonably lengthy string of numbers that you have to enter.

After the previous step, just get your hands on your mobile device and then open up any browser window.

After that go to youtube.com/pair.

Then you must enter the code that you noted before.

Once that is done, you should have no trouble in sending a given video to your TV from the device that you paired in the previous step and has the official YouTube app on it.

All that you have to do once the setup is complete is to click the option that activates cast.

We would like to remind you again that you must make sure that both your TV and your Android device are connected to the same given WiFi network.

 

Zohair

Zohair

Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.

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