Roku’s streaming bins, streaming sticks, and good TVs have a popularity for being straightforward to make use of, however that doesn’t imply each helpful function is clear from the beginning. Dig a bit of deeper, and also you’ll discover loads of tips and hidden options that make the expertise even higher.Read on for a few of my favourite Roku suggestions:Install apps remotely Jared Newman / IDGInstalling all of your favourite music and video apps could be a ache whenever you’re organising a Roku for the primary time. Instead of thumbing round with the distant, use the Roku Channel Store web site to put in numerous apps shortly. Just log into your account, seek for the apps you need, then select “Add channel.” You may also set up apps by way of the Roku app for iOS and Android.Rearrange your apps Jared Newman / IDGOnce you’ve put in all of your apps, the subsequent step must be to maneuver your favorites up high. To rearrange the app checklist, press the * button whereas highlighting any app, then choose “Move channel.” Use the arrow keys to pick out a brand new spot and press OK whenever you’re accomplished.Hide (some) undesirable menus Jared Newman / IDGDon’t need Fandango’s TV and films shops cluttering up your property display? Head to Settings > Home display > Movie Store and TV Store, after which choose “Hide.”You may also disable Roku’s “Featured Free” part from the identical menu, although I feel this can be a fairly useful function.Find free stuff RokuTalking of free content material, Roku provides loads of it. You can in fact obtain particular person free video apps, reminiscent of Sony Crackle, Pluto TV, Tubi, and The Roku Channel, however you may also observe down free films and reveals straight from Roku’s menus.Did you already know Roku makes audio system?
The Featured Free part digs up free films and reveals from numerous apps, together with those I discussed above. If you’re in search of one thing particular—and you’ve got a Roku that helps voice controls—you’ll be able to seek for particular genres by voice. Try saying “free sitcoms” or “free science-fiction shows.” Roku will return a listing of outcomes with at the least one free supply.Track the stuff you’re watching Jared Newman / IDGWith the “My Feed” part of Roku’s dwelling display, you’ll be able to observe particular films, reveals, actors, or administrators, and be notified when new content material arrives or costs drop. Just seek for one thing, then search for the “Follow on Roku” choice within the end result. You may also browse for films and reveals to observe by way of the My Feed part.Navigate quicker Jared Newman / IDGNow that your Roku is loaded with apps and content material, use these tips to get round with fewer clicks on the distant:On the house display, press quick ahead or rewind to web page up or down by way of your app checklist. This additionally works in most menus and in lots of third-party apps.
Get again to the highest of your app checklist from anyplace by double-tapping the house button.
In some apps (together with Netflix), press play whereas highlighting a program to skip the outline web page and soar proper into the stream.
Use the Replay button Jared Newman / IDGMissed a little bit of dialog that was too arduous to listen to? Hit the distant’s Replay button (the one with the arrow shifting counter-clockwise) to shortly soar again 10 seconds. You may also set the Replay button to incorporate captions by heading to Settings > Accessibility > Captions mode, then selecting “On replay.”Make dialog simpler to grasp Jared Newman / IDGRoku provides a few straightforward methods to normalize the amount on its streaming gamers. “Night” mode retains the amount down throughout loud scenes, whereas “Leveling” compresses the general quantity vary so you’ll be able to hear quiet scenes with out getting jolted from one thing loud a minute later.Mentioned on this article
Access these options by urgent the * button throughout any video, scrolling right down to “Volume Mode,” after which scrolling left or proper.Use the Roku app for higher looking Jared Newman / IDGThe free Roku app for iOS and Android does extra than simply provide a digital distant. It additionally features a useful “What’s On” menu, the place you will discover issues to observe from throughout totally different apps. Take a glance whenever you’re feeling indecisive.Set a customized screensaver Jared Newman / IDGIs Roku’s default screensaver feeling a bit stale? Load your personal images as an alternative utilizing the free Roku app for iOS and Android. Open the app, head to the “Photos+” tab, choose Screensaver, after which choose the images you need to seem.Listen privately (with wired or Bluetooth headphones) Jared Newman / IDGIf you’ve got a Roku Ultra or every other participant with a 3.5mm jack constructed into the distant, you’ll be able to hear privately by plugging in any set of headphones or earbuds.For different Roku gamers, you’ll be able to hear privately by way of the free Roku app for iOS and Android. Head to the “Remote” tab of the app, hit the menu button at high of the display, after which set the “Private Listening” toggle to On. Now, you’ll be able to plug in some wired headphones, join wi-fi earbuds, and even hear by way of your telephone’s audio system.Send video from Netflix and YouTube Jared Newman / IDGWith Netflix and YouTube, you’ll be able to ship movies from a telephone or pill to your Roku participant simply as you’ll with Google’s Chromecast streamer. Just open both app whereas your Roku is on the identical Wi-Fi community, hit the Cast button, after which choose your Roku from the checklist. Any video you choose will then seem on the TV as an alternative of your cell gadget. This additionally works from a pc utilizing Google’s Chrome browser.Mentioned on this article
Roku Ultra (2018)
If you’d wish to beam your private media information to Roku, the easiest way is to make use of AllCast, a free app for iOS and Android. (Roku’s app provides comparable performance, however the interface isn’t nearly as good and it doesn’t combine with cloud storage.) When you launch the app, it ought to detect your Roku routinely, at which level you’ll be able to choose images, movies, and music to play on the large display. (Removing advertisements and video deadlines requires the $5 Premium app.)Connect Google Assistant for playback management Jared Newman / IDGRoku now works with the Google Home speaker and different Google Assistant gadgets, letting you management playback and launch apps with voice instructions. On Roku good TVs, Google Assistant may also management quantity and inputs.To set this up, open the Google Home app, after which hit “Add” from the primary display. Select “Set up device,” after which select “Works with Google.” Choose Roku from the checklist, signal into your account, and select the Roku gadget you’d like to attach. (Unfortunately, you’ll be able to solely hyperlink a single Roku to Google Assistant.) Once related, you’ll be able to say issues reminiscent of “Hey Google, pause on Roku,” or “Hey Google, launch Amazon Prime on Roku.”Listen to music with ease Jared Newman / IDGIf your Roku features a voice distant—otherwise you’re utilizing the cell app’s distant with a supported Roku gadget—you should use voice instructions to instantly launch music from Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. (iHeartRadio and TuneIn help podcasts as properly.) Hit the microphone button in your distant, after which say one thing like “listen to Jazz,” or “listen to Thumbprint Radio on Pandora.” You may also request a particular recording artist. To change which music service masses by default, head to Roku’s web site.Limit advert monitoring Jared Newman / IDGBy default, Roku gamers use all types of monitoring strategies to serve customized advertisements (together with whenever you’re watching among the free content material I discussed earlier). You can reduce this monitoring by heading to Settings > Advertising > Limit advert monitoring, after which checking the field. This received’t cease third-party apps from sending knowledge to measurement corporations like Nielsen, however it can cease Roku from doing so and it’ll inform the corporate to not serve customized advertisements.Mentioned on this article
Roku TVs additionally use one other type of monitoring referred to as “automatic content recognition,” or ACR, to find out what you’re watching by way of different inputs (reminiscent of your cable field or an antenna) and personalize advertisements that method. You can disable this by heading to Settings > Privacy > Smart TV Experience, and unchecking “Use Information for TV Inputs.”Limit knowledge use Jared Newman / IDGDealing with knowledge caps out of your web service supplier? You can use a secret Roku menu to restrict video high quality and devour much less knowledge. Press the Home button 5 occasions, then press Rewind 3 times, after which press Fast Forward two occasions.This ought to take you to a “Bit Rate Override” menu. Choose “Manual selection” after which choose a most bit price. As a reference, a bit price of 5Mbps will use about 2.25GB of knowledge per hour. A pair hours of streaming per day at that price will use about 140GB monthly.You can unthrottle your video high quality by returning to this secret menu and deciding on “Automatic.”Change the theme Jared Newman / IDGWhen you want a break from Roku’s default look, head to Settings > Theme > Change theme, and choose one of many different three choices. You may also pay for extra themes. To be sincere, there aren’t a number of nice choices right here, particularly when you favor minimalist backgrounds over loud patterns and pictures, however they’re higher than nothing you probably have an issue with purple.Got different questions on Roku? Just attain out on Twitter or by e-mail and I am going to do my finest to reply.Sign up for Jared’s Cord Cutter Weekly publication to get this column and different cord-cutting information, insights, and offers delivered to your inbox.
To touch upon this text and different TechHive content material, go to our Facebook web page or our Twitter feed.