Roku is a streaming service that allows you to stream various forms of entertainment to your television whenever you want. There is a subscription fee for the service, but you have thousands of movies and television episodes to choose from. There are thousands of customers who enjoy using the service, but there are so many benefits that there may be some things that users are not taking advantage of simply because they are not aware of the services. You might have questions about Roku if you're considering using the service, and even if you've been subscribed, so to help you know more about it, here are 20 things that you probably didn't know about Roku.
20. Anthony Wood is the founder of Roku
Roku was established by the man who invented the DVR. Since Roku is the sixth company that he founded, he decided to give it a name that means six in Japanese. Wood is a genius inventor who is credited with many contributions to technology devices that are used for the purposes of entertainment. He developed Roku when he was working a Netflix, the popular streaming company.
19. There's a mobile app
Some movies and shows can be rented through Roku apps. You can also send some content to your television through the Roku mobile app. All of the current models allow for this activity, so if you own a smartphone, you can use it to send content for viewing and the app is user-friendly so it's fast and easy to do so.
18. Roku is more versatile than most users know
People who own a Roku device may not be aware that there are a ton of hidden features. If you really want to get the most out of the set-top box, you should learn about them, and don't worry, we've included a lot of them here. For example, you can stream local media from your devices, you can rearrange your streaming channels, you can even set up a crackling fireplace image on your television for enhancing the mood of your environment.
17. You can add a new theme to your home screen
Not everyone appreciates the purple default them they get with Roku, but you can change this in your Settings on your Roku device. There are several free themes that you can choose from. If you're not satisfied with any of the free themes that you see, the Roku Channel Store has a lot more in their themes category that you can browse through.
16. Your mobile device can become a remote
When you get your Roku player, it will come with a remote, but if you've misplaced it, or it's not nearby, no problem. You can also use your smartphone as easily as you can the Roku remote. You can access it through the Roku mobile app, adn it's compatible with iOS and Android. You can browse through channels, add them and even rate them on your device and the mobile app is compatible with all Roku players.
15. You can conduct voice searches without the Roku remote
A mic and remote come with all Roku players and they include a button specifically for voice searching. Even if you don't have the Roku remote, you can still conduct voice searches for your favorite content with your smartphone using the Roku app. All you need to do is go to the Roku mobile app, select search and then choose voice to use this feature.
14. There are three Roku device models
There are three set-top box models available from Roku and you can get them through the official website. These are Roku 1, Roku 2, and Roku 3. It's important to note that while all three of the devices are connected to the internet through Wi-Fi, there are big differences between them. The Roku 1 is not a dual-band., and it doesn't come with motion control for gaming. If you want this, you'll need to go with the Roku 3, and bear in mind that the Roku 2 and 3 both come with a headphone jack. You get Ethernet with Roku 3 along with USB and microSD slots so you will have external storage. It's always a good idea to try to think ahead to which model will best suit your needs both now and in the future.
13. Most Roku content is streamed
It's important to know that although Roku was invented by the creator of the DVR, it's not a content storage device unless you're gaming and you use an external storage device. It is a device that is used for direct streaming, and on top of that, you must have high-speed internet. Even though you can't store the content, it's easy to get back to it for viewing convenience.
12. Roku users see ads
If you haven't yet purchased a Roku device and you're considering it, then you need to know that there are ads included for the free content. This is just one of the ways that companies such as Roku can afford to keep the content free. It costs them to provide the services and the ads that are shown help to defray the cost and keep free high-quality content coming your way. This hasn't been an issue and according to the data provided by Roku, the users don't mind the ads
11. Satisfaction is high with Roku
Roku has been around since 2002, the year that it was founded. At the last count in June of 2017, there were 15.1 million accounts active for the company. They also gathered statistics on the number of hours that users were streaming content. They recorded a massive 6.7 billion hours of viewing via the Roku streaming platform. This is astounding and it shows that there are a lot of people using the devices and many of them use it on a regular basis.
10. You don't have to use a credit card to sign up
Registration of your Roku device is a lot easier than with other companies. While most require a credit card account or even a Paypal account, you won't need this when you register for an account for your Roku device or Roku TV. All you need to do is to go to their signup and enter your user information. You will not need to ever pay a fee just to create a Roku account, nor to register a device. They do ask for a form of payment in case you want to subscribe to certain channels or make purchases through the Roku device.
9. You can protect your children from inappropriate content
Another great thing about Roku is that they offer optional parental controls. This means that you are in control of the type of content that gets streamed via your Roku device. You won't have to worry about the kids viewing the wrong kind of content inadvertently or on purpose. This feature gives you more peace of mind in knowing that your child is protected from strongly objectionable content.
8. Roku helps clarify content
Have you ever become frustrated because you couldn't understand what some of the characters were saying when watching a television show or movie? Roku can help you to clarify the content that is unclear with captions that deliver the words that are spoken in your language. Now you can understand what those mumbling characters are really saying because it can add to the plot as the show moves forward. The function for doing this is called instant replay captions.
7. You can record content beyond streaming services
Did you know that you can get antenna content son your Roku TV model or on your Roku player? Through Roku, you can get channels that are streamed on services and much more, including Tablo TV and Simple tv, adn you can watch the channels, record them live via an antenna, or pause at will.
6. You can play files from your computer or USB drive
If you have the Roku player model that comes with a USB port, you can use that to playback all kinds of content via the drive. Just plug in a USB drive that holds the content from your personal files that you want to play and you can have a larger selection of custom music, photos, and videos. You can also playback files from a DLNA server that is located on your local network. How cool is that? All you need to do is make sure that the files are saved in the format that is supported by Roku Media Player.
5. You can use Roku to screen mirror from your phone
If you're familiar with Apple AirPlay, then you have an idea of how this app works. You can use your smartphone to mirror things directly to your television. Roku has a screen mirroring beta that has been released for Android and Microsoft Windows devices and you can mirror web sites, apps, videos and more to your television through Roku. It's really cool when you want to show other people content that may not show up as well on your phone. You can bring it to a large screen for better viewing.
4. You can stream a ton of content from your phone
Roku has a special mobile app that is called Play On Roku. This allows you to stream most media content that you've saved on your phone to Roku. You can stream videos, music, photos and more. This app is absolutely loaded with features and they're all available for browning on the pull-down menu that offers you choices. All you need to do is to select the kind of content that you want to stream and you're in business.
3. Use your phone to cast from Netflix and Youtube
Both Netflix and YouTube offer a cast button so you can send video from them to your own television. You can also download the apps to your Roku Player or to your phone. This makes it easy because once you've downloaded, all you need to do is touch the cast button. Just make sure that your devices are all connected to the same WiFi network in order for this to work.
2. You can expand your channel storage capacity with Roku
After you've had your Roku player for a while you may notice that you're running out of storage space. First, make sure that you have the player that comes with a MicroSD slot. All you need to do is insert the card in the slot located in the back of the Roku player and then you can store the channel information on this card. The benefit to you is that when you create more storage, your Roku can load the channels a lot faster.
1. You can add private channels
Not every channel has to be an official channel to install it to your Roku player. This is a versatile device that allows you to add private channels. If you want to know more about finding them, you can go to the official Roku website, sign in to your account and under the My Account Page, you'll see the Add Private Channel option. Here you can browse through all of the private channels available and add the ones that you want. Often there are third party channels that are still under development and perhaps in their beta phase of testing, and you never know what you're going to find, so if you're feeling adventurous, here's just one more way that you can stay entertained with your Roku player.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee