If you don’t have a smart TV, you need some sort of device to get internet content delivered to your TV. My preference is Roku. You will need one Roku device for each television you want to use for streaming.

Be sure to choose the correct model for your TV. Most modern televisions have at least one HDMI connection. This delivers sound and video from a device like a Roku or cable box to your TV. If this is what you have, the Roku 3 is your best bet. If you have an older TV that does not have HDMI, you should have RCA connectors. One yellow (video), one red (right audio) and one white (left audio). If this is what you have you will need to go with the Roku SE.

After you pick up your device, you need to connect it to your television. With a newer TV, you need an HDMI cable. Don’t let the salesman convince you to buy some high priced HDMI cable. It has been proven that there is no perceptible difference between a $60 cable and a $6 cable. Just get one that is a length you need. If you have an older TV, you will need a 3 conductor RCA cable. On this one, quality does matter. Connect the power cable and the HDMI (or RCA) cable. Change the input of your TV to the one that your Roku is connected to. If your not sure how to do this, you may need to refer to your owner’s manual.

Next, you will follow the walkthrough that comes on the screen to get your Roku connected to the internet and set up an account. After you finish your set up, you need to add channels. There is a channel store in the menu on the left side. You may need to scroll up or down to access it. Look in the ‘Most Popular’ category first. Add the channels you want. Keep in mind that some are free, some are not. The two channels I use most are Hulu and Netflix. If you want to use those, arrow over to the channel and press ‘OK’. They will both prompt you to login or create an account. Here is a video on how to set up a Roku. It’s an older model Roku, but the set up is the same.

If you have multiple televisions, when you log into your Roku account on subsequent Rokus, it will automatically add the channels that you added on any other device. Although, you will need to log into your Hulu and Netflix accounts on those devices separately.

You do not need a separate Hulu  or Netflix account for each device add. Also, once you log into your accounts, you won’t need to do it again each time you access the channel.

If you have a smartphone, the Roku app is a far superior remote than the one that came with the Roku and the app is free. Keep in mind that the smartphone app will not work for your Roku until the WiFi connection is established.


3 thoughts on “Roku: The basics

  1. Oh wow! I’ve had my Roku just sitting up because I thought I needed a wireless router. Well, thank you for this info. I will hook it up now.


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