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Cable TV and satellite TV have a lot of ads that waste your time and
many channels you do not want to watch. If you do want to watch
something, you have to watch on their schedule. Why not watch what you
want, when you want, sometimes with no ads? Internet streaming on your
TV is the answer. The ROKU internet box and your home network is all
you need. Setup, sign up, pay for only what you want to watch. Many
shows are free.
or streaming internet boxes are, in
2015, in the 3rd
generation of players. Improvements in the new boxes include faster
speeds, earphone jacks and more memory. ROKU offers 3 players from $50
to $90, the ROKU 1, 2 or 3.
The ROKU 3 box has wired (ethernet) and wireless internet connections
while the ROKU 1 and 2 models have wireless only. The ROKU 3 does not
have the RCA connections, only HDMI so for older TV households, you
will need the ROKU 1 or 2 models. The ROKU 2 has earphones. All three
models support up to 1080P high definition video (HDMI required for
Video available includes: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO, Hulu
Plus, Vudu, Crackle. You still have to pay the monthly charge to
Netflix and Hulu for example after you buy the ROKU if you want to
watch Netflix and Hulu content. There is no record capability with ROKU
Both standard TV (analog) and HD TV (digital) can be connected to the
ROKU players. You plug the ROKU player into the wall outlet, connect
the player to the TV using HDMI or RCA audio/video cables and setup
your ROKU account online.
You also need internet service from a provider such as your local cable
TV company and for wireless access, a wireless router. You can also use
a wired connection if you do not want to buy a wireless router. But
here you would need an Ethernet cable (CAT 5 or CAT 6) connected to the
ROKU box for internet access using your home network setup and the ROKU
ROKU offers both free and pay content. Netflix is one example of pay
content. But you only pay for what you choose to watch in the pay
The ROKU box is small and comes with a remote control. Make sure you
install the batteries into the remote.
So here is what you need:
1) ROKU player with remote and power adapter
2) HDMI cable or RCA audio/video cables
3) HDTV or older analog TV
4) Power outlet for player
5) Internet service fast enough for your viewing needs
6) Ethernet Cable or Wireless router
7) Credit card or Paypal account for billing
8) For a wireless setup, your network password
Step by step setup for ROKU player
STEP 1 - Connect ROKU box to TV using HDMI cable or RCA A/V cables
HDMI cable does not come with the ROKU.
STEP 2 - Insert batteries into ROKU remote
STEP 3 - Plug ROKU power adapter into ROKU box and wall outlet
STEP 4 - Connect Ethernet cable to ROKU box and your home internet
modem/router or for a wireless setup, no cable is needed.
STEP 5 - Power TV ON
STEP 6 - using the TV remote, select the source/input on the TV where
the ROKU is connected. The name varies with each TV brand. SOURCE or
INPUT select button on the TV remote.
STEP 7 - The ROKU screen should show on the TV. At this point you begin
the setup process which will start with basic settings such as your
STEP 8 - ROKU network setup: Select wired or wireless depending on
which type of connection you will be using. If wireless is used, ROKU
will scan for available signals and should show you the network(s)
available. Press OK on ROKU remote for the network you want. Next enter
network password. Screen should show CONNECTING to internet.
If you do not have home internet service, there are a number of steps
to go through to setup particularly a wireless network. For a wired
network using ethernet cable, just plug into cable TV modem. Your
provider will support you and help with questions on internet setup.
STEP 9 - ROKU LINK : Do you have a ROKU account? if NO, create ROKU
account. Enter Credit card or Paypal account. Enter link code from TV
Don't have a credit card? https://owner.roku.com/signup-nocc
You can also sign up online at roku.com before ROKU purchase. Payment
method can be added later. ROKU has a free app for iOS and Android
STEP 10 - Setup is complete. Press OK on ROKU remote. You should see
the ROKU screen on your TV which allows you to select channels, Netflix
and other content.
ROKU 2 internet
player for 2011-2012
will need the following to set up and use the Roku 2 internet player:
for more information.
- An HDTV
(preferred) with an HDMI port OR a standard definition TV with A/V
(yellow/red /white) connectors.
Internet service with a minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps.
- A wireless
network (802.11b/g/n) or a wired network and an Ethernet cable.
- An HDMI
cable (not included) or an A/V cable (included).
- A Roku
wireless internet at home
wireless USB adapter for a Desktop PC
Media Players Compared
The 2011 ROKU boxes come in four models, from the LT model up to the XS
model. All have built-in wireless Wi-Fi for internet connection to your
home network. All have High-Definition video capability with HDMI for
your HDTV and also an audio/video connection which works with virtually
any TV set.
See above link for ROKU 2
Also see the ROKU forums for more help
You need a broadband internet setup from your provider (local cable TV
or telephone company), a home cable modem or DSL modem,
router (wireless preferred) and a PC or Mac to best use the ROKU box.
Although you do
not need a PC to view internet content using the ROKU box, you do need
a PC or Mac to setup your router and to setup your accounts on ROKU.com
and Netflix, HULU and Amazon.com to view movies and video.
CONNECT ROKU TO TV
Basically you need to connect the ROKU box to your TV's video input
using an HDMI cable or the supplied A/V cable (yellow, white, red) if
you do not have an HDTV. An HDMI cable is available from Amazon.com
CONNECT TO ROUTER
Next, connect the ROKU
box to your home network using either a wired ethernet cable or the
wireless connection. You must have a wireless router for the Wi-Fi
connection which is what most people use. Be sure to get the latest
wireless N router (802.11n).
Plug in the power to the ROKU and power on
the TV. Insert
the batteries into the ROKU remote. Select the TV's input where you
connected the cable from the ROKU box. Use the TV's remote to select
The ROKU has a selection of on-screen menus to tell you about your
player and allow you to change and configure your player as well as
make choices for videos, movies and other internet content. The
settings menu allows you to setup your player. Make selections using
the ROKU remote control. See ROKU
to learn about ROKU remote controls.
If your TV and ROKU are plugged in and powered up and you have
connected ROKU to your TV and selected the proper TV input, there
should be an initial ROKU screen on the TV with a WELCOME message and
indication to press OK on the ROKU remote to begin setup. Next,
SETTINGS box to get started.
ROKU PLAYER SETUP SELECTION
You can select the Network section to setup your router/home network or
your TV display or sound or do a software update.
Setup your connection to your home router and enter your network
password if you have one. Select wired or wireless (most select
for more information.
If you did not setup your router, ask the person who did to supply the
SSID and any passwords required. This information is needed to
establish the communications with your home network.
Then, online, setup your ROKU account. The
account itself is free, but you will have to enter your credit card
or Paypal information so that you can be charged for any optional
channels you may purchase from the ROKU channel store. See FAQ below.
You also need
at Netflix and other content providers so you can pay for any movies
that are not free.
Monday through Saturday (8AM to 8PM PST)
ROKU.com also offers online CHAT which gives you realtime help
The ROKU 2 XS model rear panel showing the HDMI port, standard
definition Audio/Video port, Ethernet and power ports. You need to buy
an HDMI cable if you do not already have one for an HDTV. For a
standard TV, use the supplied audio/video cable to connect TV to ROKU.
ROKU 2 hookup diagram for HDTV and wireless router.
ROKU 2 Hookup Diagram for standard TV
If your TV only has a RF input jack (round silver single pin), you need
to get an RF modulator and use it to connect the coax cable to the TV.
See this diagram
Once connected to your TV and powered up, continue with the setup
process. Power on TV and ROKU box.
The Roku player will boot up and display the following sequence of
– starting, please wait.
– launching home screen.
- Welcome to
the Roku player.
- Settings -
you will be given 2 options to
connect the player to your router:
(Roku XS model) – Use an
Ethernet cable (not included) to connect your player to your router.
the “wired” option to
(All models) – on the
subsequent screens, you will select your wireless network name and
enter security password for your wireless network.
the “wireless” option
successful network connection, the Roku
player will then automatically download and install the latest
software. After the software update, the player will reboot.
- After the
restart, you will be asked to select
your time zone.
- Change to
your correct time zone then select
- The next
screen will display a unique code to
link your Roku player.
- Open a
browser session on a PC / Laptop or Mac.
- Go to www.roku.com/link.
- Enter the
code displayed by your Roku player on
your TV screen.
- Log into
your Roku account or create a new Roku
- Follow all
steps, including setting a payment
method and selecting your initial channel lineup, to complete the
your Roku player will refresh to a
congratulations screen and be ready for use.
HOME button on the ROKU remote.
Q: Is there a way to create a ROKU account without providing credit
A: Yes. Call ROKU customer service or online CHAT and ask for a ROKU
account to be created. If you only plan to use Netflix for example, a
ROKU account can be created for you without any payment information.
You can always enter payment information later.
Q: Why do I need to enter the code displayed by my player online?
A: The code will link your player to ROKU. If you have a second or
third ROKU in the house, they can be linked thru their codes.
Q: My code does not work, what do I do now?
A: You can generate another code and try again by holding the reset
button on the ROKU box for 20 secs. or by pulling out the power plug
and plugging back in to the ROKU box. There is an option on the link
screen to Get a New Code.
If it still will not work, call
ROKU customer support or consult the ROKU forums.
Q: How do I reset my ROKU box if I change routers/home network setup?
A: Follow these instructions:
your television and set it to the correct input for the Roku.
"Home" button on the Roku remote control.
"Settings" option in the Roku menu displayed on your television screen.
Once in the settings menu, select "Network," then choose "Repeat Guided
"Wireless" and choose your new wireless network from the list of
Enter the WEP
key or WPA password to access the wireless network.
to allow Roku to connect to your new network.
Q: How do I know how fast my broadband internet service is for HD video?
A: Go to SPEEDTEST.NET run the test and see your download speed. 10Mbps
or more is good.
Q: Can I get surround sound on ROKU 2 box?
A: Yes. Amazon Video and Netflix offer some movies in Dolby Digital 5.1
and if you have an Audio/Video receiver with Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding
and HDMI you can connect the ROKU to the A/V receiver with HDMI cable
and then HDMI cable from A/V receiver out to HDTV. Be sure your
broadband speed is fast enough to handle the data. See ROKU
Q: How do I setup Amazon video on the ROKU?
A: On the ROKU select the Amazon box art then select YOUR VIDEO LIBRARY
and get 5-digit code.
and click on BEGIN REGISTRATION. Sign-in using your Amazon userid and
password. If you do not already have an Amazon account, you can create
one for free. Enter your code and click CONTINUE. Follow the
instructions from Amazon on each screen.
How to setup ROKU
video set top box (older model)
The ROKU box is small and comes with a remote control. Combined with
your TV and high-speed internet service, the ROKU box delivers video
content from internet providers directly to your home. Movies from
Netflix and Amazon, TV shows, sports and more. You choose what to view
on your TV and when to view it.
ROKU comes in three flavors, the standard definition box for $79.99,
the high definition box for $99.99 and the high definition plus
extended range box for $129.99. The SD box does not have the optical
audio or HDMI outputs that the other two have and the ROKU HD-XR box
gives you the latest wireless b/g/N capability for extended range
wireless in the home. (Wireless connection from your ROKU
box to your
2 Media Players for 2011-2012
ROKU, meaning six in Japanese, is a reference to the six companies ROKU
founder and CEO Anthony Wood has created. Released in 2008, the ROKU
digital video box is a way to get movies and other video content over
the internet and displayed on your home TV, any TV, without using a
computer **. The box has standard composite video and audio connections
as well as HDMI and component video hookups for High-Definition video.
You must have high-speed internet service (broadband) and an account
with your content providers such as NETFLIX or Amazon video-on-demand.
The box has both wireless and wired network capability for your home
LAN. A remote control allows easy selections of content, all from your
** Note: An internet connected computer is required for one-time device
activation (Netflix account) and to manage your queue of content.
Costs involved are the following:
1) ROKU player - about $100
2) Internet broadband service - about $40 per month
3) TV or HDTV - depends on your choice of TV
4) Account with content providers - about $8.99 and up per month
depending on your selections
5) Router, cable modem - depends on your choices but generally $70 or
so for router and per month costs possibly for (Cable or DSL) modem.
Depends on your internet service provider.
6) Cables such as Ethernet, HDMI or RCA audio/video - $15 to $45
Many people already have high-speed internet service and an HDTV. The
on-going costs consist of the internet service and the content
providers rates. Contrast these costs with the costs for cable TV
service or buying DVDs or Blu-ray movies at the store. Plus there
should be much more content in the future including sports, financial,
weather and international news all delivered to your home. Some people
have cut their cable-TV already in favor of internet-based content
because they get what they want and only what they want.
With Wi-Fi and High Definition playback capability built-in, Roku HD
Player is the easiest way to stream instant movies and shows directly
to your TV - over 50,000 and counting, from Netflix, Amazon Video On
Demand, and more. Works with any TV.
The Roku Player is a $100 set top box that streams movies and TV shows
from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand as well as live baseball via
MLB.TV directly to your living room.
A Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand or MLB.TV account is required to use
the box, but then you simply connect the box to the Internet via Wi-Fi
or Ethernet, send a request to link the Roku player to the respective
content provider and then the box is paired and you’re ready
to start streaming from a library of over 50,000 combined titles and
live or on demand baseball.
The diagram above shows how to hookup a ROKU box to your TV. The ROKU
box has all the ports you need including digital audio, HDMI, ethernet
and wireless LAN. Connect your router to the ROKU wirelessly or use an
ethernet (CAT5) cable. See
laptop to TV hookup for a
complete network diagram. The ROKU just substitutes for the computer.
The Roku box will walk you through the process of registering the
Player with your online Netflix account. You must have some kind of
unlimited account with Netflix in order to use the player with them.
Currently these plans start at just under $9/month.
You can register online with Netflix and try it out for free. www.netflix.com
Configuring the Player involves entering a Roku-supplied number into
your online account using a URL the system provides for just that
purpose. To activate and manage your Netflix ready device, both your
device and your personal computer need to be simultaneously connected
to the Internet -- your Internet connection must be equipped with a
router to enable this.***
To activate your Netflix ready device:
* Navigate to the Netflix option on your device (ROKU) and select it
* Follow the on-screen instructions until you see a screen that
displays your Activation Code. Write down the code.
* At your computer, go to www.Netflix.com/activate and enter the code.
* Your device will be associated with your Account, and the instant
Queue that you create on the computer will be displayed on your TV via
your Netflix ready device
*** Broadband Internet access services typically provide high-speed
modems with built-in routers, so you can connect multiple computers to
the Internet. If you do not have a router or are unfamiliar with this
technology, your Internet Service Provider should be able to provide
you with more information.
If a router is not an option for you, Netflix customer service can
assist you in activating your device, but you will still need access to
a Web-connected computer to manage your Instant Queue.
According to Roku and Netflix, you can have as many as six Netflix
players in your home tied to a single account. You can always tack on
another Netflix account if you want a Netflix player in every room.
Next you'll want to tell the Roku box what type of TV screen you have
(4:3 is the default).
The remote for the Player is perfectly simple. It's only got 9 buttons.
Nothing else is needed in order to navigate the system. You've got a
Home button, four directional keys and a Select button in the middle.
Below you have Play/Pause (single button), Rewind, and Fast Forward.
Watching Your Movies
According to Netflix you can add up to 500 titles to your instant
Queue. As you watch movies you can simply rate (optional) and delete
them right then and there from your list. Your account on the Netflix
website will be updated to reflect the deletion and you can add more
movies at your leisure.
To watch any movies, you first need to dump those movies into your
Watch Now Queue.
Browsing the Watch Now Queue is extremely intuitive. The title,
duration and MPAA rating are given for each movie/show and it is very
easy to navigate.
To select a show you simply hit the Select button on the remote
control. At this point the system takes into account your network
download speed and grabs the video at one of four video quality levels.
While it is loading, a black screen appears with the show title,
quality level, and a progress bar.
Once the movie begins you can Fast Forward, Rewind and Pause the
Roku HD XR Review
Roku HD XR adds high speed WiFi (802.11n) to the popular HD streaming
box. The upgrade gives consumers access to the fastest WiFi protocol so
they can take better advantage of high speed Internet connections. This
means consumers with an 802.11n router in their home and a fast
broadband connection can expect the highest possible quality when
streaming Netflix, Amazon on Demand and MLB.tv content.
Roku HD XR Setup
The Roku player comes with a pamphlet that has six steps to get set up.
One of those steps is adding batteries to the remote and another shows
how to use the play button. Plug the Roku into the wall and connect to
the TV. If you’re using a wireless router you’ll
configure that in the setup, there’s also an option for a
hard wired Ethernet connection. If you do not have an HDMI cable for
the HDTV, you will have to buy that. ROKU does provide RCA A/V cables.
Getting setup though is simple. The configuration screens are very easy
to understand and the unit even finds its own firmware updates for
installation as part of the setup.
Using the Roku HD XR
Once you’re powered on, the Roku will present three viewing
options, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand and MLB.tv. While these are
currently the only channels available on the Roku; Roku has been
indicating plans to add more content in the near future. To configure
each of these services, you’ll need to pair the Roku player
with your existing accounts at Netflix or Amazon etc.
What happens is that when you select Netflix for instance, the Roku box
will show you a code. Log into your Netflix account online to add the
code to your profile. Within a few seconds of adding the code, the Roku
will get the pairing message and you’re ready to roll. Once
paired, you’ll have access to the content available by the
channel. For Netflix, this means you’ll have access to your
entire instant viewing queue. Amazon will show you the movies or videos
you have available either from purchases or rentals and MLB.tv offers
streaming of baseball games and related content. Each of these services
requires some level of subscription, all of which is managed outside of
the Roku environment.
Testing the Netflix queue.
The interface is easy to use, just scroll through the movie/TV show
cover art until you find the one you want to watch. Select the one you
want and the Roku streamer will connect to the service, do a quick
Internet speed test, and get started. From the point of selecting your
show or movie to the stream starting took about 5 seconds each time,
which is very fast.
The Amazon service and MLB content work roughly the same way
– easily and quickly connecting and streaming to the Roku HD
XR from your Amazon library or your selected out of market baseball
game from MLB.
The controls for the Roku box are handled entirely by the included
remote control. The remote is a sturdy 9 button unit that is intuitive
to use and responsive to button presses. The home button takes users
back to the main menu.
This box is a tremendous value; for $129 you get HDMI, 802.11n WiFi and
it is reliable.
All three Roku systems are available from Amazon.com for purchase
online. Ships right to your home.
access points that will work with the Roku digital video player.
Any router or access point that supports the 802.11b or 802.11g
wireless protocol should work with the Roku digital video player.
Below is a list of wireless routers and wireless access points that
have been tested to work with the Roku Player.
BEFW11S4 Wireless B Router
WAP11 Wireless B Access Point (WEP only)
WAP54G Wireless G Access Point
WAP4400N Wireless N Access Point with Power Over Ethernet
WRT54GL Wireless G Router (opensource)
WRT54GS Wireless G Router
WRT300N Wireless N Router
F5D6130 Wireless B Access Point
F5D6231-4 Wireless B Router
F5D7130 Wireless G Access Point
F5D7231-4 Wireless G Plus Router
F5D8231-4 Wireless N1 Router
DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router
DWL-900AP+ Wireless B Access Point
DWL-2100AP AirPlus Xtreme G High Speed Wireless Access Point
WBR-2310 RangeBooster Wireless G router
WGT624 Super-G Wireless Router
WN802T RangeMax NEXT Wireless N Access Point
WNR834B RangeMax NEXT Wireless N Router
WPN802 RangeMax Wireless G Access Point
M7601LL/B AirPort Base Station
M8799LL/A AirPort Extreme Base Station (wireless G)
M9470LL/A AirPort Express
MB053LL/A AirPort Extreme (wireless N)
WHR-HP-G54 Wireless-G MIMO Broadband Router and Access Point
WZR-AG300NH Wireless-N Nfiniti™ Dual Band Gigabit Router
& Access Point
AP431W Super G™ Multi-function Access Point
AR525W MIMO XR™ 802.11g Wireless Router
AR680W 300N Wireless Router
SBG940 Wireless Cable Modem Gateway
ROKU Digital Video Box
Networking: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support; 10/100
Video Outputs: Composite video, S-Video, Component video (Y/Pb/Pr),
Video Modes: 16:9 HD (720p), 16:9 anamorphic (480p), 4:3 standard
Audio Output: Stereo (L/R RCA), Digital Optical (Toslink), Digital over
Remote Control: NEC protocol, supported by various universal remotes
Power Input: 5V, 1.5A provided by included AC adapter
Power Consumption: 5 watts peak, 3 watts in standby
Size: 5 x 5 x 1.75 inches (130 x 130 x 41 mm)
Weight: 11 oz (300 grams)
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