10 Tips and Tricks for New Roku Users

2022-07-09 12:46:38 By : Ms. Helen Ge

If you're a beginner, these tips will help you make the most out of your Roku device.

If you're a new Roku user, you know that you can connect your Roku TV or streaming media player to the Internet to watch all sorts of streaming video content. You probably don't know all the other cool things you can do with your Roku device—and there are a lot. Let's look at the coolest things you can do with Roku.

The content you watch on your Roku TV or device comes to you via individual apps or what Roku calls channels. Netflix is a channel, Disney+ is a channel, Hulu is a channel—you get the picture.

You must install that channel on your Roku device when you want to watch a new streaming video service. Actually, you're adding that channel to your Roku account; every device connected to your account gets every new channel you add.

Adding a new channel to Roku is as simple as selecting Streaming Channels from the main menu. You can browse recommended channels or channels by genre or select Search to search for specific channels. Select the channel you want to add, then select Add Channel. The tile for that channel will be added to the bottom of the Roku home screen.

Pre-installed channels are arranged by default on the Roku home screen, and the new channels you add go to the bottom of the list. However, you can rearrange your home screen to put your most-used channels at the top or arrange everything alphabetically.

To move a channel tile, highlight that tile, press the Options (*) button on the Roku remote, and then select Move Channel. Use the remote's left, right, up, and down arrows to move the tile where you want it, then press OK on the remote.

Roku's default screen background is nice, but it might not be what you want. Fortunately, Roku lets you install new themes with different backgrounds and system sounds.

To switch to a different theme, select Settings from the main menu, then select Theme > Theme Packs. You now see a large selection of themes; some are free, some aren't. Highlight the theme you want, then press OK on the Roku remote to view more details. Select Get Theme Pack to install the new theme. After the theme is installed, select Set Theme Pack to set this as your default theme.

You can also change wallpapers without installing an entire theme pack. Select Settings > Themes > Wallpapers and make your selection.

Throughout the year, Roku offers a variety of seasonal theme packs. These themes are only available for a set period of time. After the seasonal theme pack expires, Roku automatically shifts back to the installed theme.

Your Roku TV or player has a built-in screensaver that displays when the device has been inactive for some time. If you find the default screensaver a tad boring, you can change it, just like you change the overall theme for your Roku device.

From your home screen, select Settings, then select Theme > Screensavers. Browse the available screensavers, highlight the one you want, and press OK on the Roku remote. Select Get Screensaver to download this screensaver; after it's downloaded, select Set Screensaver to set this as your default screensaver.

You're already used to controlling your Roku device with the remote control. But did you know you can also control your Roku device with your smartphone? All you have to do is install the Roku app on your phone, and then you have total control over any Roku TV or devices connected to your Roku account.

There are many ways you can get the most out of the Roku mobile app. You can change channels, browse and search for programs, and enter text into onscreen forms with the app's onscreen keyboard. You can even control your sound bar with the Roku mobile app.

Download: Roku - Official Remote Control for Android | iOS (Free)

Some higher-end Roku devices have a voice-enabled remote control that lets you control Roku with voice commands. You can tell Roku to "Launch Hulu," "Search for comedies," or "Watch Stranger Things on Netflix." If you have a Roku TV, you can tell it to "Turn on the Roku TV" or "Switch to HDMI 1."

Don't have a voice-enabled Roku remote? You can control any Roku TV or device with voice commands from the Roku app on your smartphone.

You can control your Roku with your Amazon Echo or Google Nest smart speaker. You have to set up your Amazon or Google device and link it to your Roku, which you can do from that device's smartphone app. Once you've linked your smart speaker to your Roku device, you can just say "Alexa, pause Roku" or "Hey Google, open Netflix on Roku."

If you have trouble hearing dialog in the shows you watch or want to watch something with the sound turned down, you can opt to display closed captions onscreen. Roku lets you enable captions for almost all the programming you watch, so you don't have to turn them on for each individual channel or program.

From the Roku home screen, select Settings > Captions > Accessibility > Captions Mode. You can then select to display captions On Always or On Replay.

Not all channels support Roku's universal closed captioning. For example, Amazon Prime still requires you to turn captions on or off from within that channel.

Do you get annoyed when a commercial starts with a volume level much louder than the show you're watching? Or when one channel has a noticeably louder or softer sound than the other channels you watch? You can fix this by using Roku's volume leveling feature, which levels out the highs and the lows. Turn it on by selecting Settings > Audio > Volume Modes, then switching on Automatic Volume Leveling.

Volume leveling isn't available on all Roku devices. Plus, volume leveling converts programs with surround sound into normal stereo.

Looking for a TV show or movie to watch but not sure which streaming service it's on? Instead of searching every channel individually, use Roku's universal search function to search across all the channels available on your Roku device.

Select Search from the home screen, enter the name of the program you want, and Roku will display all the services where that program is available—and whether that program is free (sometimes with a subscription to that service) or available for purchase or rental. You can even search for actors and directors and select any given result to go directly to that service.

Your Roku TV or streaming media player is a very versatile device. You can personalize your Roku with the channels, wallpapers, and screensavers you want, then use it to play back your favorite shows in many ways. It's a lot better than watching traditional broadcast or cable television.

Michael Miller is a prolific and best-selling writer. He has written more than 200 books over the past three decades, on a variety of topics from computers to music to business. He is known for his casual, easy-to-read writing style and his ability to explain a wide variety of complex topics to an everyday audience. Collectively, his books have sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide. Miller also contributes articles to a variety of websites and publications, and does occasional speaking and consulting.

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