Have you ever wanted to share what’s on your smartphone or computer to the big screen of your television – but without the hassle of connecting cables and wires? Try the Roku.
The Roku is a digital media player that provides content in the form of channels. You can also display non-streaming content from your smartphone or computer.
Keep in mind, purchasing a Roku does not give you instant access to premium services like Netflix or Hulu-Plus, you must have existing accounts with these services to view them – and pay their monthly service fees.
If you have a television that does not have wifi capability, the Roku is an excellent choice to share your media wirelessly. To share media files that are saved to your device, you will need to take a couple of extra steps, the first of which is to install a media server like Plex.
To use Plex with Roku, first add the Plex channel to your Roku device. Next, you will need to download and install Plex on your computer. Plex is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. Installing on your computer will link your device to the Roku via this media server. Once installed, right-click on the Plex Media Server, then choose Media Manager. This will open a browser tab, which is where you will set up the video and audio files that you want to share with your Roku. You will be presented with five options for adding files to your library. This process will be the same for any type of file that you add. Choose one of the options – click add and then find the folder containing the files you want to share. When you are all done choosing your files to share – click Add Section. Your next step will be to launch Roku on your television and navigate to the Plex channel. Within this channel – you should be able to view the files you added from your computer.
Roku itself offers thousands of free channels to view. If you already subscribe to a cable service – gain access to premium content from cable channels like HBO and Showtime – all seasons and episodes of your favorite TV shows.
Choose a Roku Device
- The Roku Streaming Stick – $40.00
- This small flash drive style device is all you need to access your favorite programming and more. It comes with its own dedicated remote control. This device is compatible with Televisions with built in wifi.
- The Roku 4 – $130.00
- The Roku 4 is compatible with most HD TVs. It also comes with its own dedicated remote control and gives you full access to Roku’s streaming network. Stream your own content plus thousands of channels wirelessly.
Many users have complained about Roku’s remote being slow acting or sluggish, resulting in accidental navigation to sites and channels not intended to view – however – if you are patient and make sure you have the latest updates installed – this shouldn’t be a big issue.
Have you tried Roku?