Roku Basics


The Roku player is a little device that connects to your home network wirelessly (and wired via ethernet on select models) and streams music, movies and TV shows from the Internet, right to your TV. Setup is easy and takes just a few minutes. Once connected to the Internet, the Roku player is linked to a free Roku account that you create, and gives you instant access to our growing library of channels and games in the Roku Channel Store.  

If you already have a Netflix subscription, then just log into the Netflix channel on Roku and enjoy. Or browse the Channel Store and install another new favorite movie or music channel.

As easy as it sounds, we know you might still have some questions.  The details below address some common ones about how the Roku player works.

How does the Roku player work?

Roku players connect directly to your TV and to your high-speed Internet service via your home network. You select the shows and movies you want to watch, whenever you want them!
To see just how easy it is, click here.

What do I need?

Really, just three things:
-A HDMI cable (for the best video quality) 
-Broadband Internet connection with a Wi-Fi router
-A major bonus would be a comfy couch!

Is the Roku Player portable? Can I travel with my Roku player?

The Roku player has a very small footprint, making it an easy travel companion. There are a few things to be aware of to ensure it will work where you are traveling:

Travel Checklist:
-Will there be sufficient Internet broadband speed where I'll be traveling?
-Can Internet access be authenticated without a web browser authentication?
-Does the TV have an available input?
-Will I be staying in the same country?

If you answered "yes" to all the above, it looks like a good fit to bring the Roku player along. Still, check with your destination to see if there are data limits.

If you cannot connect the Roku player to a DHCP network, either wireless or wired, check with your network administrator whether your MAC address needs to be added to a MAC access control list. If it is, simply locate your Roku MAC address and have it added to the ACL. The MAC address is generally found in the Settings>About screen, or on the product label (bottom/back). For the specific MAC address location of your Roku model, click "Change device" from the top of the page and select your model. Then click on the link "Where can I find my MAC address?".

Note: Although your Roku player works at home, network and Internet conditions may change on the road.

Does the Roku player download or record movies and TV shows?

The Roku player does not download or record movies, TV shows, other videos or songs. Instead, Roku streams content from the web, generally starting playback in 30 seconds or less. All Roku players have internal flash storage. However, it is used to store system files and channel applications, not media.

Can I use Roku without a subscription to cable provider?

Yes! You don't need to have a subscription to a cable provider to use Roku. Many Roku channels offer you high-quality entertainment for free. However, depending on which channels you want to watch, pay-per-view or subscription fees may apply. 

Click here to learn more about our channel partners.

Can I use Roku with my older, non-HD TV?

You sure can! If you don't have an HDMI port on your TV, no problem. The Roku 1 will be perfect for your older TV as it connects to your TV via composite cables.

Click here to see more about the Roku 1

Is a Roku account free?

A Roku account is free. However, we ask for your payment information to provide you the convenience of making purchases from the Roku Channel Store on your TV. You will only be charged if you choose to make a purchase. You will be asked to place a payment method on file during the account creation process. Your Roku account will let you access the Roku Channel Store, which has numerous channels to select from, many at no additional charge.

You can use the following as payment methods:

-American Express
-Discover Card

It is important to know, only the above credit card types will work. Debit cards such as Visa Electron are not supported.

If you do not have a supported credit card, it is recommended to use PayPal.

You can place a payment method on file by logging in to your Roku account and clicking “Add a payment method for Channel Store purchases” under “Payment Method”.

Do I need a router or access point to use the Roku player?

Yes. In order for your Roku player to connect to your high-speed Internet connection, you must have a network router or access point supporting wireless (Wi-Fi) and/or wired (Ethernet) connections.

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