- For Roku setup, you'll need to plug it in, connect to WiFi, pair the remote, and activate the device.
- You can pair an enhanced Roku by inserting the batteries or pressing the pairing button, and the standard Roku remote doesn't need to be paired at all.
- You need to create a free Roku account to activate your player, or you can use an existing account.
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Roku media players are among the most popular streaming devices thanks to their easy interface, simple remote control, and expansive library of streaming service apps.
Every device in the Roku family works more or less the same way. They're all quick to install and setup, and only a handful of features distinguish the entry-level Roku Express ($30) from the premium-priced Roku Ultra ($100).
How to set up your Roku device
Setting up a Roku player is generally the same regardless of which model you have. Any differences are generally related to the way you plug it in (some players connect to the TV via an HDMI cable, for example, while Streaming Stick models plug directly into the TV's HDMI port).
Step 1: Connect Roku device to your TV
1. Connect the Roku player to an HDMI cable and then plug that cable into an HDMI input on your television. If you have a Roku Streaming Stick, you don't need an HDMI cable. Instead, just insert the Streaming Stick directly into the HDMI port.
2. Plug the Roku's power cable into the Roku device. Depending on which model you have, this power plug will either be a small round connector or a micro-USB connector. Plug the other end of the cable into one of the TV's USB ports, or into the included AC adapter, which you can then plug into an electrical outlet.
3. Make sure the TV is turned on and set to the correct input for the Roku player. After it boots, you should see the Roku's welcome screen.
Step 2: Pair your Roku remote
1. Open the battery cover on the back of the remote and insert the batteries. Put the cover back on the remote.
2. If you have an enhanced remote, you'll need to pair the remote control with the player — if you do, you should see a message on the screen telling you to press the reset button on the remote (it's located in the battery compartment) for 3-5 seconds. If your Roku includes a simple remote, it won't need to be paired at all.
3. You should now be able to control the Roku with the remote. If you have a simple remote, remember to keep it pointed at the Roku player when you're sending commands.
Step 3: On-screen set-up and connect to WiFi
After the Roku screen appears on the TV (it should be on the language settings screen) and the remote is working, you can complete the setup process.
Follow the instructions on each screen. On the remote, use the five-way control button to move around the screen and press OK in the center to make choices and change screens.
1. Start by choosing a language, then select your home's WiFi network and enter the password. Remember to use the fastest band available. For example, if you have a dual-band router, choose the 5GHz band, which will result in much smoother and more reliable video streaming than the slower 2.4GHz band.
2. Continue to follow the setup instructions. It's likely that the Roku will download updates after connecting to the internet via your WiFi.
3. You may need to help Roku select the best settings for your television. Let it autodetect your TV format; usually, you can allow it to make these selections automatically, but you can choose manual settings if you prefer.
4. Most Roku models come with a voice remote that can control your TV's power and volume controls. The Roku setup should configure the remote now; follow the on-screen instructions to teach the Roku remote how to use your TV's remote settings.
Step 4: Activate your Roku device
Finally, it's time to activate your Roku player.
1. Follow the on-screen directions to enter an email address that you want to use with your new Roku account. You need to have a Roku account (it's free) to activate the device. If you already have an existing account, such as from a previous Roku device, you can use the email address associated with that.
2. Within a few minutes, you'll receive an activation email. Click the link in the email to go to the Roku website. There, finish the process to complete your new account or log in to your existing Roku account.
3. You can now finalize setup on the Roku website, including letting you choose which streaming channels you want to use. Here, you can customize your Roku experience by choosing and logging into your favorite channels, like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and any others you want to watch. You can always add more channels afterwards using the channel store on the Roku player.