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Reel Rookie

Cannot Connect Roku to AirPlay or Roku App


I have a Roku Express 4K+ (3941x). I’m living at college and have successfully connected it to the Internet. I can use the Roku apps on it.

However, I cannot use AirPlay, Chromecast, or connect my Roku device to my Roku app. For AirPlay, I see my device sometimes pop up on the Screen Mirroring, but it won’t connect. I don’t see my Roku at all when attempting to Chromecast or use the Roku app on my iPhone.

Here’s everything I’ve tried:

- Manually connecting the Roku app to my iPhone with the IP address

- Ensuring AirPlay is turned on

- Turning off and on the TV / Roku / unplugging and replugging in the Roku

- Contacting my college’s network team (though, like I said, I can use the Roku apps built into the Roku and download new apps and stream content in the apps)

The one thing that I would like to say (which may be a lead) is that I first opened/used the Roku while at college. 


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Roku Guru

Re: Cannot Connect Roku to AirPlay or Roku App

A few things:

Rokus support the following casting/mirroring protocols:

DIAL (casting), Miracast (mirroring), AirPlay (casting/mirroring), and ECP/Play on Roku (casting)

The device/app must support one or more of those protocols in order to cast or mirror to a Roku.

Rokus do NOT support GoogleCast/ChromeCast protocol.

Your iPhone will only be able to natively use AirPlay, DIAL and Play on Roku for casting/mirroring (it does not have Miracast protocol support), though apps must be specifically coded for each specific protocol.

In order to use AirPlay (casting/mirroring) the Roku and phone/tablet must be on the same network - most college networks use AP (Access Point)/Client isolation (to prevent one student's devices being able to access another student's devices), and this is likely preventing casting/mirroring via AirPlay.

You can also try using DIAL casting functionality to verify a network connection:  open YouTube/YouTube TV/NetFlix and select the "cast" icon (these apps have DIAL casting support) - if your Roku appears there you can cast (using DIAL) to it.

If your college/university does implement AP/Client isolation, there are 3 options:

1)  Ask them to disable AP/Client isolation for your devices (this sometimes requires that all your devices be registered with them, often requiring you to provide the devices MAC addresses) - this may or may not be an option with your college/university.

2)  Install your own "mini" router/AP (access point) which you connect to the college/university network, and then you connect your devices (phone/tablet/PC/Roku/TV/microwave/etc) to its WiFi.

3)  Configure your college/university-connected phone as a HotSpot (aka router/AP mode) and connect your Roku to it via WiFi.

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Community Streaming Expert

Re: Cannot Connect Roku to AirPlay or Roku App

As @UserOfStreamers mentions, college student networks will always have device isolation enabled, and honestly you don't want it turned off. That's a security feature that protects your device from other network users. Don't ask them to turn it off.

On a college network, you either have to live with the restriction or build your own private WiFi network. Some travel routers will allow connecting to the college network and provide your own private network. My experience with this in hotels has been hit and miss, not always working well.

Assuming you don't have an Ethernet connection you can connect a router to, there is another way. I've done this in a hotel I was staying at for several months. I set up a Windows 10 computer that was connected to the hotel WiFi, then enabled Internet Connection Sharing on the Ethernet port and connected a router to that port. I put the router in Bridge mode so my computer could be visible to my private network, then connected all my WiFi devices to my router. This way everything connected to my private router could see all other devices. Screen mirroring, the Roku app, and all that other stuff worked just fine. Since my computer was the only device connected to the hotel network, they didn't see any of my other devices and I had complete control over "my" network. All you need is a computer with a wireless and wired connection. Most laptops can do that. 


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Reel Rookie

Re: Cannot Connect Roku to AirPlay or Roku App


Apologies for the late response. When I open AirPlay on my iPhone, I see Roku devices, including Roku Express. Sometimes I see my own, but when I attempt to connect to it, nothing happens. I also see Apple TVs and Vizio Cast.

Speaking generally, would this tutorial be what I'm looking for if I wanted to set up my Windows laptop as an access point? This is my first time doing this.

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