Getting Started - Setup & How-to

Help getting started with Roku devices, including setup, connecting your device to your TV, linking a Roku device to your account at my.roku.com/link, adding channels, subscribing to services, and more.
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Level 7

How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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We mostly watch cable TV and want to continue to do so. No interest in cord cutting. Recently bought a Roku Ultra that I hoped would allow us to occasionally expand our TV viewing options. Can I easily toggle from my cable TV to the Roku and back?? I have not set up the Roku yet and if we cannot continue to use cable TV as our primary viewing mode or if it is a big pain to go back and forth, I'll return the Roku.

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Level 17

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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You connect a Roku to your tv by plugging it into an HDMI port on the tv, same as with a cable box. If your tv has multiple HDMI ports they can both be connected at the same time. Then it's just a matter of switching your tv to the appropriate HDMI input.
  • Roku Streaming Stick +, 3810X, Ser YH0059427035, wifi LivRm - Samsung UN55ES6100
  • Roku Streaming Stick, 3600X, Ser 5S56D8240827, wifi BedRm - JVC EM37T
  • Roku 3, 4200X, Ser 4124C7087583, wifi GstRm - Sanyo DP26640
  • Roku 2 XD, 3050X (collecting dust in a drawer)

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21 Replies
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Level 17

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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You connect a Roku to your tv by plugging it into an HDMI port on the tv, same as with a cable box. If your tv has multiple HDMI ports they can both be connected at the same time. Then it's just a matter of switching your tv to the appropriate HDMI input.
  • Roku Streaming Stick +, 3810X, Ser YH0059427035, wifi LivRm - Samsung UN55ES6100
  • Roku Streaming Stick, 3600X, Ser 5S56D8240827, wifi BedRm - JVC EM37T
  • Roku 3, 4200X, Ser 4124C7087583, wifi GstRm - Sanyo DP26640
  • Roku 2 XD, 3050X (collecting dust in a drawer)

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Level 7

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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Thanks Makai Guy. I'll give this a try. Cable is in HDMI 1 so I'll put the Roku in HDMI 2. I know I can move between HDMI 1 and 2 on the remote. Sadly, I'll have to disconnect my home entertainment unit that enhances the sound of the TV (currently in HDMI 2 - there is no third one), but life is full of decisions.

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Level 21

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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@sluggo5112 wrote:

Thanks Makai Guy. I'll give this a try. Cable is in HDMI 1 so I'll put the Roku in HDMI 2. I know I can move between HDMI 1 and 2 on the remote. Sadly, I'll have to disconnect my home entertainment unit that enhances the sound of the TV (currently in HDMI 2 - there is no third one), but life is full of decisions.


Yes, some TVs have only one or two HDMI ports. Another option to consider is adding an AVR (audio-video receiver) and speakers. All but the absolute lowest priced models have at least 4 HDMI inputs, and you just leave the TV on a single input and change your device selection at the AVR. Even with only two speakers, it will sound much better that the TV's internal speakers. And if you add the full 5.1 (left, center, right, two surround and subwoofer) speaker setup you get outstanding surround sound. Yeah, it will cost a little, mostly for the speakers. But if you get an AVR that supports 4K video you should be future-proofed for a long time. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Level 17

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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@sluggo5112 wrote:

Sadly, I'll have to disconnect my home entertainment unit that enhances the sound of the TV (currently in HDMI 2 - there is no third one), but life is full of decisions.


Another option is to add an HDMI switch to the mix.  Connect your cable box and Roku to inputs on the switch, and run the output of the switch to an HDMI port on the tv.  Then use the switch to control which device gets connected to the tv.

  • Roku Streaming Stick +, 3810X, Ser YH0059427035, wifi LivRm - Samsung UN55ES6100
  • Roku Streaming Stick, 3600X, Ser 5S56D8240827, wifi BedRm - JVC EM37T
  • Roku 3, 4200X, Ser 4124C7087583, wifi GstRm - Sanyo DP26640
  • Roku 2 XD, 3050X (collecting dust in a drawer)
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Level 7

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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Thanks Makaiguy,

Apologies for the delayed response to your last post but I have been too busy watching Amazon and Netflix on my Roku Ultra.

Thanks again for the assistance on a set up that allows both my regular cable and streaming on Roku.

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Level 7

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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Thank you, but that doesn't really answer the question.  The question is how to do the switch.  My Sony TV remote has an "input" button that allows me to switch inputs, but the Roku set up disabled the Sony remote, and the Roku remote does not have such a function.  I see from other responses that there's such a thing as a separate HDMI switch that I could purchase, but is there any way to switch without getting such a switch?  Or would I have to pull out the Roku HDMI plug to re-enable my Sony TV remote to choose the cable input?  And if I did that, would I have to go through setting up Roku all over again?  Thanks.

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Level 21

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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@renee3 wrote:

Thank you, but that doesn't really answer the question.  The question is how to do the switch.  My Sony TV remote has an "input" button that allows me to switch inputs, but the Roku set up disabled the Sony remote, and the Roku remote does not have such a function.  I see from other responses that there's such a thing as a separate HDMI switch that I could purchase, but is there any way to switch without getting such a switch?  Or would I have to pull out the Roku HDMI plug to re-enable my Sony TV remote to choose the cable input?  And if I did that, would I have to go through setting up Roku all over again?  Thanks.


The Roku remote should in no way disable the regular TV remote. The input button on the remote should still function as expected. The only thing that certain Roku remotes can do (not all of them) with a TV is controlling volume, mute and power. But they don't disable the normal remote. These functions are controlled with IR (infrared) commands, and there's nothing any device can do to block those, other than perhaps flooding the room with IR and blind the receiver on the TV. But that would be something that the device would be intentionally designed to do, and the Roku remote doesn't do that. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Level 7

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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Thank you, Dan, you're quite right  - -  I simply wasn't pressing the input button on the Sony remote hard enough.  Armed with my new knowledge from your quick answer, I went back to it, pressed harder, and voila!  

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Level 21

Re: How do I switch between my cable TV and Roku device?

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@renee3 wrote:

Thank you, Dan, you're quite right  - -  I simply wasn't pressing the input button on the Sony remote hard enough.  Armed with my new knowledge from your quick answer, I went back to it, pressed harder, and voila!  


Nice work! Smiley Very Happy

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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