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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user14
Level 7

Is ALL Roku device content also searchable and viewable through the Roku website?

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1. I've seen articles stating that Roku content is now available at the Roku site without needing a Roku device.

But for example, I saw Minority Report recently through a Roku device, where I searched for it and was told it was available on several channels, but when I search for this at the Roku site on my PC, I get no results at all. I even added the Crackle channel at the Roku site first, through which I saw the movie through the device, but it's still not there.

So please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the answer is no - SOME content searchable and available through the Roku device is also searchable and available through the Roku site, but not all.

Which leads me to

2. Why must this be? I really don't even want to mess with a separate TV, or a Roku device. Can't there be a web-only Roku option, through which you can search for and view ALL content otherwise available through a Roku device without people having to mess with additional hardware? It'd be worth a fee, so I don't see why this isn't at least being offered by Roku.

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atc98092
Level 21

Re: Is ALL Roku device content also searchable and viewable through the Roku website?

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No, only The Roku Channel and its contents are available via a web browser. All other content on Roku devices can only be viewed on the device itself. Of course, there is a lot of content within The Roku Channel, so it might be all you want.

Many providers themselves offer an online method to watch, such as Netflix, Prime Video, Vudu, etc. But those are completely independent of Roku. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), 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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Strega
Level 12

Re: Is ALL Roku device content also searchable and viewable through the Roku website?

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I'm not sure about the articles, but as far as I know, the only thing on the Roku website is the Roku channel.  However, many of the Channels that are available on Roku devices are also available in other ways.

It's funny, because I think the reason Rokus exist is so people don't have to hook up computers to their TVs. And Roku TVs exist if you don't even want the little Roku box. Watching web video without a Roku was something you could always do, so Roku would have to convince viewers and content providers that most people want to view content through their intermediary website, rather than just going to netflix.com, etc.

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atc98092
Level 21

Re: Is ALL Roku device content also searchable and viewable through the Roku website?

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No, only The Roku Channel and its contents are available via a web browser. All other content on Roku devices can only be viewed on the device itself. Of course, there is a lot of content within The Roku Channel, so it might be all you want.

Many providers themselves offer an online method to watch, such as Netflix, Prime Video, Vudu, etc. But those are completely independent of Roku. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), 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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user14
Level 7

Re: Is ALL Roku device content also searchable and viewable through the Roku website?

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"However, many of the Channels that are available on Roku devices are also available in other ways."

The value of the Roku device is also that you can do 1 search and see exactly who has content you're looking for, instead of having to see if it's available in hundreds of other ways.

"It's funny, because I think the reason Rokus exist is so people don't have to hook up computers to their TVs. And Roku TVs exist if you don't even want the little Roku box. Watching web video without a Roku was something you could always do, so Roku would have to convince viewers and content providers that most people want to view content through their intermediary website, rather than just going to netflix.com, etc."

I asked what if you don't want to mess with a TV *or* the box. What if you're on the road with just your laptop or smartphone? I don't see where Roku would have to do any convincing at all, to make it possible to just go to the Roku site and do one easy search for all the content the device + a TV otherwise brings you, without having to drag along a TV and Roku box, if this is your situation.

But you can't do this, can you?

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Strega
Level 12

Re: Is ALL Roku device content also searchable and viewable through the Roku website?

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What you're describing sounds like a TV search engine, so I wondered: has that been done?  So I went to my default search engine (which happens to be Bing), typed in a show name, and then I noticed that a menu appeared below my search that included the button "watch".  So I clicked that, and it said the show I was looking for was on: peacock, amazon, and others.   (Other search engines may have similar features. ) So, my impression is that it has been done.  Whether it's better or worse than anything Roku could do, or whether Roku has some "secret sauce" or some better marketing plan, I couldn't say.

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atc98092
Level 21

Re: Is ALL Roku device content also searchable and viewable through the Roku website?

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Just be aware that the search function in Roku devices is limited to the channels that participate and permit the search function to use their database. Not all providers do so. So it's not an all-encompassing search function. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), 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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user14
Level 7

Re: Is ALL Roku device content also searchable and viewable through the Roku website?

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"Whether it's better or worse than anything Roku could do..."

Nothing is better than what Roku already does through its devices, which are great when you're using a TV. Type in 3 or 4 letters, and the odds are the content you're looking for already appears on their list, without all kinds of other stuff appearing that has nothing to do with actually watching what you're looking for.

I have no idea why this kind of functionality wasn't built into its website to begin with, so that if you don't have a device plus a TV (or a smart TV) with you, you can still watch it through your PC or tablet.

I'd happily pay another one-time fee to have this ability.

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