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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MarcyB
Level 7

Older SmartTV - how to even start

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I've barely heard of Roku several years ago and how no idea how to start. I have a Toshiba Smart TV with Chromecast built in. I bought it in December 2016, more for DVDs than for TV. I don't have cable - we cut that in 2013. I think to use the Chromecast on the TV, I have to also have another device available - an iPad or a laptop - to cast from, if I am understanding that correctly.

So my main question about Roku is if I purchase the basic Roku and remote, do I need another device also, like an iPad or laptop? If so, I may as well stay with Chromecast.

If not, does everything show up on my TV screen? That leads me to a question that if I purchase a Roku for my TV, can I use an app on the iPad using the same account so I can watch in more than one place?

I'm totally new at this and trying to get all the information I can before I buy anything.

Thank you, Marcy

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renojim
Level 21

Re: Older SmartTV - how to even start

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I'll try to answer your questions, but I'm no expert on the Roku app. so I may get some of that part wrong.

If you have a Roku device you don't need anything else other than a TV with an HDMI port and Internet service.  Everything shows up on your TV.

As far as the Roku app, I've only used it as a remote and I don't understand how anyone could possibly prefer that over a physical remote.  I believe you can use the app to watch The Roku Channel, but don't confuse that with a Roku device.  The Roku Channel can be viewed as just another "channel" on a Roku device.  Roku uses the term "channel" where everyone else would use the term "app".  It can also be viewed via a browser or the Roku iOS or Android app as well as certain smart TVs.  What you can view via The Roku Channel is a tiny subset of what you can view via a physical Roku device.  Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc., are all channels that can be viewed on a Roku device but have nothing to do with The Roku Channel and cannot be viewed via The Roku Channel.

I hope I've answered your questions, but feel free to ask for clarification if needed.

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renojim
Level 21

Re: Older SmartTV - how to even start

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I'll try to answer your questions, but I'm no expert on the Roku app. so I may get some of that part wrong.

If you have a Roku device you don't need anything else other than a TV with an HDMI port and Internet service.  Everything shows up on your TV.

As far as the Roku app, I've only used it as a remote and I don't understand how anyone could possibly prefer that over a physical remote.  I believe you can use the app to watch The Roku Channel, but don't confuse that with a Roku device.  The Roku Channel can be viewed as just another "channel" on a Roku device.  Roku uses the term "channel" where everyone else would use the term "app".  It can also be viewed via a browser or the Roku iOS or Android app as well as certain smart TVs.  What you can view via The Roku Channel is a tiny subset of what you can view via a physical Roku device.  Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc., are all channels that can be viewed on a Roku device but have nothing to do with The Roku Channel and cannot be viewed via The Roku Channel.

I hope I've answered your questions, but feel free to ask for clarification if needed.

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MarcyB
Level 7

Re: Older SmartTV - how to even start

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renojim,

That was really helpful. So if I have YouTube and stream Netflix, I can have them both on the TV using Roku. If I want to watch them on say an iPad, I would just use the YouTube or Netflix app for that.

It sounds like I can also watch the Roku channel on an iPad by logging into Roku on a browser and watching there. Or do you know if there is a separate Roku app for an iPad?

Will anything I add in the Roku channel on the TV device also be available on an iPad if I log in (or use a Roku app?)

Thanks,

Marcy

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renojim
Level 21

Re: Older SmartTV - how to even start

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@MarcyB wrote:

renojim,

That was really helpful. So if I have YouTube and stream Netflix, I can have them both on the TV using Roku. If I want to watch them on say an iPad, I would just use the YouTube or Netflix app for that.

Yes, that's correct.  If you currently have Netflix you should be able link your Netflix channel on Roku to your Netflix account.  In general, while it's possible to subscribe to various services through Roku, it's better to subscribe to them directly with the service providers.  YouTube would be the same.

It sounds like I can also watch the Roku channel on an iPad by logging into Roku on a browser and watching there. Or do you know if there is a separate Roku app for an iPad?

That's my understanding, but I've never used The Roku Channel outside of a Roku device.  There's a Roku app, so I believe you can watch it either way.

Will anything I add in the Roku channel on the TV device also be available on an iPad if I log in (or use a Roku app?)

Thanks,

Marcy


I don't think you can "add" anything to The Roku Channel unless you're speaking of some subscription.  There are various premium services available within The Roku Channel, so I assume if you subscribe to one it would be available no matter what platform you were using.  You add channels/apps to your Roku device, but they won't appear within The Roku Channel (on any platform).  Keep in mind that a Roku device and The Roku Channel are two different things.

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makaiguy
Level 20

Re: Older SmartTV - how to even start

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I believe if you subscribe to a third party subscription service through Roku, then you can only watch via the Roku,  I *think* as part of their "The Roku Channel". I tried to get confirmation of this in another thread but have gotten zero responses (gee, thanks everyone)..

If you want to be able to watch on other devices in additional to the Roku I do know you can subscribe directly with that service, then install their channel app on your Roku.  I currently have four such direct subscriptions and can view all of them on desktop computer, mobile phone, and tablet in addition to my Rokus.

 

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