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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JethroD
Level 7

Pre-Setup Roku for Mom - Tips?!?

Hi. I just got a Streaming Stick+ for my mom, who may be one of the most technically challenged people on the planet. So I want to get it as setup and streamlined as possible before I send it off to her. Helping her remotely over the phone can be a 'challenge', so the more I can get done or know how to do ahead of time, the better!

  1. Would it help to try to 'pre-register' her WiFI (i.e., can I choose an SSID & P/W manually, and would it be remembered if it doesn't connect)? Her P/W is daunting...
  2. Once the remote is paired to the device, it won't have to be done again on a different network, will it?
  3. I'm guessing the remote will try to detect MY TV while setting it up. Can I remove this connection so it would try again with hers, or would it do that automatically when plugged into a new TV?
  4. Guessing there's no way to reprogram any of the 4 default 'services' buttons on the remote (e.g., Netflix, etc.)? She probably won't ever use any streaming channels beyond Hallmark Movies Now (she'll keep them in business). Want getting to that to be as simple as possible.

Thanks. Any other tips would be most welcomed. I was trying to get her setup to use Hallmark Movies Now on her Chromebook, then cast to a Chromecast. But playback was not smooth. So hoping the Roku will be able to play that smoothly, as that's the only point. The onscreen menus & remote may be a nice help too...

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2 Replies
renojim
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Pre-Setup Roku for Mom - Tips?!?

I'll give it a shot and others may chime in.

  1. You can't "preregister" any Wi-Fi, but what you can do (if possible for you) is set up your phone's hotspot to mimic her Wi-Fi (same SSID and password).  You'll probably want to make sure you're using the right band(2.4GHz vs 5GHz) as well.  I don't know if it will just go by the SSID or if the band also matters.  You'll probably want to complete the setup on your own Wi-Fi and then switch to the hotspot before giving it to her.  Hopefully it will just find her network, but Rokus can be finicky.
  2. The remote communicates directly with the stick (using Wi-Fi Direct) regardless of any network settings.
  3. If you leave the "Display type" set to "Auto detect" it should just adjust to her TV.  If you know her TV only supports 720p then you may want to set it to that before giving it to her.
  4. Sorry, no way to change those buttons.

I don't know anything about Hallmark Movies Now.  If a subscription is required check to see if you can subscribe directly with them bypassing any potential problems with Roku Pay.  You'll want to get all that going before giving it to her.  I'd also recommend adding a PIN to her account (https://my.roku.com/account/pin) to reduce the chance of her purchasing anything by accident.  You may want to sign up without a payment method or remove it if you don't think she'll need it.  There's way too many "why am I being charged for xxx" threads.

If she's been using a Chromecast then I assume she knows how to change her TV to the proper input, but it's best to check.

Finally, be prepared to visit her when things don't go smoothly.  :-)

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JethroD
Level 7

Re: Pre-Setup Roku for Mom - Tips?!?

Sorry for the delayed response, but wanted to thank you for your tips, especially setting up my phone hotspot to mimic her wifi. I hadn't considered that. I spent a couple hours getting everything setup for her, including getting a bunch of channels setup with her cable subscription (which she would have really struggled with. Even learned there is a second Hallmark TV channel that she can use due to having a cable subscription.

UNFORTUNATELY, as with a lot of the best laid plans in 2020 it didn't end up going so smoothly...

- First the remote wouldn't work. Tried having her reset and attempt to pair a bunch of times, but nothing. Turns out the brand new batteries that came with it must have died between me packing it and her receiving it. So had to help her pair...

- Then, turns out I had stored the incorrect password for her wifi. So had to walk her through entering that with remote (doh!).

- And, of course, it didn't recognize her TV for using the remote buttons. So had to get that setup.

Oh well, she did better than expected, and I think the simple Roku interface is much easier for her than using the Chromebook & Chromecast combo I helped her setup initially. And as far as I'm aware, she was able to stream a Hallmark movie without glitches, which was the whole purpose for the Roku. So win in the end!

Sadly, though, her cable remote control can't switch the TV inputs as it's supposed to (it opens the dialog, but no way to select). So she has to walk up to the TV and fumble for the buttons to switch between Roku & cable TV. Sheesh. 2020...

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