Roku Device Features, Settings & Updates

Help configuring Roku device settings, using Roku OS features such as screen mirroring, adjusting display type and audio settings, using Guest Mode, and assistance with software updates.
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mikebdoss
Level 7

First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

It took some time, but I got the Roku skill for Alexa set up today. Some issues with my Sharp Roku TV: 

The default language of "Alexa, open Hulu on Roku" didn't work for me, because my TV was called "Bedroom". I have an outlet for a lamp called "Bedroom" as well, so I used the Alexa app to rename the TV to "Roku TV". Alexa still required me to stay "Roku TV" instead of just "Roku" (usually you can use partial names). I ended up changing the name to "Roku", which is useful for Alexa, but not descriptive for my list of devices. 

I can say "Alexa, open Hulu on Roku", and it'll do it. This has worked for every major channel I've tested other than Netflix. If it try "Alexa, open Netflix on Roku", I get a notification on the screen that says "Use your Roku remote to access Netflix". Is this a licensing or permissions issue? Very strange. 

If I do something it's not expecting (like saying "Alexa, open broadcast TV on Roku", it'll say "You have Quick Remote enabled. Do you want to open it?". This is another remote app I had enabled, but don't use. I assume this is an Alexa issue instead of a Roku one, but it's annoying. 

I can't find a command to go to the TV's main menu. 

If I try to open the Video Poker app, Alexa says, "Hmm, I can't open it right now". Do channels need to have a switch flipped somewhere (on the developer side) in order to use them with Alexa?

Overall, a nice implementation, and not as awfully verbose as a lot of Alexa skills. 
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17 Replies
blade_005
Level 10

Re: First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

"mikebdoss" wrote:
It took some time, but I got the Roku skill for Alexa set up today. Some issues with my Sharp Roku TV: 

The default language of "Alexa, open Hulu on Roku" didn't work for me, because my TV was called "Bedroom". I have an outlet for a lamp called "Bedroom" as well, so I used the Alexa app to rename the TV to "Roku TV". Alexa still required me to stay "Roku TV" instead of just "Roku" (usually you can use partial names). I ended up changing the name to "Roku", which is useful for Alexa, but not descriptive for my list of devices. 

I can say "Alexa, open Hulu on Roku", and it'll do it. This has worked for every major channel I've tested other than Netflix. If it try "Alexa, open Netflix on Roku", I get a notification on the screen that says "Use your Roku remote to access Netflix". Is this a licensing or permissions issue? Very strange. 

If I do something it's not expecting (like saying "Alexa, open broadcast TV on Roku", it'll say "You have Quick Remote enabled. Do you want to open it?". This is another remote app I had enabled, but don't use. I assume this is an Alexa issue instead of a Roku one, but it's annoying. 

I can't find a command to go to the TV's main menu. 

If I try to open the Video Poker app, Alexa says, "Hmm, I can't open it right now". Do channels need to have a switch flipped somewhere (on the developer side) in order to use them with Alexa?

Overall, a nice implementation, and not as awfully verbose as a lot of Alexa skills. 

Main Menu or Home Screen for Roku works for me with the following voice commands:
ALEXA, HOME SCREEN on Roku
ALEXA, GO HOME on Roku
TCL-TV Roku 55P605 (4K HDR & DV) | VIZIO SmartCast SB3651‑E6 Soundbar
TCL-TV Roku 43S425 (4K HDR) | TCL-TV Roku 32S301 (720p)
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Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

@mikedboss

Thanks for the feedback here. You can see more about the current functionality of the Roku skill for Amazon Alexa here: https://support.roku.com/article/360017961074

To switch to the Antenna TV input on your Roku TV, try using the command, "...switch to Antenna TV on Roku". 

Feel free to PM me with any other thoughts or questions! 

Thanks,
Tanner
Tanner D.
Roku Community Manager
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twiceover
Level 10

Re: First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

AWESOME.  Unfortunately all I get is "Something went wrong".
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blade_005
Level 10

Re: First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

"RokuTannerDB" wrote:
@mikedboss

Thanks for the feedback here. You can see more about the current functionality of the Roku skill for Amazon Alexa here: https://support.roku.com/article/360017961074

To switch to the Antenna TV input on your Roku TV, try using the command, "...switch to Antenna TV on Roku". 

Feel free to PM me with any other thoughts or questions! 

Thanks,
Tanner

@RokuTannerDB
Where is the proper place to provide feedback and feature requests for the Roku Alexa Skill?
1. Multi-device support in the future with unique naming for each Roku Device and/or TV in network.
2. If multi-device simultaneous support is not an option or a longer delivery, an option in the Skill to enable/switch between multiple ROKU devices would be a good first step. (i.e. Enable MAIN ROKU for daytime usage and then have a voice command or ability to create a ROUTINE within Alexa app to switch to BEDROOM ROKU for evening control.
TCL-TV Roku 55P605 (4K HDR & DV) | VIZIO SmartCast SB3651‑E6 Soundbar
TCL-TV Roku 43S425 (4K HDR) | TCL-TV Roku 32S301 (720p)
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blade_005
Level 10

Re: First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

"twiceover" wrote:
AWESOME.  Unfortunately all I get is "Something went wrong".

What command did you attempt? If trying to launch Antenna TV you have to ask ALEXA to switch to ANTENNA TV on <DEVICE NAME>. Alexa picked up the device names that I gave each of my Roku TV's when they were set up through my Roku account. (i.e. TCL-TV 55P605)  To switch to ANTENNA TV I can use TCL and it will execute. If I use ROKU as the support page suggests it will fail. Still testing more commands before I decide that changing name in Alexa to Roku will work best.
TCL-TV Roku 55P605 (4K HDR & DV) | VIZIO SmartCast SB3651‑E6 Soundbar
TCL-TV Roku 43S425 (4K HDR) | TCL-TV Roku 32S301 (720p)
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mikebdoss
Level 7

Re: First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

"RokuTannerDB" wrote:
@mikedboss

Thanks for the feedback here. You can see more about the current functionality of the Roku skill for Amazon Alexa here: https://support.roku.com/article/360017961074

To switch to the Antenna TV input on your Roku TV, try using the command, "...switch to Antenna TV on Roku". 

Feel free to PM me with any other thoughts or questions! 

Thanks,
Tanner

Thanks! That worked for the antenna. Though I have a bug to report: When I said, "Alexa, switch to Antenna TV on Roku", the TV changed to the antenna channel I had open last, which was 11.1, airing TMZ Live. But Alexa responded "Tuning to antenna tv on Roku, now airing Archie Bunker's Place". That show was on channel 5.2, not 11.1. So I switched to channel 2.1 (airing Judge Judy), switched to Hulu for a moment, then gave the command again. Once more, the TV changed to channel 2.1 (the last channel I had selected, airing Judge Judy), but told me that Archie Bunker's Place was now airing. 

The problem is that around here, channel 5.2 is the network called "Antenna TV". So while the Roku TV was responding by switching to the antenna input, either Roku via Alexa or Alexa herself thought the TV had been tuned to the Antenna TV network and was telling me what was on. But the TV didn't go to that channel - it just switched to the antenna input and put the last channel on. It seems to be broken across the board. When I said "Alexa, switch to KCOP on Roku" (KCOP is channel 13.1), Alexa responded with "Tuning to K-COP on Roku, now airing Chicago PD". But my TV didn't switch to channel 13.1; it switched to the antenna input but didn't go to channel 13.1 - it again went to the last channel. 
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blade_005
Level 10

Re: First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

Additional thoughts after some further testing on TCL Roku TV.


  1. I can PAUSE a stream with Alexa, but can not RESUME or PLAY the stream with Alexa once it is paused.

  2. FAST FORWARD and REWIND work with Alexa, but without the ability to PLAY or RESUME stream it is not very useful.

  3. I CAN NOT set the Volume to a specific number as indicated in the Amazon Alexa Support page. Using a specific number returns a 'Something went wrong' reply. Using Volume UP or DOWN moves the volume in increments of 10, which is not granular enough to be useful.


I added an inexpensive Broadlink device to my setup a few months back and added a Roku profile and linked to Alexa. It allows me to PAUSE, PLAY or RESUME a stream. It also allows me to adjust Volume UP or DOWN by a certain number. It does not allow me to specify an exact end number, but I can ask it to raise Volume by three (3) and it does. This allows for a granular adjustment that ten (10) does not with Roku Alexa skill. What I could NOT do with Broadlink device was OPEN Roku apps, SWITCH to HDMI inputs or SEARCH for content. I guess for now I will have to allow the two to co-exist and fill in the gaps that the other does not.

All in all, I am pleased with the initial capability of the official ROKU ALEXA SKILL. Hope to see additions and tweaks to the Skill as it progresses.
TCL-TV Roku 55P605 (4K HDR & DV) | VIZIO SmartCast SB3651‑E6 Soundbar
TCL-TV Roku 43S425 (4K HDR) | TCL-TV Roku 32S301 (720p)
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blade_005
Level 10

Re: First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

"mikebdoss" wrote:
"RokuTannerDB" wrote:
@mikedboss

Thanks for the feedback here. You can see more about the current functionality of the Roku skill for Amazon Alexa here: https://support.roku.com/article/360017961074

To switch to the Antenna TV input on your Roku TV, try using the command, "...switch to Antenna TV on Roku". 

Feel free to PM me with any other thoughts or questions! 

Thanks,
Tanner

Thanks! That worked for the antenna. Though I have a bug to report: When I said, "Alexa, switch to Antenna TV on Roku", the TV changed to the antenna channel I had open last, which was 11.1, airing TMZ Live. But Alexa responded "Tuning to antenna tv on Roku, now airing Archie Bunker's Place". That show was on channel 5.2, not 11.1. So I switched to channel 2.1 (airing Judge Judy), switched to Hulu for a moment, then gave the command again. Once more, the TV changed to channel 2.1 (the last channel I had selected, airing Judge Judy), but told me that Archie Bunker's Place was now airing. 

The problem is that around here, channel 5.2 is the network called "Antenna TV". So while the Roku TV was responding by switching to the antenna input, either Roku via Alexa or Alexa herself thought the TV had been tuned to the Antenna TV network and was telling me what was on. But the TV didn't go to that channel - it just switched to the antenna input and put the last channel on. It seems to be broken across the board. When I said "Alexa, switch to KCOP on Roku" (KCOP is channel 13.1), Alexa responded with "Tuning to K-COP on Roku, now airing Chicago PD". But my TV didn't switch to channel 13.1; it switched to the antenna input but didn't go to channel 13.1 - it again went to the last channel. 

Good catch @mikedboss

I was wondering why it was announcing that Archie's Place and then Alice was playing!! But those were playing on Antenna TV, the broadcast channel, at the time. I though RENAMING the ANTENNA TV Input might work, but that changes the Custom Name while Roku still sees this input as ANTENNA TV.

Rather than saying switch to Antenna TV on Roku, try OPEN Channel x.xx on ROKU or LAUNCH Channel x.xx on Roku. I have found both of those work and it does not make an announcement of what is on the actual Antenna TV channel in your area.
TCL-TV Roku 55P605 (4K HDR & DV) | VIZIO SmartCast SB3651‑E6 Soundbar
TCL-TV Roku 43S425 (4K HDR) | TCL-TV Roku 32S301 (720p)
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twiceover
Level 10

Re: First thoughts on Alexa for Roku skill

So my problem earlier is that the device in Alexa is not "Roku TV", it is the name of my TV.  I changed the name in Alexa to just be "TV" to make things simpler and it started working.

"Alexa turn on TV" turned the TV on or off if requested

Can't launch Netflix.  I get a popup telling me to navigate to it with my remote.  Not sure what that is all about but is easily our most used app.  Other apps I tried worked fine.even "Alexa launch Pluto TV on TV" worked which I thought for sure she would barf on.

Can't set the TV to specific volume.
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