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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Iona-D
Level 9

How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

This is my first thread on this forum so please be patient if you find it a bit long or indirect. I want the reader of this post to get a good feel of where I coming from and going with my Rokus. Then you will understand why I have to be careful of data/bandwidth issues.  I started my journey into alternatives to pay-i.e. cable-television a year ago this month. Money is very tight in my pension supported household & traditional cable is simply out of our reach financially.  We have basic AT&T DSL Internet access only with it’s rather problematic poor to practically nonexistent download speeds & a clunky-though newly purchased just this February-Netscape Modem/Router combo to deal with with no plans to upgrade anymore anytime soon.   
I originally bought a Chromecast & found it rather limiting as my smartphone can’t store very many apps or channels with it’s very limited memory.  So I bought a Roku Streaming Stick in early May 2018.  I found it to be what I want it to be-an tiny all around streaming device that I can take anywhere with me & could store as many apps/channels as I want to.  Plus the little gizmo would automatically adjust itself to the bad sometimes unreliable connection which is all that’s available here.  The Roku Channel was the final push to purchase it as well.
So for this past year, I used this stick exclusively and it mostly worked quite well.   Except for Mondays-Fridays from 6:00 pm to around Midnight, and all day Saturdays and Sundays.  During those time periods I had to sometimes deal with frequent buffering and much longer loading times for my video & audio content-even sometimes getting thrown off a channel due to my Internet limitations.  So I decided to take another plunge and buy the Roku Ultra.  Based on the reviews I have been reading about other people’s similar limitations, I felt that this might help somewhat.   Well, I am so glad I did & here’s why:

  • Ethernet Cable-Wired hookups do make a big difference over even the Streaming Stick +.  It’s the number one reason why I chose it rather than try to save some money and go for another stick or dongle even with it’s Wi-Fi antenna which is actually part of the power cable.  The Ultra covers both bases far better.

  • More Powerful Overall -This unit has plenty of power to spare over it’s smaller cousins & it does make a great difference in the playback of the A/V content even at just barebones 720p without all that 4K and other fancy TV stuff I don’t have & probably never will. Plus you can add a Micro SD Card to store all the apps/channels you want & cut back on loading time.

  • Localized USB Port-No Internet access needed for this to work!

  • Not even 5 inches Square! -Not as portable as the stick but it could still go with me whenever I visit or travel.

  • Plus other unexpected, but welcomed, surprises like it could be paired with the Philips Universal Remote’s streaming option  which was purchased separately  to operate the Television when the even my Streaming Stick cannot recognized or work with.  When I programmed the listed supplied access digits into the remote, it worked!  All this was discovered only a couple of days since I set it up just last Friday!
So far so good.  Now for that one quirky problem which some people seem to get very upset with.  You cannot turn any of these devices on or off without resorting to pulling the plug.  You also might face the very real problem of going over your monthly data allotment even when you are not watching it if it not turned off.  Plus monitor it for possible overheating problems and such (never happened to me personally).  
So here is my solution.  I went to the local hardware store and purchase an inexpensive Plug-In On/Off Switch.  I always use them to save my switches on my lamps and light duty sewing machines to save their own built in on/off switches.  Replacing the plug in switches versions are far easier to replace than spending $$$$ on replacing the product itself or the product’s own built in switch assuming it has one.  I use very basic mechanical ones.  There are ones available for a bit more with timers and other sort of  electronic controls.  The idea is still the same.   Pulling the device’s in and out of ports might damage the expensive TV or streaming device.  So here is my idea presented to all of you.  Examples Of These Plugs On Amazon  Hope Roku adds these devices into their own accessories page for ease of device protection.
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27 Replies
DBDukes
Level 9

Re: How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

When I had AT&T DSL, I avoided overages by ensuring I always returned to the Home menu (hitting the Home button) when I was done streaming. I never unplugged my Roku.

I also logged into the services I used and checked for settings to limit the bandwidth. Not all services had those settings, but I lowered it for those that did.

Others may have suggestions on how to limit data usage, which is your goal after all. Picking out what works for you may help keep your data usage as low as you can.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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Iona-D
Level 9

Re: How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

Addium (later edit):  I neglected to add I use 2 prong (I'm located in the US/Canada) vs. a 3 prong ones.  3 prongs are not necessary for the devices I use in my living/bedrooms.
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NightHawk
Level 7

Re: How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

I use a power strip that can shut off power to some devices when the master device (TV) is off/standby.
That way my Roku Ultra powers off/on with the TV, the same on my other TV with a Roku Stick+ that gets power from a USB port on the TV.

Here is the power strip I use I got from amazon that has the master/slave capability, it also has a little power switch on each of the output ports too so you can choose if the port is always on or on/off with the master device:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DP ... UTF8&psc=1
Roku Ultra 4640R, Roku Streaming Stick+ 3810R
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camry
Level 7

Re: How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

I'm in about the same boat regarding budget. We bought the Ultra for the same reason — the Ethernet port, which makes the most of our low speed internet connection. Even at ~6 mbs we can watch at the same time both the big TV on the Roku Ultra and a wireless connection to an iPad. The only device that ever lags a bit is the iPad on wireless, and then only infrequently.
For the power down, I use a surge suppressing power strip. When done watching TV, the TV goes to standby and the Roku is completely lights-out, off.
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DiddlyD
Level 7

Re: How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

I am one month into streaming now and had my first jolt from my cable company that I was about to "exceed my data limit", which was 1024 GB and not bad for my basic internet plan.  So now I'm on a mission to control this from reaching deep into my pockets because that was the hole purpose of streaming in the first place was to lower my cable expenses. 

1) First thing I learned was that the PS Vue TV app only required 10 Mbps speeds to provide good video stream and I had 30 Mbps on my plan, so I more than met that requirement.

2) Second thing was that standard definition video uses about 1 gig of data per hour and 720/1080 HD about 1.5-3 gigs and 4K uses 5 gigs (4K ultra even higher). So what video format you watch movies in will impact your data usage accordingly. Just not sure they tell you what format programs are in? Movies maybe the rest don't know.

3) Third thing was that when I fell asleep with the TV on, I discovered my Roku didn't time-out from inactivity because the recorded Game of Thrones series loops automatically to the next in the series one after another. It was still playing when I woke up in the morning, Oh crap!  This is true for YouTube and Netflix as well as recorded shows like Law and Order for that matter (not live).  

4) Third the only available Roku control in the settings was a "Screensaver" option... really??? This feature has been around on computers and cell phones for ages to reduce "screen burn", lower power consumption and for security when you walk away from your device after being inactive for a preset amount of time by the user. In this case you have 1-30 mins only, which is not something that functions well when it comes to watching TV, because when it would "time-out" on the show I was watching, it interrupts your viewing and you have to re-activate it again....just makes the whole streaming experience a pain in the rear.  So the only option was to turn it off.

5) I talked to my IP customer support and I was told that even while it is sitting in the Roku home app screen it is still streaming (connected to the internet) unless you shut it off. Holy molly that means I've been streaming 24/7 no wonder I'm exceeding my data limits.  They would love for me to up my service to the tune of 30-50 dollars a month "more" to get another 500 gigs or go unlimited.  Along with my PS Vue subscription, that would be even more expensive than regular cable was........ that's nuts.  I also discovered that just turning your TV off alone may not mean Roku is disconnected from the internet as long as it gets power!!  Maybe if you Switch antennas it does. Now if you have a smart TV that has Roku already and you're not using an external Roku device, you probably can just exit Roku by switching back to TV on your TV remote.  I have a Sony Smart TV purchased in 2015 with Roku installed but it is outdated now and I wasn't able to figure out using Sony's funky version of the Webr to download an update, so I put in an external Roku on my TV.

6)  I began searching the internet for a solution when I happened on what looks like a solution to my problems. I found the same surge protector mentioned above on Amazon that has a master plug for the TV and then you can set the TV timer to turn the TV off which will also switch Roku off too.  BESTEK Surge Protector Power Strip - with master plug control.  No more streaming all night long so that's a ton of data saved![/size]
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jeffrok
Level 11

Re: How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

It's your home is "smart" (Alexa or Google home aware), just buy a universal smart outlet..

"Alexa/Google, turn on Roku".. "Alexa/Google, turn off Roku"..

Smart outlets can be had for under $20.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
https://youtu.be/d1CSEeqWl10
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DiddlyD
Level 7

Re: How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

Oh that's interesting so your saying if I had my home all set up to be operated by Alexis or Google assistant, it has the ability to Turn off Roku. Well that's a cool option, thanks for the advice but I can't afford to upgrade to that point right now so the surge protector was a cheap fix besides I've always been concerned whether those things listen in on you, I know google is good at invading your privacy???
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jeffrok
Level 11

Re: How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

Google and Amazon only listen when you speak the trigger word. Don't believe the negative hype.

Besides, you can use Google or Amazon smart home without an actual "listening" device, other than a smartphone, which most people already have. Add to that the cost of a smart outlet, and you're all set.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
https://youtu.be/d1CSEeqWl10
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DiddlyD
Level 7

Re: How To Easily Turn Any Roku On Or Off Without Pulling It Out Of It’s Port All The Time

Will keep that advice in my back pocket sounds promising but I did read on Watch Dogs that they have evidence of those devices ease dropping.  Google is infamous for collecting information on people.  That's why they created malware!  I'll check it does sound intriguing. 
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