I just received my Roku Express, but I've discovered right away that there's a problem which I hope has a solution.
The TV I want to connect it to is a pretty old RCA 13-inch one with only 1 place in the back to connect directly to cable (the end of the cable has the round metal end with the little "needle thing" in the center and you just put it into the opening on the back of the TV and turn the screw end until it's tightened) Obviously, all the wires/cables that came with my Roku all have USB type ports at the ends so I am at a complete loss as to how I can connect them to this TV if at all. I did read that you can connect a Roku to an old TV which is why I got it, but where do I go from here?
So I hope somewhere here in the community can give me step-by-step instructions as to what to do or if there's another cable connector I have to get to solve this problem that would be really AWESOME!
Thanks, in advance, and I look forward to a reply.
The cable connection is an F-connector. Roku doesn't support it, as you've discovered.
Those ports on the back of the Roku are HDMI.
You'd need an adapter to convert HDMI to F-connector. That may even require a couple of adapters: HDMI to composite, and an RF adapter for the composite.
I'm not certain how much that would run. You'd also lose HD, as that's an SD TV. And, it will letterbox the menus, as Roku expects to output as 16:9 and the TV is 4:3. With it being 13-inch, it'll be problematic seeing the screen clearly.
It may even be worthwhile replacing the TV with a similar size, though much smaller than 19-inch is rare.
Roku Community Streaming Expert
Note: I am not a Roku employee.
If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
I did read that you can connect a Roku to an old TV which is why I got it, but where do I go from here?
That was not accurate information. Roku hasn't offered a player with analog outputs for several years. The last model that had that support was the Express+ 3910. As @DBDukes mentioned, the connector you are looking at is an F connector for the over the air TV antenna. If your TV supports connecting an external player, there will be three connectors visible: red, white and yellow. Red and white are the audio connections while the yellow is video. If your TV has such connectors, then if you can find an Express+ 3910 (be aware there are newer versions of the Express+ that don't have these connectors) you could connect it.
HDMI converters are available, but they seem to be hit or miss about working with Roku players. But if your TV doesn't have those three connectors I mentioned above, then that isn't an option for you.
Check for controls on the converter. For example, make sure any PAL/NTSC switch is set correctly. (NTSC if you are in the US.)
have a 1987 Sylvania floor model tv that I'm trying to hook up my Roku to. In my research I found I had to take the HDMI into an HDMI to RCA converter, then go to the RF coax. I used an old VCR and ean the RCA's in & the RF coax out to the tv.. This worked for my Direct tv, but isn't for my Roku, but if I hook the RCA's to another older tv that has 1 red & 1 yellow RCA, the signal comes through the VCR with no problem. Any idea what I might be doing wrong with the Roku? Is it worth trying an RF modulator to convert from HDMI to RF? Want to keep the tv as it works great & it was my father-in-laws who recently passed. Any help appreciated. Rod
Rod, I'm sorry but a TV from 1987 simply isn't worth trying to continue using. The image quality is terrible compared to even 525 SD on a digital set, let alone an HD/UHD display. And since the world has changed to widescreen for virtually all broadcast and online streaming, you're going to have black bars at the top and bottom for almost all content. Also, your TV is highly unlikely to be larger than 35" so the image is going to be quite small. And of course it cannot tune in any over the air stations any longer. While I can understand the sentimental value it might have to you and your family, it simply is a poor display device compared to even an inexpensive 37-43" modern TV that would cost less than $200.
That said, if you want to continue I would try using a converter that takes the HDMI input and provides the RF output without going through a second converter. Make sure the converter accepts either 720p or 1080p input and the RF output is the NTSC format (assuming you are in the US).
Thanks for your response. I realize a newer tv would be a better quality, but that said, it is in great working order & sentamental value to my wife. We watch the antenna with no problem on it but want to add the other channels of roku. I have a HDMI to RCA converter, and can find a RCA to RF "F" converter on line. But I have not found anything that goes from HDMI to RF "F" converter any where. Would adding the RCA to RF "F" converter solve my problem? Thanks, Rod