The Roku has been a popular device for streaming content since it first splashed onto the scene. The company has come a long way since that time, and Roku hacks have long been something sought after by the community.
While the Roku isn’t as hacker-friendly as other streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV, there are some cool tricks beginners may not know about. These Roku tips and hacks apply to every version of the streaming box including the smaller wireless sticks and their new 4K box.
Kodi for Roku
The first thing you may want to try would be Kodi for the Roku. Unfortunately, you cannot use the program through the traditional means, so a workaround will be required. If you own an Android smartphone or tablet, this Roku hacks is an easy one to pull off.
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To install Kodi for Roku, you will use something called “screen mirroring.” If you are familiar with the term, you already know you won’t actually install anything but will mirror the screen on your mobile device. This popular function has been around for ages and works wonders when you need to stream Kodi to your Roku player.
You first must ensure your mobile and Roku are on the same Wi-Fi connection on the same network. If they are, you will want to press the Home button on the Roku remote. From here you can access the Settings menu which is where the Screen Mirroring feature resides.
Once you have enabled this feature, you need to do the same on your handset or slate. This is where it can become confusing. Casting features go by different names depending on the manufacturer. Every modern device will have a built-in feature, and you can use third-party apps as well. Needless to say, there are a lot of ways to mirror your screen whether you are on Android or iOS.
Once you find and activate mirroring on your mobile, you will see the content magically appear on your big screen. That means you can fire up Kodi, Terrarium TV or any other app and see it stream on your smart TV. It will not be as smooth as if you had installed Kodi, but it is a great way to get Kodi on the Roku.
Out of the box, Roku’s have a lot of content to offer although that still doesn’t keep up from looking for Roku hacks. From Netflix and Amazon Prime to cable-based services like HBO GO, they have something for everyone. When you get tired of the usual sources, you can browse channels from the Roku as well.
Roku devices have two types of channels – free channels for the public and private ones. Public channels are open to anyone with an internet connection and a Roku. Private channels are different however and not accessible unless you have the code to get in. You also have to know how to find them, which is easier said than done in many cases.
Private Roku channels do not show up in the store, so you need to find a listing or an all-in-one solution like Nowhere TV provides. This classic channel pulls content from around the net and shoots it straight to your streaming device. It’s been around since 2010 and still keeps folks enthralled today. You can find the Nowhere TV channel and several of their other Roku add-ons at the official Nowhereman site.
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When it comes to other private channels for Roku, Google and Reddit are your best friends. Just like with Kodi add-ons, private channels can come and go so you could find something cool at any given time. There are several channel directories for the Roku as well which include everything from cartoons and news to adult content.
The Roku App
While we have always been fans of the Roku remote control, newer models like the Roku 3800R have voice remotes. That’s become a common feature you can find on streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV, and it certainly is handy to have. That said, the Roku remote app is something you will want to consider.
The Roku remote control app is available on Google Play and the App Store. It’s just like any other remote app as it allows you to change channels, fast forward, and pause. It also gives lets you use your phone’s keyboard to type in passwords or codes for private channels. That alone makes it well worth a download. We also like the fact it gives you fast access to your favorite streaming apps.
Using Plex is far from a Roku hack, but it is a great way to enhance the capabilities of your Roku. It works in a similar fashion to Kodi whereas it acts as a media hub for your content. You can set up the program to stream content across your devices, provided you have a Plex Pass that is. Alone the program provides a measure of functionality, but if you have the Roku, you’ll want Plex Pass.
Thanks to a recent update from Plex, you can now stream Live TV on your Roku. As you’d expect, you will need a digital tuner and a stable internet connection to use Pass. You can watch local broadcasts or network shows depending on where you reside. The streamlined interface is easy to navigate as well.
If you want a device that’s truly “hackable” you may want to look elsewhere. A jailbroken Roku is more of a myth than a reality unfortunately so Roku hacks are few and far between. Our guide can teach you how to perform a few tech tricks, but there are no real Roku hacks available like you’ll find on the Fire TV or a streaming set top box.
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Does that mean you should skip buying a Roku if you don’t have one already? Not by any means, as it provides a lot of bang for your buck. The company also has a streamer for every price point from the budget-friendly Roku Express all the way up to the top-tier Roku Ultra 4600R.