If one of your favorite hobbies includes plopping down on the couch after a hard day and doing some good, old-fashioned binge-watching, you likely own a streaming device – possibly a Roku.
Roku is one of the simplest devices to set up for this purpose, and one of the most versatile, especially when you consider all of the cool, hidden tricks you can do with this powerful little streaming stick. Whether you're planning on watching Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, or another service, you can watch it all on your Roku device, and these cool tricks will help you enjoy it to the fullest.
And don't worry – they're super simple to pull off, so no advanced maneuvers are required here!
1. Lose your remote? Just use your smartphone
It happens to everyone. Sometimes we lose remotes. They get stuck between couch cushions, slide under furniture (thanks, furry friends!), or we straight up misplace them.
If you lose your Roku remote, don't panic. You can still use it, so instead of freaking out that you'll have to go to the store and get another unit to hook up and lamenting the wasted money, just whip out your trusty smartphone and download the Roku mobile app for both iOS or Android.
You can turn your phone into a controller while you search for the real thing – or you may decide you don't want to go back!
2. Add more channels to watch
Sometimes, you can't do much with the channels that come standard with a streaming device. Good news! You can customize it to your liking and add what you'd actually like to use very easily.
You've got tons of options you can include on the Roku stick, and you can get to them simply by heading to the Roku Channel Store to find some new ones.
All you have to do is open the Roku Channel Store on your device, search for the channel you're looking for (example: Funimation, Crunchyroll), click the "Add channel" button, and you can install the channel from there.
Of course, if it's a subscription-based service you'll have to log in with the proper credentials. Otherwise, go wild adding free channels and enjoy watching all that cool new stuff!
3. Give your hand a break with voice search
If you're used to using things like Amazon's Alexa voice assistant to complete tasks for you, you might want the same from your Roku. You can use your voice to navigate around your various Roku channels easily, and it's very simple to set up.
Just use the Roku mobile app remote or your Roku Streaming Stick+ remote, press the voice search button and speak what you're searching for when you see the prompt pop up on the screen. Speak loudly and clearly and search for the name of the movie you want to watch (or actor, director, etc.) and Roku will get to searching.
4. Change up your screensaver
When you leave your Roku alone for a bit, it will automatically switch to screen saver mode so it can protect your TV from burn-in. The default screen saver is the City Stroll: Movie Magic option, which scrolls past the screen, showing off a variety of billboards and advertisements for movies.
You can switch this up by going to the Roku Channel Store (where you get new channels) and choose Screensavers to browse the selection there. When you find one you like, just download it. Then go to Settings and choose Screensaver. Select the new one there.
5. Watch free movies and TV shows
Sometimes you don't feel like paying for entertainment for the night and you want to save a bit of cash. Don't just get a cheap rental – search your Roku for free movies and TV.
There's actually a dedicated section just for this on the device. Go to the Featured Free option on the Home screen, and you'll be able to sift through tons of classic shows, free movies, and current episodes of TV shows airing for something great to watch. You won't have to spend a dime, and you'll be able to find something for the whole family.
With all these tips in mind, you should be good to go when it comes to customizing and setting up your Roku! Happy binge-watching!
5 Fire TV stick tricks you’ll use time and time again
Need some help figuring out all the cool stuff your Fire TV stick can do? We’ve assembled a list of our 5 favorite features and tips for the Fire TV stick that anyone can use.