Best Features of a Roku Media Player

Best Features of a Roku Media Player

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Unlock the Roku Experience - Understanding The Basics

Roku TV Channels

Roku is the number one media streamer many will turn to when cutting the cord.

A Roku player hooks to your television with an HDMI cable and the Internet either through WiFi or with an Ethernet cable. It then uses channels or apps for streaming content from the Internet onto your HD TV. And is a great device to replace your expensive monthly cable TV or satellite subscription.

Currently, there are several Roku models available to choose from. Once you buy a Roku, you can choose from thousands of different channels. Some free, some paid subscription channels and some that even can replicate live Cable TV at a fraction of the cost.

One Free channel you don't want to miss is The Roku Channel. It comes with a wide selection of news, movies and TV shows that can be watched for Free either on a Roku media player or from a Web Browser on a phone, computer or on other media streamers.

Best Roku Channels to Add for Each Category »

Roku Models

Roku makes several different models to choose from. Either a Roku TV which is a television with a built-in Roku media player. A Steaming Stick which is a small format model available in either an HD Streaming Stick model or Streaming Stick+ 4K and several table-top models with the Roku Ultra their most expensive model.

The Roku Ultra is their only current stand-alone model that comes with a hard-wired Ethernet Port for connecting directly to your Router with an Ethernet cable. This offers the absolute best streaming experience. And the least amount of buffering caused by a weak WiFi signal or interference caused by distance, too many barriers like walls or furniture. If unsure of which Roku to buy, you can't go wrong with an Ultra.

Prices begin at $30 for a Roku Express and can cost up to $600 for a 65" 4K TCL Roku TV.

Streaming Music

Besides watching tons of great TV programming, playing Internet music is another great thing to do with a Roku. With apps from Sirius XM, Spotify, Pandora, and many more Radio channels.

More Notable Roku Features

Hotel and Dorm Connect - A great way to quickly connect your Roku to a WiFi network when traveling. This works great with portable models like the Roku Streaming Stick or Roku Express. It lets you quickly connect to a WiFi network by choosing I am at a hotel or college dorm setting when it first connects to the network.

Private Listening - Is a great feature which is activated by plugging in headphones into the point anywhere Roku remote. This lets the rest of the family sleep without a loud obnoxious TV blaring in the house while catching a late night flick. It can also be enjoyed using the Roku Android or iPhone app.

Alexa Compatibility - Is a brand new feature Roku just announced which lets their current models running Roku OS 8.1 interact by voice with Alexa devices. And they include the Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, and Echo Plus. This lets users pause a show, search for content and launch Roku Channels all by using their voice.
Private Channel Codes - These are codes for channels which have not been added to the Roku Channel Store. They are unpublished channels which can be added from Roku channel lists, links, and codes like this one. And these channels often offer much of the same content available on public channels. Some private channels also contain Adult content which is prohibited on any public Roku Channels.
My Feed - This is a great feature that lets you track shows to watch on Roku. It will notify you when a new show from your favorite TV series is available to watch. Or when a New Movie is available to stream for the first time. To enable a Feed under your home score click on "My Feeds." Then choose from either Movies, TV Shows or Movies Coming Soon and click on a title of any movie or show you want to track. Another option is to search for a show and then add it to the feed. Any public channels which participate in Roku Universal Search support Roku Feed. Private Roku Channels and Netflix are not included.
Watch It Mobile App - Use the Roku mobile app to not only control your Roku, but it is also a great source for watching content on the go from The Roku Channel. It can also be used to search for content among many apps available on their platform. The Roku mobile app is available for iOS and Android and can be Downloaded from here.

Automatic Volume Leveling - Is one of the best features on Roku for turning down those loud and annoying commercials. To turn it on press the * button on the Roku remote. From the menu choose: Advanced Sound Settings -> Volume Mode -> Leveling This will stop the louder volume during commercial right in it's tracks.

Another great feature is Night Mode this makes softer sounds a little louder and dampens louder sounds. Turn this on by going to Advanced Sound Settings -> Volume Mode -> Night
Screen Mirroring - This is a great feature to watch content from the Internet that may not be available on any Roku Channels. If your Roku supports it, go to the home screen and navigate to Settings -> System -> Screen Mirroring -> Enable Screen Mirroring. And then on your mobile device, share what you are watching on Roku. For more in-depth information on Casting and Screen Mirroring see Roku's FAQ.
Adult Movies - Another great exclusive feature found pretty much only on Roku are Adult channels. With many private Roku Porn channels available from top name developers like Hustler, AdultEmpire, VideoBox, SugarInstant, Score TV and many more. There is no shortage of adult content to watch on Roku.