If you own a Roku device, there are probably a bunch of features that you’re not yet using. However, these are great ways to get more from your Roku.
Do you want to learn how to use the Roku TV alarm clock or add a custom Roku screensaver? Then keep reading, as these are some of the best Roku features that you should check out right now.
1. Create Your Own Roku Screensaver
Roku devices come with a few native screensavers, but none of them are particularly inspiring. To select one, go to Settings > Screensaver > Change Screensaver, and make your choice.
Of course, you can also download new screensavers from the Channel Store. You can access the Channel Store from your Roku device and via the web. On your Roku device, go to Streaming Channels > Screensavers to see what’s available.
But did you know there’s a third option? You can also make your own custom Roku screensaver using the photos on your smartphone.
To add photos to your Roku screensaver, you need to download the Roku app for your Android or iOS device. Within the app, go to Media > Screensaver > Get Started. You can choose up to 25 images to use. You also need to set the display style and speed.
2. Use Roku’s Private Listening Feature
Roku devices can be addictive. A Netflix subscription is even more addictive. Put the two together, and you’ve got a recipe for all-night binges.
But all-night binges bring their own problems, and we’re not just talking about the lack of sleep. If you live with other people, they probably won’t appreciate being woken up at 4am by the sound of the TV blaring out loud.
Similarly, if your kids love binge-watching SpongeBob SquarePants on repeat, you might be somewhat fed up of hearing the same jokes on a never-ending loop.
The solution is private listening. If you own a supported Roku model, the feature is available through the Android app, iOS app, and the point-anywhere remote.
3. How to Pause Live TV on Roku
Live TV Pause is only available if you have a Roku TV (i.e. a smart TV with the Roku operating system built-in).
And even if you have a Roku TV, it’s only available if you have connected an over-the-air (OTA) antenna to your set (which you should, as you’ll be amazed at the content you can receive for free through an aerial).
Lastly, you need to connect a USB storage stick with at last 16GB of space to your TV. Live TV Pause uses the memory on the stick to save the footage.
Assuming your setup meets those three criteria, the feature will be available. You can pause live TV for up to 90 minutes, which is plenty of time to make a cup of coffee or pop to the bathroom.
4. Use Roku’s Hotel and Dorm Connect Feature
You’ve always been able to throw your Roku Streaming Stick into your luggage whenever you’re leaving home for a few days. And doing so will put all your content at your fingertips wherever you are in the world.
But there was always a problem: using Wi-Fi networks that required you to sign in to the network via a web browser. You know the type, you see them a lot in hotels and office buildings.
Well, if your Roku is running Roku OS 7.0 or higher, you need to check out the Hotel and Dorm Connect feature. It lets you sign into browser-based Wi-Fi networks in seconds.
Just make sure you select I am at a hotel or college dorm when you connect to the network.
5. How to Set an Alarm on Your Roku
Although alarm clocks are not a native Roku feature, there are a couple of ways you can make your TV turn on and start streaming a channel of your choice at a specific time.
The most straightforward way to make a Roku alarm is to schedule a custom routine on the Google Home app. Just open the app, go to Routines > Add a Routine, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Note that not all Roku apps support Google Home routines. Of the ones that do, many are live streaming channels such as Newsy and CBS News.
You can also try the Roku-Stream-Alarm Github project. You can use it to set up a task scheduler or crontab to send a PowerShell script or curl request to your Roku at any time. To use the tool, you will need some programming knowledge and will need to enable the Developer Mode on your Roku device.
6. Tune Into The Roku Channel
There is no shortage of high-quality video-on-demand apps. Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, Sling TV—the list goes on and on.
Most of the streaming apps all share one thing in common: they cost money. The same is true for almost all of the big-name services.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Just install The Roku Channel from the Roku Channel Store. It’s the official channel from the company and it provides hundreds of top movies for free. You don’t even need to make an account. The channel is available on all Roku devices and smart TVs.
The only catch? The channel is ad-supported. However, Roku is committed to showing fewer ads than regular TV. If you try watching the channel for any length of time, you’ll discover that the company is staying true to its word.
7. Enable Consumer Electronics Control (CEC)
Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) is part of the HDMI standard. It can be used to sync volume between devices, coordinate separate audio and video inputs, and can allow one remote to control all of your devices.
Roku utilizes CEC’s one-touch play feature. If enabled, your TV will jump to the Roku’s input port as soon as you press the Power button on your Roku remote. It removes the need to use your TV remote if you want to jump from regular cable programming to Netflix, for example.
To turn on the feature, go to Settings > System > Control Other Devices > 1-Touch Play and mark the checkbox.
More Roku Tips and Tricks to Make Use Of
We’ve assumed you’re not already using these Roku features, but there’s a chance you’re ahead of the curve. Not to worry, as there are plenty of other clever tricks you can use to get even more out of your Roku.
Roku boxes are incredibly easy to set up and use, but there are lots of little tips and tricks that will vastly improve your experience. Here are 10 of the best…
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