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How to set up Roku

Updated February 21, 2017

Roku is an Internet appliance that allows you to watch streaming video from several commercial websites on your television. Depending on the model, the Roku player is connected to a router wirelessly or with a standard Ethernet cable and to the television through HDMI, component or composite video. Unlike a DVR device, the Roku box doesn’t record or store programming. It does allow you to watch selected programming instantly without waiting in line at the video store.

Plug the Roku box into a power outlet.

Connect the Roku box to your television with the appropriate video cable. Newer HD televisions work best with HDMI cables. Use component or composite cables for older sets.

Establish a network connection. When using a wired connection, connect one end of an Ethernet cable to the Roku and the other end to the router. For a wireless connection, you need a password if the router has security settings enabled.

Use the Roku remote control. Press “OK” to begin set-up.

Select “Wired” or “Wireless” from the menu to establish network connection. With a wired connection, selecting wired is all that is required for the set-up. For a wireless network, you need to enter the network name (SSID from the router) and network password if security (WEP or WPA) is enabled. Once network connection is established, the Roku device will reboot.

Use the Roku remote to set the time zone, open the onscreen browser and navigate to .roku.com/link.

Enter the code displayed on the television. Log in to or create a Roku account to complete the linking process. When linking is complete, the device is ready for use.

Things You'll Need

  • Compatible video cable
  • Ethernet cable (some models)
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About the Author

Finn McCuhil is a freelance writer based in Northern Michigan. He worked as a reporter and columnist in South Florida before becoming fascinated with computers. After studying programming at University of South Florida, he spent more than 20 years heading up IT departments at three tier-one automotive suppliers. He now builds wooden boats in the north woods.