Get More Out of Your Roku With These 10 Tips

Dan Price 15-11-2016

You’ve bought a Roku and set it up to the best of your ability. You’ve added the best private channels 20 Private and Hidden Roku Channels You Should Install Right Now Here's how to add private channels to your Roku, alongside some of the best hidden Roku channels you can install right now. Read More , and started using a few clever tricks to improve your experience 10 Clever Tricks for 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... Read More . So, what now? Like with any piece of technology, there are always more things you can learn.


In this article, we’ll show you 10 tips to help you squeeze every last bit of usefulness out of your Roku. So even if you think you know everything there is to know about Roku, you should probably read on just in case.

1. Change the Streaming Quality of Netflix

Netflix is one of the biggest attractions of using a streaming device. Gadgets such as Rokus and Chromecasts Chromecast vs. Apple TV vs. Roku: Which Media Streamer Suits You? Media streaming devices are simply awesome. Those little boxes that connect to your TV can add a wealth of entertainment options to your living room. But which device is best for you? Read More remove the hassle of watching on your laptop or using an HDMI cable — they make using the service more akin to a “traditional” TV experience.

Changing Netflix’s streaming quality can either give you cinema-style quality on your 75-inch television, or, if you’re working within a data cap, reduce the app’s bandwidth.

To change the quality, log into your account on the Netflix website and head to Your Account > My Profile > Playback Settings. If you increase the streaming quality you’ll get a cleaner, clearer picture. And if you decrease the quality, you’ll lower the demands on your bandwidth.

Roku Netflix Change Quality


2. Play Games on Your Roku

Roku devices don’t have the gaming power of some of their rivals, but they’ve still got lots to offer. There are almost 200 games on the platform — more than enough to suit every taste.

You can download games from the Roku Channel Store on the device. Head to Channel Store > Games to find the full catalog. You’ll find everything from retro classics and brain teasers to strategy sims and board games. The five games with the highest ratings are Hangman, Mah Jongg, Galaga, Muffin Knight, and Birdie.

If you’re looking for something more powerful, the current best-in-class is arguably the Nvidia Shield. It runs Android, so has access to the Google Play catalog, and it lets PC gamers cast content to their TV screen and use the Nvidia Shield controller to play.

Roku Game Retaliate


3. Stream Your Own Content Using Plex

Because Roku apps rely on C/C++ code, Kodi is not available on the platform. However, if you want to stream your own videos 3 Great Ways To Enjoy Your Own Media On The Roku 3 Regular television sets are a thing of the past. These days, if you set out to get a new TV, it'll likely be a smart TV. That TV will be 'smart' the same way your... Read More , all is not lost.

The Roku Channel Store has a Plex app — and it works well. To get it functioning, install the Plex Media Server on your computer and download the Roku app. From within the app, go to Preferences > Connect Plex Account and enter your PIN when prompted.

Plex Roku Stream Content

4. Get Local News Despite Cutting the Cord

Potential cord-cutters repeatedly claim that a loss of sports and news channels are their two biggest concerns over making the jump 7 Pitfalls of Cord-Cutting You Should Consider First Before you cut the cord to save yourself some money, there are a few things you should be aware of. Read More .


News-lovers who own a Roku needn’t worry, however. The excellent (and free) NewsON app will give you access to locally-broadcasted news from around the country. Several TV stations have invested in it, and it now has access to 118 individual channels in more than 90 markets.

Fans of the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB can use the official apps to access live sports games and associated content, but they all require a paid subscription.

NewsON App Roku

5. Record Live TV

Are you going to miss the start of next week’s big game? Don’t worry, Roku can record live TV just like cable boxes and old-school VHS cassettes.


However, Roku doesn’t support the function natively — you’ll need to buy an external box and download a third-party app.

The best service available right now is Tablo TV. The set-top costs $180 while the accompanying app is free.

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6. Add Subtitles to Instant Replays

We’ve all been there. You’ve sat through two and a half hours of a dreadful movie when the doorbell or your phone rings and you miss the last five minutes. Thanks to Roku’s instant replay feature, this will never bother you again.

But did you know you can also add subtitles to your instant replays? It’s useful if you can’t pick up what a hard-to-understand character is saying.

To turn the feature on, navigate to Settings > Captions > Instant Replay.

Roku Instant Replay Subtitles

7. Make the Most of “My Feed”

Roku’s “My Feed” feature lets you “Follow” the different types of entertainment you’re interested in. It can pull information from all of the various apps on your device.

You’ll be automatically notified when new films are released or new episodes of your favorite TV shows become available. You can also use it to track your favorite actors and directors.

It’ll even alert you when content drops in price or something you’re interested in becomes available for rental.

You can find “My Feed” by selecting it from the Roku’s home screen. Select the movie, actor, or director from the menu on the right, and press OK on your remote to start following. The feed itself is displayed on your homescreen when you highlight the menu option. You can also access the feed on your smartphone if you download the iOS or Android app.

8. Hide Your Device From View

Rokus are already aesthetically pleasing. But if you’re a minimalist, you can hide yours from public view with a TV mounting kit. Most models on Amazon work with all the Roku boxes released Which Roku Media Streamer Should You Buy? The current offering is split into five products – the Roku Streaming Stick, and the Roku 1, 2, 3, and 4. This article looks at what each product can offer, and tries to ascertain which... Read More and attach to the rear of your TV.

Your ability to use the remote won’t be affected, as the devices use Wi-Fi Direct so you don’t need a direct line-of-sight like an IR blaster.

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9. Utilize Universal Search to Find Content

One of the biggest drawbacks of cutting the cord is how it makes it more difficult to find new and interesting content. How do you know whether your favorite show is on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Google Play, or another service?

Roku’s universal search lets you discover which services offer which movies and TV shows. All results are listed in order of price.

The search works on more than 50 streaming channels and even includes news channels. Big players such as ABC, VH1, CBS, Fox, Disney, and Time Warner are all included, in addition to the typical video-on-demand apps.

Roku Universal Content Search

10. Change the Theme of Your Roku

Even if you own the best product on the planet, you’re not going to get much love for it if it’s a little jarring on the eyes. The answer to this, at least as it applies to Roku, is to change the theme.

Roku’s menu is purple by default. If purple isn’t your thing, you can go to Settings > Themes to change to it another color. If you download themes from the Channel Store, you can find them under Settings > Themes > Custom Themes.

Tell Us Your Tips!

If you use these 10 tips alongside our previous 10 tricks, you’ll be well on the way to becoming a Roku expert. Roku has many hidden layers just waiting to be drilled down into, so be sure to experiment in order to squeeze the most out of this fantastic device.

If you’re a seasoned Roku user, you probably know even more cool tricks and hidden features we can add to this list. If so, we would love to hear about them. So, what nifty tricks, crafty shortcuts, or underused features do you rely on every day?

Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Media Streaming, Roku.

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  1. M moore
    December 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I have been using ROKU for over 2 years. Within the last month it has been cutting off after only a few minutes into a program. It cuts off and goes back to main screen. When I restart the program it does not resume, it starts from the beginning and cuts off at either the same spot or just another second or two. Anyone experienced this?