Roku is a streaming device and service that needs little introduction. One of the best things about this is that the Roku app lets you control streaming on a smart TV or stream / mirror your videos. To clear things up, you stream on your phone and you can mirror it to the Roku device from it.
The equipment you need is one of the Roku streaming devices connected to your TV and the official Roku app. Other than that, the process is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require additional hardware like Apple TV for example. Anyway, let’s see how to do it.
Streaming / Mirroring desde iPhone a Roku
First, you need to download the Year app and make sure your Roku device is turned on and connected to a WiFi network. Both the iPhone and the Roku device must be on the same Wi-Fi network. This step is crucial or the setup won’t work.
If you’ve already installed the Roku app, it should immediately respond to the receiver. Those installing the app for the first time should follow a simple on-screen wizard.
Launch the Roku app and tap “Continue” to confirm that you agree to the terms and services. You will immediately be taken to the pairing window and the app will activate on the Roku receiver in a few seconds.
If you don’t want to connect right away, you can skip this step by tapping three horizontal dots and then selecting “Connect manually” from the pop-up window.
Assuming you’ve paired the app and the receiver, now is the time to start streaming. Launch Roku’s main window (within the app) and there’s a little “Photos +” icon at the bottom, tap on it. The next window presents folders for music, videos, and photos.
Select the video folder and you will be taken to the Camera Roll of your iPhone. Choose one of the videos, press play and the video will start on your TV.
The screensaver function
Something really cool is that you can create a screensaver from your images and stream it to a TV. For example, this is an easy way to show vacation photos to your friends.
In the Photos + menu, touch Screensavers, then touch Screenshots to select the images you would like to use.
Touch the photos to select them and hit Next once you’re done. The next window allows you to choose the style and speed of the screen saver. When you select your preferences, tap “Set Screen Saver”, OK to confirm, and the images should start playing on your TV.
If the steps above don’t work, your iPhone may be locked on Roku or screen mirroring has not been turned on. To allow mirroring and unlock the device, go to Settings (on Roku), select system, and navigate to Screen Mirroring.
The same window presents the section “Screen mirroring devices”; If the iPhone is locked, it will appear under “Devices always locked.” Navigate to your iPhone, select it, and unlock the device. You can do all of this using the physical Roku remote.
In addition to mirroring / streaming from your iPhone, the app works as a standalone streaming platform and one-stop controller for your Roku receiver.
Hit the search icon and find your favorite movie or TV show. The application searches for both paid and free channels and quickly puts the content at your fingertips. To stream a video on your iPhone, hit the Play button and that’s it.
If you use Roku to stream music, Private Listening (within the app) allows you to turn up the volume. You need a pair of headphones and you can invite three of your friends or family members to join. Additionally, the app offers a Roku digital remote control.
The remote control for the app has the same buttons as its physical counterpart. It pairs with the Roku Streaming Stick or Player and there is also a virtual keyboard for easy navigation.
Canal of the Year
In early 2019, Roku ventured out of the streaming device industry and introduced its proprietary channel. When you install the Roku app, the channel is at your disposal and you don’t need additional hardware to use it.
There is no subscription, but the channel, like other free networks, is ad-supported. On the bright side, you don’t get bombarded by ads and content selection is hard to compete. There are more than 10,000 titles and 25 subscription-based channels like EPIX, SHOWTIME or Stars.
The premium subscription comes with a one-month free trial and you receive a reminder before the trial expires. All the billing and subscription management is done through my.roku.com and the good thing is that you can start watching the content on your mobile phone and then pick it up on the TV.
Another extremely useful feature of the Roku app is the “private listening” feature. This allows you to connect to any of your Roku devices with your phone and play the audio directly on the headphones connected to that phone. This feature is a lifesaver in many different situations, making it easy to watch your favorite shows and movies as loud as you want without disturbing anyone else.
TV on the move
Without a doubt, Roku offers an iPhone and smart TV integration that’s hard to beat. The service is user-centric, versatile, and priced to suit most budgets.
What Roku device do you have? Have you already been using the mobile app? Share your experience with the rest of the TJ community in the comment section below.