Roku devices recently gained a “screen mirroring” feature. With a few clicks or taps, you can mirror a Windows 8.1 or Android screen to your Roku. It works a bit like Apple’s AirPlay or Google’s Chromecast screen-mirroring.
This works along with the Miracast open standard that’s built into Windows 8.1 PCs, Android phones and tablets, and Windows phones. It won’t work with Macs, iPhones, iPads, Chromebooks, or Linux PCs.
Enable Roku Screen MIrroring
Bear in mind that screen mirroring is a beta feature, so you may encounter issues with it. Worse yet, Miracast as a whole can be flakey, so the devices you’re casting from may have their own Miracast bugs. The Roku website has an official list of certified-compatible devices. Theoretically, any Miracast-compatible device should work — but don’t count on it. That’s one of MIracast’s problems. That said, Miracast has been improving and becoming more stable with recent devices.
To enable this feature, go into your Roku’s Settings screen, select System, and select Screen mirroring (beta). Ensure the “Enable screen mirroring” option is checked.
Add the Roku to Your Windows PC or Android Device
Next, it’s time to cast from your device. On a Windows 8.1 PC, swipe in from the right or press Windows Key + C to access the charms. Select the Devices charm and and select Project. Select “Add a wireless display” to begin adding the Roku.
This will only work if you’re using a modern Windows PC that includes Miracast-compatible hardware.
You should see your Roku in the list of devices. Select it to add it to your Windows PC’s list of available devices. Windows will ask you to follow any instructions on your Roku, but that won’t be necessary. After a few seconds, it should automatically connect and begin casting.
On Android, open the Setting screen, tap Display, tap Cast screen, and you should see the Roku in the available list of wireless displays. Consult our step-by-step guide to casting with Miracast for more details.
Cast to the Roku
To begin casting again on Windows, select the Devices charm, tap Project, and you’ll see your Roku appear in the list if it’s nearby. Click or tap it to project. You’ll see the “Screen mirroring” splash screen appear on your Roku, and then your device’s display will appear on your TV.
On Android, you can begin casting in the same way you added the Roku. You should also see it in your Quick Settings list.
Either way, when you’re done casting, just touch the Home button — or practically any other button on your Roku’s remote control. It’ll instantly leaving the casting mode and display your Home screen so you can begin watching something else.
We’ve had issues getting this feature to work in the past, but that could just have been due to the beta nature of this feature. It worked for us on the latest model of Roku 3 with a Surface Pro 2.
In the past, we’ve noticed that Miracast won’t work if you have VirtualBox, VMware, or a similar virtual machine program installed on your Windows computer. Miracast needs a “clean Wi-Fi stack,” and these programs interfere with the networking. Try uninstalling virtual machine programs and anything else that tampers with your networking if you can’t Miracast. On Android, custom ROMs may not be able to Miracast properly — ensure you’re using the manufacturer’s official build of Android on a supported device.
In theory, devices don’t need even need to be on the same Wi-Fi network to use Miracast. That’s because they discover and connect to each other using Wi-Fi Direct, not over your existing Wi-Fi network. If you’re having problems, you may want to try connecting both devices to the same Wi-Fi network — it may or may not help. And, because this uses Wi-Fi, sources of Wi-Fi interference could cause problems.
Any problems you encounter could be due to the beta nature of the screen mirroring feature on the Roku. They could also just be general Miracast problems — many manufacturers have seemingly struggled to get Miracast working reliably.
But this is still an exciting feature — it means many people now have Miracast-compatible devices connected to their TVs. It could help Miracast become more widespread and used — if it works reliably for most people.
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