How to Get the Most Out of Your Roku: Six Things You Should Do

You finally worked out which Roku to buy, and set up the basics: Netflix, Amazon, and whatever other services you’re subscribed to. What next?

You’ve come to the right place: we’ve spent way too much time figuring out what the Roku platform can do, digging into the settings and Channel store to get everything just right. Here’s the first things we’d do after getting a new Roku; give them a shot.

Add a Bunch of Free Channels

Paid channels like Netflix are great, but there are all sorts of free content you can access with your Roku. We’ve already outlined the best free channels, from The Roku Channel to PBS; check out that list and you’ll have more content than you can watch.

If that’s not enough, there are hidden private channels you can add as well.

Learn to Use the Search

It’s easy to overlook the Roku’s search functionality as a gimmick, but it’s really not—especially if your remote offers voice search. You can quickly search every streaming site in one place and start watching immediately. It’s a lot faster than checking Netflix, then checking Hulu, and so on. Even if your remote doesn’t offer voice search, you can search on your phone and start watching quickly.

Keep Up With Your Favorite Shows Using the Feed

Keeping track of when new episodes are available can be a hassle, but set up Roku’s feed keep track of your favorite shows and you can see all new episodes in one place. Even better, you can watch them right there, regardless of which Channel offers them.

Rearrange Your Channel Icons

The more you use your Roku the more channels you’ll have. To keep things tidy you should rearrange your icons. Put the stuff you use most directly at the top of the list.

Remove Clutter From the Menu

The Roku’s interface is straightforward, but there’s probably some stuff you don’t care about in the left panel. Happily you can remove the Fandango Movie and TV Stores from the home screen and keep things clean.

So long as you’re taking control, you might as well also stop your Roku theme from changing on Holidays.

Learn to Mirror Your Android and Windows Devices

There’s a Roku channel for just about everything, but from time to time you might want to mirror you Windows or Android device over to your TV. This lets you show off your photos and videos, or stream any website over to your Roku. Sadly Apple products are not supported, but don’t blame Roku: Apple could support the open Miracast protocol if it wanted to.

Similarly, you can also use your Roku like a Chromecast for a few select apps, like YouTube and Netflix.

Justin Pot is a staff writer for How-To Geek, and a technology enthusiast who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.