How to set up any model of Roku player and remote

Figuring out how to set up your Roku player only takes a few minutes. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

  • Before setting up a Roku media player, make sure you have an HDMI cable on hand, unless you’re setting up a Streaming Stick. An HDMI is included in the box with some models, like the Roku Express, but the Premiere and Ultra don’t come with one.
  • After you connect the Roku to a TV and plug in the power cable, on-screen instructions will guide you through most of the setup process.
  • You’ll need access to a web browser on a computer or mobile device to activate your Roku, create an account, and finish setup.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Roku media players are among the most popular streaming devices available, thanks to their simplicity, ease of use, compatibility with thousands of streaming channels, and affordable pricing.

In fact, Roku offers a family of devices from the budget-priced Roku Streaming Stick ($US29.99) to the high-end Roku Ultra ($US99.99). No matter which Roku model you have, setup is similar and straightforward.

How to set up your Roku media player

The process of setting up a Roku is generally the same regardless of which Roku model you have. We’ll point out any differences as we go.

Note that you might need to purchase an HDMI cable separately, as not all Roku players include one in the box. The Roku Express and Express Plus include an HDMI cable; the Roku Premiere and Roku Ultra do not. (The Streaming Stick doesn’t include an HDMI cable, but you don’t need one to connect it.)

1. Connect the Roku player to an HDMI cable and then plug that cable into an HDMI input on your television. If you have a Roku Streaming Stick, you don’t need an HDMI cable. Instead, just insert the Streaming Stick directly into the HDMI port. Alternately, some Roku models, like the Roku Express Plus, come with a composite video cable you can use if you have an older TV that lacks an HDMI input.

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Plug your Roku to your TV’s HDMI port (or using composite video cables, if you have an old TV and an appropriate Roku model). Dave Johnson/Business Insider

2. Plug the Roku’s power cable into the Roku device. Depending on which model you have, this power plug will either be a small round connector or a micro-USB connector. Plug the other end of the cable into one of the TV’s USB ports, or into the included AC adaptor. If using an AC adaptor, plug it into an electrical outlet.

3. Make sure the TV is turned on and set to the correct input for the Roku player. After it boots, you should see the Roku’s welcome screen.

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When the Roku is powered on and plugged in, it displays a welcome screen followed by step-by-step setup instructions. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

4. Insert batteries in the Roku remote.

5. You might need to pair the remote control. If you’re instructed to do so, press the reset button on the remote (it’s located in the battery compartment) for several seconds.

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If your remote control and Roku player can’t communicate, you might need to reset the remote by pressing this button. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

6. You can now use the remote control to follow the on-screen directions. Select a language and set up your Internet connection by choosing a Wi-Fi network and entering your password. If you have a Roku Ultra, you have the option to avoid Wi-Fi and connect the player directly to your Internet router using an Ethernet cable.

7. After connecting to the Internet, the Roku player may need to install updates. Let the device install updates and restart as needed.

8. The Roku player might ask to test the screen. Use the remote to follow any instructions and let the player detect the display.

9. Now it’s time to activate your Roku player. Follow the on-screen directions to open a web browser on your computer or mobile device and navigate to Enter the code that is displayed on your TV screen.

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To activate your Roku player, you’ll need to enter the code you get from the Roku into a web browser. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

10. Create a Roku account. If you already have a Roku account from a previous Roku device, enter your username and password now.

11. Roku may ask you to choose streaming channels. At this time, you can customise your Roku experience by choosing and logging into your favourite channels, like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and any others you want to watch.

If you have a Roku Express, you’ll want to mount it so that your remote control can maintain line of sight with the player. It comes with a small adhesive strip which you can apply to stick the Roku to the side or top of the TV (but don’t put it behind the TV, where the remote control can’t see it).

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