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ROKU Digital Video BOX SETUP

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How to setup ROKU video set top box

The ROKU box is small and comes with a remote control. Combined with your TV and high-speed internet service, the ROKU box delivers video content from internet providers directly to your home. Movies from Netflix and Amazon, TV shows, sports and more. You choose what to view on your TV and when to view it.

ROKU comes in three flavors, the standard definition box for $79.99, the high definition box for $99.99 and the high definition plus extended range box for $129.99. The SD box does not have the optical audio or HDMI outputs that the other two have and the ROKU HD-XR box gives you the latest wireless b/g/N capability for extended range wireless in the home. (Wireless connection from your ROKU box to your wireless router.)

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ROKU Video Set-Top-Box Setup

ROKU, meaning six in Japanese, is a reference to the six companies ROKU founder and CEO Anthony Wood has created. Released in 2008, the ROKU digital video box is a way to get movies and other video content over the internet and displayed on your home TV, any TV, without using a computer **. The box has standard composite video and audio connections as well as HDMI and component video hookups for High-Definition video. You must have high-speed internet service (broadband) and an account with your content providers such as NETFLIX or Amazon video-on-demand. The box has both wireless and wired network capability for your home LAN. A remote control allows easy selections of content, all from your couch.

** Note: An internet connected computer is required for one-time device activation (Netflix account) and to manage your queue of content.

Costs involved are the following:

1) ROKU player - about $100
2) Internet broadband service - about $40 per month
3) TV or HDTV - depends on your choice of TV
4) Account with content providers - about $8.99 and up per month depending on your selections
5) Router, cable modem - depends on your choices but generally $70 or so for router and per month costs possibly for (Cable or DSL) modem. Depends on your internet service provider.
6) Cables such as Ethernet, HDMI or RCA audio/video - $15 to $45

Many people already have high-speed internet service and an HDTV. The on-going costs consist of the internet service and the content providers rates. Contrast these costs with the costs for cable TV service or buying DVDs or Blu-ray movies at the store. Plus there should be much more content in the future including sports, financial, weather and international news all delivered to your home. Some people have cut their cable-TV already in favor of internet-based content because they get what they want and only what they want.

With Wi-Fi and High Definition playback capability built-in, Roku HD Player is the easiest way to stream instant movies and shows directly to your TV - over 50,000 and counting, from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and more. Works with any TV.

The Roku Player is a $100 set top box that streams movies and TV shows from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand as well as live baseball via MLB.TV directly to your living room.

A Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand or MLB.TV account is required to use the box, but then you simply connect the box to the Internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, send a request to link the Roku player to the respective content provider and then the box is paired and you’re ready to start streaming from a library of over 50,000 combined titles and live or on demand baseball.

Roku Setup

The diagram above shows how to hookup a ROKU box to your TV. The ROKU box has all the ports you need including digital audio, HDMI, ethernet and wireless LAN. Connect your router to the ROKU wirelessly or use an ethernet (CAT5) cable. See laptop to TV hookup for a complete network diagram. The ROKU just substitutes for the computer.

The Roku box will walk you through the process of registering the Player with your online Netflix account. You must have some kind of unlimited account with Netflix in order to use the player with them. Currently these plans start at just under $9/month.

You can register online with Netflix and try it out for free.

Configuring the Player involves entering a Roku-supplied number into your online account using a URL the system provides for just that purpose. To activate and manage your Netflix ready device, both your device and your personal computer need to be simultaneously connected to the Internet -- your Internet connection must be equipped with a router to enable this.***

To activate your Netflix ready device:

* Navigate to the Netflix option on your device (ROKU) and select it
* Follow the on-screen instructions until you see a screen that displays your Activation Code. Write down the code.
* At your computer, go to and enter the code.
* Your device will be associated with your Account, and the instant Queue that you create on the computer will be displayed on your TV via your Netflix ready device

*** Broadband Internet access services typically provide high-speed modems with built-in routers, so you can connect multiple computers to the Internet. If you do not have a router or are unfamiliar with this technology, your Internet Service Provider should be able to provide you with more information.

If a router is not an option for you, Netflix customer service can assist you in activating your device, but you will still need access to a Web-connected computer to manage your Instant Queue.

According to Roku and Netflix, you can have as many as six Netflix players in your home tied to a single account. You can always tack on another Netflix account if you want a Netflix player in every room.

Next you'll want to tell the Roku box what type of TV screen you have (4:3 is the default).

Remote Control

The remote for the Player is perfectly simple. It's only got 9 buttons. Nothing else is needed in order to navigate the system. You've got a Home button, four directional keys and a Select button in the middle. Below you have Play/Pause (single button), Rewind, and Fast Forward.

Selecting and Watching Your Movies

According to Netflix you can add up to 500 titles to your instant Queue. As you watch movies you can simply rate (optional) and delete them right then and there from your list. Your account on the Netflix website will be updated to reflect the deletion and you can add more movies at your leisure.

To watch any movies, you first need to dump those movies into your Watch Now Queue.

Browsing the Watch Now Queue is extremely intuitive. The title, duration and MPAA rating are given for each movie/show and it is very easy to navigate.

To select a show you simply hit the Select button on the remote control. At this point the system takes into account your network download speed and grabs the video at one of four video quality levels. While it is loading, a black screen appears with the show title, quality level, and a progress bar.

Once the movie begins you can Fast Forward, Rewind and Pause the picture.


Roku HD XR Review
Roku HD XR adds high speed WiFi (802.11n) to the popular HD streaming box. The upgrade gives consumers access to the fastest WiFi protocol so they can take better advantage of high speed Internet connections. This means consumers with an 802.11n router in their home and a fast broadband connection can expect the highest possible quality when streaming Netflix, Amazon on Demand and content.

Roku HD XR Setup
The Roku player comes with a pamphlet that has six steps to get set up. One of those steps is adding batteries to the remote and another shows how to use the play button. Plug the Roku into the wall and connect to the TV. If you’re using a wireless router you’ll configure that in the setup, there’s also an option for a hard wired Ethernet connection. If you do not have an HDMI cable for the HDTV, you will have to buy that. ROKU does provide RCA A/V cables.

Getting setup though is simple. The configuration screens are very easy to understand and the unit even finds its own firmware updates for installation as part of the setup.

Using the Roku HD XR
Once you’re powered on, the Roku will present three viewing options, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand and While these are currently the only channels available on the Roku; Roku has been indicating plans to add more content in the near future. To configure each of these services, you’ll need to pair the Roku player with your existing accounts at Netflix or Amazon etc.

What happens is that when you select Netflix for instance, the Roku box will show you a code. Log into your Netflix account online to add the code to your profile. Within a few seconds of adding the code, the Roku will get the pairing message and you’re ready to roll. Once paired, you’ll have access to the content available by the channel. For Netflix, this means you’ll have access to your entire instant viewing queue. Amazon will show you the movies or videos you have available either from purchases or rentals and offers streaming of baseball games and related content. Each of these services requires some level of subscription, all of which is managed outside of the Roku environment.

Testing the Netflix queue.
The interface is easy to use, just scroll through the movie/TV show cover art until you find the one you want to watch. Select the one you want and the Roku streamer will connect to the service, do a quick Internet speed test, and get started. From the point of selecting your show or movie to the stream starting took about 5 seconds each time, which is very fast.

The Amazon service and MLB content work roughly the same way – easily and quickly connecting and streaming to the Roku HD XR from your Amazon library or your selected out of market baseball game from MLB.

The controls for the Roku box are handled entirely by the included remote control. The remote is a sturdy 9 button unit that is intuitive to use and responsive to button presses. The home button takes users back to the main menu.

This box is a tremendous value; for $129 you get HDMI, 802.11n WiFi and it is reliable.

All three Roku systems are available from for purchase online. Ships right to your home.

Routers or access points that will work with the Roku digital video player.

Any router or access point that supports the 802.11b or 802.11g wireless protocol should work with the Roku digital video player.

Below is a list of wireless routers and wireless access points that have been tested to work with the Roku Player.

BEFW11S4 Wireless B Router
WAP11 Wireless B Access Point (WEP only)
WAP54G Wireless G Access Point
WAP4400N Wireless N Access Point with Power Over Ethernet
WRT54GL Wireless G Router (opensource)
WRT54GS Wireless G Router
WRT300N Wireless N Router

F5D6130 Wireless B Access Point
F5D6231-4 Wireless B Router
F5D7130 Wireless G Access Point
F5D7231-4 Wireless G Plus Router
F5D8231-4 Wireless N1 Router

DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router
DWL-900AP+ Wireless B Access Point
DWL-2100AP AirPlus Xtreme G High Speed Wireless Access Point
WBR-2310 RangeBooster Wireless G router

WGT624 Super-G Wireless Router
WN802T RangeMax NEXT Wireless N Access Point
WNR834B RangeMax NEXT Wireless N Router
WPN802 RangeMax Wireless G Access Point

M7601LL/B AirPort Base Station
M8799LL/A AirPort Extreme Base Station (wireless G)
M9470LL/A AirPort Express
MB053LL/A AirPort Extreme (wireless N)

Buffalo Technology
WHR-HP-G54 Wireless-G MIMO Broadband Router and Access Point
WZR-AG300NH Wireless-N Nfiniti™ Dual Band Gigabit Router & Access Point

Airlink 101
AP431W Super G™ Multi-function Access Point
AR525W MIMO XR™ 802.11g Wireless Router
AR680W 300N Wireless Router

SBG940 Wireless Cable Modem Gateway

ROKU Digital Video Box

Networking: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support; 10/100 Ethernet (RJ-45)
Video Outputs: Composite video, S-Video, Component video (Y/Pb/Pr), HDMI
Video Modes: 16:9 HD (720p), 16:9 anamorphic (480p), 4:3 standard (480i)
Audio Output: Stereo (L/R RCA), Digital Optical (Toslink), Digital over HDMI
Remote Control: NEC protocol, supported by various universal remotes
Power Input: 5V, 1.5A provided by included AC adapter
Power Consumption: 5 watts peak, 3 watts in standby
Size: 5 x 5 x 1.75 inches (130 x 130 x 41 mm)
Weight: 11 oz (300 grams)

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