Media Streamers Questions & Answers

Media Streamers Questions & Answers

Answers for your media streaming related questions

What is Streaming?

Roku media streamers, Apple TV, Boxee, Mac Mini, hulu, vudu,  netflix, FAQStreaming is simply watching a video from the internet or computer and sending it to a television via a small box called a media streamer or player. The box attaches to your TV set and lets you play or stream files directly on your television. Data is transferred through a wireless router, or preferably for HD content, over an Ethernet cable for faster and smoother file transfers. Some devices allow you to plug in a USB flash or hard drive to play video files. To learn more about the different devices used, please click here »

HTPC vs Media Streamer vs Media Player?

If you ever wondered which device would be best to enter the world of streaming media, than be sure to take our short Quiz. Please, click here »

Where can I find Free Movies and TV Shows to Stream?

If you watch movies on a HTPC, Mobile Device or Computer, there is a ton of free content available on the net. We have begun compiling a list of the most popular websites that offer free streaming TV content online. The Internet TV Channel list is three pages long plus offers an additional page of links to streaming music radio stations. To browse our Internet Channel Guide please, click here »

Don't miss 8 YouTube Channels that offer Free uncut movies, trailers and movie clips. Please read more...

How Does a Roku Work?

Roku offers their programming as channels. They have official Roku approved channels and also private channels that offers a lot of unique programming mostly without monthly fees. Some channels do charge a subscription fee although there are so many channels out there you would hard pressed not to find something good to watch. Roku media streamers are very popular with the cable cutting crowd as it offers many full TV shows and Movie channels. It is very simple to use. This is what makes Roku a popular choice as a first media streaming. To get started with your new Roku you need to first create an account. Read more…

Why do some Roku Channel Links not Work When I Click on them?

If you are browsing our Roku channels list you may notice that some channels are private which usually include a Code. Other channels are public and don't have a code. When you click these links to add the channel it takes you to Roku's channel page to learn more about the channel and add it to your device. Recently Roku redesigned their site so all mobile devices no longer can access their full website and install public Roku channels. Instead they are redirected to a mobile version of the Roku home page website. We have a work around for this and you can still use your mobile phones and tablets to access and install all Public and Private Roku channels. Please click here for more info »

Can I Watch the Same Channel as Cable?

Yes and No. With Roku you typically won't find the same exact live channels as are on cable or satellite. That's not to say there is no shortage of great channels. The good news is if you want to watch live cable type TV channels, you can with the USTVNow channel. To learn more about USTVNow and how to install it on your Roku please read more… »

What are Roku Hidden Channels?

Roku offers both public channels which can be found in their channel store and hidden private channels... please read more »

Roku Remote Reset and Pairing

1. Remove batteries from remote.
2. Turn off your Roku for 10 to 15 seconds.
3.Turn on your Roku.
4. Once you see the Roku logo on your TV, place batteries back into the remote & press pairing button for 5 seconds.
5. Test your remote to see if it's working once you see the Homescreen.
6. For remotes w/o pairing buttons, place batteries back into the remote & place your remote on top of the Roku while it is starting up.
7. Test your remote once you see the Homescreen.

Why do I Need a Credit Card to Activate My Roku? 

Unfortunately a credit card is required to activate your account and to subscribe to some fee based channels. The good news is once you sign up you can deactivate your stored credit card and delete it from your account. The really good news is that there are many free private and public channels. Our Roku channel list contains mostly free and popular channels. Recently they added a skip link below where you add your credit card info. Roku will also accept payment by PayPal.

How Do I Install Private Channels on My Roku?

We have included quick install links in our Roku channel list. Simply click on the link and log into your Roku account. Click add in the confirm box that comes up. It can almost 24 hours before your new channel is available to watch. Then go down the list and add as many channels as you like from our list.
Try this trick to make new channels appear instantly. After entering your channel codes online, go to your Roku box. Unless you have the Roku 3 enter and exit the Roku Channel Store. Your new channels will appear at the end of your channels list. Press the * button on your remote and choose move channel to put channel in any order you like. If you have a Roku 3, enter settings-updates to refresh your channel list and add new channels.

Warning: Don't Overload Your Roku with Too Many Channels At Once

While there are many great channels available for Roku, it's tempting to try to install them all at once. Limit your Roku device to no more than 10-25 channels at a time. (Not so much an issue for newer Roku models) By deleting any Roku channels you don't use or watch it will not overload Roku's limited memory and cause slow or erratic behavior.

How To Remove Roku Channels from Your Device:

*From the Roku home screen, select the "Channel Store" icon. *Use the up or down arrow button to navigate to the "My Channels" category (the top row), a list of channel you currently have installed.
*Using the right and left buttons on your remote control, select the channel you wish to remove.
*Select "remove channel."
*Select "yes" on the confirmation dialog box to confirm that you wish to remove the channel.

To remove a channel from the Roku home screen using the Instant Replay (12-button) Roku remote control:

*Highlight the channel you wish to remove.
*Press the options (“*”) button on your remote control.
*Select “remove channel” from the options menu.
*Select “remove channel” again to confirm.

How Do I Get YouTube On Roku?

The official Roku YouTube channel is no longer available on Roku unless you installed it before it on an older Roku before it was banned. There was a 3rd party private channel VideoBuzz that worked to get YouTube back on your Roku. This channel has recently been removed by Roku and will not play any more videos from YouTube. Currently there are still two work arounds which may not be as easy as installing a channel and watching YouTube. Although they will let you get limited YouTube content back on Roku. Recently Roku released a new YouTube channel which will play content from a mobile device web browser to your Roku.
Learn more with our, YouTube on Roku Guide
Be sure to visit our Roku Channel list for many more great Roku private channels.

How Can I Play My Own Movies on Roku From My Computer?

Currently the best and free way to play videos on your Roku from another Media Server, PC or NAS is the Plex Channel available in our Roku Channel List. The Plex back end component or media server software needs to be hosted and running on your computer. The Roku Plex channel will scan your network and find the Plex server. It will show and organized list of movie or TV show thumbnails and information from your media library right on your Roku. It plays both .mkv and .avi files very nicely in high quality and is a one of the best ways to play video content on a Roku from a computer. With the 1st generation Apple TV XBMC was our favorite media center software. With the Roku and using a Mac Mini, Plex is fantastic. Here are instructions for installing Plex on Roku. Learn more »

VPN Roku Trick - Get More Channels

Here is a nice trick that will get you more channels if you live in a country outside of the USA. Or, watch more content from Hulu Plus or Netflix from other countries with your Roku or from the internet. Learn more »

How Can I Play Games On My Roku? 

To play games you will need the the newer Roku 2 model XS which comes with a special monition controller gaming remote. Games are added just like any other video channel. We  added a Roku game page with links. When logged into your Roku account, click them to add the game to your Roku. Most games cost a small fee to play. There are also a handful of Roku games that are Free.

How Can I Reset My Roku to Delete All my Personal Information?

When upgrading and selling a Roku box it is always a good idea to do a factory reset. 
Perform a factory restore or "Hard Reset" by removing all cables except for power. Use a paper clip and hold the reset button on the back of the Roku for about 15-20 seconds. Reinstall all the cords and the Roku will ask to do a guided setup just like when it was new.

Access Hidden Screens to Troubleshoot your Roku Use your remote to access hidden screens to help troubleshoot or reboot your Roku. Please read more...

How Can Watch all Roku Channels in Canada and GB?

Many channels are not setup properly to display in other countries.
You can purchase a DNS account from within the US and configure your home Router to a US Domain Name. This will make your network believe it's in the USA and all the channels should work as normal.

Which Roku Should I Get to Play Movies and Audio Files with Plex?

Roku  3 a Great Quality Streamer
New Roku 3 Media Streamer
The new Roku 3 is their fastest and best model to date. It has a nice snappy interface and since it is their latest model will be able to take advantage of all Roku's current features. It will play the current games, and has had extremely good reviews.

***Update Please Note: Recently Roku has updated their software and some of the newer channels like VUDU, Spotify and their Search feature which will not work on older Roku models. Technology changes quickly, and while the older models still work with a majority of Roku channels, we recommend a Roku 3 to take advantage of all features including 1080P HD and Ethernet.

How Can I Get Pandora Radio on my 2nd generation Apple TV?

Unfortunately Apple did not include Pandora as a standard feature. If you do not want to jailbreak your Apple TV, it can still be done with 3rd party software or middleware called Airfoil. Click here for installation instructions and a download link to get Pandora Radio working on your Apple TV.

How Does the AppleTV Work With an iPad?

First of all you need an iPad 2 or later as they have AirPlay. This will let you mirror what is playing on your iPad onto your TV and is great for slideshow presentations and playing back videos or music from iPad apps.

Can I Get Live TV Channels on an AppleTV or HTPC like Roku has?

Yes, you can get these through XBMC and third party Add-Ons. To see which ones are needed, please read more »

Get Netflix on iPad

Watch Netflix Instantly on your iPad in Three Easy Steps

step 1 - Netflix on iPad
After Signing Up for a Free Netflix 30 day Trial, Download the free Netflix App from Apple's iTunes Store.

step 2 - Netflix on iPad
Open Netflix App and Click the Watch Instantly Tab in Upper Right Hand Corner
step 3 - Netflix on iPad
Browse and select a movie of your choice. Your Movie should Start Loading and Play Right on Your iPad.

(If your connection freezes see tip below.)
iPads can lose their wireless connection from time to time. If your movie freezes on loading or black screens, try doing a reset of your wireless settings. You will need to have your wireless password and network account name handy.

Reset iPad Wireless Network Connection

Step 1. Click on the iPad settings icon on the desktop.
Step 2. Choose the General Icon on the Left side of the window.
Step 3. Click the Reset Network Settings Tab on the Right. In the confirmation pop up box click Reset. Finally renter your WiFi Network settings. This should get Netflix working again on your iPad.

Following these simple tips should help get Netflix up and running quickly on your iPad.
Be sure to see our Netflix Top Hundred and Latest Instant Releases page.

Best Apps to Play Movies on iPad

Here are some of the highest rated movie players for playing back video files in formats other than Apple's limited mp4.
1. HD Player Pro (For Local Playback Only No TV Output)
2. BUZZ Player HD - Works great for mkv files without DTS audio.
3. AV Player HD - One of the best all around video Apps. Plays mkv and avi without conversion.

Building a New Home Theater? Don't Forget Indoor Air Quality 

We added a guide to air purifiers to help your family breathe better inside your home. Learn what features you need and which to avoid. Read more...

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