If you need to management a Roku participant or Roku good TV by voice, you've gotten a number of choices. Many Roku units embody a distant management that helps voice instructions, and you may also management Roku hands-free with an Amazon Echo or Google Home good speaker.
But together with all these voice management choices comes a number of limitations, particularly relating to launching movies or TV channels immediately. Knowing what Roku can and may’t do will spare you some complications once you’re barking out orders.
We’ll speak via how one can get arrange with Roku voice controls, an inventory of supported voice instructions, and a few suggestions for making your expertise smoother.
How to make use of the Roku voice distant
If your Roku participant has a microphone button underneath its directional pad, you possibly can maintain it all the way down to document a voice command. Current Roku gamers which have a voice distant embody the Roku Premiere+, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku Streaming Stick+, and Roku Ultra.
For most Roku gamers from 2014 onward—together with these with out a voice distant—you may also use the Roku mobile app for iOS or Android for voice management. Just faucet on the “Remote” tab within the app, after which search for the microphone button within the top-right part of the display. Alternatively, you possibly can buy a stand-alone Roku Voice Remote at Roku.com for $20.
As for what you are able to do with voice controls, Roku helps the next instructions:
- Play/Pause/Rewind/Fast Forward
- ”Go Home,” which returns to the house display
- ”Replay,” which jumps again seven seconds and allows closed captioning
- ”Launch [app name]”
- ”Search for [actor/director/movie/TV show/genre]”
- ”Search free of charge [movies/TV shows/genres]”
Roku good TVs help these extra controls:
- ”Turn the quantity up/down”
- ”Set quantity to [percentage]”
- ”Turn the TV off/on”
- ”Tune to [channel]” (if an antenna is plugged in)
- ”Switch to [TV input number or name]”
If you've gotten Pandora, iHeartRadio, or TuneIn put in, you may also use voice instructions to play web radio stations or podcasts. Pandora Premium subscribers can play particular artists, albums, or playlists as nicely. Just say “play [music/podcast] in [Pandora/iHeartRadio/TuneIn” to start out listening.
The important limitation right here is you can’t ask Roku to play a selected video or launch a selected stay TV channel, like you possibly can with sure apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV units.
How to make use of Amazon Alexa with Roku
For of us who personal an Amazon Echo or different Alexa-powered speaker, Roku provides an Alexa ability for hands-free voice management. Here’s how one can allow it:
- Open the Alexa app in your cellphone, choose “Skills & Games” from the sidebar menu, after which seek for Roku. If you’re on a pc, simply visit this link in a web browser.
- Select “Enable,” after which signal into your Roku account.
- Accept the phrases, after which choose the Roku participant you need to join. (Unfortunately, Alexa units can solely management a single Roku participant or TV.)
- Finally, choose the Alexa units that you simply’d like to make use of with Roku and hit “Link Devices.” (If you’re setting this up from an internet browser as an alternative of the Alexa app, you’ll must reload the Skill page, choose “Manage in TV & Video,” choose Manage & Link Devices, after which select your Alexa units to finish the setup.)
You can now ask Alexa to carry out many of the instructions Roku’s personal voice distant helps, although you need to use the magic phrases “on Roku” on the finish of your preliminary command for this to work. Try utilizing this for playback management, “Go Home,” launching apps, and looking out. The extra controls for Roku TVs are supported as nicely.
Unfortunately, you can not use Alexa to open Netflix or hearken to music via your Roku gadget, and the “Replay” command doesn’t work. As with Roku’s voice distant, you can also’t use Alexa to launch particular streaming channels or movies.
How to make use of Google Assistant with Roku
In addition to Alexa, Roku additionally helps Google Assistant, so you utilize voice controls with any Google Home speaker or the Google Assistant app. Here’s how one can set it up:
- Open the Google Home app, after which hit the + (or “Add”) button close to the highest of the Home part.
- Select “Set up device” after which choose “Works with Google.”
- Scroll down or seek for Roku after which choose it.
- Sign into your Roku account, hit “Accept and Continue,” after which select the Roku participant you need to join. (As with Alexa, Google Assistant can solely management a single Roku gadget per account.)
- On the “Add smart home devices” display, choose your Roku and hit “Add to a Room.” Then, select the room the place your Roku is situated.
Google Assistant helps many of the similar Roku voice instructions as Alexa, and once more, you need to say “on Roku” for these instructions to register. You can management playback, launch apps, and search, although the “Go Home” and “Replay” instructions haven't labored in my expertise. Again, Google Assistant can not open Netflix, play music via your Roku gadget, or launch particular movies.
More Roku voice suggestions
Although you possibly can’t use voice controls to launch particular streaming TV channels, the “launch [app]” command nonetheless turns out to be useful for apps with an auto-play element, particularly in the event that they bear in mind the final channel you had been watching. Try it with CBSN, Pluto TV, or Comet.
If you’re watching one app and need to rapidly swap to a different, the “launch [app]” command might be sooner than returning to the house display and choosing the opposite app from the listing.
With Alexa and Google Assistant, you solely must say “on Roku” after your preliminary voice command. You can go away it out from subsequent instructions except they cease working.
If Alexa or Google Assistant cease working after you set them up, strive restarting your Roku when it’s handy to take action.
As you possibly can see, Roku’s voice controls are nonetheless pretty restricted, at the very least in comparison with Alexa on Fire TV, Google Assistant on Android TV and Chromecast, and Siri on Apple TV. Still, Roku is the one streaming TV platform that at the very least offers fundamental help for Alexa, Google Assistant, and its personal voice distant, so hopefully its capabilities will enhance over time. Until then, you possibly can learn up on much more Roku suggestions here.