The Roku player allows the owner to watch video, listen to audio and play games over an Internet connection through the use of different apps, each of which accesses a different database of content. The player and the apps allow the owner to transmit the content directly to a television.
Rather than storing video or audio content locally, the Roku player enables access to third-party content distributors who already offer streaming content services, such as Netflix for movies and television shows or Pandora for music. To use the device, the owner needs to have a wireless Internet connection with enough bandwidth to support content streaming. This amount varies, as each service offers its own guidelines and requirements for smooth playback. After connecting the device to the Internet, the owner needs to create a free Roku account, which lets her download and purchase different apps for the device.
Access to content happens through the different apps, which connect to the creator service and allow the content to display on a television without the need for a computer. For example, if the owner has a Netflix account and associates it with the Roku Netflix app, the app reaches out to the Netflix servers to pull different content and display on the television as it would with the Netfllix website or a mobile app.