How Does Roku Work?

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The Roku player is a miniature audio device that connects to a wireless home network or router via an Ethernet cord to stream movies, TV shows and music to a paired television. Once connected, the device links with the user’s Roku account to access media files through the Roku Store or other providers, such as Netflix.

The device requires a power connection, TV input or source, broadband internet or Wi-Fi connection of at least 1.5 Mbps or up to 8 Mbps for HD programs, a free Roku account and an HDMI cable connection. The Roku player is equipped with a processor, wireless antenna and sufficient storage space to temporarily store media files as they transmit.

The device comes with a small remote to navigate the player’s music and video channels. The channels display right on the user’s TV via an intuitive interface. Users must select the channels or content they wish to view, then log into the services before streaming can take place. Some Roku channels are supported by advertisements and are thus free to the user, while others require a monthly subscription cost or charge per streaming. Roku users also have access to several video on demand outlets, which are search supported by title, actor, channel and category.