How to Install a Roku Streaming Player into Your Network

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When Roku updated its streaming media player in 2011, the first thing people noticed was its size: just three inches by three inches. Connect the tiny device to your home network and it offers dozens of free and premium channels of movies, TV shows and other content, including "hidden" channels requiring a secret code for access. The top-of-the-line Roku XS also includes a "game remote" with controls enabling you to play games like Angry Birds and Jeopardy.


Before you can unlock the world of content, however, you must connect the Roku to your home network. Although the Roku includes an on-screen setup guide, depending on your network, you may require a password or other connection information.

  • Connect the Roku to your TV and plug in the power cable to start the device. Turn on the TV and select the input to which you've connected the Roku.

  • Click "OK" on the "Welcome to the Roku Player" screen. If you're using a wired connection and your Roku model supports it, choose "Wired" and connect the Ethernet cable from your router to the Roku. Otherwise, choose "Wireless."

  • Enter your wireless network name and the network password when prompted. When you're successfully connected to the network, the Roku automatically begins downloading the latest software update, then reboots and guides you through the rest of the setup process.

  • Troubleshoot your network if you have problems connecting. Make sure your other wireless devices are connected and functioning and, if you're using a wired connection, test with a different cable. You may also log in to your router from a connected computer to determine whether the Roku is appearing on your network. Roku recommends that you contact your router manufacturer if problems persist. If your network requires a device's MAC address to connect, find the address either on the bottom of the Roku or by choosing "Settings" on the Roku home screen and choosing "About."

Tips & Warnings

  • The Roku XS is the only current model that includes wired as well as wireless connectivity. Roku models released prior to 2011 also offer Ethernet connections.

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