How to Set Up Roku

by David Lipscomb
The Roku media streamer puts free and premium content at your fingertips.

The Roku media streamer puts free and premium content at your fingertips.

The Roku media streamer is a device that facilitates access to your locally stored content along with Internet services like Hulu Plus, Netflix and others. Although the device is pretty straightforward to use, you need to take the time to properly set up the unit. Making the proper connections to your television and your choice of wired or wireless network connections get you viewing content in no time.

Examine the back of the Roku device. Select the video jacks that best support your television. Use HDMI for sets equipped with that connection. Use component video for analog or digital TVs without HDMI. Select the yellow composite jack for use with basic analog sets. HDMI supports up to 1080p, while component and composite support up to 720p and 480i, respectively.

Locate the video jacks on your television matching those selected on the back of the Roku box. Connect one end of the cables to the Roku, slipping the other end into the corresponding jacks on the back of your television.

Connect the red and white audio cables from the Roku device to the audio inputs corresponding to your chosen video connections. Note that HDMI does not require separate audio cables, because it carries both audio and video.

Connect an Ethernet cable from the Roku unit to your router for a faster wired connection to your network. Leave the Ethernet port empty if you intend on using a wireless connection. Turn on the Roku unit.

Click "OK" on your remote control after the Roku unit finishes booting.

Select "Wired" for making a direct connection to your router. The Roku unit detects network settings automatically. Choose "Wireless" if you desire this connection. Enter your network name and password when prompted.

Wait for the newest Roku firmware to download and unit to reboot. Select your timezone and click the "Done" option.

Open a Web browser on your computer. Enter the link shown in the resource below. Enter the code provided by your Roku device into the appropriate field on this page.

Enter your details to create a new account, or to log in to an existing one. Account linking is now complete.


  • Make sure you select a Roku unit with your required audio and video jacks. Not all boxes come equipped with the same outputs.
  • If you don't see an image on your display, double-check that you are using the right television input. Press "Input" or "Channel" repeatedly until your Roku box's display is visible.
  • If you get an error message on the Roku account link page, head back to your TV. Jot down the code, following letters numbers exactly, with the correct case as displayed.

Items you will need

  • HDMI, component or composite video cables
  • RCA audio cables
  • Ethernet cable
  • Wired or wireless network
  • Computer

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images