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GuidesHow to watch YouTube on Roku

How to watch YouTube on Roku

No matter what streaming device you have, YouTube is one of the best apps you can install on any of them to watch your favorite videos. For Roku users, all you have to do is to install the official YouTube channel on your device and you’re ready to watch your videos.

As the official YouTube channel is available for free, all you need is just an Internet connection to watch YouTube on Roku.

However, if you have any problems when watching YouTube on Roku TV or you’ve never used YouTube on this streaming device before, this article will help you learn a few tips on how to install YouTube correctly on Roku and what to do if you have any problems.

What is Roku and is it a good option

Roku is a device (developed by Roku) that streams media (shows, movies, and even music) from the Internet to your TV. The devices require minimal setup and connect to the Internet just like your computer. Roku media streaming devices include an operating system (OS) that allows users to access and manage streaming content on the Internet.

Three types of Roku devices are available:

  • Roku Express: This is the cheapest of the Roku streaming options. It can connect to almost any television and comes with Roku’s more than 1,000 channels, which aggregate from streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and more. It also comes with built-in wireless, a search function across all of its channels and channel shortcut buttons.
  • Roku Box: This option is a standalone box that connects to the Internet via your broadband router, using an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection. The Roku Box can be connected directly to a TV or via a home theater receiver via HDMI (e.g. a DVD or Blu-ray player).
  • Roku TV: Roku TV is a versatile solution that doesn’t require an external box or flash drive to access streaming Internet content because the Roku operating system is already built into the TV. The TV connects to a broadband router via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. TV brands that offer Roku TVs in their product lines include Hisense, Hitachi, Insignia, Sharp, and TCL. Roku TVs are available in several screen sizes. 720p, 1080p, and 4K Ultra HD versions are available.

Roku also provides a mobile app for iOS and Android devices that provides even more flexibility. The mobile app provides voice search and also duplicates several menu categories that are part of the main Roku TV OSD system, allowing you to control your Roku devices directly from your phone.

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How much does Roku costs

The streaming player has its own price, but here it’s not so complicated – the seller offers various devices, which cost accordingly a certain price. In turn, these are several variants that can suit people with different preferences and budgets. Here are some of the Roku devices:

  • Roku Premiere: This box comes with all of the features of the Roku Express, but also allows for 1080p HD viewing – Cost: $39.99.
  • Roku Streaming Stick: The Roku Streaming Stick is the most portable of the streaming options Roku offers. It includes all the channels that the other Roku’s includes, as well as the 1080p HD streaming that comes with the Roku Premiere, but it also offers dual-band wireless. Cost: $49.99.
  • Roku Ultra: This is the most advanced Roku, and can only be used with HD TVs. It comes with all the channels and features of the other three Rokus, but also includes a processor that is five times faster than the other Rokus, a motion control remote for playing video games on your Roku, and an Ethernet, USB & microSD slot. Cost: $99.99.

It is up to you to choose which device is right for you, but remember that even with the most expensive device you have no guarantee that watching YouTube at the Roku will be ad-free (if you do not have a subscription to the service).

How to properly set YouTube on Roku

In order to access YouTube on your Roku, the first thing you must do is to add a YouTube channel to your Roku device. Here are two short guides on how to install the app:

  • Add YouTube from the Roku itself.
    • Press Home on the Roku remote control to access the Roku main interface.
    • Select Add Channels from the Roku Home screen.
    • Select Web Video channel category in the sidebar on the left. Then select YouTube in the right pane.
    • Select Add channel on the YouTube channel screen.
    • Wait for Roku to add the channel to your device. This shouldn’t take long.
    • Soon Channel added will appear on your Roku when you add YouTube. Select OK in this message box to close the window.
  • Add YouTube from the Roku website.
    • Open a web browser on your computer and go to the Roku Website.
    • Enter the login information for your Roku account and continue.
    • Hover your cursor over the user icon in the top right corner of the Roku website. Then select Channel store from the menu.
    • On the Channel store that opens, select Web Video from the categories at the top. Then select YouTube from the list.
    • Select Add channel on the YouTube screen.
    • Enter your Roku account username and password to continue.
    • The Add channel button then should be greyish color, indicating that the channel has been successfully added to your Roku device.

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Is there a way to watch YouTube from smartphone on Roku

If you do not have a YouTube on Roku and you want to quickly view videos from YouTube you found through your smartphone, you can just use the casting option. It is available on YouTube and can be used with any streaming device.

This method can be an alternative if you do not want to have YouTube installed on your TV as a separate application. Just a couple of taps and YouTube videos can be streamed through your smartphone or tablet.

  • Launch the YouTube app on your iPhone or Android phone.
  • Find the video you’d like to play, and tap the video so it starts playing.
  • Tap the cast icon at the top of the video and choose your Roku device from the Cast to menu.
  • Your video will play on your Roku-connected screen.

Now you know more about what Roku is, what the Roku TV plans are, and how you can install YouTube on this streaming device.



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