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Questions About Roku

Updated on July 1, 2016
Max Dalton profile image

Max holds a BS in Mass Communications from SIU and an MA in Communication from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.

Introduction

Roku acts as a streaming service aggregator, giving you access to a wide net of streaming music and video services that are a combination of paid, free, and mixed. Popular services you can access through the device include Netflix, Amazon Video, Pandora, HBO Go, Plex, and more. The goal of this article is to address common questions from both people considering Roku and people who already have a Roku device.

The Roku 4 has a power switch along the left side of the device.
The Roku 4 has a power switch along the left side of the device. | Source

How do I change my credit card on Roku?

If you have a new credit or debit card that you want to associated with your Roku account, you can update that information safely through the Roku website using the following instructions:

  1. Navigate to www.roku.com on your preferred Web browser.
  2. Log in using the email address and password associated with your Roku account. You'll be redirected to the My Account page.
  3. Click "Update" beneath Payment Method to arrive at a screen where you can update your credit or debit card information.

What can I watch on Roku?

Roku gives you access to both free and paid content. For example, with a paid subscription you just need to enter your user information to access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO GO. Alternatively, channels like Crackle offer access to content for free, but support it with ads that run like commercials while you're watching that content. There are also channels, such as VUDU and Amazon Prime, where you can rent movies. Some channels, like Showtime Anytime, let you access content from those providers using login information associated with your cable TV provider you purchase Showtime through. And finally, some content is wholly free, such as PBS Kids and CNBC.

What is your favorite streaming service?

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How do I remove a channel from Roku?

You have a few different options when it comes to removing a channel from Roku that you no longer want.

The first option is to remove the channel through the Roku mobile app on your smartphone:

  1. Access the Roku mobile app.
  2. Tap the three horizontal bars in the upper right corner of the screen to open a context menu.
  3. Tap "My Channels."
  4. Hold your finger against the specific channel you want to remove until a screen appears associated with that channel.
  5. Tap "Remove." A dialog box appears confirming that you want to remove that channel.
  6. Tap "Remove" again to remove the app.

You can remove a channel directly within the Roku interface by doing the following:

  1. Navigating to the app you want to remove.
  2. Press the asterisk button on your Roku's remote control.
  3. Select "Remove Channel."
  4. Choose "Remove." The app will be removed from your Roku device.

Do I need Roku?

There are a wealth of other smart devices (eg, TVs, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and more) that do what a Roku box does, which is to let you access content from other providers and services. However, Roku boxes are by far and away the most common piece of streaming hardware in the US, and as a result content publishers often make the latest and greatest build of their clients to access their services and content available on Roku first, and sometimes exclusively on Roku. As a result, if you can even find apps on other smart devices that let you access all of the same content and services, the user experience may not be as good.

The other big difference between Roku and other devices that let you access streaming content is price. As of July 2016, the cheapest Roku model is $50. There are very few smart devices that give you access to streaming content that you can purchase for $50. Even the Apple TV, which is similar to a Roku device in physical size, purpose, and scope of content offered, will cost you roughly $140. And when you're looking at having to connect these devices to each TV to access content, money can be a deciding factor.

Cast your vote for Roku

How do I turn off or restart Roku?

By now you've probably noticed that there is no power button on your Roku box if you have a Roku 3 or lower model. If you have a Roku 4, there is a power switch on the left side of the top of the device. This is another area where you have a few different options. The first option is to disconnect the power cable from Roku, wait for 30 seconds, and then reconnect it to power the device. Upon reconnecting the Roku will start to boot back up. However, all Roku devices, including the Roku Streaming Stick, have the ability to be restarted through the Settings menu using the following instructions:

  1. Select "System" in the home screen menu.
  2. Choose "System Restart."
  3. Select "Restart." The Roku device will restart.

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