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Setting up Roku Box

Updated on August 16, 2012
Roku Player Set-Up
Roku Player Set-Up | Source

Setting Up Your Roku Box

Have you just bought a Roku Box and now you need to set it up? Don't worry, it is actually really easy. Setting up a Roku may have a lot of steps, but they are all very simple steps and I can help you get through them. I have broken it down into a few very simple and easy to follow steps that you'll find below. Before you know it you'll be streaming your favorite content right onto your television using your Roku!

Unboxing the Roku Box

The obvious first step to setting up your Roku box is to take it out of the box. The following items should be included in your box:

  1. The Roku Box
  2. A Roku Remote
  3. Batteries for Roku Remote
  4. 5.2V Power Adapter (Plugs into wall)
  5. Component Cable (Plugs into TV)
  6. Instruction Manual

If you are familiar with cables and would prefer to use an HDMI cable over a component cable you will need to buy that separate. I strongly recommend that you go with an HDMI cable if you have a TV that has a HDMI port.

(From left to right) HDMI, A/V input, Ethernet, Power Input
(From left to right) HDMI, A/V input, Ethernet, Power Input | Source

Connecting the Wires and Cords to your Roku

Now that we know that we have everything we can start setting up the Roku box. First you will want to determine where you want to keep your Roku box. You will need to choose a spot that is in the open so that you can use the remote. If you have the Roku 2 XS you can put it anywhere since this remote works with blue tooth and doesn't need a line of sight in order to work.

You should also make sure it is close enough to an outlet in the wall so that you can plug it in. Since the Roku Box is going to be near your television this shouldn't be a problem.

Once you have found a location for your Roku Box you will need to take a good look at the back of your TV. You need to determine if your TV has a HDMI port, if you don't see a HDMI port don't worry your TV should then have component cable ports then. See the pictures to see what each port looks like.

As I mentioned above the Roku Box does not come with a HDMI cable, but it is recommended especially if you want to take advantage of 1080 HD. Without a HDMI cable you will only be able to watch your Roku Box in 720 HD.

How to Buy an HDMI Cable

When buying an HDMI cable you'll find they range from several dollars to hundreds of dollars. Naturally, you would be curious as to why. Learn how to buy the best HDMI cable and how to avoid all the gimmicks by checking out my HDMI cable buying guide.

Connecting an HDMI Cable– Insert one end of the HDMI cable into an HMDI-IN port which should be located on the back of your television. Most modern TVs will have at least one HDMI port. Then insert the other end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI port on back of your the Roku Box. The HDMI port on the back of the Roku Box will look just like the port on the back of your TV.

Connecting Composite Cables – Insert the yellow/white/red composite video and analog audio connections from one end of the cable into the corresponding A/V-in ports on your TV. You will need to basically match up the colors. Insert the 3.5mm connector on the other end of the cable into the back of your Roku player. Roku states that you shouldn't try to connect your Roku through a VCR. Often times when you connect this way the picture will appear distorted.

Now that you have your Roku box connected to your TV, you need to make sure the box is getting power. Take the power adapter and plug it into the AV port on the back of the Roku Box, then take the end with the two prongs and plug that into an electrical outlet. You have officially installed your Roku box, but we haven't finished setting it up yet.

Roku Model
Composite Cable (Audio/Video)
Component Cable (Video)
HDMI Cable (Audio/Video)
Optical (Audio)
S-Video (Video)
X (3.5 mm)
Classic HD
Available Audio/Video Connections by Roku Model

Connecting Your Roku to the Internet

For most people, you will want to connect using the wireless method. Most models only provide that option, unless you have the new Roku XS model, which allows you to connect with an Ethernet cable. Below are the two possible ways to connect your Roku to the Internet.

Wireless Connection – If you plan to use a wireless connection you will need to know your network name and have the password for your Internet connection handy if you use a password. If you don't use a secure connection you obviously won't need the password. I personally recommend using a secure connection.

Hard Wired (XS model only) – For a wired connection you will need to have an Ethernet network cable. Insert one end of the cable to the Ethernet port located on the back of the Roku box, and the other end to the back of your router.

Turning the Roku On

Once you have all the wires connected go ahead and turn the TV on and change your TV to the correct input that Roku is plugged into. The Roku player should already be on and will display the following screens:

  • Starting, please wait.
  • Launching home screen.
  • Welcome to the Roku player.
    • At this point click the “OK” on your remote to begin.
  • At this point the Roku will ask how you want to connect the Roku to your router:
    • Wired (Roku XS model only) – You will need to connect your Ethernet cable (not included) to your player and then to your router.
      • Click the “wired” option to continue.
    • Wireless (All models) – You will need to select your wireless network name and enter your security password for your network.
      • Click the “wireless” option to continue.
  • Once the Roku box has connected successfully it will download and install the latest software. When it has completed the install the Roku will reboot its self.

Roku Code
Roku Code | Source
Roku Link Screen
Roku Link Screen

Going through the On Screen Set Up

Now that the Roku has restarted you are just about done with the set up.

  • Select the time zone you live in and select "Done".
  • The next screen will display a code. You will need to use the code to connect your Roku player to your Roku account.
  • Go to the following link and enter the code the player gave you:
  • Enter the code into the box provided and submit it.
  • Log into your Roku account or create a new Roku account if you don't already have one.
  • You will be asked to set up a payment method, but you won't be charged anything. Roku uses this if you decide to buy a movie while on the Roku box.
  • You will also need to select your initial channel lineup and you are now done.


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is new to me and I am glad I caught this information. THanks for the review. It does sound simple enough to use.