As more smart home devices connect, it is good that you know that there are different products made by different companies and work together. A Chromecast is not expensive but having the ability to use your TV directly with Google Home Assistant is way better.
Roku has, for a long time, supported Google services like YouTube and played movies, and they had an update that took it one step further. It is now possible to use Roku with Google Assistant voice commands.
How to set up Roku Google Assistant support
Roku has a full guide that outlines the use of an incognito window with chrome, but the basic set up process is available below for you.
The first thing you will need is a Roku account and that your supported Roku device is updated to the latest software version. When you have done that, go to the Google Home app on your iOS or Android device and set up the new device. You should be able to see Roku listed as one of the providers alongside the other options like Philips Hue.
From there, you need to link your Roku account to the Google Home app. You can only link a single Roku device to your Google account for the controls.
Launch the Google Home mobile app on your smartphone
- Tap on the plus icon
- Tap on setup device from the list
- Select Have something already set up?
- Tap on the magnifying glass icon
- Select Roku from the list of devices available
- When prompted, sign in to your Roku account.
Top equipment picks
All you need is to have a Roku device of some sort, and I have this Roku TV below and something that also runs on Google Assistant, it is pretty much everything you need.
It is a great deal if you are looking for a smart TV to use with google assistant and you don’t want to venture into android TV.
It is easy to use, and it does not break the bank, this is the 55-inch TCL 6-Series sports 4K resolution with Dolby Vision for HDR, and it has Roku easy to use an operating system that is powering it all.
How to Connect Google Home to Roku With Quick Remote
- Download and install the quick remote app on your device, Android. You can get it from Google play store
- Make sure that android device and Roku are all connected on the same wireless network. If they are not, they will not be able to talk to each other.
- Open the quick remote app and accept the end-user license agreement
- Quick remote will discover Roku automatically on your wireless network. Tap on the small select a Roku text at the bottom to view the search results
- Select the Roku device you would want to use.
Integrate Your Roku with Google Home
- Now that you have your Roku with quick remote, it is now time for you to integrate with Google Home.
- In quick remotes, the main screen, tap on Sign in to Google Home
- You will see a window displaying the Google accounts that you have registered on your android device. Select the Google account you have linked to your Google Home
- You can now use your Roku with Google home
How to Control Roku With Google Home
After you have connected your Google Home and Roku devices, it is now time you start trying out voice commands to confirm everything is working as it should. The quick remote comes with some 50 free commands per month. If you want to have unlimited access, you need to upgrade to the full pass subscription.
Say OK Google, let me talk to quick remote, this will activate quick remote interface with your google assistant.
You can now begin issuing commands.
Experiment with some of the simple commands to see how it works with you.
Roku and Google Home Supported commands.
- “Hey Google, launch The Roku Channel on Roku.”
- “Hey Google, show me comedies on Roku.”
- “Hey Google, pause on Roku.”
- “Hey Google, find documentaries on Roku.”
- If you have Roku TV, you can ask Google assistant to do this.
- “Hey Google, turn on Roku.”
- Hey Google, Ask Quick Remote to Go Home to access the Home screen,
- “Hey Google, mute on Roku.”
- Hey Google, Ask Quick Remote to Start Netflix.
- “Hey Google, switch to HDMI 2 on Roku.”
- “Hey Google, change to channel 5.1 on Roku.”
Roku streamers and TVs
Roku TV owners get more commands including TV on and off, volume and mute, ability to change the antennae channels and input switching.
Roku devices have featured Rokus own voice system on their remote and the Roku app for years, but this is the first time Roku now work with hands-free control. Asked whether the devices of the company would gain similar support for Alexa speakers, the representatives of Roku had no commend.
Roku and reportedly working together with Sonos to add similar control from Sonos smart speakers like the Sonos One. This includes also enabling Rokus voice assistant to Sonos speakers.
New features of Roku OS for TVs and streamers
To get Google assistant on your Roku, your device will have to be running the latest 8.1 version of Rokus operating system. You also need to have a Roku account.
Currently, the system only supports one Roku device on an account at a time. To power on and off your TV, you will need to have a fast start enabled.
Here is the list of the new features added on Roku
The music services official app, absent from the platform of Roku for nine months, will be available again with full Spotify connect.
“Free” genre voice search
Building on Rokus focus on stuff doesn’t have to pay to get free content; they will be available with voice requests like “show me free comedies.”
Voice control for iHeartRadio, Pandora and TuneIn
Voice commands will allow you to launch live radio stations, artist stations and podcasts from three free services.
Automatic Volume Leveling
The second sound from a Roku TV or a streamer can automatically even out jarring changes in volume, like during commercial breaks.
Does Roku have Google Chrome?
Yes, Google Chromecast allows you to launch your videos and control them from your phone and even cast the entire screen to your TV by the use of a smartphone instead of a remote. This is also possible with Roku.
Roku also supports DIAL, Discovery and Lunch, a protocol that is jointly developed by Netflix and YouTube. This is not just for Roku, but it is designed to work on a variety of devices like the modern smart TVs implement DIAL, that allows you to cast videos from Netflix and Youtube to the apps that are built into your TV.
Google Chromecast in its original state used DIAL to cast videos, but it now uses a different protocol.
If you want to use DIAL, open the Netflix or youtube apps on your smartphone or the tablet, or you may visit the Netflix or youtube websites on your web browser in the list of devices nearby.
You don’t need to open the relevant app on your Roku first. As long as Roku is on, it will appear in the list.
You are able to this on your computer if you are using google chrome. The built-in casting ability in chrome is not just for Google Chrome; if you are on DIAL compatible site like Netflix or youtube, you are able to use the same cast feature to start playing videos on your Roku.
Select your Roku, and the video is sent automatically from your phone, tablet or computer to the Roku device. Now your phone of Roku instructs Roku to automatically launch Youtube or Netflix app and start playing that video you chose.
How to Get Google Search on Roku
The quality of web browsers that are available on Roku devices is not as robust as the choices available on Fire TV sticks or on android TV boxes.
I have written an article on the same here that would be of great help.
How to Get Google Photos on Roku
There is no google photos app that is official for Roku. However, you can still be able to use a third-party app from the Roku channel store.
The app is called PhotoView for Google Photos. And this is the best way you can use to access your photos while on Roku.
PhotoView supports your Google Photos albums and also has an integrated search feature. The app also comes with a screen saver feature, and you can also play the photos in a slideshow when Roku is not in use.
Does Roku have a free Web browser?
Roku does not have a native web browser. Although Roku has been around for some years, this is yet to be implemented, and it is something yet to see.
Roku does not provide you with the opportunity to browse the internet directly, but there are a few channels that can help you as they act like web browsers. But you should not expect all the functionality of a web browser.
I have written an article here on how you can get an internet browser on Roku.
Can you watch live TV on the Roku?
Yes. Given that Roku devices support all of the major streaming services that are available, it is no surprise that Google Play movies and TV now has an official Roku channel which you can download and use.
How do I mirror my phone to my Roku?
If you are looking for an easy way to share your videos, music and photos that are stored on your computer or smartphone, then you can do that with Roku. The Roku 3, Roku 2 and Roku streaming stick now support screen mirroring. This allows android and windows users to easily mirror their content that is on their PC or smartphone.
You must first enable screen mirroring on your Roku device. This is done by clicking on Settings in the left navigation bar then followed by screen mirroring.
Roku screen mirroring on Android
Make sure before you start, you have the latest version of Android, at least version 4.4.2 or later. Your device must also be connected to the same network as your Roku.
To begin mirroring on a stock android device, go to the settings, click on display, followed by cast screen. Then tap on the menu button and check to enable wireless display box.
The method is slightly different when you use other devices like Samsung, LG, HTC and others. Like the Galaxy S5, you will find the screen mirroring option is under connect and share section in the settings menu.
Some of the android apps such as Netflix, youtube and HBO Go can also be projected to your screen similar to how the Chromecast works.
Roku mirroring on windows 8.1 devices
Roku screen sharing is also compatible with windows, 8.1 computers and tablets. To set them up, head to settings, click on PC and devices, then Devices and then Add device. When Roku appears on the drop-down menu, tap on it and connect.
Troubleshooting Roku and Google Home
As you may have experienced before, if you have used a smart speaker before in your home to control smart devices, some glitches can happen unexpectedly. Here is how you can troubleshoot some of these common problems when they occur.
IF YOUR VOICE COMMANDS ARE GETTING LOST IN TRANSLATION:
Launch your quick remote app and then tap the menu button in the upper right corner
Every channel that you have configured on Roku, like Netflix or Amazon Video will appear
If google assistant has a hard time to hear, your voice command for a specific channel, open it up to five alternative names.
IF THE QUICK REMOTE APP ON YOUR ANDROID IS HAVING TROUBLE CONNECTING WITH ROKU:
Open the Android wif settings and make sure wifi is set to be on always even during sleep. Otherwise, your Android may not be able to receive commands from Google Home and send them to your Roku after it goes to sleep
If there is still difficulty keeping your Android connected with Roku, turn off battery optimization for your quick remote app in Android settings then Battery optimization.