Roku is the pioneer of streaming for the TV. Even a few years back, nobody thought of streaming for TV, and streaming was most popular on smartphone apps and web platforms for computers. However, smart TV and Roku have revolutionized the way people used to watch TV.
Basically, you need a smart TV, a stable internet connection, and Roku to start streaming your favorite shows and movies. In fact, you can browse the internet on Roku not directly but through third-party channels. In this article, we will discuss how you can browse the internet on Roku.
Benefits of Roku –
There are various alternatives of Roku available but still, Roku has a great market share in the stream device industry. Keeping aside the non-availability of a direct web browser, here are the benefits of Roku.
Free Streaming Content – There is literally unlimited free content available on Roku. Starting from YouTube and TV Player to Sky News, BBC Sports, and Red Bull TV, there is an ample amount of free content available for you to consume throughout the day.
Access To Music Videos – If you love watching music videos, Roku has got them covered for you. You can watch music videos on various channels such as YouTube, VEVO, TuneIn, Deezer and much more.
Movies and TV Shows – You can watch your favorite TV shows as well as movies on popular channels such as NOW TV, Rakuten TV, and Sky. In fact, you can stream original content from platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video as well as Google Play. You can also use the media player to play media files of different formats.
Catch Up TV – This allows users to view programmes on demand if case they have missed it out when aired. This feature helps the users to get access to channels like BBC iPlayer, STV Player and likewise.
Can You Use Android Apps on Roku?
Roku does not use the Android operating system. It has its own operating system which is a unique and modified version of Linux OS. That is why you cannot install Android apps on Roku. However, Roku has its own SDK platform where developers develop their own apps which you can download and install on Roku for versatility. On the contrary, you can always mirror the Android screen on your TV if you want to use any Android app on your TV.
Does Roku Come With Its Own Internet Browser?
The only disadvantage of Roku is that it does not yet have its own web browser. Roku has been in the market for long enough and it is really a shame that it still does not have its own web browser. Therefore, if you prefer to stream content from web browser, Roku is not a suitable choice for you. This is because its competitors have their own web browsers. However, if you check Roku channel store, you will find two web browsers but they are not developed by Roku. These two web browsers are not very great in comparison to web browsers we use regularly.
Best Possible Web browser for Roku –
We have already stated that there are two web browsers available on Roku store. They are not good enough but they are the only options you have. However, you can also use Google Chrome via Screencast if you want to .
1- Web Browser X
From the available choices, Web Browser X is the best. However, you have to pay a monthly fee. It does not have a clean interface but it gets the job done somehow. There are various issues to address such as rendering and formatting problems at times. On the positive sides, the browser lets you save your favorites. The navigation is pretty easy with arrow buttons. The biggest drawback is that you cannot play videos or fill up forms. This means you cannot log into an account.
The reason we have not put Chrome first is that it is not available on Roku Store. You have to use it as a screencast which means whatever you will be operating on your smartphone or computer, that will be cast on the screen. Naturally, there is going to be a drop in quality, lag issue, and much more. However, it is still the best option you have instead of using Web browser X and awful Poprism. Till the time Roku comes up with its own robust web browser, you should use Chrome with screen mirroring.
How To Cast A Web Browser To Roku from Android?
If you have an Android phone or tablet, you can cast your device’s screen on Roku so that you can see the same screen of your device on the TV. Here are the steps to follow.
- Step 1: Go to Settings on your Android device.
- Step 2: Go to Screencast option. If a screencast or screen-mirror option is not available, you may have to install a screencast app to connect with Roku.
- Step 3: Tap on Search for Android device to find Roku box.
- Step 4: If it finds, tap on Roku box’s name and let them connect.
- Step 5: Once the connection is properly established and you can see your Android device’s screen on TV, you can open web browser on your Android device and start streaming.
How To Cast A Web Browser To Roku from Windows?
If you want to cast your Windows computer’s web browser to Roku, here are the steps to follow.
- Step 1: Make sure Roku is running its latest version. Go to Settings> System> System Update and go for Check Now.
- Step 2: On your computer, open Action Center.
- Step 3: Click on ‘Connect Tile’ option. This is going to search for available devices.
- Step 4: Click on Roku device’s name and the connection will be established.
- Ste 5: Open web browser on your computer and you can see it on your TV.
How to Get Google on Roku?
Google is a great web browser for any device because there are so many useful features available. There are various Google services available such as Google Play Movies and TV, Google Home, Google Photos, and much more that you will desire to have on Roku. In the following sections, we will explain how to get Google services on Roku so that you can have all the conveniences at one place.
Get Google Play Movie and TV on Roku
Fortunately, Roku has Google Play Movie and TV channel that you can download and install to avail its features. Here are the steps to follow.
- Step 1: Install Google Play Movies from Roku Store.
- Step 2: Pair Roku with Google Account by visit play.google.com/roku.
- Step 3: You have to sign up and provide your payment method for future reference when you actually purchase something.
- Step 4: Go to Google official help page and make sure that your country is applicable to use Google Play Movie and TV.
Setting Up Play Movies and TV on Roku
- Step 1: Go to Roku Channel Store and search for Google Play Movies and TV. Select the appropriate app and add the available channel.
- Step 2: Select Go to Channel option and Sign in.
- Step 3: Visit https://play.google.com/roku and enter the code on Roku screen and click on Continue option.
- Step 4: Follow the on-screen instruction, add the payment method and set up a Google PIN. Come back to Roku and you have completed the setting up part. Now, you can start streaming from Google Play Movies and TV on Roku.
Connecting Roku to Google Home
You may want to connect your Roku to Google Home and here are the steps.
- Step 1: Launch Google Home app.
- Step 2: Tap on Add and then on Set Up Device option.
- Step 3: Tap on Have Something Already Set Up option and from the list, tap on Roku.
- Step 4: Sign into Roku account and select Roku device that you want to control using Google Home.
Is Google Chrome or Google Play Music or Google Photos available on Roku?
No, Google Chrome, Google Play Music and Google Photos are not directly available on Roku. The only way to get Google Chrome, Google Play Music, or Google Photos on Roku is by mirroring the screen of your Android device or computer.
Roku Mirror Screening: Is It Good?
It may seem to you that whatever is not available on Roku, the only solution to get them on Roku is through screen mirroring. Well, it is not far from the truth. Screen mirroring helps to get the best out of Roku and here are the benefits of Roku screen mirroring.
- Connect Android device
- Connect Windows PC
- Play games on a bigger screen.
- Browse the web on a bigger screen.
- Stream videos from any platform.
- Stream music from any platform.
- Check photos and videos on bigger screen.
If you are asking if you can browse the internet on Roku, the answer would be yes. But you can browse not using Roku web browser but by third-party web browsers. If you think that the third-party web browsers are absolutely bad, you can use Chrome by using the screen mirror technique.