How to Control Roku with Alexa

Introduction

In March of 2019, the Roku skill was made available for Amazon Alexa devices. The Roku skill makes it possible to link a Roku device with Amazon Alexa, and then designate which of your Alexa devices have the ability to control that Roku device. Additionally, this makes it possible to not just control Roku boxes that are connected to your TV, such as the Roku Ultra, Streaming Stick, and Premiere external devices, but also a Roku TV. Across all Roku devices the skill gives you the ability to launch specific channels, pause a show, perform a search, navigate back to the home screen, and more. However, if your Alexa device is connected to a Roku TV you’ll also be able to power the TV on and off, choose a specific over-the-air channel, or adjust the TV’s volume. It’s worth noting that, as of March 2019, the skill doesn’t allow you to interact with the Netflix app. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below.

YouTube player

Steps to Connect a Roku Device to, and Control it with, an Amazon Alexa Device

  1. Launch the Alexa app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. You’ll land on your Alexa home screen.
  2. Tap the “Menu” icon in the upper left corner of the screen. The Menu icon features three horizontal lines. A menu flies in from the left side of the screen.
  3. Tap “Skills and Games” in the menu. The Skills and Games screen opens.
  4. Tap the “Search” icon in the upper right corner of the screen. The Search icon looks like a magnifying glass. The Search screen appears.
  5. Type “Roku” in the search box and then tap the “Search” button in the lower right corner of the screen. A list of search results appears. Tap “Roku” in the list of results. The Roku skill information screen appears.
  6. Tap “Enable to Use” in the Roku skill information screen. A Link Account screen appears, prompting you to enter the username and password associated with your Roku account. Enter the requested information, and then tap “Sign In.” A screen appears that gives you a high-level overview of what the skill enables. Additionally, this screen also explains that Amazon will receive basic device data to connect your Roku device to Alexa. Tap “Accept and Continue” to agree.
  7. The next screen will ask you to select which Roku device you want to connect to Alexa. Tap to select the Roku device you want to connect, and then tap “Continue to the Alexa App” to proceed. The next screen will inform you that your Roku device has been successfully linked to Alexa. You’ll be returned to the Alexa app, where an Alexa is Looking for Devices screen appears. After Alexa is done scanning for devices, you’ll be taken to a Roku screen.
  8. Tap “Manage and Link Devices” on the Roku screen. A screen appears that will show you what Amazon Alexa devices are linked to your connected Roku device. Tap “Link Another Device” in the Your Linked Devices section. A list of your Roku devices connected to Alexa appears.
  9. Tap the Roku device you want to link to a specific Alexa device, and then tap “Continue.” A list of your Alexa devices appears. Tap to place a check mark to the left of the Alexa devices you want to control your Roku device through, and then tap “Link Devices.” You’ll be returned to the Your Linked Devices screen, where you’ll now see the list of Alexa devices you selected associated with your Roku device.

You can now use commands such as “Alexa, launch Hulu on Roku,” “Alexa, pause on Roku,” “Alexa, go to home screen” and more. Whenever you issue a command, you’ll see a box appear in the upper right corner of the Roku screen giving a summary of the command that was issued to Alexa.

5 Reasons to Control Roku with Alexa

1. Hands-Free Operation

Imagine not having to search for your remote every time you want to watch TV. By integrating Roku with Alexa, you can control your television with just your voice. This is especially useful when your hands are full, perhaps while cooking or tidying up. Voice commands allow you to play, pause, or search for content effortlessly. It’s also a boon for individuals with mobility issues, making entertainment accessible without needing to physically handle a remote. This setup enhances the user experience by offering convenience and accessibility at a shout away.

2. Streamlined Home Automation

Integrating Roku with Alexa contributes to a smarter, more connected home environment. By using voice commands, you can easily align your viewing habits with other automated systems in your home. For example, you can create routines where saying “movie time” dims the lights, pulls down the blinds, and starts your favorite show. This seamless interaction not only enhances the functionality of your devices but also adds a layer of modern sophistication to your home. The ability to synchronize multiple actions through a single command is a significant step towards futuristic home living.

3. Enhanced Search Capabilities

Alexa’s voice recognition technology can significantly simplify the search process on Roku. Instead of navigating through menus with a remote, you can directly ask Alexa to find shows, movies, or genres for you. This feature is incredibly useful for exploring vast streaming libraries efficiently. It reduces the time spent scrolling and typing, making your search experience faster and more intuitive. Additionally, Alexa can handle complex queries and understand context, which further refines the search outcomes, ensuring that you find exactly what you’re looking for.

4. Easy Setup and User-Friendly Interface

Setting up Alexa to control your Roku device is surprisingly straightforward. The process typically involves enabling the Roku skill in the Alexa app and linking your accounts. This simplicity extends to everyday use. With Alexa, every family member, regardless of their tech-savishness, can control the TV. The verbal instructions are simple to learn and remember, which makes it especially appealing to users who might feel overwhelmed by multiple remotes or complicated interfaces.

5. Multi-Room Control

For those with multiple Roku devices in different rooms, controlling each one with Alexa amplifies the convenience. You can start a show in the living room, pause it, and resume it in your bedroom without touching a remote. This feature is perfect for large homes or for those who like to move around without missing a moment of their favorite content. Multi-room control ensures that your entertainment is as mobile as you are, providing a consistent and enjoyable viewing experience from any corner of your home.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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