If you want to control a Roku player or Roku smart TV with voice, you have many options. Many Roku devices include a remote control that supports voice commands, and you can also control the Roku handsfree with an Amazon Echo or Google Home smartphone speaker.
But along with all these voice control options, there are several limitations, especially when it will start video clips or TV channels directly. Knowing what Roku can and can't do will save you some headaches when you bail out orders.
We are talking about how to configure with Roku voice controls, a list of supported voice commands and some tips to make your experience softer.
How to use the Roku remote
If your Roku player has a microphone button under its directional box, you can hold it down to record a voice command. The current Roku player with a voice remote control is Roku Premiere +, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku Streaming Stick + and Roku Ultra.
For most Roku players from 2014 onwards – including those without can also use Roku mobile app for iOS or Android for voice control. Just click on the "Remote" tab in the app and look for the microphone button at the top right of the screen. Alternatively, you can purchase a standalone Roku Voice Remote at Roku.com for $ 20.
As for what you can do with voice controls, Roku supports the following commands:
- Play / Pause / Rewind / Fast Forward
- "Go Home"
- "Search for [actor/director/movie/TV show/genre]"
- "Search after free [movies/TV shows/genres] "on the home screen
- " Replay ", which jumps back seven seconds and allows closed captioning
- " Start [app name]
Roku smart TVs support these additional controls:
- "Turn the volume up / down "
- " Set volume to [percentage] "
- " Turn on the TV "
- " Tune to [channel] "(if an antenna is connected)
- " Change to [TV input number or name] "
If you have Pandora, iHeartRadio or TuneIn installed, you can also use voice commands to play internet radio stations or podcasts. Pandora Premium subscribers can play specific artists, albums or playlists as well. Just say" play [music/podcast] in [Pandora/iHeartRadio/TuneIn"commencedlistening
The main limitation here is that you can't ask Roku to play a particular video or start a particular live TV channel that you can with some apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TVs.
How to use Amazon Alexa with Roku
For people who own an Amazon Echo or other Alexa-powered speaker, Roku offers an Alexa skill for hands-free voice control. How to enable it:
- Open the Alexa app on your phone, select "Skills and games" from the menu in the menu and then search for Roku. If you are on a computer, just visit this link in a web browser.
- Select "Enable" and log in to your Roku account.
- Accept the terms and then select the Roku player you want to connect. (Unfortunately, Alexa devices can only control a single Roku player or TV.)
- Finally, select the Alexa devices you want to use with Roku and click on "Link devices". (If you set this up from a browser instead of the Alexa app, you will need to reload the Skill page, select "Manage on TV and Video", select Manage & Link devices, and then select your Alexa devices to complete the installation. .]
you can now ask Alexa to perform most of the Rokus own voice remover commands, but you must use the magic words " on Roku " at the end of your initial command for this to work. Try using this for playback control, "Go home", start apps and search. The additional controls for Roku TV are also supported.
Unfortunately, you cannot use Alexa to open Netflix or listen to music through your Roku device, and the "Replay" command does not work. Just as with Rokus remote control, you can't use Alexa to launch specific streaming channels or videos.
How to use Google Assistant with Roku
In addition to Alexa, Roku also supports Google Assistant, so you use voice controls with any Google Home speaker or Google Assistant app. How to set it:
- Open the Google Home app and then click the + (or "Add") button near the top of the Home section.
- Select "Set up device" and then select "Works with Google."
- Browse or search for Roku and then select it.
- Log in to your Roku account, click "Accept and continue" and then select the Roku player you want to connect to. (As with Alexa, Google Assistant can only control a single Roku device per account.)
- On the "Add smart home devices" screen, select your Roku and hit "Add to a room." Then choose the room where your Roku is located.
Google Assistant supports most of the same Roku voice commands as Alexa, and you also need to say "on Roku" for these commands to be recorded. You can control playback, launch programs and search, but the "Go Home" and "Replay" commands have not worked in my experience. Again, Google Assistant cannot open Netflix, play music through your Roku device or launch specific videos.
More Roku Voice Tips
Although you cannot use voice control to launch specific streaming TV channels, the command "launch [app]" is still useful for apps with an auto play component, especially if they remember the latest channel you watched. Try CBSN, Pluto TV or Comet.
If you look at an app and want to switch quickly to another, the "launch [app]" command will be faster than returning to the home screen and selecting the other app from the list.
With Alexa and Google Assistant, you just have to say "on Roku" after your first voice command. You can leave it out from the following commands if they do not stop working.
If Alexa or Google Assistant stops working after setting them up, try restarting your Roku when it's convenient to do so.
As you can see, the Roku voice controls are still quite limited, at least compared to Alexa on Fire TV, Google Assistant on Android TV and Chromecast and Siri on Apple TV. Still, Roku is the only streaming TV platform that at least provides basic support for Alexa, Google Assistant and its own voice remote control, so hopefully its capabilities will improve over time. Until then, you can read even more Roku tips here.