Whether you’re looking to cut cable or stream channels like Netflix or Hulu, a Roku streaming device can help make it happen. Rokus are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, so you might already be familiar with some of their basic features. But chances are, you don’t know about some of the features that could make a huge difference in your television watching experience, which means you could be missing out on a lot.
To get the most out of your Roku, here are six features you might be overlooking.
1. Private Listening
Roku is perfect for streaming your favorite channels and catching up on TV shows and movies. But sometimes, you might not want to hear the TV playing in the background.
Let’s say you’re in the same room as your spouse or children. They might want to watch TV, but you want to sit, read a book and enjoy a little quiet time. With Roku, you can have the best of both worlds.
If you download the Roku app to a smartphone or tablet, there’s a unique feature that allows private listening. With this feature, a show or movie plays on the TV, but instead of the sound coming from the TV, it comes from your mobile device. The person watching TV can then connect headphones to this device and listen to the program privately.
2. Pause Over-the-Air TV
If you have a Roku television and a digital antenna for watching broadcast or network TV, there’s the ability to pause your local stations. So if you’re watching a live event, like an awards show, news or a sporting event, you can pause the TV for a couple of minutes to get a snack or take care of other business. And when you return, you’re able to pick up where you left off.
3. Customizable Screensavers
The same way you’re able to customize the screensaver on your laptop, smartphone or tablet, Roku lets you customize the screensaver on your TV. You can add photos of your last vacation, pictures of your kids or choose from the collection of screensavers at the Roku channel store.
4. Voice Search
If you know what you want to watch, use the Roku search feature and type in the name of a particular show or movie. Of course, typing the name of a program can be time-consuming and tedious. For a quicker search, use the voice search feature on the Roku mobile app. Simply state what you’re looking for, and the app will pull up options matching your search criteria.
5. Follow Your Favorite Actors
If you have a favorite actor or actress and want to stay up-to-date on their latest projects, Roku has a built-in feature that lets you follow entertainers. All you do is conduct a name search for an actor or actress. Once you find this person’s name, select the option to follow them. From here on, you’ll receive notifications whenever this person has a new movie or program available for viewing.
6. Watch the News
If you don’t have cable, you might rely on the Internet for the latest news stories. With Roku, you no longer have to search the web for current events. Roku partners with several news outlets, including FOX News, NBC News, Wall Street Journal Live and CBS News. Head over to the search menu and click the “News” links to browse the most recent headlines.
The more you know about your Roku device, the better your overall streaming experience. Take a few minutes to explore the device’s features for yourself and decide which ones are right for you. Also, don’t forget to check back often. Roku may add more features as its technology improves.