Roku is a popular set-top box series, which lets you stream the media content on your TV set. Roku set-top boxes are available in various models. Each one comes packed with its own features and functions.
Kodi, on the other hand, is an open-source, free media player. It lets you play content from a wide range of sources for free. All you need to do is get the right add-ons and builds.
In this guide we will learn how to get Kodi on Roku devices.
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Getting Kodi to Work on Roku
Can you install Kodi on Roku? No, not really. But, you can still get it working on the Roku device. There is a workaround that usually works for all Kodi and Roku users.
Roku itself has a pretty decent media server application. If truth be told, its interface is rather dull and not exactly what you would like to call intuitive. Also, Roku isn’t nearly as versatile as Kodi. You could get Plex instead of Kodi on Roku as both are perfectly compatible, but Plex will cost you money. Kodi is free. That’s why we are not surprised when many users come looking for a way to get Kodi on Roku.
Given the fact that many Kodi add-ons are borderline illegal (sometimes outright as they play copyrighted content freely), Roku doesn’t seem to be interested in developing a Kodi compatible app.
No! You cannot jailbreak Roku. Not yet!
So, the workaround we are going to use is called mirroring. We will mirror the Kodi stream onto the Roku device so that you could watch your content on TV. Thankfully, Roku supports mirroring through a protocol popularly called Mircast. The mirrored display isn’t as sharp as what plays directly on the Kodi app, but for many it is fairly acceptable, especially because it gets you the free content.
Prepare Roku to Accept Cast
We need to enable the cast/mirror function on Roku so that it can accept the mirror request. Here is what you need to do:
- Turn on the Roku device
- Press the home button on Roku
- Go to Settings >> System Update and confirm you have the most recent build installed (you need build 5.2 or later)
- Press the home button to return to the home screen
- Again go to Settings and select ‘Screen Mirroring’
- Enable the option
- Press OK
Your Roku device is now ready to accept mirrors. Let’s learn how to Mirror Kodi on Roku using an Android and PC.
Mirror Android on Roku
Android supports ‘cast’ function and so does Kodi. Roku accepts cast content. This is how we can get the Kodi content playing on the Roku device. Just make sure that you have Android 4.4.2 or a newer version on your mobile device. If you need to check the Android version, go to Settings >> About
For the mirror to work, both Roku and Kodi (your Android device) must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Go to Android Wi-Fi settings and check the name of the network it is connected to. To check the network on Roku, go to Settings and select Networks. Here you can see the network information along with the name of the connection.
Now you are all set to mirror Kodi on Roku using Android device:
- Download and install Kodi on Android from Google Play Store
- Go to Android Settings
- Locate the ‘Cast Screen’ section
- You should be able to see various options for Cast function. The Cast options layout in Settings varies across Android devices. Locate and turn on the option called ‘Enable Wireles Display’
- Select your Roku device from the list of the devices available for mirroring. You will be able to see your Android screen mirrored on your Roku device now
- Launch Kodi (if you want to learn how to integrate add-ons to Kodi and stream content, you can look up on the internet. There are plenty of tutorials out there)
- Stream the content you wish to watch on Roku; it will be displayed on the Roku screen now
Mirror Windows on Roku
New Windows OS also supports the mirror function. But, this feature is available only on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Again, make sure your PC and Roku are connected to the same wireless network. To check the network, click on the Network icon on the system tray in the taskbar.
If you have one of these OS versions, here is what you can do:
- Install Kodi on Windows from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/kodi/9nblggh4t892
- Open the Start Menu by clicking ‘Start’ or by pressing Windows key on your keyboard
- Type in ‘Device Settings’ in the search box
- Open Device Settings by clicking on it
- Select ‘Add Device’
- Select your Roku device when you see it on the list
- If the Roku device screen turns purple, it means the devices have been paired and Windows is now mirrored on Roku
- Launch Kodi on Windows and start streaming the desired content. It will display on the Roku screen