Sometimes your on the go and want to take your streaming stick or cube with you. Whether it be a roku, firestick, or apple tv it does not matter.
The question most people have is will the device work the same if I plug it into my laptop? Maybe you’re traveling and are taking your device to plug into your destinations tv, but want to use it on your laptop along the way. The short answer is no you should not do this, nor do you need to do this. If you have a Roku account you can simply use the web browser version to access your channels. The same goes for other platforms.
Lets get into a quick overview of what Roku is, what to expect with your initial setup (if you haven’t done that yet) and why you should NOT try to use or plug in your device into your laptop.
What Exactly Is A Roku Stick
A Roku Stick is one of many streaming devices that allow for a one stop shop for anything you want to do on your TV. It comes with the capability to download countless amounts of channels and any subscription service you can think of. Whether you use Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, or just enjoy watching Youtube videos, your Roku Stick comes fully capable.
The Roku Stick connects via HDMI to your TV. Just because it is an HDMI input most people assume you can use it with your laptop as well if you are on the go. The issue with this is the almost all HDMI ports on a laptop are output ports. What you need is an input port which is what you would find on your TV. Plugging this into your laptop HDMI port has chance to do some damage so you should refrain from doing so.
How To Use And Setup A Roku Stick?
The Roku stick has the same premise as other major platforms today. A simple plug and play. You don’t need to do anything fancy or be tech savy to set it up. The only thing you will need to do is create a Roku account which you will be prompted for and led through during your initial set up. Basically, your hand will be held during the entire process.
You just use the remote that comes with it to control the interface that will appear on your tv. There are not that many buttons so it is very easy to navigate
Can I Use This On A Laptop?
Because of the output issue on laptop HDMI ports your best bet is to use the Roku website https://my.roku.com. You can access all your normal channels on the Roku website and stream like you normally would through your Roku stick or box.
There are ways to get the tv roku interface on your laptop via a third party. You would need to use plex and bring in your Roku library. After doing this you can use the plex website or app on your laptop and watch that way. This would still entail downloading the plex app onto your Roku device.
Is This Worth My Time Or Worth Learning?
Using a third party in my opinion is 100% NOT worth it. Absolutely, unequivocally, the answer is NO. Why not just use the website if you are unable to use a tv? If you have any other streaming device like apple tv or an amazon fire stick then wouldn’t you use whatever apps they have already for your device? What about netflix or hulu? While those two are not the same since they are individual streaming services and not a larger platform like Roku or the Firestick the point still stands that you would just use their website and log on versus a million extra steps downloading the content on a third party app. A million extra steps! Ok, i’m exaggerating. You get it. A lot of developers worked very hard to bring you their content via a browser option.
If you want to get your hands dirty with something like plex just to go through the downloading process then feel free. When it comes to ease of use just use your login credentials on the website if you are unable to use a television.
You could always go the plex route to better familiarize yourself with the application if you want to learn more about it. I neglected to put in a downloading tutorial for this particular purpose because we simply do not recommend it. Save your time and use a basic browser login for your Roku service. If you have no tv or similar display to plug your Roku stick into then you are better off returning your device or getting a tv/monitor that will allow you to use it properly. The same can be said for apple tv or an amazon firestick. Whatever “physical, non-cable” option you choose would have the same answer. Just use the website if you are on your laptop. By physical, non-cable I mean something you can hold like a roku stick or firestick whereas you can’t hold youtube tv or netflix. Hope this helped and saved you some time from trying to nonsensically use Roku through means other than what was originally developed!