Well, today’s article is going to be a tad different. I usually rave about the latest gadgets and technologies I love to use and how we can solve the technical glitches they encounter. I recently visited my grandmother for her 80 th birthday, and yes, we had a massive celebration for her as well. But to my dismay, I found that she was still using a non-smart Tv; I ensured to take matters into my hands and see to it that she could watch all the latest shows available on all OTT platforms.
It also made me wonder how many of us have old television sets that we still use and have not gotten rid of. After I upgraded my Gran-Gran’s Television with the Roku device, all her friends asked me, “James, can you use Roku on a non smart TV?” or “Does Roku work on any TV?” Will we be able to use the same services even if we do not own smart televisions?
Ladies and gentlemen! The good news is that, yes, Roku does work on any Tv. If you are a regular follower, you must reminisce my post on How to Get Netflix On A Non -Smart TV? Let’s Find Out!
This post is a sequel to the former on how non-smart televisions can still be used. Many questions came on the post asking, “does a Roku Stick work on any Tv?” And for those of you are first-time users for any Roku devices, the question does seem very valid.
Fortunately, Roku really thought this over and ensured that its streaming stick works flawlessly with non-smart and smart televisions as long as they have HDMI connectivity. Apart from that, Roku only requisites a fast internet connects to work correctly. Consequently, if you have these two devices at hand, the Roku stick will be working brilliantly.
Are you still discerning of getting rid of your old non smart tv? And joining the bandwagon of the Smart Television league? What if I say that your old tv is still useful, especially if you want to use a Roku device? Interested to hear more? Well let’s dive in and I will guide you on how to get your money’s worth by using Roku on your non smart Tv.
Can Roku be Used on a Non-Smart Television?
That is a big -big resounding YES, you can definitely connect your Roku device to your old TV. Even if it is HDR device that is used for streaming or a Roku stick, you can surely make it work. Roku works on the principle of HDMI or the High-Definition Multimedia Interface that does not have a prerequisite of having a smart television. The HDMI allows to transmit audio and visual aids to you TV regardless of the kind of the Television it is. Even if your Tv does not come with a HDMI port it is possible to use the Roku device by using composite cables.
How to Connect Roku to Non-Smart Tv? 14 Quick Steps to Follow:
Now that you know that you do not need a Smart Tv to use a Roku device, let’s jump in and teach you how to link your Roku to a non-smart Tv. It is elementary and straight forward to use. Follow the given steps:
Make sure that you have all the equipment that you need
When you get the Roku device, you need to make sure that all its components are present. This comprises of a remote, the Roku streaming device, batteries, USB cable that is used for charging, a HDMI cable, and an AC charger.
Note: All these components are placed in a plastic container and the spaces that they come in should be complete. If you find anything missing, get in touch with Roku’s customer care so that your device can be replaced.
1. Power your Television
Ensure that your TV is plugged and powered on. It is proposed that you connect the Roku device and set it up, while your TV is powered on so that if there is any issue with the device it can be detected immediately, and you would be able to gauge if your device works or not.
2. Put the Batteries
It may seem as an palpable thing to do but let me tell you some of the most competent people do not know how to put the batteries in the remote. It would benefit if you made sure that the negative line of the battery is in line with negative line of the remote and the positive line of the battery is in line with the positive line of the remote. The flat ends of the battery should be placed against the springs of the remote while the raised ends should be facing towards the flat end of the remote.
3. Find the HDMI Port on the TV
The next step is to find the HDMI port on your Television. It is positioned on the back of the Television and is much broader and longer than a USB port. However, it is not rectangular in shape like you would think a port looks like. When you see the HDMI cable that comes with the Roku device you will know exactly where to plug it on the TV.
4. Plug in the HDMI Cable
Unsurprisingly the next step is to plug in the HDMI cable into the HDMI port that you must have located by now at the back of the Tv. You can connect the HDMI cable to the port, however if you are using a Roku stick then you can even plug the stick directly into the port.
5. Plug the Roku Device
The Roku devices need to connect to a power source like a wall outlet. For the Roku player you need to plug the smaller part of the adapter into the player box while the other end goes into the power outlet.
For Roku sticks that are the 3600 model and below, you need to plug the small end of the cable to the USB power cable into the port found at the bottom of the Roku stick and the other end goes into a power outlet. Tv’s can also have USB ports that provide power instead of an electrical wall outlet.
Roku Stick models 3810 and above you need to plug the small end of the USB cable to a wireless receiver into the side of the stick and the other end goes into the USB power extender and the AC adapter gets plugged into a power outlet. Amazon has quite a few options for wireless receivers to choose from as well. Please keep in mind that sometimes inadequate power from a USB cable can cause instability and even cause the device to crash.
6. Power on the Roku Device
Power on the Roku device that you have connected by using the AC charger that was sent in the box. If you are using the Roku stick, then you do not need to bother about this step. In that case you need to connect the Roku stick into the port and you are good to go.
7. Make Sure You Select Correct HDMI Input
Now comes the tricky part, your Television may have several Inputs such as HDMI 1 OR HDMI 2, you need to make sure that you choose the correct one, because when you select the correct input, you will be able to see the Roku Welcome Screen.
Choose your preferred language and the country you inhabit. Make use of the arrow buttons on the Roku remote to scroll for available languages and countries to make a choice, till you reach your preferences. Then press the Okay button to confirm selection.
8. Internet Connection
While initiating the setup process, the most fundamental part of converting your Television into a Smart Tv is an active internet connection. Roku comes in two variants, wired and wireless. If you select the wireless option, you will be taken to a screen where you need to Select home Wi-Fi network> put in password to get started whilst in a wired connection you will need to plug the Ethernet cable into the Roku device. If you are making use of a Roku stick, then you will have to buy an Ethernet adapter to enable to you have a wired connection. Let’s jump into the steps for an Internet connection to the Roku:
- On your Roku remote press right arrow and choose Set up new wireless connection”
- For an Ethernet connect, connect the cable to the Roku device. Press right arrow and select Set up wired connection.
- If you do not want to stream immediately, you can choose to connect to internet later.
- On the left hand of the screen, choose the Wi-Fi network.
- Scroll through the options available for the Wi- Fi network and press okay to confirm choice.
- If your Network is not available, you can press scan to check all networks that are available.
- Be certain that you connect to the same network that you have on your Phone, laptop, and tablet.
- If your Wi-Fi is password enabled, you will need to enter the password on the screen using the virtual keyboard and press connect.
- Press okay on the remote to get connected to the Internet.
- If all the ticks are green in color, it indicates that your internet has been connected successfully.
Note: If your Roku device has low signal strength, you can use an HDMI extender to get better connectivity. Fair warning the Roku streaming sticks do not have LAN ethernet port, so that you can use a wired Ethernet connection. Whilst the Roku player enables you to use an ethernet cable to attach to the player to connect to the Wi-Fi.
9. Testing and Installing Updates
Your Roku device will download any pending updates automatically. Once it has been downloaded, you will need to restart the Roku device. Additionally, it will ask you to detect the display setting of your non smart tv as well. You need to use the Roku remote to identify the display of the TV.
Let the Roku get updated and once it is connected to the internet it will be prompted to install and download the latest version software. Once done it will restart the Roku device. The process typically takes half an hour or even longer, depends on how fast your internet is, so do not get exasperated while installing updates.
10. Display Settings
To confirm the display setting press okay on the Roku remote to select the idyllic resolution for your Television. But if you are not gratified with the results, check that the HDMI cables are aptly attached to their corresponding ports. You can analyze the HDMI connection by selecting I’ve changed something” option. If the screen is showing a proper display, select screen looks good. If not choose NO I will select different setting and then select your display manually.
11. Pair the Roku Remote and Follow Initial Setup
Cheers!! you have converted your non smart Television to a smart TV! The next steps that need to be carried out is to pair the Roku remote with you Tv. When you set up a Roku player for the first time, you need to follow a series of steps before checking the remote settings. This is precisely when you need to set up the Roku remote to have access to your Television.
Here’s how to do it:
- Turn the volume of the TV up so its loud enough for you to hear.
- Point the remote at the TV directly.
- Select check remote settings so that the next screen with instructions comes on.
- Press YES if you can hear the music, if you do not hear the music, use the TV’s remote to increase the volume.
- Press YES when the music stops. This is the point where the Player identifies your televisions brand and makes use of specific remote codes to mute the audio sound.
Note: If the music does not stop it indicates that your Roku device did not automatically identify your TV’s brand. Choosing NO will guide you to a new screen where you can manually enter your TV’s brand and use remote keys to enter the brand name. The name should come in the list of options. Follow the set of instructions to set up the Roku remote.
- Press OK to complete programming the Roku remote.
12. How to Setup your Roku Remote After Installation
After pairing up the Roku remote and the initial setup, you next need to set up the remote. Access the settings menu on the player and confirm that the Roku device is connected to the Tv and follow the steps below:
- Press HOME on the Roku remote.
- Go to SETTINGS and choose OK.
- Select REMOTE AND DEVICES.
- Press setup remote for TV control.
- Select start.
Roku will initiate the setup process automatically to connect the Tv and your Roku remote. Make sure to follow the on-screen instructions to the tee and you will be able to set up your Roku remote in no time.
13. Activating Roku Device
Here’s how to activate your Roku:
Follow the steps to find the Roku activation code. The Roku activation code is 5-7 characters long and needs to be entered on the screen to active the Roku device.
- Go on the Roku website from your smartphone or the laptop.
- Be certain to write the Links URL correctly to avoid any fraudulent dupes of the website.
- Roku does not charge any activation fee.
- The next step is to enter the activation code. The text box will appear on the middle of the page. Here you need to add the 5–7-character code that will be displayed on your Roku device.
- Press the submit button that is seen under the textbook to activate your Roku device.
- The next step is to create a Roku account. If you have an account, you need to choose the option to sign in and enter your credentials. To create a new account for Roku, fill in the details that are on screen along with an email address, username, and a password.
Roku may ask you to create a PIN for your account. This PIN will help you to login to our Roku device if you decide to password protect it. You can choose from the following options:
- Pin not needed.
- Pin needed to make purchase.
- Pin needed to make purchase and add channels.
Once you have created a PIN and logged into your Roku device you can begin to stream your favorite content that is available on the internet.
14. Add a Payment Method
You can add a payment method of your preference that makes it very easy to purchase or rent movies, get trials and subscriptions on the Roku Channel store. Skip this step to complete for later if you want to. Roku will not charge you while adding a payment method. However, to authorize any transaction for purchase Roku will require your consent. If you have an existing Roku account, you can skip this step.
Congratulations you have converted a non-smart tv into a Smart Tv
Finish all the supplementary steps on the screen. It It will ask to confirm your Roku accounts email ID and password. Subsequently you will be able to see your chosen channels added to the Roku device. This setup takes a few minutes to be completed.
Q1. What do I do if my Rou Stick does not work on my non smart Tv?
Answer – If you have followed all the steps that I have mentioned in detail in the article above, you will most certainly be able to stream content from your Roku device without any issues. However, if the problem persists, you can get in touch with Roku Customer support, which I am linking for you,
and they will further guide you on how to solve the problem. If there is a defect with your Roku Stick it can be replaced as well.
Q2. What to do if my Television does not have an HDMI port, how can I connect my Roku Stick to a non-smart tv with no HDMI port?
Answer – Connecting the Roku Stick to any television is a cake walk via a HDMI cable, but if your TV is ancient, you may not have that advantage. Thus, it is imperative that your Roku device supports Composite Video. Composite cables have one yellow connector used for the video output, while the red and white connectors are used for audio inputs. The Roku Express + has both the features of a HDMI and a composite port. This allows you to stream on any television even if it is a non-smart Tv. With over hundreds of channels that are free, there is a lot that you can stream without spending any extra dollars. Also, check that your Roku device supports the composite video feature.
Q3. Is a 4k Tv or a HDR compatible television needed if you have a HDR Roku player?
Answer – No, that is not sacrosanct to have a 4k or even a HDR television, as all the Roku 4k players can be connected to televisions that have HDMI ports. The only problem that can come up is that your videos will not be streamed in 4k resolution, nevertheless you can still have access to all features of the Roku 4K on a non-smart television as well.
Q4. How to connect a Roku for older tv without HDMI?
Answer – You may not be able to connect a Roku device to a very old non smart Tv. Especially if it came without a HDMI cable and if it is a black and white Television set from the 70’s. The kinds that came with a SCART A/V connection. As it is expected that you connect the two devices with the help of a HDMI cable and older TVs did not have a HDMI port. Thus, how can you connect to a television that has an obsolete motherboard? Well, we always have a workaround, if you need a quick fix for this just follow the steps:
- Make use of the AV Out Port to connect the Television to the Roku Device. This is your best bet as it will enable you to access all the Roku features.
- Another way to connect is by using a USB cable, it is one of the simplest methods to follow as it does not need any additional hardware.
Q5. What do you need to keep in mind while connecting a Roku device to a non-smart TV?
Answer – Sometimes, HDMI connections tend to get hot swapped, which means that you can just hook them to the device’s plug and play them, without turning their unit on and off separately. However just to be cautious and to err it is suggested that before hot swapping them you switch them off, connect and then switch them on. This is because non smart TVs are not enabled to be Hot swapped and need to be restarted just like a computer needs so that their connection can be recognized. Whilst for HDMI TV’s that are relatively new one needs to make the switch to the appropriate port by using the menu found on the TV’S settings.
Q6. What is the key difference between a Smart television and a Roku television? do I need Roku if I have a smart tv?
Answer – A Smart Television can be connected directly to the internet with an Operating System. Roku Televisions are made using the technology that Roku makes exclusively for its devices. Roku has its functionality inbuilt into their televisions, consequently their users do not need to plug in an external device to use its feature unlike other Smart Televisions. Therefore, you need a Roku device to connect to a smart Tv if you want to enjoy a surfeit of content.
Q7. Does a Roku stick work on any tv?
Answer – Roku works on all Televisions as long as it supports a HDMI connection. The HDMI port on a non-smart tv allows you to connect Roku cables to the Television to establish a connection. Roku sticks work with all kinds of televisions and are portable. They just need to be connected to the internet to have seamless streaming. If you are looking to buy a Roku stick for your house, then be rest assured about connections, plug it into your TV’s port and it will work just fine.
Q8. What technology can help to change your normal Tv of a Smart Tv?
Answer – You can turn any normal television into a Smart Tv as long as you can learn how to connect your Smartphone to your Television. It usually needs a USB dongle or a cable that can help to mirror the smartphone to the Television. Furthermore, you can even use Chromecast on your smartphone and or tablet. It is one of the simplest ways to convert your Tv to a smart television and the same goes with your Amazon firestick and Roku devices. Both the devices are stand alone media devices unlike connection devices that link to a device such as a PC, tablet, or Laptop.
That is all for today guys! I hope all your doubts and queries pertaining to “can you use Roku on a Non-Smart tv?” have been answered in this article. As I have reiterated that Roku does indeed work on even a Non-Smart Tv provided it has an HDMI port. If you own a Non-Smart TV, which I am assuming you do, else you would not be reading this detailed DIY. In case your Non smart Tv does not have an HDMI port you can upgrade it and you will be able to stream top quality content from all over the world just by the flick of a remote.
As an engineering graduate (and a full-time layabout), I am always looking for smart technological innovations to make my life simpler and more automated so that I can be even lazier than usual.