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Sep182018

How to use Roku as Chromecast

Category: Smart DNS Proxy

Okay, so, lately, I’ve been using Roku quite a bit to binge-watch my favorite shows on Netflix, and Prime Video. And one of the features that I do miss the most from Chromecast is - the screen mirroring. And who does better than Chromecast? I was psyched to know that you can do it on Roku as well. Well, fudge if knew.

As one would expect, both the Netflix and YouTube apps support an open protocol called DIAL, that lets you cast videos from your phone or tablet. To do so, just simply launch your YouTube or Netflix app on your smartphone and tap the cast icon. It also works the same, if you want to cast YouTube from your computer onto Roku.

Unfortunately, Roku doesn’t support other video channels or even the videos you may have in the local storage. Well, that’s where we come in, today, I’ll show you how to cast any video onto Roku be it from your Windows, Android or even Mac.

Before we begin, though, make sure the screen mirroring option is enabled (it usually is enabled by default) but you can check by going to Settings > System > Screen Mirroring on your Roku and making sure it is set to Prompt or always. Also, it is important that both devices be on the same network.

Once that’s done, here’s how you do it on various other operating systems.

WINDOWS

If you want to mirror your Windows 8 or 10 screen to Roku, connect it to the same Wi-Fi network as your Roku, and press the notifications button in the bottom right of the taskbar.  

You’d see multiple options there, look for project and select ‘connect to a wireless display’.

You’d see a list of available devices for projection, Select Roku and you would get a prompt on Roku as well to allow the device to project to the TV.

Now, if you play any video on your browser or local storage, it should easily stream onto Roku.

ANDROID

Android added support for Miracast for versions 4.2 and above and eventually cancelled it for its proprietary Google Cast. Fortunately, you can still use the Miracast protocol to cast your Phone’s screen onto Roku using the Miracast.

Simply, head to Settings > Display > Cast Screen. Tap the menu button in the upper right-hand corner and check Enable Wireless Display. From there, you can go back to Settings and choose Cast Screen.

And there you have it.

macOS

Things get little tricky when it comes to macOS as Mac never adopted Miracast and uses its proprietary Airplay. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t use it with Roku.

I use a Chrome extension like RokuCast that lets you stream chrome browser on your Mac to Roku.

To get started, install RokuCast on Google Chrome on your Mac. It’s not available on the Chrome store, so you’ll have to sideload the crx file from github, unzip it and drag and drop it to the Chrome extension page (make sure developer mode is on).

https://github.com/pranav-prakash/RokuCast

Next, install RokuCast on your Roku by clicking on the link. It’ll give you warning, which you can ignore. Once done, go to your Roku settings page and update it. You should now see RokuCast in the home page of Roku.

Connect your computer and your Roku device to the same network. While you are at it, also make a note of your Roku IP address, we’ll need this later.

Next, go to Mac, click on the Roku cast extension icon, click on small gear icon in the bottom right. This will open a new window, enter the IP address of Roku, that we noted in the previous section. And then click on ‘go back’ icon.

Play any video on your Chrome browser (remember it has to be an html5 video) and now if you click on the RokuCast extension, you should see a small cast button next to the video file. Click on that and that’s it. It’ll sent the video link to Roku. Now, you can close your Mac and watch the video on your Roku as it is directly fetching the video from the Internet, just as Chromecast.

But what if you want to play videos from local storage? Well, we tried playing some videos from Google Drive and Dropbox, but it failed, so I guess the only option you are left with is to try paid apps like Mirror for Roku. I don’t have much need to cast local videos, so, I never tried it.

Finally, if you’d like to control your Roku from your smartphone, well, you certainly can do that. I’m not the boss of you. Download the official Roku app for iPhone or Android, it comes with arrow keys for easy navigation and a keyboard interface to type in characters onto your Roku.

Overall, Roku can stream Netflix and YouTube videos natively, you can also screen mirror Windows Desktop and even your Android phone with the built-in Miracast technology. Things do get tricky with the Apple ecosystem but then there are workarounds for that as well.

That said, now that you can screen mirror with Roku, did you know you can remove geo-restrictions on Roku too? Smart DNS Proxy lets you unblock streaming sites like Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video and much more. Check out our other videos on how to setup Smart DNS Proxy on Roku devices.

Thank you for reading and watching and smash that subscribe button like Chris Brown would.

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