Recently, Roku announced that its set-top boxes, HDMI streaming sticks and TVs are now compatible with Amazon Alexa. Bringing voice support to the most popular streaming platform around. It's important to remember that Alexa is compatible and not built into Roku. Meaning that you are still going to need an Alexa device like an Echo or an Echo Show, to be able to control your Roku with your voice.
If you own a Roku, and an Echo, this is a feature that you're going to want to enable. It's pretty simple to enable, as we explain below. We'll also talk about what you can and can't do with Amazon Alexa and a Roku device.
How To Setup Alexa on Roku
First things first, you're going to need to download the Amazon Alexa app onto your smartphone, from the Google Play Store. If you own an Echo, it's likely already on your smartphone.
After you've downloaded and signed into the Amazon Alexa app, the next step is to open it and swipe in from the left to open that menu.
Next tap on the "Skills & Games". This will take you to the Amazon Alexa Skills store, where you can find new skills to download and use.
Now, tap on the magnifying glass, and type in "roku" and press enter.
The first option should be the Roku skill. Tap on that, and then tap on "Enable Skill".
After tapping on enable the skill, you are going to be taken to Roku's site to sign in and link your account to Alexa. So make sure you know your Roku login info. It will have you read over the terms and accept them, then ask for you to give Alexa access to control your Roku devices. If you have more than one on your account, you can choose which is the default Roku device.
Once you've linked your account, Alexa will then start to search your network for new smart home devices it can control. After about 10 seconds or so, it should find your Roku device, and then you are all set. On that page, it will give you some examples of commands that you can use Alexa for with your Roku.
What Can Alexa Do With Roku?
The commands for Alexa are pretty straight forward, you can say things like "Alexa, pause Roku", or "Alexa launch HBO NOW on Roku". This works for most apps, however there are a few that don't work, for some reason. For example, you can't launch VUDU or Netflix on Roku using Alexa. Users can also ask Alexa to search for a series or for a movie on Roku, but you cannot ask for a specific episode of New Amsterdam, for example.
If you do have a Roku TV, you get a few more options like "Alexa, turn on Roku" or "Alexa, turn up the volume on Roku" and such. But it's still somewhat limited.
It does seem to have a few caveats right now, but there's plenty that you can do with Alexa and Roku right now. It should get better over the next few months, once Roku and Amazon are able to iron out some of these kinks though.
Roku has silently been killing it, when it comes to streaming. Not only does it have that Roku Channel that has free content (ad-supported). But it has also added Google Assistant and Cast support rather recently, and now it has Amazon Alexa. These features have been pushed out to older Roku set-top boxes too, like the Roku 3 which was released back in 2013 - a whopping six years ago. Making this a rather good option when it comes to streaming boxes.