Newbie Question -- Simplest Way to Hook Up Roku

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Newbie Question -- Simplest Way to Hook Up Roku

Postby zeezee » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:34 pm

Hi All...

Question from a Newbie...

I haven't received my Roku as of yet but would like to know if this is the easiest way to hook up the Roku when it arrives.

I want to unhook the Ethernet connection to my PC and hook it up to the Roku when I'm using it. I've got an HDMI connection free for the Roku as well.

Will this work, or is there a better way?

Thanks!!
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Postby jeffrok » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:46 pm

More info needed: Do you have the PC currently plugged into a broadband router? A broadband router is highly recommended- I personally recommend a wireless one.
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Postby mkiker2089 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:50 pm

If your TV has HDMI then it's the easiest way. As far as internet, I'd bite the bullet and get a router. You can get a cheap wireless router for 30 bucks or so and it will save you hooking and unhooking the pc. Wireless routers have wired ports on them so if you are looking for simple just run it all wired and you won't have to worry about wireless networking until you want to.
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Postby zeezee » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:45 pm

Yup, I do have an HDMI connection. I don't have my PC hooked up to a wireless connection, just a high speed cable modem with an ethernet cable.

I thought if I got a longer ethernet cord I could un-hook my PC's present ethernet connection, hook up a longer ethernet cord from the modem to the Roku, then hook up the Roku to the TV with an HDMI.

I wanted to keep things as simple and inexpensive as possible until I see if the Roku works as I'm hoping it will.

Do I have to have my PC hooked up while I'm using the Roku on the TV? If so, I guess my idea won't work... :?:
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Postby eri3k » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:59 pm

No, you don't need to have your computer connected in order to use the Roku. When you change the device connected to your cable modem (computer to Roku or vice verse) it is a good idea to reboot the modem before plugging the Ethernet cable into the other device.

If you are pleased with the Roku, spring for a wireless router. It really is the way to go.
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Postby kc8pql » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:21 pm

You will need the computer to register the box with Netflix when you do the initial setup. I'm not at all sure this will work if you have to disconnect the Roku to plug in the computer.
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Postby eri3k » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:38 pm

Good call, kc8pql. You're going to need an internet-connected computer as well as your internet-connected Roku when you link the player to your Netflix and/or Amazon account, zeezee. If you still want to put off buying a router, you may need to use a friend's home network (and computer) for the activation. After that you should be able to use the player at your place with just the cable modem.
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Postby RWatson » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:03 pm

That's all assuming you don't need a sign on for your cable modem, otherwise it won't work because the ROKU cannot handle signing on to your ISP.

Just get a router, it's the only real way to go. Be sure to get a wireless one, "g" is more than adequate as roku doesn't support the "n" type anyway. The routers aren't very expensive, I've seen them as cheap as $25. Do not get confused, make sure you don't get a "hub" or "switch". They won't work. Get a wireless one (Linksys, for example) but once you get it, if possible, run a cable directly to the ROKU box from the router if possible. The ROKU will work very well with wireless as indicated above, but if there is any signal problem with the wireless you will be sorry.

The ROKU box is great as long as your ISP supports adequate and reliable signal throughput. I love mine..

This is a very common and reliable router:
Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router WRT54G Wireless router
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Postby mkiker2089 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:03 pm

I'd recommend just getting the router now. I know money is short for a lot of us but in the end you'll be glad you have it. If you ever have anything else wireless you'll be set.

Also I know with a fair amount of certainty that you will love the Roku when you get it. Go through Netflix with a fine tooth comb and most people will turn up 200 or more movies that they want to stream. You may as well start out right.

One last thing, 50 foot ethernet cable will often run as much if not more that a router. Ethernet cable isn't cheap my friend. I think a 50 foot role was 30 bucks at Wal-Mart and the Belkin G cheapo router was 28 dollars. That's what I use and it works great for the Roku and my PS3.
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Postby jeffrok » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:19 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:I'd recommend just getting the router now. I know money is short for a lot of us but in the end you'll be glad you have it. If you ever have anything else wireless you'll be set.



Agreed.. Roku or no Roku, a person should have a router for their broadband connection.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koy2eg1ioZ8&list=HL1380998604&feature=mh_lolz
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Postby zeezee » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:05 pm

Thanks so much Everyone!

I guess my "ethernet cord across the house" idea will definitely not fly. I'm trying to keep costs down as much as possible, but I can see the router has to be the way to go.

I'm assuming I'll need to hook up the router to the cable modem box, then hook up the Roku to the TV with an HDMI cable? It sounds like I need to hook up the router to the Roku? If so, I'm still going to need a loooong cable. Are there any limitations as to how far away the modem/router can be from the Roku/TV setup? Unfortunately, the two are on completely opposite sides of the house.

As I already belong to Netflix I've got quite a few movies in my Queue to stream instantly....I just hope I can successfully get everything up and running after I get all the proper equipment.

Thanks so much for all the help!!
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Postby mkiker2089 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:07 pm

No,no,no.
No cable to the Roku is needed.

You hook the router up to the modem, then the computer to the router. Use the wireless to hook up to the Roku. It's harder to explain than to do but basically you set some things on your router. Mostly set it to WPA password security and give your network a name. Turn the roku on, it finds the network, asks for a password, then you start watching netflix. It took me about 3 minutes, and that included waiting on the box to update and reboot.
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Postby zeezee » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:17 pm

Does it matter that the computer set up is waaaaay over on the other side of the house...about 65-70 feet from the TV?
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Postby mkiker2089 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:14 pm

Less distance would be ideal. Move the router as close as possible and as high as possible. Some say that the G routers can get 300 feet. mine craps out right at the 60-70 range. There are options but it can get complex. You can get two routers, run a long ethernet between them, configure one as an access point off the other which works as a router, and extend the range that way, but it's starting to get more expensive.

So, anyone else have info? 75 feet sounds a bit far to me. What can the Linksys do?
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Postby zeezee » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:57 am

Cancelling plans for the Roku until I can figure out a SIMPLE way to hook it up. It sounded like a relatively trouble free process -- hook it up and off you go...I'm glad I found all this out BEFORE receiving the device.

Anybody out there with an EASY way I can hook up the Roku given my evidently unique situation???

I'm so disappointed....
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