So, I thought I had tried EVERYTHING for my brand new Windows 10 laptop to connect to my brand new 55 inch TCL Roku TV. The laptop was finding my TV but I was getting the "couldn't connect" after about 30 seconds. To go straight to the one setting I found without reading that solved my "Cannot connect" problem, go to the bold red text. To go to an easy setup for a wired connection anywhere in your home, go to final paragraph.
When I went to another TV and connected my old Roku 3 box to it and changed the input to the HDMI port that Roku was plugged into, I got a message on screen asking if I wanted to allow device xxxx to connect (this is whatever the name of your device is that you are trying to connect). I selected ALWAYS (as opposed to "PROMPT" or "NEVER"). Simple enough. Now, I can connect the laptop to my smaller TV with the Roku attached. By doing this, I also ruled out the laptop as the cause of not connecting to the new Roku TV.
I checked every website/forum I could find (including the actual manual from TCL) and was failing miserably. Knowing that the problem had to be some setting buried in the TV menu and NOT in my laptop, I soldiered on. Eventually, the Eureka moment came! I have my Roku TV connected via a wired connection and my laptop on Wifi and I STILL made it work and it is flawless every time. All the information you will find online indicates that you need to have both units on the same wifi network. NOT TRUE. They simply need to be on the same network
, regardless of connection methodology.
Here's my setup:
Roku TV connected to internet via wired connection (even though this isn't really necessary to accomplish what I did....the wired connection eliminates those annoying occasional 1-2 second sound drops because there's no signal interference AND the wired connection makes streaming load SO much faster than WifI). I'll explain my wired connection at the end of this post because it is not typical and was a $100 investment to avoid any cables in the wall.
Laptop set on Wifi to my 2.4 ghz connection (but I could just as easily use the 5 ghz with the same results)
Settings on Roku TV:
Settings>System>Screen Mirroring: "Always Allow" is checked (you could also use Prompt if you wanted to here but then you would always need to allow it via the Prompt on the screen)
*The setting here is what you will find anywhere you look on the web....including the TCL manual and the Microsoft website.
Settings>System>Advanced System Settings>Device Connect: "Enable 'Device Connect'" is checked. You MUST have this checked to be able to screen mirror.
*The setting here is NOT typically found in any search but the default seems to be set to Enable as I have never had to actually change this one.Settings>System>Advanced System Settings>Control by mobile apps>Network access: "Default" is checked.*This setting is the holy grail to making Screen Mirror work on my TCL Roku TV!!! This was set to "Permissive". When I changed this to "Default" screen mirroring began to work PERFECTLY. My 17" laptop monitor duplicates to my 55" TV screen without any distortion or loss of picture quality.
I have found the most usefulness I have for this feature is simply for shared family viewing of websites/videos that do not have a casting option built in like YouTube. My son's football team uses the Hudl app for video review and there's no cast feature. By duplicating the laptop screen to the TV, we can both see things on the big screen comfortably and since the picture is the same quality but larger, we are able to easily see plays developing or breaking down. Because I am providing a public service here, I also put Chrome into incognito mode to see if it still worked. No issue at all. Everything still perfect.
About the wired connection setup: pick up the Netgear Powerline 1000 or Netgear Powerline 2000 at your local electronics store. You will spend between $75 and $110 depending on model. These will convert your existing home electrical wiring into a wired network connection between your router and wherever you plug these in. The only difference in the 1000 and the 2000 is that the 1000 has one ethernet port while the 2000 has 2 ethernet ports. So if you have a Roku TV with Xbox hooked up, you could have a wired connection to both with the Powerline 2000. Setup for me was literally "Plug and Play". Whichever model you select, it comes with 2 units inside. On one unit, plug it into the wall near your router and then connect one of the router's ethernet ports into one of the ports of the unit you plugged into the wall. Note: while the router and the Netgear unit do not
need to be plugged into the same outlet the do
need to be on the same circuit. Plug the other Netgear unit nearby wherever you need a wired connection. This unit does not
need to be on the same circuit as the router. After plugging it in the wall, connect an ethernet cable from your device into the unit you just plugged in. After about 60 seconds, all 3 indicator lights will be solid green if connected correctly. Need to add even more ethernet ports to your home....like into a garage or a bedroom far away from the wireless router, just buy more sets of Powerlines. Just note that all units must be on the same overall electrical box to work so if you have a separate panel for a detached garage, this won't help you. For my family, we just have the one set (one connected to the router and one connected to the Roku TV). But if my kid wants to download a game to his Xbox, we just unplug the unit from the Roku TV (change the TV connection to wireless if you want to stream....if just watching non-streaming TV you don't have to do anything) and he takes it to the basement to do the download and when he's finished he plugs it back into the Roku TV on the main level.