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carsokk
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Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:22 pm

I would appreciate some clarifications...

OK, can someone explain to me Roku's remote technology? Specifically, does the roku remote use IR, or does it control the Roku via wifi, or what???? I assume a remote app on a smart phone uses wifi to control the roku. Even if the roku remote uses wifi (or something else), can the roku be controlled by an IR universal remote? Is there some sort of specs to look for in a universal remote to control a roku? And, how many roku remotes can be paired with a roku concurrently?

Thanks in advance for any help or insight.
 
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Elijah_Baley
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:50 pm

carsokk wrote:
I would appreciate some clarifications...

OK, can someone explain to me Roku's remote technology? Specifically, does the roku remote use IR, or does it control the Roku via wifi, or what???? I assume a remote app on a smart phone uses wifi to control the roku. Even if the roku remote uses wifi (or something else), can the roku be controlled by an IR universal remote? Is there some sort of specs to look for in a universal remote to control a roku? And, how many roku remotes can be paired with a roku concurrently?

Thanks in advance for any help or insight.


The simple answer is yes.

The remote for the Roku 3 and 4 is wifi
The remote for the Roku 2 and 1 is ir
All Rokus (except the stick) are able to be controlled by Roku ir remotes and most universal ir remotes
The spec to look for in a universal remote to control a Roku is the word "Roku"
Smartphones and tablets do NOT use wifi to control Rokus. They use commands sent over the network. That is they do not communicate with the Roku using the same method as the Roku's remote.

As far as how many remotes can be paired: At least two.
Two Roku Ultras, three Roku 3s and a Roku 1
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Basil
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:55 pm

carsokk wrote:
I would appreciate some clarifications...

OK, can someone explain to me Roku's remote technology? Specifically, does the roku remote use IR, or does it control the Roku via wifi, or what???? I assume a remote app on a smart phone uses wifi to control the roku. Even if the roku remote uses wifi (or something else), can the roku be controlled by an IR universal remote? Is there some sort of specs to look for in a universal remote to control a roku? And, how many roku remotes can be paired with a roku concurrently?

Thanks in advance for any help or insight.

Of the current Roku lineup (not counting the Roku TV models), there are three type of remotes.

The Roku HDMI Streaming Stick uses WiFi, but the remote isn't compatible with other devices.

The Roku 1 (and Roku SE, which is the same model) uses IR remotes only.

The Roku 2 comes with an IR remote, but will work with a Roku 3 WiFi remote. The Roku 2 is the same basic device inside as the Roku 3.

Roku 3 comes with a WiFi remote. It will also work with a Roku IR remote.

Of the older devices, the Roku 2 XS came with a Bluetooth remote, but will work with a Roku IR remote.

The Roku 2 XD came with an IR remote, but the Roku 2 XS Bluetooth remote will work with it.

The other discontinued devices came with IR remotes, except the Roku Ready Streaming Stick (MHL). That came with a WiFi remote that only worked with that device.

All set top boxes can be controlled by an IR remote, either from Roku, or a third party remote that includes Roku codes.

The WiFi remotes that come from Roku connect directly to the box, not through your network. The apps on devices (phones, tablets) work through your network.

Edit: Elijah_Baley posted while I was composing. His answer is correct.
Basil
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carsokk
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:01 pm

Elijah_Baley wrote:
carsokk wrote:
I would appreciate some clarifications...

OK, can someone explain to me Roku's remote technology? Specifically, does the roku remote use IR, or does it control the Roku via wifi, or what???? I assume a remote app on a smart phone uses wifi to control the roku. Even if the roku remote uses wifi (or something else), can the roku be controlled by an IR universal remote? Is there some sort of specs to look for in a universal remote to control a roku? And, how many roku remotes can be paired with a roku concurrently?

Thanks in advance for any help or insight.


The simple answer is yes.

The remote for the Roku 3 and 4 is wifi
The remote for the Roku 2 and 1 is ir
All Rokus (except the stick) are able to be controlled by Roku ir remotes and most universal ir remotes
The spec to look for in a universal remote to control a Roku is the word "Roku"
Smartphones and tablets do NOT use wifi to control Rokus. They use commands sent over the network. That is they do not communicate with the Roku using the same method as the Roku's remote.

As far as how many remotes can be paired: At least two.


Elijah:

Thanks for the reply...and I couldn't help but laugh at the response: "The spec to look for in a universal remote to control a Roku is the word "Roku". Well, that seems pretty obvious...maybe I was thinking too hard! LOL

But, I am a little confused. You said the following two things:

1. The remote for the Roku 3 and 4 is wifi
2. Smartphones and tablets do NOT use wifi to control Rokus. They use commands sent over the network. That is they do not communicate with the Roku using the same method as the Roku's remote.

Uh...sorry to show my ignorance, but what is the difference between 1 & 2. If the remote for the Roku 3 & 4 is "wifi" doesn't that mean that "they use commands sent over the network" just like a smart phone app? Or am I missing something?
 
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Basil
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:05 pm

carsokk wrote:
Elijah:

Thanks for the reply...and I couldn't help but laugh at the response: "The spec to look for in a universal remote to control a Roku is the word "Roku". Well, that seems pretty obvious...maybe I was thinking too hard.

But, I am a little confused. You said the following two things:

1. The remote for the Roku 3 and 4 is wifi
1. Smartphones and tablets do NOT use wifi to control Rokus. They use commands sent over the network. That is they do not communicate with the Roku using the same method as the Roku's remote.

Uh...sorry to show my ignorance, but what is the difference between 1 & 2. If the remote for the Roku 3 & 4 is "wifi" doesn't that mean that "they use commands sent over the network" just like a smart phone app? Or am I missing something?

The WiFi remotes that come from Roku connect directly to the box, not through your network. The apps on devices (phones, tablets) work through your network.

As for him suggesting you look for "Roku" on the remote, you might be surprised how many people buy a universal remote for Roku that doesn't support Roku. I know I am. He wasn't suggesting you couldn't figure that out, rather, he was suggesting you ensure the remote specifically lists Roku. If it doesn't, it may not support it, as there are no "universal codes" for Roku. Each manufacturer uses their own codes on the remotes.
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carsokk
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:09 pm

Basil wrote:
carsokk wrote:
Elijah:

Thanks for the reply...and I couldn't help but laugh at the response: "The spec to look for in a universal remote to control a Roku is the word "Roku". Well, that seems pretty obvious...maybe I was thinking too hard.

But, I am a little confused. You said the following two things:

1. The remote for the Roku 3 and 4 is wifi
1. Smartphones and tablets do NOT use wifi to control Rokus. They use commands sent over the network. That is they do not communicate with the Roku using the same method as the Roku's remote.

Uh...sorry to show my ignorance, but what is the difference between 1 & 2. If the remote for the Roku 3 & 4 is "wifi" doesn't that mean that "they use commands sent over the network" just like a smart phone app? Or am I missing something?

The WiFi remotes that come from Roku connect directly to the box, not through your network. The apps on devices (phones, tablets) work through your network.

As for him suggesting you look for "Roku" on the remote, you might be surprised how many people buy a universal remote for Roku that doesn't support Roku. I know I am. He wasn't suggesting you couldn't figure that out, rather, he was suggesting you ensure the remote specifically lists Roku. If it doesn't, it may not support it, as there are no "universal codes" for Roku. Each manufacturer uses their own codes on the remotes.


Thanks for the reply. But I am still confused.

So...you said "The WiFi remotes that come from Roku connect directly to the box". But, how? It's not IR. So, is it radio signals or is the roku generating its own little wifi network or..what? I think I am behind the times on this technology.
 
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Basil
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:11 pm

carsokk wrote:

Thanks for the reply. But I am still confused.

So...you said "The WiFi remotes that come from Roku connect directly to the box". But, how? It's not IR. So, is it radio signals or is the roku generating its own little wifi network or..what? I think I am behind the times on this technology.

Yes. Roku generates its own connection that the remote uses. Is uses the same channel as your network, but the remote does not care if your WiFi network is on or net. It still works. But, with WiFi down, your phone/tablet apps don't work.
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RokuMarkn
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:22 pm

Think of it this way: your Roku is obviously connected to your home network, since that's how it streams videos from the internet. This may be a wifi connection (between the Roku and your router), or it may be a wired Ethernet connection (again, between the Roku and your router).

The smartphone/tablet remotes use this connection to communicate to the Roku. The phone sends commands via wifi to your router, which then relays the commands to the Roku, using wifi or Ethernet. This is a normal type of network communication similar to what's used by all the devices on your home network.

The Roku wifi remote doesn't use this system at all. It connects directly to the Roku via wifi (even if the Roku is connected to your router via Ethernet), and it uses a completely different protocol to send commands than what's used by the phone/tablet remotes. This connection will work even if your router is unplugged, since it's a direct connection between the remote and the Roku.

--Mark
 
carsokk
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:36 pm

[quote="RokuMarkn"]Think of it this way: your Roku is obviously connected to your home network, since that's how it streams videos from the internet. This may be a wifi connection (between the Roku and your router), or it may be a wired Ethernet connection (again, between the Roku and your router).

The smartphone/tablet remotes use this connection to communicate to the Roku. The phone sends commands via wifi to your router, which then relays the commands to the Roku, using wifi or Ethernet. This is a normal type of network communication similar to what's used by all the devices on your home network.

The Roku wifi remote doesn't use this system at all. It connects directly to the Roku via wifi (even if the Roku is connected to your router via Ethernet), and it uses a completely different protocol to send commands than what's used by the phone/tablet remotes. This connection will work even if your router is unplugged, since it's a direct connection between the remote and the Roku.

--Mark[/quote]

Now I get it. Roku's wifi is communicating (a) to my router and (b) to my remote. A smart phone app is communicating to my router which then communicates to the roku. So, a roku remote won't work in a different room than my roku but a smart phone app will.

And, a roku doesn't need to be in the line of site of the roku remote. But, as a Roku 3 & 4 still have IR capabilites, I could find a third party universal remote that uses IR to control a a Roku....but a wifi universal remote would be a better choice.

Thanks for the clarification.
 
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Basil
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:57 pm

carsokk wrote:
RokuMarkn wrote:
Think of it this way: your Roku is obviously connected to your home network, since that's how it streams videos from the internet. This may be a wifi connection (between the Roku and your router), or it may be a wired Ethernet connection (again, between the Roku and your router).

The smartphone/tablet remotes use this connection to communicate to the Roku. The phone sends commands via wifi to your router, which then relays the commands to the Roku, using wifi or Ethernet. This is a normal type of network communication similar to what's used by all the devices on your home network.

The Roku wifi remote doesn't use this system at all. It connects directly to the Roku via wifi (even if the Roku is connected to your router via Ethernet), and it uses a completely different protocol to send commands than what's used by the phone/tablet remotes. This connection will work even if your router is unplugged, since it's a direct connection between the remote and the Roku.

--Mark


Now I get it. Roku's wifi is communicating (a) to my router and (b) to my remote. A smart phone app is communicating to my router which then communicates to the roku. So, a roku remote won't work in a different room than my roku but a smart phone app will.

And, a roku doesn't need to be in the line of site of the roku remote. But, as a Roku 3 & 4 still have IR capabilites, I could find a third party universal remote that uses IR to control a a Roku....but a wifi universal remote would be a better choice.

Thanks for the clarification.

There are no third-party remotes that work directly with Roku devices. Universal remotes that work with Roku are IR remotes.
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Elijah_Baley
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:25 pm

Basil wrote:
There are no third-party remotes that work directly with Roku devices. That's why no one suggested that. Universal remotes that work with Roku are IR remotes.


Actually there is one type of exception to that. A few of the more advanced Harmony remotes (and some others I think) do not use ir for the Roku but rather they communicate with the Roku over IP. That is they communicate with the Roku just like tablets etc.

But they are truly universal remotes in that they can also control devices that are IR only. I guess they should really be called "Hybrid" remotes. They have multiple ways of controlling devices and they can themselves be controlled in multiple ways.

I have one (a Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home Touch Screen Remote) and love it but I cannot recommend it to most people as it is a bit pricey (I got it at a discount) and it is non-trivial to set up and get running correctly.
Two Roku Ultras, three Roku 3s and a Roku 1
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Basil
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:02 pm

Good info. Thanks for that.
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mab
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:24 am

Hi guys!

It's interesting to read how evolved the possibilities regarding the remote control of the Rokus.

With my company we are used to control Rokus via IR signals from the Roku 1 to the Roku 4. We are recording the IR signals from an interface and sending the signals by another interface. That's why even if the remote controllers of the Roku 3 and 4 were WiFi, we had the possibility to control them using our records.

Unfortunately, things seems to be different with the Roku Premiere. I'm not able to control it in the same way than the Roku 3 or 4. Do you know if the Roku Premiere is still able to works with IR signals?

Thanks for your help,

 
 
twiceover
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:40 am

mab wrote:
Hi guys!

It's interesting to read how evolved the possibilities regarding the remote control of the Rokus.

With my company we are used to control Rokus via IR signals from the Roku 1 to the Roku 4. We are recording the IR signals from an interface and sending the signals by another interface. That's why even if the remote controllers of the Roku 3 and 4 were WiFi, we had the possibility to control them using our records.

Unfortunately, things seems to be different with the Roku Premiere. I'm not able to control it in the same way than the Roku 3 or 4. Do you know if the Roku Premiere is still able to works with IR signals?

Thanks for your help,

 

According to Roku's spec page the Premier comes with an IR remote and it receives IR.
https://www.roku.com/products/roku-premiere
Is there a chance they changed their IR codes?
 
mab
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Re: Remote Technology Questions.

Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:00 am

Thanks for the reply.

Indeed, it's strange that the official technical specs are mentionning that is IR. 
I double checked couple of minutes ago, my IR receiver cannot catch any IR signals from the Roku Premiere Remote Controller.

Weird.

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