Thanks to technology, audiences no longer have to wait for the release of the next VHS or DVD copy of their favorite shows or movies. In this digital age, anyone can stream online whenever or wherever they want. Various digital platforms and compact devices nowadays enable viewers to conveniently watch videos without the need to install huge and complicated equipment. Through the use of any internet-enabled device, an external drive, third-party app, specific website, or smart television, it’s like watching live TV broadcasts but on your own terms.
Like in any platform or website, online video streaming (ex: Roku, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) poses certain risks. The accessibility of such tools works like a two-edged sword, especially to younger audiences who aren’t mature enough yet to filter or choose which content is appropriate. The good thing is, more and more software/hardware manufacturers and developers are taking the extra mile to program built-in parental controls and security settings within the products they’re launching. If you’re using Roku at home, read on to learn about Roku parental controls and how to enjoy streaming without compromising safety.
What Is Roku?
Roku is a digital media player brand owned and manufactured by Roku, Inc., an American company. Aside from the original Roku TV channels, it allows users to stream media content from various online services including Netflix, Amazon, HBO Go, and YouTube. Utilizing only the hardware Roku TV app/player and an active Roku account, you can have remote real-time access to hundreds of thousands of streaming and entertainment channels.
The first generation of Roku was launched in 2008 where the main goal was to introduce a compact set-top box capable of providing low-cost over-the-top media consumption. With its ‘Watch Instantly’ campaign, Roku served as standalone middleware for smart TVs.
Over the years, Roku has been greatly enhanced, making it more reliable and more efficient. From the 720p resolution offered on the 1st gen, users can now stream videos at 2160p60 (4K) resolution using the 10th gen. Roku software and hardware are also now run by Realtek 1319 processor compared to the PNX8935 400 MHz processor utilized in the initial versions. The channel storage has even been significantly increased from 64 MB to 4 GB. Furthermore, the latest version now supports Netflix with profiles, grants remote access, and allows smartphone streaming.
Roku was designed for automatic software updates, ensuring active subscribers get to enjoy even the newest and latest features. The addition of new channels for third-party video streaming services is also updated simultaneously upon release. Roku has also introduced the addition of safety nets and parental controls to ensure a fun but safe experience especially to households with young viewers.
One of the great things about Roku is its surprisingly low-cost. At a reasonably affordable price, users can reap the benefits of ultra-fast upgraded CPU, Wi-Fi Direct remote, integrated headphone jack, streambar (Roku player and Soundbar device in one), rechargeable Roku Voice Remote Pro, streaming stick, and more. Hence, with Roku, you’ll receive great value for your money.
To keep the Roku excitement burning, there are several new features and system updates to look forward to – an even faster processor, larger storage, stronger Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth audio streaming, Dolby Vision, and built-in ethernet support to name a few. Indeed, Roku is sticking to its promise to provide a convenient and efficient way to stream your favorite TV shows, movies, and media content without draining your pockets.
How To Set Up Roku and How Does it Work?
Roku aims to offer its users the freedom and convenience to watch anything they love for less – less cost, less effort, less hassle. All Roku devices connect and provide easy access to various channels, including live news, sports, free TV, and so much more.
When you navigate to Roku’s official website, https://www.roku.com/, there’s a huge collection of products you can choose from – from wired to wireless, from manual to remote.
Roku streaming players and Roku TVs need Internet access to stream content. They use wireless to connect to your home network, or you can choose a model that offers a wired Ethernet connector.
If you prefer a Roku streaming player, here are your options.
- Roku Express – Connects through a high-speed HDMI cable and is controlled by a simple remote.
- Roku Express 4K+ – Connects through fast Wi-Fi and is controlled by a voice remote with TV controls.
- Roku® Streaming Stick® 4K – Connects through long-range Wi-Fi and is controlled by a voice remote with TV controls.
- Roku® Streaming Stick® 4K+ – Connects through long-range Wi-Fi and is controlled by a rechargeable voice remote with TV controls and personal shortcuts.
- Roku Ultra – Connects through Roku’s best Wi-Fi and fast channel launch and is controlled by a voice remote with TV controls and personal shortcuts.
If you’re big on premium audio, here are your options.
- Roku® Streambar® – Offers powerful streaming and premium audio for any TV, providing crisp clear dialogue, and is capable of toning down loud commercials. It’s controlled by a voice remote with TV controls.
- Roku® Streambar® Pro – Offers a cinematic sound, crisp clear dialogue, and an immersive audio experience with virtual surround. It’s also capable of toning down loud commercials and is controlled by a voice remote with TV controls and personal shortcuts.
- Roku Wireless Speakers – Offers premium sound for your Roku TV and immersive surround sound for your Roku audio system. It’s also capable of toning down loud commercials.
- Roku Wireless Subwoofer – This features a heart-pounding bass on top of the premium audio quality it’s capable of producing.
If you’re a huge fan of smart TVs, then you’ll surely love Roku TV. Roku partnered with trusted brands, offering hundreds of models in HD, 4K, and 8K with size options that could fit in any room. Here are some of the well-known brands where Roku TVs are built-in.
Aside from the robust collection of exquisite products, you’ll love how each of these devices is easy to operate. In fact, you can start utilizing any Roku streamer/player in just 3 quick and easy steps.
- Power up and launch the Roku player/device.
- Connect the Roku device to the internet.
- Create and Roku account then activate the device.
Roku Parental Controls
While shows and movies are typically rated by trusted boards, you won’t be able to prevent your kids from seeing them if they are accessible or readily available on your streaming devices or players. This is probably one of the main reasons for the launch of TV parental controls and video streaming parental controls.
Roku acknowledges such threats and risks which is why they’ve launched built-in safety settings and security protocols – the Kids and Family feature. The main purpose of this is to create a section that’s child-friendly and kid-appropriate. Roku enables parents to set a 4-digit PIN so they can better control which video content only is added to their accounts and are accessible by their kids. Using the unique code, users can add shows, block movies, hide content, keep certain channels private, or completely remove channels.
While Roku doesn’t offer global or overall parental controls control, it allows parents to configure access limits based on ratings. You can:
- Set ratings-based playback restrictions within The Roku Channel.
- Activate built-in parental control features on third-party streaming channels offer such features.
- Configure your Roku TV to restrict viewing of programs on over-the-air broadcast TV.
Should you wish to access the parental controls on Roku TV, here’s how.
- On your Roku TV remote, press the Home button.
- Scroll through the menu then select Settings.
- Click on Parental Controls.
- Choose Enable Parental Controls then turn it on.
Safely Use Roku with Children
By utilizing the parental controls listed above, you can ensure your child has a safe streaming experience on Roku. No need to worry about them watching age-inappropriate movies, tv shows, and other content.