If you can imagine it, there’s an app for it. That’s why it’s important to have a streaming device to enjoy your apps on the big screen. Roku is not only one of the most popular brands in all of streaming, but it also offers the most dynamic price range. Starting at just $29.99, Roku carries numerous device models that continue to a mid-range option at $49.99 and a premium one for $99.99. You can discover more about Roku’s packages and prices, along with our breakdown that details the devices best for what kind of experience.
But you’re here because you want to know: can you cast to Roku TV? The short answer is yes. No matter what device you go with, the casting and screen mirroring processes are relatively similar, although not interchangeable.
Roku has much to offer as far as available content, features and models. We recommend our full Roku review for anyone on the verge of buying but who still wants to know what device is the best fit. Or, continue on to find out how to cast and mirror your screen to your Roku streaming device.
What is “casting” and “screen mirroring”?
To be precise, casting is the act of opening an app from your mobile device and sending it to a streaming media player that’s connected to your TV. That’s because your TV screen displays the app from your mobile device. You’ll just need to ensure that the app is downloaded on both devices. But since you’re using a mobile device, like your smartphone, for instance, you’ll be able to still use your phone along with other apps without interfering with the app you cast. So, don’t worry, you can still surf the internet while you watch Friends on HBO Max.
Screen mirroring means something somewhat different. By screen mirroring from one device to the other, you’re reflecting exactly what’s on your device to your TV. This may be a better option for, let’s say, someone who’d prefer to see everything on their tablet and also on the big screen. It’s also a helpful workaround for apps your Roku player doesn’t carry.
Deciding on whether to cast or mirror your device may depend on the setting. Are you lounging at home and watching Hulu on your phone? Cast to Roku TV. But if you’re giving a presentation at work, or want to access personal media, screen mirroring will suit you best. Fortunately, you’re able to Roku cast and screen mirror with Roku devices. Here’s what to expect with the setup process.
How to set up and use your Roku streaming device
The setup process tends to differ a little bit depending on what Roku device you own. But keep in mind, all streaming devices require a valid internet connection. For more basic models like Roku Express and Roku Premiere, that are essentially set-top boxes, you’ll need to plug your power adaptor into a power source and your HDMI cable into your TV. The Roku Streaming Stick+ plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port while Roku Ultra provides a wireless solution. Regardless of your device, once connected to your TV, follow the prompts to finish the process.
Using your Roku device is pretty easy. All you need to do is use your Roku remote to navigate its interface. In addition to casting and screen mirroring, download your apps in the Roku Channel Store and access them from your home screen.
For more on how to set up your Roku device, take a look at our step by step guide to help you get out of your pickle. Or, if you have questions about Roku’s remotes and other accessories, get some answers with our assessment of Roku hardware.
How to set up your devices to cast with Roku
- Make sure that your mobile device and Roku are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Install the app you want to stream on both your mobile and Roku devices. For example, if you’re using your Android device to cast Disney+ to Roku, download the app on both Google Play and the Roku Channel Store.
- Power your TV on.
- Navigate to the correct HDMI setting.
How to cast content to Roku
- Open the app you’d like to cast on your mobile device.
- Click on the video you want to watch.
- Tap the Casting icon. It has the appearance of a box with three semi-circular lines cutting through the bottom left-hand corner.
- You’ll be prompted to choose a device to cast to. Click your Roku device.
- The content on your phone will appear on your TV.
How to screen mirror with Roku
Remember, the main difference between screen mirroring with Roku and casting is how the former mirrors exactly what’s on your screen. Casting, on the other hand, doesn’t depict what’s on your phone but rather opens and streams the same content in the app you cast.
While casting involves possessing the same app on both devices, screen mirroring only requires that you have your app on the device you’re casting from. So, you can essentially mirror any app on your phone to your TV, making it ideal for personal music, photos and video. All of Roku’s newest generation models support screen mirroring. Although, if you have the earlier model Roku Express (3700) or Roku Express+ (3710), you won’t be able to use the mirroring feature.
Screen mirroring may vary per your device. Download the Roku app If you’re having trouble, first make sure that the screen mirroring Roku feature is enabled in your Settings. From here, your device may prompt you to accept the request. Once you accept, your TV screen will mirror your phone.
Our hot take
Even though “cast” and “screen mirror” are used reciprocally, they couldn’t be further apart. Casting is perfect for using your phone as a remote to send content directly to your TV using your Roku. Whereas, if you want to see exactly what’s on your smartphone also on your TV, then you’ll need to use the screen mirroring feature. Either way, Roku supports both features, giving you the option to do what’s best for you.
Is casting to your Roku different for iOS and Android users?
Casting is relatively the same process for both Android and iOS users. As long as the apps are supported in the Roku Store, you’ll be able to tap the Roku cast icon to watch on your TV. Screen mirroring is a different story. More specifically, you won’t be able to use the screen mirror feature on iOS devices without a third-party app. But, you can cast Chrome to Roku and send media, like personal videos, to your TV by selecting Play on Roku in the Roku mobile app.
How do I cast apps like Hulu and YouTube from my mobile device to my TV?
To cast your apps to your TV, first, you’ll need to select the video you’d like to play. Then, tap the playback screen to make visible all the features. Select the Roku cast icon, and your video will appear on your TV screen.