One of my favorite features of the Roku platform is Roku Search, which allows users to find great movies and TV shows to stream, and orders results without favoring content from one streaming channel over another. But Roku Search can do so much more – in fact, in talking to customers, they’re often surprised by the many things they can do with Roku Search.

In that spirit, here are five things you can do with Roku Search that you might not have realized.

1. Conduct a voice search through the Roku mobile app

Some Roku devices (see here for which models) come with an enhanced remote, which features a button to activate voice search. If you don’t have one of the devices above, you’re not out of luck! Voice search is available through the Roku mobile app for Android and iOS, bringing the fun of voice search to any search-enabled Roku device in the US, UK, Ireland and Canada.

The Roku mobile app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play. Once installed, users can speak into their smartphones and instantly pull up actors, directors, movies, TV shows, and current events in a rich, content-first browse experience. After a few taps on your smartphone, you’ll be streaming the movie, TV show episode or news clip on your big screen.

2. Stay up-to-date on current events

Speaking of current events, Roku Search now incorporates nearly one dozen news channels including CNNgo, Newsy, Yahoo and AOL On. This means that you can search for specific topics such as sporting events like the Olympics, world events like BRExit, or the latest celebrity gossip. We search over 2,500 current event videos a week so you’re bound to find something you like. The best part is most of these videos are available to stream for free!

Roku Search news Olympics

3. Search and follow your favorite actors, directors, movies and TV shows

Love all things Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Lawrence or JJ Abrams? Conduct a Roku Search and find where their movies and TV shows are available to stream. Take it one step further and follow Ryan Reynolds to be notified as soon as one of his new movies becomes available on the Roku platform. Notifications show up on the main menu under the “My Feed” menu item. Never miss your favorite actor or director’s entertainment again!

Ryan Reynolds Roku Search

Ryan Reynolds Follow on Roku

Ryan Reynolds Roku Search Follow

4. Watch today’s news 
Looking for the latest news headlines? Simply type in or say the numerical value for the month and day and get all of the day’s headlines.

For example, enter today’s date (“817”) and see all of the headlines across our many news partners, which include Bloomberg TV, CBS News, Fox News, NBC News, and Wall Street Journal Live.

Roku Search date news

5. Find stand-up comedy specials

With the addition of content from Comedy Dynamics and Vimeo to Roku Search, users can tap into more than one hundred stand-up comedy specials, many available for free. Give it a try! Search for your favorite comedian’s name and browse the results to find the comedy special of your choice.

Roku Search Comedy Greg Fitzsimmons

With over 3,000 channels to choose from it’s often hard to decide what to watch on your Roku device. Roku Search gives you a bird’s-eye view of everything the platform has to offer, including where to watch it and how much it costs. By following the entertainment you love on Roku Feed, we’ll continue to do the searching for you, pushing you notifications when it’s available to stream.

Hopefully you found these tips and tricks useful! Please let us know in the comments section. Happy searching everyone!

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About Michael Rusignola

Director Product Management, Roku
Posted in Roku tips | Tagged , , , |
27 Comments
  • EnTerr

    All in all, that makes 1 thing out of 5 i did not know about Roku Search 😉

    • Michael Rusignola

      You’re an expert then! (Which one didn’t you know?)

      • EnTerr

        #5, the least interesting one. “5 things you didn’t know about Roku Search” is a presumptuous title – i bet most people know at least 2 out of these 5.

        #4 was surprising, typing dates like “820” – but i learned it earlier, courtesy of @RokuDev B-)

  • Steve Plantz

    Very frustrated with the search feature
    on ROKU, there are two apps or shows that I am looking for that are on ROKU and
    I am having zero luck finding them you would think I could simply type in the name of
    the show and it would come up but that did not work. the first show I am
    looking for is “Lindner’s Angling Edge” The second show I am looking for is “Chasing November” put on by
    http://www.midwestwhitetail.com I have tried several times to find both of these shows
    with no luck it should not be this difficult!

    • Michael Rusignola

      Both are available within the YouTube app

  • Smackos

    Please, please consider doing a dedicated iOS app for the iPad. The current iOS app is designed solely for the iPhone, and is pretty terrible running on an iPad.

    • Michael Rusignola

      Thanks for the feedback! I will pass this along to our mobile product team.

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  • IDeyLaughO

    I really don’t understand why the official Roku app is geo-restricted. I bought 2 Roku sticks 2016 when I was looking to buy a casting device but decided that the Roku stick delivered far greater value than any other casting device (and streaming stick too)!
    Sadly, I can’t download the official app on android in Nigeria! I can understand georestricted channels and content but georestricted app … especially when app can serve as a remote.
    Please reconsider making the android app available in Nigeria.

    • Michael Rusignola

      The Roku mobile app is not available in the Nigerian channel store. We are not geo-restricted, however, so if you have the app installed, it will work in Nigeria.

  • Roku Search would be great when it includes Netflix content and has a configuration setting to disable individual channels, such as all the other subscription-required channels I don’t want.

    • Michael Rusignola

      Netflix is in search (in fact it was one of our first search partners). We don’t have the ability to disable search results but if these channels are not installed, they will show up at the bottom of your search provider list.

  • Nancy Kay Vocals

    I have a ROKU w/my tv at home. Disaster victim. Can I watch Roku on my Dell laptop? I miss Roku so much.

    • Michael Rusignola

      Sorry – you can’t watch on your PC. We do have a number of new products, including the RokuExpress at only $29.99! http://bit.ly/RokuLineup

  • Doris Casey

    how do I get to Chat ?? I have worked all night , and now all day trying to get the thing going , I realized this morming I had it connected in the wrong place , but now I seem to be going pretty good ,, I have put in 3 codes –so far — but , what happens after that ?

  • Doris Casey

    have the xs 3100 I

  • knowingisgrowing

    Sad to say the bias is ongoing.
    a perfect example.

    Show : Riverdale
    Network : The CW

    App for Roku : YES (CW app)

    Search results :
    Amazon : 2,99 episode
    Vudu :3.99 episode

    No other results.

    This happens time and time again, when the show is clearly listed and available on an APP, for FREE.

    • What bias? Only some channels participate in Roku search. In the US that’s about 100 currently. In other countries it’s far fewer.
      https://support.roku.com/article/235044948-roku-search-partners

      Now, I would agree that it can be quite misleading for those unaware of that limitation. Also I wonder if Xfinity will participate?

      • knowingisgrowing

        So, your argument, is, because apps aren’t on “that list” * it’s OK that I had to maneuver around logically to evade spending money, when ROKU has made posts TO THIS BLOG about the fact that they’re NOT inclusive when it comes to searching?

        Curious – does ROKU charge app developers the “right” to be found during a search on their hardware platform?

        • You’re right, technically it’s a bias. However, I’d say it’s not favoritism, like you seem to be implying (although that may be splitting hairs). Some channel developers choose to implement deep-linking in their channel and commit to providing up-to-date meta-data for their currently available movies and TV episodes and others don’t.

          The developer documentation about this does not seem to mention payment to be included in Roku search,

    • Linda

      It says in small print “with cable subscription”. I have cable but it’s included in my rent. Cable Co won’t count I pay for internet. SO: I’m unable to get ANY “cable” channels- CW, ABC, IDGO, etc etc Look on YouTube* OR get new free 123hulu. It’s available

  • knowingisgrowing

    As I’ve stated below, and while edified to the fact that there is a “list” of app’s/channels that “participate” in the search feature, I have to simply wonder WHY that is – It seems, Roku, with it’s open source nature in mind, should simply have algorythims in place to at least root locations for said shows, and ensure that ALL apps that are NOT private are INCLUDED in the search.

    I want ROKU to win the streaming war. I just bought a new roku premiere+ and it’s fun to channel surf again. Let’s make SEARCHING as great as it’s hardware!

    • I’ll explain a little more here in addition to my other reply. Being included in Roku search seems to require additional work and as such sets the barrier-for-entry higher. So channels that are ad-supported may not feel it’s worth the resources to do that.

      Roku doesn’t use web-spiders the way that search engines like Google do. That would be a big change. Also that could potentially clog up the search results if possibly dozens of channels had the same old movie.

      What you suggest could be helpful to users, but effecting that kind of change seems like it might be a non-starter.

      P.S. A Google or Bing search for “Roku Search Documentation” should locate the relevant page.

  • Camila Patiño

    NO PUEDO TENER HBO GO EN COLOMBIA PARA PONER EN MI ROKU. AYUDAAAAAAAAAAAA

  • Fred Bushor

    How do I resolve an issue I’ve had for weeks with data showing onscreen? Nothing suggested works and I have done all I possibly can do so that I am totally fed up with this device.