Friday, September 9, 2011

How-to: Travel with your Roku Player

Ever thought about taking your Roku player along on your getaway or family vacation? Traveling with your Roku can be a snap with a little bit of forethought; we’ll show you how you can bring your favorite black box along to some of your favorite destinations.

Broadband Internet is relatively common these days, but you should still consider the following questions:

Will there be sufficient Internet bandwidth at the place I am staying?
How will Roku connect to the Internet? Will I need a router or laptop?
What type of TV will there be?

If you are staying at a friend’s or family member’s home, you can usually rely on a stable Internet connection and the ability to plug into a router or connect over a wireless network. You should let them know ahead of time that you will be using your Roku player –then tease them for not having one already *wink.

image courtesy of MoToMo on Flickr

Most hotels offer free Wi-Fi and it’s just a matter of plugging in your Roku and connecting to the wireless network.There are some however that require authentication beyond a password–like your room number and name, etc…. To share an Internet connection, even with the authentication, I use my laptop and an older Netgear wireless travel router (a travel router is just a smaller version of a typical router, and any brand should get the job done).

You will need to clone the MAC address from your computer to your router. It sounds scary, but it’s typically a check box that you select in the router settings menu, which tells the router to use the same address as your computer. As every router is different, you should refer to the proper documentation.

If you have a Wi-Fi hot-spot, your golden wherever you go. Just make sure you have a solid connection, and connect your Roku player as you would if you were at home.

What to bring:
It’s wise to pack HDMI, component, power and Ethernet cables–and don’t forget the remote. Left your remote behind? No worries, you can find a quick fix using your iPhone (or other iOS device) or Android device here.

Made by Waterfield Designs, this travel case should do the trick.

If you travel quite a bit and don’t feel like unplugging cables from the back of the TV every time you travel, you can find spare cables in our accessory shop and create a dedicated travel pack.

A few takeaways:

Internet usage at some hotels may require authentication, but once enabled, it’s usually good for a few hours.
You can use a travel router to share the Internet connection with your Roku.
Find smartphone apps to control your Roku on our blog.

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