How to Control Your Roku With an LG TV Remote

a hand holding a roku remote and pointing towards an lg tv

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a hand holding a roku remote and pointing towards an lg tv
What To Know

  • Thanks to the IR technology, you can control a Roku device with an LG Magic Remote once they are connected to each other.
  • The LG Magic Remote allows basic commands on Roku but lacks the Asterisk (*) button for accessing app options.
  • Alternative: The Roku Mobile app offers a full-featured virtual remote and Private Listening mode if you can’t use an LG Magic Remote to control your Roku.

Venturing into the world of pairing devices can be daunting. Ever wondered if your LG Magic Remote can take charge of your Roku experience?

Dive in as I’ll demystify the process, address common challenges, and offer solutions to ensure you get the most out of your devices.

Can You Use an LG Magic Remote to Control a Roku?

Yes, you can control your Roku with an LG Magic Remote as long as your Roku device is connected to an LG TV.

a hand holding an lg remote in front of an lg tv with roku plugged in

Both the LG Magic Remote and Roku remote use infrared (IR) technology, allowing you to control your Roku device using the magic remote.

However, not every IR remote will be able to control your Roku in the same way an LG Magic Remote does. I tested IR remotes from Sony, Samsung, and TCL TVs, and only the LG remote was able to control our Roku Express 4K+.

What’s more, you’ll still be able to control your Roku with the LG Magic Remote even if it’s connected to your LG TV with an HDMI converter since this process does not require HDMI CEC. I tried connecting my LG Magic Remote to my Roku with HDMI CEC enabled and disabled, and it seamlessly connected both times.

Additionally, I found that universal remotes are more likely to control Rokus than their non-universal counterparts. Since the LG Magic Remote has a built-in universal remote feature, it will work perfectly with your Roku device.

However, you probably won’t be able to use IR remotes, like the LG Magic Remote, with Roku Sticks as they don’t use IR to communicate with their dedicated remotes.

If you’re unsure if your Roku device uses IR, check its specs on the official Roku product page.

How to Connect Your Roku to the LG TV

Connecting a Roku device to your LG TV and utilizing the TV remote for seamless Roku control involves straightforward steps:

Step 1: Ensure a stable power source for both your Roku and LG TV by plugging them into power outlets.

Step 2: Connect the HDMI cable to both your Roku and LG TV. If using a Roku Stick, insert it directly into your LG TV.

Step 3: Power on your LG TV and change its input to Roku. Subsequently, you can effortlessly manage your Roku using an LG remote.

change to roku input on an lg tv

Read on our next section to see which functions an LG remote can control on your Roku.

Mapping LG Magic Remote Buttons to Roku Functions: Control Your Roku with LG Remote

Your LG Magic Remote may work wonders on your LG TV, but its functions will be somewhat limited when used with a Roku. 

When using an LG Magic Remote with your Roku, you’ll be able to use its basic commands, such as the Volume, Back, Select, and D-pad buttons.

back, volume, directional buttons of an lg remote are highlighted If you wish to fast-forward and rewind certain content using your LG Magic Remote, you must use the center Scroll (or Select) button as opposed to the dedicated fast-forward and rewind buttons. You can scroll up to fast-forward content or scroll down to rewind it.

Some users may even find the scroll button to be easier to use than the fast-forward/rewind buttons on the original Roku remote as the scrolling motion allows you to find the exact frame you’re looking for without continuously pressing buttons.

two opposing arrows placed on the select button of the lg remote and fast-forward and rewind buttons of a roku remote are highlighted

The Roku remote’s Asterisk (*) button allows you to open the Options menu where you can choose to update apps, remove or restart them, or change their placement on the Home screen.

Unfortunately, the LG Magic Remote does not feature a comparable button, preventing you from accessing this menu.

Luckily, you can open the Options menu without your Roku remote using the Roku Mobile app. Proceed to the next section, “Alternative Way: Use the Roku Mobile App” to learn how.

asterisk button of a roku remote is highlighted

Roku remotes also have shortcut buttons that will instantly redirect you to their appropriate channels, like Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+, and so on.

Pressing your LG remote’s shortcut buttons will also redirect you to these channels; however, they will be on your LG TV’s platform rather than your Roku’s.

Your LG remote’s Mic function will also still trigger your LG TV’s voice assistant, not your Roku’s voice feature.

Alternative Way: Use the Roku Mobile App

If your Roku isn’t connected to an LG TV or you don’t have an LG Magic Remote, you can still navigate it without its original remote using the Roku Mobile app. This nifty app also allows you to adjust your TV’s volume, making it the perfect alternative to any physical remote. 

However, only Rokus running Roku OS 6.2 or later are compatible with the Roku Mobile app. So, it’s a good idea to check your Roku’s current software version and update it (if needed) to ensure it meets this requirement. 

Your smartphone must also be Android OS 5.0 or higher or iOS 11.0 or higher. You can check your phone’s current software version in its settings. 

Please note that the Roku Mobile app is only available in the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Additionally, only U.S. users can stream The Roku Channel’s content in the app.

If you don’t live in one of the Roku Mobile app’s supported countries, consider using a universal remote app instead. Check out our guide to learn how to use a universal remote with your Roku device.

Once you’ve confirmed your Roku and smartphone both meet these requirements, follow the steps below to set up the Roku Mobile app and pair it to your Roku device. 

Step 1: On your smartphone, download the Roku Mobile app from the Google Play Store (for Androids) or App Store (for iPhones). 

Step 2: Ensure your Roku device and smartphone are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network. 

Step 3: When prompted, sign into the same Roku account you use on your Roku device within the Roku mobile app. Then, allow the app to search for nearby Roku devices, after which it should automatically detect and connect to your Roku device. 

Step 4: Once your Roku device has successfully paired to the app, head to the app’s Remote tab.main screen of the roku mobile app with the remote feature is highlighted

Now, as long as your smartphone and Roku are connected to the same network, you’ll be able to control your Roku using the in-app functions. This virtual remote features all the buttons your original remote has, including the Asterisk (*) key along with an on-screen keyboard you can use to search for content. 

One upside of the Roku Mobile app is that you can even listen to your Roku’s content with headphones using Private Listening mode. Simply connect your headphones (wired or Bluetooth) to your smartphone and select the app’s Headphone icon. 

remote control of the roku mobile app

Wrapping Things Up

Your LG Magic Remote’s capabilities are truly spellbinding, but they aren’t sorcery. Its IR technology and built-in universal remote feature allow it to control your Roku so you can continue navigating its content even if your Roku remote is on the fritz. However, the LG remote will only work if your Roku device is connected to an LG TV. 

Unfortunately, the LG Magic Remote does not have an Asterisk (*) button, which is commonly used to access apps’ Option menus. 

Luckily, the Roku Mobile app has an Asterisk (*) button along with every other function usually included on Roku remotes. 

So, if using an LG Magic Remote isn’t your cup of tea, you can control your Roku using your smartphone instead. You can even listen to your Roku’s content through headphones using the app’s Private Listening feature. 

Remember to ensure your Roku and smartphone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and meet the necessary software requirements. 

What’s your experience controlling a Roku device with an LG Magic Remote? 

Let us know in the comments below!

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