Most people spend money on Roku streaming devices and enjoy their favorite programs, but they are still unaware of the full capabilities of their devices.
Owning a Roku device adds one more remote controller to your home theater setup. Sifting through multiple remotes and finding the exact one for the device and function you need can be quite inconvenient.
Good news is: there is a way around it.
Your Roku device’s remote controller also allows you to control certain TV functions. With the correct settings in place, you can use your Roku remote to change the volume on your TV and also power the TV on/off.
“Why can my Roku remote control the TV? How do I make my Roku remote control the TV?”
In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more. Keep reading to learn how to enable this feature on your Roku remote and TV set.
Can a Roku Remote Control Your TV?
Yes, a Roku remote can control your non-Roku TV.
Media devices like TVs, streaming players, and audio systems come with their own designated remotes. Your Roku stick or player is no exemption.
In 2017, Roku released a new remote controller. The new remote uses wireless and infrared technology and can be set up to control your TV.
For your Roku device’s remote to control the TV, you must connect the Roku device and TV via HDMI. HDMI has the CEC function, which allows you to set up a remote to issue commands to multiple connected devices.
The Roku remote can control power, volume, and (for certain TV brands) channel-switching functions on your TV. All you need to do is enable the control feature.
You can enable the TV control function during the initial setup of your Roku device. However, if you have previously set up your Roku device, you can still activate TV control.
In the following sections, we’ll explain HDMI CEC and walk you through the activation process.
What is CEC?
In a full home theater setup, you probably juggle three or more remote controllers for the various devices. However, one remote can control essential functions on multiple devices.
HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) is an enhanced HDMI technology that allows one device’s remote controller to communicate with other devices on that HDMI connection.
CEC was introduced along with the HDMI 1.2a in 2005. Since then, most TV manufacturers have incorporated it into their products.
How exactly does the CEC technology work?
When two or more devices are connected via HDMI, you can use one remote to control the other devices. You can use Roku’s remote to control any display device connected.
HDMI CEC only allows access to limited commands, so don’t be too eager to toss other remotes to the wind. Commands supported by the CEC include:
- Power on/off
- Volume control (up and down)
- Deck control (play, stop, and rewind)
- Source switch
Depending on the brand manufacturer, the HDMI CEC is referred to by different names. To Hitachi, it is HDMI-CEC; LG calls it SimpLink; Roku calls it the 1-Touch-Play, and it’s Anynet+ to Samsung.
To enable the function on different devices, you’ll have to find out what name it is disguised as. Below is the process to enable HDMI CEC for your Roku remote and control your TV.
How to Sync a Roku Remote to a TV to Turn it On/Off
During Initial Set-Up
While setting up the Roku device, after a couple of onscreen instructions, the “Check Remote Settings” prompt will pop up on your screen.
Follow the instructions below to set up the Roku device’s remote for TV control:
Step 1: Select the “Check Remote Settings” prompt. This will take you to the next screen.
Step 2: Click on “Set up remote for TV control.”
Step 3: A prompt will pop up, asking if you can hear music playing. Select “Yes” if you can.
Step 4: Another prompt will pop up, asking if the music has stopped playing. If it has stopped, select “Yes.”
Step 5: If the music hasn’t stopped playing, select “No.” The remote will go through different TV codes to find the one that pairs with your Roku device.
Step 6: When the devices pair up, and the music stops playing, select “Yes.”
Step 7: Press “OK” to conclude the process.
NOTE: If you did not hear music from your TV (Step 3), select “No.” This means that Roku failed to detect your TV automatically.
Roku will take you to another screen to input your TV’s brand name manually. Use your remote to input the brand name and follow the onscreen instructions.
After Setting Up Roku
You may have already set up your Roku player and remote, but the remote does not control the TV. It simply means you didn’t set up the remote for TV control.
Follow the steps below to do so.
Step 1: On the homepage, scroll down to Settings ⚙️ and click on it.
Step 2: Go to Remotes and Devices > Remote > Voice Remote.
Step 3: Select the option to “Set up remote for TV control” and click OK.
Step 4: A prompt will pop up, asking if you can hear music playing. Select “Yes” if you can hear music playing on your TV.
Step 5: Another prompt will pop up, asking if the music has stopped playing. If it has stopped, select “Yes.”
Step 6: If the music hasn’t stopped playing, don’t worry. Select “No.”
At this point, Roku is going through different TV codes to find the one that pairs with your remote. It will keep asking if the music has stopped playing while switching codes.
Step 7: When the devices pair up, and the music stops playing, select “Yes.”
You’ll get a pop-up saying, “Success! Your Roku remote is set up to control this TV’s power and volume.”
Step 8: Click OK to exit the setting screen and return to the homepage. You can now control the volume or mute the TV with your Roku remote.
Adding a New Roku Remote Controller
You can buy and install a new remote if your old Roku remote does not work for TV control. Roku remotes released since 2017 allow TV control.
Here’s how to set up a new remote:
Step 1: Turn on your TV and Roku device.
Step 2: Take out the new remote and put batteries into it.
Step 3: Press the ‘pairing’ button in the battery compartment for five seconds to activate pairing mode.
Step 4: Use the old remote or Roku app to navigate to Settings ⚙️.
Step 5: Go to Remotes and Devices > Pair new device > Remote.
At this point, the Roku device will search for available remotes. A notice will appear on the screen, showing that the new remote control has been paired.
Step 6: Press’ Home’ on the new remote to see if the remote now controls the Roku device.
Step 7: From the homepage, go to Remotes and Devices > Remote (In Use) > Set up remote for TV control.
Step 8: Follow the onscreen prompts outlined in the previous section (Steps 3 – 8) to enable TV control.
Tips to remember:
- Ensure your Roku player or stick is connected properly to the TV before any process.
- Turn up the volume on your TV so you can hear when the music starts or stops playing.
- Know your TV’s brand name in case your Roku is not able to automatically detect the TV.
How To Enable HDMI-CEC on Your TV
You can also use your TV remote to send commands to other devices. You can enable CEC for basic functions like power and volume if it is connected to an audio system, DVD player, or AVR via HDMI.
The activation process varies for brands and manufacturers like LG and Sony, but the steps are similar.
Here’s how to activate CEC on Samsung TVs:
Step 1: Press the Home button on your remote.
Step 2: Navigate to and select Settings > General (Connection) > External Device Manager
Step 3: Select Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) to turn it on.
Once activated, your TV’s remote can control any external device connected to the TV via HDMI cable.
NOTE: You can use the same steps to disable it whenever you wish.
While you can control your TV with the Roku remote, the Roku remote does not and cannot replace your TV’s designated remote.
The range of commands that HDMI’s CEC allows for connected devices is quite limited. However, it is still very beneficial because it supports frequently used functions like volume and power.
You can activate TV control for your Roku remote during or after the Roku device’s set-up process. Follow the steps outlined in the article to enable or disable TV control anytime.
Gabriella ‘Diogo is a content writer with a vested interest in tech hardware and equipment. She shares her knowledge and processes in an easy-to-grasp, lighthearted style. When she’s not testing or researching device performance, you’ll find her writing short stories or rewatching episodes of her favorite sitcoms.