Can Google Home Control Roku?
Last Updated: August 23, 2020
We know Google Home is smart, but just how smart? Can the digital assistant control everything in your home? Could Google Home control Roku for instance? Yes it can and this tutorial will show you how!
It’s good when one device will talk to another and you can find shortcuts and easy ways to use the two together. We are so used to manufacturers not playing nicely with each other because they are competitors so it’s great when you find two that will work together. That’s the case with Google Home and Roku. The two companies are not direct competitors so Google has enabled the home assistant to control some elements of the TV streaming service.
First you need to check you have a compatible Roku. Fortunately, most of them are. That includes: All Roku TV, Roku Express (3700X, 3900X), Roku Express+ (3710X, 3910X), Roku Streaming Stick (3600X, 3800X), Roku Streaming Stick+ (3810X), Roku 2 (4210X), Roku 3 (4200X, 4230X), Roku 4 (4400X), Roku Premiere (3920X,4620X), Roku Premiere+ (3921X,4630X) and Roku Ultra (4640X, 4660X, 4661X). (thanks 9to5Google for the list).
Control Roku with Google Home
There is a little preparation you need to do to get this set up but it doesn’t take long. First we need to make sure your Roku is up to date, that Google Home is also up to date and that the two are on the same WiFi network. Once done, we can pair the two and use voice commands for some of the core Roku features.
So let’s get started.
- Start your Roku and select Settings.
- Select System and System Update.
- Select Check Now to check for a software update.
If you’re up to date, Roku will tell you. If there is a new software update, Roku will download and install it. Once done, your Roku is good to go.
Now let’s check you’re running the latest Google Home app.
- Open the Google Play Store on your phone.
- Select the three line menu icon and select My Apps & Games.
- Select the Google Home app and select Update.
Again, if the app needs an update, this process will download and install it. Keep the app open as we will need it again.
As long as your Google Home and Roku are on the same WiFi network, you should be able to link them.
- Open the Google Home app on your phone.
- Select Add from the Home screen.
- Select Set Up Devices and Have Something Already Set Up?
- Scroll to Roku and select it from the list of services.
- Sign in with your Roku account details when prompted.
- Select the Roku to link to Google Home and select Continue To The Google App.
- Verify the correct Roku is selected in the next screen and select Done if it is.
Your Google Home should now be paired with Roku and you should be able to use voice commands to control it.
Voice commands for Roku and Google Home
Most core controls are included but I’ll list a few of the more popular commands below. Using them is exactly the same as any voice command, preface it with ‘Hey Google’ or ‘OK Google’ and go from there.
- “Hey Google, launch The Roku Channel on Roku”
- “Hey Google, find documentaries on Roku”
- “Hey Google, show me comedies on Roku”
- “Hey Google, pause on Roku”
- “Hey Google, fast forward on Roku”
- “Hey Google, rewind on Roku”
- “Hey Google, show me movies on Roku”
And so on.
If you use Roku TV, there are some extra commands you can use.
- “Hey Google, turn on Roku”
- “Hey Google, turn up the volume on Roku”
- “Hey Google, mute on Roku”
- “Hey Google, change to channel 66 on Roku”
- “Hey Google, switch to HDMI 2 on Roku”
To be able to use the ‘turn on Roku’ command, you need to enable Fast TV Start on your Roku. Access it through Settings, System and Power. Select Fast TV Start and enable it.
The change channel command will only work if you use over-the-air broadcast for your Roku TV. If you have cable or other input for live TV, that command won’t work.
Troubleshooting Google Home and Roku
There are a bunch of issues around Google Home and Roku where voice commands will randomly not work. This seems very common and has no definite fix. What has worked is removing Roku from Google Home and adding it again, rebooting the app or the phone or reboots.
I suggest trying fixes in this order:
- Reboot your Roku.
- Reboot your Google Home.
- Reboot your phone.
- Checking Google Home and Roku are still paired.
- Remove and re-pair Google Home and Roku.
One of these steps should restore the connection and enable voice commands again!