Screen mirroring isn't always convenient, especially when you don't want your device's entire screen showing on the TV. That's where casting can come in handy for sharing videos, photos, movies, and more. This article will highlight all the necessary steps readers need to learn to cast to their Roku TVs from their Android devices.
Difference Between Casting & Screen Mirroring
Even though casting and mirroring are often used interchangeably, several differences exist between the two functions. One of them is the kind of content you can share.
Screen mirroring will allow you to replicate the entire screen of your Android device on your Roku TV. In contrast, casting will only let you watch the content available on the specific app that supports the function.
Another pertinent difference between casting and screen mirroring is your choice in terms of navigation.
While you're casting, you have the option of using the Android device or your Roku remote for control purposes. On the other hand, you can only use the device (smartphone or laptop) for control when screen mirroring.
Display on Your TV
There's a difference in display functions between screen mirroring and casting as well. When you're screen mirroring, the entire screen of your smartphone is reflected (or mirrored) on the TV, including any menus and buttons. Conversely, during a casting session, you will only be able to see the reproduction of the content you've selected.
Casting can be ideal when your device is running on low power because it allows you to power off your device or even use it for something else once the playback commences. For screen mirroring, you'll need to keep your device (powered) on for the entire span of the playback.
Supported Mobile Devices
Generally, most mobile phones will support casting if you see the Cast icon in an app. Screen mirroring is less convenient because it's mostly restricted to compatible Windows or Android devices.
Requirements for Casting
The first and most important requirement for casting from an Android device to a Roku TV is that the app you've selected to cast has to be installed on your device and Roku. Providing a complete list of casting services isn't possible here – users should know that YouTube and Netflix are among the supported channels that allow casting through Roku.
Another condition to keep in mind for casting via Roku is that your (Android) device of choice and Roku need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network and the same channel.
How to Cast to Roku TV from Android
The following step-by-step casting from Android to Roku guide will help users complete the process in a matter of minutes. We used YouTube as an example.
- After ensuring both your device and Roku are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, go to the YouTube app on your Android device and select the Cast icon situated on the screen's upper-right corner. This icon on YouTube can be seen on the home page and during video playback.
- Next, you'll see a pop-up box appear with a list of nearby devices. Tap on your Roku device from the list and wait for the device to connect to your Roku.
- You'll know a connection has been made as soon as you see the app appear on your Roku. After this, you can use your device or Roku remote to control or navigate the app. The Roku remote can help you manage functions like Pause and Play.
- If you'd rather use the device to control multiple functions, tap the Cast icon one more time.
- Once you're done watching or want to disconnect the app at any time, you can stop casting by tapping the Cast icon again and then press Disconnect when the prompt appears.
What Is Screen Mirroring?
Screen mirroring isn't like screen casting – it literally mirrors the entire screen of your device on your TV. There are generally two widely-used methods of mirroring: wired or wireless. Once a connection has been made between your device and TV, screen mirroring will allow you to view content from any app on your smartphone.
Before screen mirroring from an Android device to a Roku TV, you'll need to ensure that your Roku supports the mirroring function. Most current Roku TVs (and players) support the process except Roku Express 3700 and Roku Express+ 3710.
Besides that, you'll also need to check if your Android device supports screen mirroring. At times, brands can use different terminologies for the function. For example, words like Display Mirroring, Smart View, or Quick Connect can be used.
To avoid confusion, you can do a quick Google search with your device's model number to discover its functionality. You can also refer to the manufacturer's website or contact customer service. Devices that use Android 4 or higher will typically support the mirroring option.
Screen mirroring from your Android to Roku TV is a straightforward process if you know what you're doing. However, you'll have to ensure your Roku's screen mirroring function is enabled before anything. Here's how.
- Start by pressing the Home button on your Roku remote to access the settings. Once the home page appears, select the Settings option.
- The Settings page will reveal a list of options. Select System from the list and press OK on the remote.
- On the System page, select Screen Mirror from the various options and click OK again. Choosing the Screen Mirror Mode setting will reveal three options: Prompt, Always allow, and Never allow.
- Selecting the Prompt setting will lead to the system asking for approval before a connection, whereas Always allow will enable any device to connect automatically. Choose between the two that suit your needs best.
- Once you've enabled screen mirroring on your Roku, open Settings on your Android device and go to the Share & Connect setting.
- Select the mirroring app on your phone (i.e. MiraCast) and turn the app on once the toggle button appears.
- Next, select your Roku device from the list of devices and grant permission from your Roku TV when the relevant prompt appears.
- The screen mirroring connection is successfully established once your Android screen appears on the Roku TV. You can now use your Android device to navigate as your choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can easily share your media files from your phone to the Roku device through the Play on Roku feature.
This Play on Roku feature is available on Roku's mobile app for Android and iOS devices. It allows users to share videos, photos, and songs on your Roku TV with little hassle. However, to use the Play on Roku feature, users must have the latest version of the Roku mobile app on their smartphones.
You'll also need to ensure that your Android device and Roku are connected to the same wireless network. Play on Roku supports JPG, PNG, MP4, MOV, M4V, MP3, and M4A file types.
Here's how users can utilize the Play on Roku feature:
1. Open the Roku app on your smartphone or tablet.
2. Next, connect your Roku device to the mobile app by selecting Devices from the navigation bar and tapping on your Roku device.
3. Once your Roku device is successfully connected, you can start the Play on Roku feature by choosing whatever media you want from the prompt.
4. Next, grant your media library access to allow the Roku app to share content and choose the photo, song, or video you want to share on the TV.
Roku TVs don't have the Chromecast feature. However, you can still stream videos from your phone on your Roku TV because of Roku's in-built operating system. If you click the Chromecast icon on your phone, you'll see your Roku TV appear on the list of nearby sources on which you can share content on.
Users wanting to share photos on a Roku TV simultaneously can do so with the Play on Roku feature. Here's how you can go about the process:
1. Make sure all the phones (or tablets) are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
2. Install the Roku mobile app on each smartphone.
3. Once installed, open the app and connect your Roku device to the mobile app by selecting Devices from the navigational bar and tapping on the Roku device. Repeat this step for all smartphones.
4. Next, launch the Play on Roku feature and select the media of choice. Tap on Photos once the prompt appears.
As you'll notice, casting to Roku TVs from Android devices isn't challenging at all. Thanks to the instructions listed in this guide, the entire process is fairly straightforward, and all users need to do is follow the directions step-by-step.