If you consume your content via streaming, then you’re no stranger to Kodi. The open source platform is the go-to place to stream movies, TV and more. Making it even better, Kodi can be installed on just about anything, whether it be Mac, Windows, Android or Linux.
Just about anything, but not quite everything. Roku, the little box that allows you to stream everything from sports to Netflix, doesn’t officially support Kodi (read our Roku beginner’s guide to learn more about the device). That’s because it doesn’t run on Linux or Android like an Amazon Fire Stick and, because of that, can’t be jailbroken.
There’s good and bad news, though. The bad news is that it can’t be installed, but the good news is you can still use Kodi on Roku. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to set it up on a variety of devices.
Enable Screen Mirroring on Roku
The first step is to allow Kodi to be cast to Roku. Starting with version 5.2, Roku added screen mirroring. Before we enable it, you’ll have to make sure you have the correct version. To check, follow these steps:
- Press the home button on your Roku remote
- Follow the path “settings > system update”
If you have version 5.2 or above, you’re good to go. If not, update Roku. Once finished, continue on:
- From the home screen, follow the path “settings > screen mirroring”
- Select “enable screen mirroring”
That’s it. Now, you’ve set up screencasting on the Roku end. Next, you’ll have to enable screen mirroring on whatever device you have Kodi installed on.
Casting with a Windows Phone or Tablet
To cast with Windows, you need to add a wireless display. Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy any hardware, you just need to point Windows in the direction of whatever screen you’re using Roku on. Please note, this will only work with desktop versions of Windows if your device supports Miracast. Here’s how to check if it does:
- Go into the settings window
- Search “projecting to this PC”
- Click on the top search result
If your device doesn’t support Miracast, a sentence of red text at the top will tell you so. If it does, you’ll see nothing. Generally, this won’t work with Windows on a desktop.
However, it works on almost all Windows phones and tablets. To add a wireless display on one of these, follow these steps:
- Swipe in from the right side of the screen, then click on “devices”
- From there, click on “project,” and then “add a wireless display”
- Choose your Roku from the list
Both your Roku and your Windows device must be connected to the same network for this to work, so make sure they are. If your Roku isn’t showing up, this is likely the cause.
Once that’s done, just launch the Kodi app and you’ll see everything you’re doing on your phone or tablet projected onto your screen.
Casting with Android
If you have an Android phone or tablet, you’re going to have to do the same thing, but the process is a little different. Most Android devices support screen mirroring, so we won’t have to check for Miracast or anything like that, but each manufacturer calls it something different.
That can make setting up screen mirroring slightly annoying. For instance, screen mirroring on HTC devices is called “HTC Connect,” and on Samsung devices, “smart view.” Just google what brand of phone or tablet you have, and see what it’s called for your device.
Here’s a general way to set it up:
- Go into your settings
- Select “display”
- Select “cast” or anything similar to that. Again, this is device specific, so you should know what to look for after you’ve googled the brand.
- Select your Roku
Just like Windows, both your Roku and Android device must be connected to the same wireless network in order for this to work. If both of the devices aren’t, you won’t see your Roku box.
After that’s done, just open your Kodi app on your Android device and begin streaming.
Alternative: Using Plex
If you’re using Kodi to store and organize all of your personal media, then there’s a simple remedy to get all of that onto Roku. However, if you’re using unofficial add-ons like Covenant to stream, then this won’t work (check out our Covenant installation guide).
You can get all of your personal media to your Roku through a Plex server. Plex is similar to Kodi in that it allow you to import all of your media and organize it neatly. There’s an official Roku app, as well as apps on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and more.
All you have to do is download the Plex app on both your Roku and your server (which can just be your desktop PC) and point it in the direction of where your media is stored. Once that’s done, you can organize it into folders or playlists, and stream it anywhere.
The free version of Plex only allows streaming if both devices are powered on and connected to the same network. If you want to view your content anytime, anywhere, there’s a one-time fee for the iOS, Android and Windows versions of the apps (also, read our best VPN for Plex piece if you want unrestricted access).
This only works if you don’t plan on using streaming services like Covenant, and just want to access your personal media library. For right now, the only option for using Kodi on Roku is screen mirroring.
There isn’t an official way to install Kodi on Roku but, hopefully, it will come in the future. For now, this solution works well, especially if you have a tablet. If you’re using an iOS device, unfortunately you’re out of luck as Apple only supports screen mirroring to an Apple TV.
If you are using unofficial Kodi add-ons to stream content, then it’s paramount to have a VPN. A VPN will keep your information private while streaming so you’re protected in this legal gray area. For recommendations, check out our best VPN for Kodi and best VPN for Roku pieces. You can check out our Kodi archive as well for more on the platform.
What device do you use Kodi on? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.