When you purchase or rent movies and TV shows on a streaming service, you essentially have access everywhere, provided there is an app available for the device you want to watch on. Google Play Movies and TV, for example, is available across several platforms, not just mobile.
Sometimes, however, accessing one or two of the services is not as straightforward as you might think. The Google Play Movies and TV apps don’t always come pre-installed on all streaming devices and systems, like the Roku. If you own Roku streaming sticks and media players, you might need to do some finagling to gain access.
Installing Channels on Roku
Before we proceed, you’ll need to know how to install channels to your Roku device. The good news is that the process is the same no matter what model of Roku you own, whether it’s a standalone device or built into your TV. Also, if you’re signed in to the same account across all your Roku devices, then installing a channel on one will install it for everything.
It’s easier to add channels from your Roku directly. However, you may also add channels using the website – just make sure you’re logged in to the same account that you use on your Roku devices.
On the Roku
Here’s how to add channels using your Roku device:
1. Make sure your Roku is signed in to a valid account and powered on.
2. Press the left button on your remote to bring up the side menu.
3. Navigate to “Streaming Channels” if you want to browse what’s available. You can also “Search” for a channel you want if you know the name. Alternatively, you can use the “Featured Free” section to see some of the most popular channels.
4. Press the right or OK button on your remote to open the chosen menu.
5. Highlight the channel you wish to install and press OK. You will see details about the channel in question and several options.
6. Choose “Add Channel” to install it to your Roku.
7. That’s it! As long as your Roku device is powered on and connected to the Internet, the channel will be installed. If it’s powered off, then it will install the next time you turn it on and connect. You will find any new channels you add at the bottom of the home menu, listed at the end of all channels you currently have installed.
From the Website
Here’s how to add channels using the Roku website:
1. Visit the Roku channel store in your web browser and make sure you’re logged in to the same account you use on your Roku devices. You can check this by clicking the menu in the top right (three horizontal lines) and selecting “Sign in.”
2. Either choose a featured channel or conduct a search using the search bar at the top. If you want to install the HBO Go app, for example, you would search for “HBO” or “HBO Go.”
3. Once you find the channel you want to install, simply click the blue “+Add Channel” button. You may also select “Details” for more information about the channel or application.
4. That’s it! As long as your Roku device is powered on and connected to the Internetm the channel will be installed. If it’s powered off, then it will install the next time you turn it on and connect. You will find any new channels you add at the bottom of the home menu, listed at the end of all channels you currently have installed.
How to Get Google Play Store on Roku
Unfortunately, there is no way to download or access the Google Play store using a Roku system. It’s difficult to say if there ever will be an opportunity, most likely not.
Roku doesn’t officially support Internet browsing, but, for a time, there were third-party channels that enabled it like Web Browser X and Poprism. They are currently unavailable, but it is possible that other similar channels may appear. While active, these two channels would allow you to access the Internet from a Roku device and use Google Search.
For Android TV users, the opposite is always a concern. What apps and services can you use instead of Google Play? There are a few app stores available aside from the Play store. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting predicament considering Roku users cannot even access the Play store.
How to Get Google Play Movies and TV on Roku
Luckily, Google Play Movies and TV has an official Roku channel that you can download. Channels, if you didn’t already know, are what Roku calls its apps. You download channels onto your streaming stick or player, which then provides access to the related service.
If the Google Play channel isn’t already installed on your Roku, you’ll need to search for it in the marketplace. You can also access the Roku channel store in a browser.
Just download the channel, start it up and log in to access your Google Play movies and TV content. Keep in mind that Google says the app is only available in select countries, including Canada, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and a few others. Some users have reported that they can access the app and service in regions where they shouldn’t be able to, but your mileage may vary.
How to Get Google Play Music on Roku
No official Google Play Music app or channel exists for Roku. In the past, you could download a few third-party apps like Nowhere Music, but they’re no longer being supported and are no longer available on the Roku marketplace.
The best and only way to enjoy Google Music is to cast it from your phone or computer to the Roku device. Roku supports Miracast technology, though, which means iPhones are not compatible.
With Android devices, start the music or playlist, swipe down on the notification tray and select the cast option. When presented with a list of compatible devices, select your Roku. Both your phone and Roku must be connected to the same WiFi network to see each other.
On Windows, you can either use the Chrome web browser to cast content or the native Windows display sharing option.
How to Get Google Photos on Roku
Like Google Play Music, there is no official Google Photos app available for Roku. That said, you do have the option to download and use third-party channels.
PhotoView for Google Photos is your best bet. Just download the channel, boot it up and log in, and you should be good to go. The app allows you to share photos on your TV through Roku, activate screensaver and slideshow modes and much more. Bear in mind that you will be giving the application access to your Google account – it needs to access your photo library.