As many “cord cutters” switch to streaming devices like Roku to play their favorite shows from Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, new questions are being raised. If you are looking to make the most of your Roku, you might wonder if it would connect with your projector.
You can connect Roku with a projector by plugging it into the HDMI port and connecting it to WiFi. Roku Streaming Stick + and Roku Express work best for projector use as they offer WiFi direct.
Other models require you to connect your projection device to WiFi. A speaker system is recommended.
Check out my top recommendations for projectors.
Of course, the various models of projectors might cause you to have to get a little more creative than simply using the Roku as a device that can plug in and immediately begin streaming your favorite tips and tricks.
But, even if you are working with an older projector, you can still likely find a solution that will allow you to pair the two devices together. Let’s take a closer look.
Also, check out: Does Google Chromecast Work with a Projector?
Which Models of Roku work Best with a Projector?
There are many different models of Roku available with each having its own unique advantages. For some, they find that using a Roku TV or another version of a Smart TV is their best bet to use this kind of streaming service.
Others find that the portability of a Roku stick works better as it can transform almost any TV (with an HDMI port) into a Smart TV.
The same principle applies to projectors. Using a Roku device with a projector allows you to transform the projector into a smart device- especially if you are using a model of Roku that is able to be paired directly to WiFi (rather than requiring the projector to have to connect to WiFi itself).
Because of this, the two best models of Roku that will work best with a projector are the Roku Streaming Stick+ and Roku Express (see them on Amazon).
You can use these as portable devices that, when connected to WiFi, allow you to simply plug them into the HDMI port of your projector and immediately begin playing your favorite shows.
Other models of Roku can work with a projector, but they might take a little bit more effort to begin functioning correctly.
For example, if you use a model of Roku that does not have WiFi direct, then you can still stream your favorite shows and movies from the projector. But, you will have to first connect the projector to WiFi, then plug in the (non-WiFi direct) Roku device and begin streaming this way.
While this is just one additional step, it could have larger impacts. First, it would impact the convenience of an otherwise plug-and-play alternative.
More importantly, it limits the transferability of the Roku device if you plan on bringing it from your projector to another TV in your home.
When using a model of Roku that has WiFi direct, you can also use the WiFi capabilities to pair with your speaker system.
Assuming your speakers are able to connect to WiFi or are connected to a device that (itself) is connected to WiFi, you can use this bridge to pair the Roku streaming device with it. Then, you avoid the hassle of setting up the audio or being limited to the minimal audio capacity that comes directly from a projector.
So, yes, you can make other models of Roku work with a projector, but they will not be as ideal or easy to work with.
Not only can the Roku Streaming Stick + and the Roku Express be used with WiFi direct to pair with your (smart) sound system and begin streaming immediately, but they can be simply plugged into the HDMI port of your projector allowing you ease and a minimally frustrating option for a fun-filled movie night with your family and friends.
How Do I Connect My Roku Stick to My Projector?
Now that you know which models of Roku will work best with your projector, it is time to focus on the details covering how to connect them and get the movie watching party started. Fortunately, connecting your Roku stick to your projector should be relatively simple.
When connecting your Roku stick to your projector, be sure to follow these steps:
1. Plug your Roku stick into the HDMI port in your projector
Starting with the most basic of functions, it is important that you plug in your Roku stick to the HDMI port. Your projector may have this labeled, or you might simply have to look to verify that the shapes match up. Either way, it should be pretty simple to plug this in.
As you progress to further steps in this progress, you might notice that you need to plug your Roku stick into an attached device like a splitter if you have to connect the Roku stick to alternative audio, for example.
But, unless you know that you need to do this for some reason, then you can assume that plugging it in is the best place to start.
When you turn on your projector, you might have to go through a few steps, but we will get to that in the next step. What you need to know before that is that not all projectors are made the same. Pay attention to the specifications on your device if you are having any issues.
2. Manage the projector settings
Managing the projector settings should be pretty simple, too. There will likely be a button on the top or side of your projector that has the word “Settings” on it. Here, you can change the Input so that the HDMI port is being correctly received.
As mentioned above, not all projectors are created the same. If you are having issues with audio, for example, you might have to adjust where the volume is streaming from. In this case, you might have to turn off the automatic HDMI input setting (if the volume is not streaming).
But, in general, you can plan on adjusting the standard projector settings to receive the input of your Roku from the HDMI port that it is plugged into. Realistically, this should not be too hard of a process, either.
3. Connect the audio
Connecting the audio to your projector is likely something that you have done before you began working with a Roku.
However, the input from your Roku might be slightly different, or there might be a few things that you need to adjust before the audio will be captured from whatever show you are streaming (or attempting to stream) from your Roku stick.
Since not all projectors are the same, not all of them are equipped to be compatible with the most updated versions of technology. This might mean that they cannot stream the latest version of the shows you are watching and capture the most appropriate video or audio input.
In the case of audio, this might mean that the audio needs to stream from another source outside of the projector itself. Ideally, you will be using a speaker system anyways, but if not, then it might be time to invest in a home speaker system.
When connecting your Roku with the audio, this might have a few variables to consider depending on if your Roku stick is able to be connected to WiFi directly or if it needs an additional connection. Also, the specifications of your projector and sound system will matter.
When working with a system (speakers, projector, and Roku stick) that are all able to be connected to WiFi independently, this is the most ideal option. You can connect them to the same network and then begin connecting them to one another from there.
If you are working with a system in which not all components are able to be connected to WiFi independently, then you might have to purchase an audio extractor to connect your Roku to both your projector and your sound system.
Either way, you will obviously need your audio to be working to be able to enjoy what Roku has to offer.
4. Connect all devices on the same WiFi network
When at all possible, connecting the entire system to your home WiFi network is going to be the most efficient way to manage your Roku device, projector, and speakers in your sound system. Of course, not all people who are using either of these components are using the latest WiFi-compatible options.
But, in the instance that you are, then it is important to connect these devices as soon as possible in order to begin enjoying the ease of use that it provides. To do this, you will simply connect each device to the same (generally, protected) home WiFi network.
Then, you can download the Apps associated with your particular device (or use a remote that is connected to the main Roku device) to manage the various settings and options available.
Once they are all connected, it will be much easier to use one main control setting to most efficiently enjoy the live streaming options available to you via your Roku and projector.
Check out my top picks for Home Theater Media Streaming Players
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.