4 Roku OS features I use to get the most out of my TV


Key Takeaways

  • Enjoy Live TV without extra costs or subscriptions on Roku, featuring over 350 live channels.
  • Share content seamlessly from Apple devices with Roku’s Apple AirPlay support for various uses.
  • Utilize Screen Mirroring to share your screen from PCs, Macs, or smartphones to your Roku device.

My Roku 4K Ultra could well be the most used device in my household. It’s been the center of my streaming universe for years, and I have preferred it to the native interface of every television I’ve owned. Its versatility and compatibility are second to none, and over the years I’ve found it comes in handy for more than just streaming movies and TV shows.


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These are the features within Roku OS that I find the most useful and that not every Roku OS user might be aware of.

1 Live TV

Catch live shows without an additional subscription

Buffalo Sabres/NHL

As the cord cutting movement continues to grow, consumers are seeking out alternatives in droves. While companies from Hulu to YouTube will sell you Live TV subscriptions, you might find that their channel offering is more than you need, and their monthly cost is more than you’re willing to spend.

Roku Live TV also features a number of lifestyle channels like Bon Appétit and Architectural Digest.

Roku OS fills the gap, given every Roku OS device from Roku TVs to Roku streaming devices comes standard with Live TV. In this native app, users can find over 350 channels of live TV, covering most live TV use cases, including weather reports, news, and sports from many of the major networks. Additionally, Roku Live TV also features a number of lifestyle channels like Bon Appétit and Architectural Digest.

If you do happen to pay for a 3rd party Live TV streaming service, the Roku Live TV app allows integration with a number of these, including Showtime and AMC+. Users will then be able to access those channels from their Live TV guide.


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2 Apple AirPlay

Share content on your screen straight from Apple devices

Roku’s Apple AirPlay support has come in handy more times than I can count. Whether it’s sharing photos with the family on the big screen, watching videos on our television, or friends or family being able to easily share TV shows or movies on apps they are already logged into from their Apple devices, the use cases are varied.

AirPlay also allows users to mirror exactly what they see on their iOS device screen, for de-facto screen mirroring from their iPhone or iPad. Using this feature can make it easier to demonstrate apps, navigate menus on a larger screen, or play mobile games on your Roku-powered TV. AirPlay can also be used to screen share with mac OS devices.


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3 Screen mirroring

Share your whole screen from your PC, Mac, or smartphone

For non-Apple users, Roku streaming devices and TVs also offer native support for screen mirroring across a variety of devices. Users can mirror their displays straight onto their televisions from a Windows PC or Android phone. If you are a modern-day Gen Z’er or Millennial, then you may be hosting PowerPoint parties for you and your friends.

Screen-mirroring also allows you to share your presentations on the largest screen in your home. This feature has value in a professional setting as well. If you have a Roku streaming device hooked up to an office or conference room television, then Roku’s screen mirroring capability can help share your spreadsheets and slides with the whole team.


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4 Guest mode

Share your Roku with visitors without the hassle

Peanut watching TV 

This feature finds itself in constant use within my home. We have a two-year-old Golden Retriever that we treat like our golden child, and we leave her with pet sitters whenever we’re out for a date night or on vacation. We quickly discovered that “Guest Mode,” built right into the Roku OS, was the easiest way for them to watch whatever they wanted on any of the streaming platforms, using their own accounts.

Guests simply log in to any app they want, and are then able to have their accounts logged out and information deleted after a predetermined date. This saves them the concern of leaving their accounts logged in on our device, and the worry about their content preferences messing with our previous algorithms. Come to think of it, my YouTube account keeps recommending “bird-watching” videos. Peanut… I know that was you, sweetie.

Roku TVs and streaming devices provide a central home for just about every streaming service on the market today. Roku OS offers a smooth user experience with an intuitive interface, making it easy to place any Roku device as the center of your home media setup.


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