Q. I’ve been planning to cut the cord and get rid of DIRECTV. DIRECTV has a Genie system that can let me watch shows in 7 different rooms without adding more receivers. So if I got Roku to be my cord-cutting streaming device, would I need to get seven Rokus or could I use one Roku and stream it to all seven rooms? — Jennifer, Malibu, California.
Jennifer, that’s a great question. As you note, DIRECTV’s Genie 2 can stream your programming package to seven different rooms in a house without having to add additional receivers. Some other pay TV providers offer ‘whole home’ service as well, keeping set-top rental fees down.
But what about Roku, you ask?
Well, unfortunately, the Roku streaming device can only work on one TV. The company does not offer multi-room set-tops.
However, Roku reminds us that you could get a Roku Streaming Stick and carry it from one room to another as a makeshift mobile solution. But that’s not exactly the same thing, is it?
Why doesn’t Roku offer a multi-room device? Simple. The company’s revenue primarily comes from the sale of set-tops. If it suddenly allowed everyone to connect the entire house with one device, sales would decline.
There is one way to manage your Roku device from every room in the house. If you download the Roku app, you can use it to turn on any TV, or change the channel on that TV. That’s not quite as useful as being able to watch that TV’s display in whatever room you happen to be in. But it’s something, right?
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If he has smart TVs couldn’t he download the Roku app on each TV and use them that way?
The app only controls the device connected to a specific TV. It wouldn’t allow you to view that device on a different TV.