How to Control Your Roku with Siri

This article, in video form!

UPDATE: With the April 28th Roku app update, the Siri Shortcuts setup through Roku don’t seem to be working and instead open up the app and nothing else. Hopefully Roku will fix this soon.

With the introduction of Siri Shortcuts, we’ve been able to start creating our own custom actions, as well as developers creating pre-made Shortcuts for us to enable. Roku is one of these developers, and they allow you to control your Roku box, streaming stick, or TV with Siri on your iPhone, iPad or other Siri enabled device. Here’s how to enable it.

What you’ll need:

  • An iPhone or iPad running iOS 13+ (for Siri Shortcuts)
  • The latest Roku App from the App Store.
  • A Roku box, stick, or TV running Roku OS 9.4+

Getting Started:

Once you’ve met all the requirements listed above, turn on your Roku. Then launch the Roku Remote app on your phone. Next, hit the profile logo (it looks like a person) in the top right corner of the app. A menu should pop up, and near the middle under the “Manage” section will be a button labeled “Siri Shortcuts”. You’ll see a list of 6 pre-made shortcuts. To enable any of them, click on the shortcut you want, type in the specific wording you want to use to activate the command (or leave it set to the default), and hit “Save Shortcut” at the bottom of the screen. This will take you back to the Shortcut list.

Turning the Roku On or Off with Siri:

Now in this list you’ll notice the ability to turn your Roku off and on with Siri. This is great setting, though you’ll need to have a few things in place first before doing this.

If you’re using a Roku box or streaming stick of some kind, you’ll need to make sure you have a TV and cable that support HDMI-CEC (which if you’ve bought just about anything HDMI made in the last 10-15 years, you probably have it). CEC allows the TV to control some devices and some devices to control the HDMI connected TV. In this case, turning them off or on. That said, not all TV’s call the feature CEC, as some call brand it with some variation of “Link”, “Sync”, etc. Fortunately Roku has a nice page detailing this information for several major TV brands, so you should check how to enable it on your TV.

Once you’ve enabled it on your TV, head over to the Roku “Settings” in the left sidebar, select it, then hit OK. Then go to “System”, then find the “Control Other Devices (CEC)” and make sure “1-Touch Play” is enabled.

If you’re using a Roku TV, meaning one that has Roku built in, you’ll need to enable “Fast TV Start”, You can find this by going to your Roku, and scrolling down to the “Settings” section in the left sidebar and click OK while it’s highlighted. Then go down to “System” and click OK, then find the “Power” section and do the same. In this section you’ll want to toggle “Fast TV Startup” and set it to enabled (usually you toggle by highlighting the section and hitting OK until it shows the setting you want.

And that’s it! You’ve now enabled your Roku to be controlled via Siri on your phone.

Troubleshooting:

If you’re having trouble, make sure you have the latest version of the Roku app on your phone first. If it’s not on there, these commands won’t work. If you’re already good there, make sure your Roku is set to allow mobile apps to control it. This can be found by going to “Settings,” “System”, “Advanced System Settings”, and the “Control by mobile apps” is enabled by being set to “Default”.

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