How to Hook a Roku Up to a Projector
If you’re not using a Roku smart TV, which not a lot of people are, you’re probably using a Roku stick. Since Roku players can handle processing high-resolution video, it makes sense that you might want to hook it up to a projector and turn movie night into something special.
The question is, can you do it? Well, yes you can, but only with certain Roku streaming sticks will you get a theatre-like experience.
Roku Stick Recommendations
So far only the Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick+ are equipped with Wi-Fi direct for the remote. Which means, that these are the only two we recommend to pair with a projector. The reason is simple.
If you’re using a Roku stick that comes with an IR feature, then it wouldn’t be too comfortable switching channels, pausing, or searching for a new movie. Wi-Fi direct connectivity will allow you to place your projector far above and behind you and still be able to control it while facing the other way.
As a bonus, the Stick+ is the only 4K-capable Roku player so it’s really the only option you have if you want to get the best video quality projected on your wall.
Connecting Your Roku Player to the Projector
This is a fairly simple process. As long as you have a projector with an HDMI input, you’re good to go.
- Plug your Roku stick directly into the HDMI input of the projector.
- Alternatively, use a premium HDMI cable to connect the two devices together.
Roku and Projector Setup with AVR or Sound Bar
If you want to also enjoy some high-fidelity sound and make your experience more immersive, then you’ll have to add a sound system to the mix.
- Connect your Roku player to the AVR.
- Connect the projector to the AVR or sound bar via an HDMI cable.
If your projector only has one HDMI input, you can switch the order and run them like this: Roku > AVR > Projector. This will also require making some additional audio configurations.
How to Add Your Cable TV to This Setup Too
It’s worth mentioning that projectors don’t come with built-in TV tuners. Roku players also lack this feature. But while you may not be able to use your Roku player to stream your cable TV channels through the projector, it doesn’t mean that you can’t add them into the setup.
What you can do is use a cable tuner box. Your cable service provider should be able to give you one, for free or for a fee, depending on what perks you choose. Once you have that, this is what you should do:
- Connect your cable to the cable tuner box.
- Use an HDMI cable to connect the tuner box to the AVR.
- Connect the AVR to the projector.
Assuming that your AVR can support inputs from multiple sources, then you can have both the tuner box and Roku player connected and able to feed a signal through. After that, you can switch between the Roku player and your regular TV channels by using the projector’s remote and switching the source or switching from the AVR’s remote by switching the source.
The market is overwhelmed with so many projectors that it’s hard to say which one will suit you best. What you have to keep in mind is that as long as your projector has an HDMI input, then it should work with any Roku stick and AVR system.
But, there are no projector’s made specifically for Roku sticks or vice-versa. Most often than not, your choice of projector will be based on the size of your viewing room, the distance from the screen or wall, the acoustic properties of the room, the ease of installation, etc.
You Can Watch Your Favorite Shows Like a Boss with Roku
Don’t discount the little Roku players for high-end tasks such as projecting movies on a white wall. The player itself has little to do with the end result. More often than not, you’ll notice that the projector and the movie resolution itself have a lot more to do with how your experience will turn out.
Which Roku player did you test first to see how well it can handle theatre-like screening sessions? Also, let us know if you think it’s worth getting the 4K Roku stick, given the not so great 4K library on the Roku platform.