If you’ve got a Roku device, you may be wondering how you can use Kodi on it. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Many websites say you have to “jailbreak” your Roku device, but this isn’t true.
You can’t jailbreak a Roku. It is impossible to truly “install” Kodi on your Roku device. But it is possible to use Kodi on your Roku by screen mirroring to cast Kodi content to your Roku.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
The myth behind “jailbreaking” Roku devices
How to use Kodi on your Roku without modifying your Roku device
Whether or not Kodi is legal to use
Alternatives that you can use for Kodi instead of Roku
Let’s get started now.
Can I Jailbreak My Roku To Install Kodi?
The short answer to this question is no. First of all, there is no official Kodi app for Roku, so there is no Kodi app for you to install even if you did “jailbreak” your device.
Second, there is no way to jailbreak a Rokudevice. Roku devices use a customized, proprietary OS called Roku OS. This OS is based on C+, and is extremely hard to modify.
Because of this, there is no way to “root” the device, or install unapproved applications – unlike Android-based devices such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
So, for the near future, Roku offers no Kodi support – although you can use Plex on Roku, if that’s more your thing.
But if you’re in need of a way to watch your Kodi content on a big screen, there is a workaround that you can use. Roku devices support screen mirroring through the Miracast screen mirroring protocol.
Using screen mirroring from a Windows or Android device, you can “cast” your content to your Roku in a way that’s similar to using a Chromecast.
In the next section of our guide, we’ll discuss how to set up screen mirroring on your Roku, and your Android or Windows mobile device.
Get Your Roku Ready
To get your Roku ready for streaming, you’ll need a compatible Roku device that uses the Miracast protocol (Roku Streaming Stick, Roku 2, Roku 3, Roku 4, Roku Premier / Premier +, Roku Ultra, Roku TV).
Enable screen mirroring
Press the home button on your Roku remote to access the main menu.
Select Settings > System
Select Screen Mirroring. You should see a screen that is similar to the below screenshot. Depending on your Roku device, it may vary somewhat.
It’s best to select Always allow for our purposes. You can leave it on Prompt, but this will just force you to navigate extra menus when you are trying to cast your Kodi content.
That’s it! Your Roku device is now configured to accept screen mirroring from Android and Windows devices. Next, let’s discuss installing Kodi and setting up screen mirroring on Android and Windows devices.
Kodi is freely available on the Google Play Store, so it’s easy to install. Here’s what you’ll want to do.
Open up the Google Play Store from your smartphone or tablet, as seen below.
In the upper search bar, enter “Kodi”. You will likely see the Kodi logo pop up in the search results. Select it to continue.
Select Install to begin the installation process.
You will have to give Kodi access to Device & app history and Photos/Media/Files to continue. Press Accept.
Kodi will begin downloading and installing to your Android device. The download is about 90 megabytes, so it may take a little while to download and install.
Now, you can access Kodi from your app tray, or your home screen.
Now that you have installed Kodi, it’s time to enable screen mirroring.
Because Android devices are made by many different manufacturers, they all use different names for screen mirroring functionality. These include:
Smart View (Samsung)
Quick Connect (Samsung)
AllShare Cast (Samsung)
Wireless display (Google Android devices)
Display mirroring (Google Android devices)
HTC Connect (HTC)
Screen casting (Android Lollipop)
Cast (Other Android devices)
This can make it a bit difficult to find the screen mirroring options for your Android device. However, once you have figured out what screen mirroring is called on your smartphone or tablet, it’s quite easy to enable it.
Typically, screen mirroring will be located under the display, connection, network, or display submenus. Let’s look at how to enable casting on a Google Android phone now, as an example.
First, open Settings from the app tray. Then, navigate to Device > Display, as seen below. Open the Display submenu.
Cast is what screen mirroring option is called in this case. It’s located at the bottom of this menu:
Here, you can see all devices that are compatible with screen mirroring. In this example, we have a Chromecast on our network. You should be able to select your Roku device here.
That’s it! Once you’ve selected your Roku, you should be good to go. You’ll be able to open Kodi, and “cast” content from your phone or tablet, directly to your TV.
The steps you take may vary a little bit depending on your smartphone. But with a little digging, it should be pretty easy to find the right screen mirroring options.
Enabling screen mirroring (Windows)
Now, let’s discuss the steps you’ll need to take to install Kodi and enable screen mirroring on Windows.
Select DOWNLOADin the upper-right of the website to download Kodi. Next, you’ll choose your flavor of the Kodi install. In this example, of course, we’ll select Windows.
Next, choose the Kodi installer you want. In this case, we’ll select INSTALLER (32BIT).
Your download should start automatically. It’s around 80mb in size, so be patient if you have a slower connection. After the download completes, navigate to your default downloads folder, and find kodi-17.5-Krypton-x86.exe. Note that the name may be slightly different, depending on the current stable release of Kodi.
Double-click on the installation file. The Kodi installer will open.
Press I Agree to continue installing Kodi.
On the next screen, you can choose what Kodi components you want to install. It’s best to leave these options alone, and just press Next to continue
Finally, choose the file directory in which you would like to install Kodi, and press Next to continue.
Kodi will begin installing. The process will take several minutes. When it completes successfully, you’ll see the following screen. Tick the Run Kodi box, and press Finish to close the installer, and open Kodi on your Windows PC.
That’s it! You can now access Kodi from the Start Menu, or by searching “Kodi” on the Windows search bar!
Now, let’s get screen mirroring set up on Windows. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Open the Control Center by swiping in from the right edge of your screen, or clicking the icon indicated below on your start bar:
Next, select Project on the lower menu.
You’ll see the following screen. If your PC supports Miracast, you will also see an option that says Add a wireless display.
Select the display that is connected to your Roku device, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete setup. If additional drivers are required, they will be downloaded automatically.
Finally, select re-open the Control Center, or press Windows Key + P to bring up projection options. Select your Roku display, and you will begin mirroring your screen.
That’s it! Now, you should be able to connect to your Roku display whenever you want, using the Windows Key + P shortcut.
Is Installing Kodi Legal? Can I Get in Trouble for using Kodi?
If you’re a cord-cutter interested in using Kodi on your Roku, this is a good question to ask. Kodi is the source of a lot of controversy.
Some Kodi users could face jail time due to copyright violations, and the UK has cracked down on illegal “fully-loaded” Kodi boxes. Here’s what you need to know about Kodi’s legal status.
Kodi is completely, 100% legal
By itself, Kodi is nothing more than a media player that has been built specifically for HTPC (Home Theater PC) systems.
Kodi is used to play local media files such as movies, TV shows, music, and can even be used to view photos. Of course, there is nothing illegal about any of this.
The problem begins with third-party add-ons. As an open-source program, Kodi supports the development of independent add-ons that can provide it with additional functionality.
Add-ons can do things like provide you with new Kodi skins, add support for remote controls, and help you organize your media files more effectively.
However, video add-ons are by far the most popular add-ons for Kodi. There are many totally legal video add-ons, such as the FilmOn Kodi add-ons and USTVNow.
But some third-party add-ons are used to stream copyrighted media, such as live TV shows, movies, and music. This is where things start to get a bit more murky.
Third-party Kodi add-ons may violate copyright laws
If you install a third-party Kodi add-on that streams copyrighted content, you could get into legal trouble.
Though it’s unlikely that you will be targeted by a lawsuit or legal action, you may get a DMCA notice from your ISP, and repeated violations could land you in legal trouble.
The best way to avoid this is to simply avoid installing video add-ons that stream copyrighted content. You can also protect yourself by using a VPN such as IPVanish to encrypt your network traffic.
If you use a VPN while streaming media on Kodi, government agencies and ISPs will not be able to monitor your web traffic.
Should I Use Kodi on my Roku Device?
In our opinion, using Kodi on your Roku is not the best option. Screen mirroring works, but it requires you to run both your Android/Windows device and your Roku device. This leads to increased energy consumption and the use of more WiFi bandwidth.
In addition, Miracast screen mirroring is not reliable. Many users report spotty connections, or even outright connection failure when trying to set up screen mirroring. And if you only have an iOS or Mac OS X device, you won’t be able to use Kodi on Roku at all.
If you have a Roku and are interested in using Kodi, we suggest you look into alternative devices, such as:
Google’s Chromecast is incredibly easy to use with Kodi, and it’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Simply open up Kodi on your phone or tablet, select the “Cast” option, and stream your media of choice directly to your TV.
Chromecast only costs $35, so if you really want to get Kodi on your big screen, investing in a Chromecast is definitely worth it.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Installing Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick is a bit more involved than using Kodi on a Chromecast, but it’s still quite simple. Plus, if you opt to use Kodi on an Amazon Fire Stick, you won’t have to use your phone to control playback.
Amazon Fire TV Stick is $5 more expensive than Chromecast. Still, it’s quite affordable, and a great alternative to using Kodi on a Roku device.