How to Jailbreak a Roku & Install Kodi

How to Jailbreak Roku Stick to Get Free Channels

With its rich functionality, Roku is hard not to love. Being easy to navigate, Roku allows you to tap into thousands of channels, including Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video. As such, Roku goes head to head with such streaming devices as Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV.

At the same time, if you enjoy streaming movies and TV shows, chances are you’ve also grown to appreciate Kodi. Along with its add-ons, this open-source and free app makes it easy to enjoy live streams of virtually any kind. And it does so across different platforms, ranging from iOS to Linux.

From the looks of it, Roku and Kodi seem to compliment each other well. But only in theory. In practice, installing Kodi on a Roku device is tedious. Our guide will walk you through the process, suggesting the best ways to install Kodi and jailbreak your Roku device.

Roku: A Closer Look at the Popular Streaming Device

Unlike many of its alternatives, Roku streaming devices boast a unique blend of sophistication and simplicity. With such handy features as Roku Search, that instantly finds what you want to watch, Roku devices offer nice functionality. And thanks to their simple design, Roku devices are easy to enjoy.

If you are unfamiliar with what Roku streaming devices offer, the categories below will provide you with a good picture:

  • Scores of free channels A large number of channels that Roku devices stream are free and readily available for every Roku user to enjoy. From BBC Sports and Red Bull TV to Sky News and YouTube, Roku provides enough entertainment out of the box.
  • Catch-up TV channels Whenever you happen to miss the new episode of your favorite TV show, having catch-up TV channels available is indispensable. With Roku devices, you can enjoy such catch-up TV channels as ITV Hub, All 4, STV Player, and Demand 5.
  • Popular radio and music If you enjoy listening to music and radio podcasts, streaming devices can help to turn your experience into a bliss. When you stream podcasts on Roku devices, you can use such platforms as TuneIn, Deezer, VEVO, Box Plus, and YouTube.
  • Movies and TV shows With high-quality streaming devices, catching up with the latest episodes of your favorite TV show becomes a highly enjoyable pastime. Roku devices allow you to stay tuned for the latest content on Netflix, NOW TV, Google Play, and other channels.

As is the case with other streaming devices, the content available on Roku devices may vary depending on the country. But in total, Roku provides access to more than 4000 different channels, which is a whopping number by any measure. There’s one caveat, however, that all Roku users must consider.

Why Some Users Want to Jailbreak Roku Devices

Virtually every streaming device has a set of built-in restrictions that its manufacturer has chosen to impose on the gadget. The most commonly declared reason for doing so suggests that the manufacturer simply wishes to protect the device from malfunctioning. In reality, though, things are not as plain.

There is a less conspicuous reason for why the manufacturers of streaming devices resort to built-in limitations of different kind. They want to prevent you from using any applications that make it possible to stream third-party content on your device. And, by and large, Roku is no exception.

In fact, despite how diverse the channels it provides are, Roku disallows you to stream any content beyond their scope. As a result, Roku leaves out a lot of content that its users may want to enjoy free access to. This includes all the latest movies, TV shows, live sports streams, and other types of content.

This subtle curb leads some Roku users to opt for jailbreaking their devices, in spite of the manufacturer’s many warnings. Doing so helps them to get around the built-in limits and stream content from alternative sources. Jailbreaking a Roku, though, is a delicate process and needs careful thought.

Jailbreaking a Roku Is No Easy Task, But There Is a Solution

When it comes to Roku streaming devices, the built-in restrictions that its manufacturer imposes are solid. And because of this, chances are that your Roku device won’t lend itself to easy jailbreaking. In fact, the majority of how-to guides on the subject suggest that jailbreaking a Roku is not a good idea.

But despite how hard it may be, jailbreaking a Roku is a necessity if you want to stream third-party content. And this is exactly where Kodi media player comes in. Be it a movie or a sports broadcast that you want for free, Kodi’s third-party add-ons will do the trick.

For this reason, most Roku users would love to run Kodi on their devices. If you happen to be one of them, you will soon discover how to do it. And if you’ve never used Kodi before, the following section will get you up to speed with what Kodi is.

Kodi: One Player for All Your Streaming Needs

Kodi is an open-source free media player designed by the XBMC Foundation. Unlike its many alternatives, it has support for a diverse range of hardware platforms and works on multiple operating systems. As such, it runs on any modern device with a 3D GPU chip, on Android and Windows alike.

In essence, Kodi is a handy cross-platform home-theater PC app. Its many add-ons provide access to almost any kind of streaming media content online, covering services like YouTube and Spotify. And the variety of skins that Kodi comes with make the look and the feel of the app highly customizable.

The above features are not unique to Kodi media player alone, though. On the contrary, plenty of other media streaming apps boast similar functionality. What makes Kodi app stand out is that it doesn’t prohibit the use of third-party add-ons. In fact, as an open-source app, Kodi welcomes their use.

This unique feature of Kodi is what makes it a popular option for jailbreaking Roku devices. Simply put, some third-party add-ons that Kodi app allows make it easy for copyrighted streaming media content to slip through. As a result, such add-ons may use Kodi to provide access to pirated content.

Clearly, Roku can’t allow for this to happen on its streaming devices. Because of this, it restricts their streaming capacity to authorized content only. In theory, installing Kodi media player on a Roku device can bypass these restrictions. But in practice, Roku devices aren’t as simple to jailbreak with Kodi.

Sadly, it’s not possible to install Kodi directly on a Roku device. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no other way to get Kodi app to work on a Roku. Luckily, there are workarounds. And with the help of the guide below, you can put them to use.

How to Get Kodi App to Run on Your Roku Streaming Device

As you can see, going as far as jailbreaking a Roku device isn’t necessary with cutting-edge streaming apps like Kodi. And even though there’s no way to directly install Kodi media player on a Roku, you can still use it. Many Roku users, however, contemplate this. Why choose this option?

There is a clear advantage to going the above route. You will get to expand the streaming capacity of your Roku device by employing Kodi app to stream third-party content. And you will also manage to jailbreak your Roku device without actually having to mess with the streaming device itself.

And the best news is that you won’t need bells and whistles to jailbreak Roku streaming device this way. In fact, all you need to get Kodi app to run on a Roku is an additional device. And, if your Roku device is not recent, potentially an HDMI cable.

Let us take a closer look at the two best methods to implement the above solution.

Method 1: Cast Kodi to Roku With the Help of Another Device

This method hinges on the use of screen mirroring that allows you to cast Kodi to Roku from another device. To be able to use this method, you must have a Roku device that is no older than Roku 3. Older versions of Roku have no support for screen mirroring. If your device is less recent, resort to method 2.

On top of the above, you will also need an additional device, such as smartphone or PC. The device must have hardware compatibility with Kodi. It must also use an operating system that supports Kodi. To make sure that your device is suitable, check if it meets the following criteria:

  • Hardware support for 3D graphics (comes with a 3D GPU chip).
  • Android, iOS, Linux, MAC OS X, or Windows OS.

If your additional device meets the above key criteria, you’re in business. Follow the steps below to put this method into practice:

  • Upgrade your Roku software to the most recent version available.
  • Install Kodi app on the additional device.
  • Reach for your Roku remote control and press Home button.
  • Go to Settings and select Screen Mirroring.
  • Select the Enable Screen Mirroring option and press OK.
  • Make sure both your Roku device and the additional device you’re using have Wi-Fi enabled.
  • Add Roku as a wireless display on the additional device you’re using.
  • Connect your additional device to your Roku device when it shows up.

As you can see, the above process is not complicated. Once you follow the steps, you will be able to cast Kodi from the device of your choice to Roku.

Method 2: Use Roku as HDMI Output Device for Kodi on PC

The principle that underpins this method remains the same as in the method above. Instead of trying to install it directly, we relay Kodi to a Roku device. This time, however, we use a wired connection to make it work. Here’s what you need to get started with this method:

  • HDMI cable.
  • HDMI compatible PC that matches the criteria for the additional device in method 1.

That will be it. Once you’re all set, follow the steps below:

  • Make sure your Roku streaming device has the latest software.
  • Install the version of Kodi app that your PC’s operating system supports.
  • Connect your Roku device to your PC using HDMI cable.
  • Add Roku as a device in the appropriate section of Settings in the OS you’re using.

This method is also not hard to use. And it differs from the first method only in terms of the type of connection employed. In much the same way, though, it helps you to broadcast Kodi app on your Roku device.

A Word of Caution With Regard to Privacy

Some of the third-party add-ons that Kodi app uses may stream copyrighted media content that is considered to be pirated. Since most Internet service providers closely monitor such web traffic, using Kodi in plain view can get you in trouble. For this reason, you will be wise to remain anonymous.

In this day and age, however, keeping your web activities private is easier said than done. You may be using web proxy services or special browser add-ons to anonymize your Internet traffic to a certain extent. But some ISPs can cut right through these defenses with their special monitoring equipment.

With all of this in mind, you are potentially unsafe every time you use Kodi app to watch third-party content. Especially if you prefer to use unofficial versions of the Kodi app. Luckily, though, you can get yourself out of the danger zone rather quickly by employing a simple solution.

If you haven’t done so already, start using a quality VPN service. With its help, you will be able to hide your entire web traffic from the prying eyes of your ISP. As a result, everything you stream on your Roku device through Kodi media player will reliably remain private.