If you've ever taken your Roku box or streaming stick with you anywhere like college or a hotel, hoping to tap into their free wifi and stream a movie, you know the problem. To access their wifi, you need a web browser...and Roku doesn't have a web browser. Until now...kinda.
A recent operating system update (7.0) now offers “Hotel and Dorm Connect”, a feature that skirts the web browser issue. All you need is a Roku and a smartphone.
Plug in the Roku to the TV as you normally would. In settings, search for the wifi network you wish to use. You'll get an error message that says “no internet” Don't panic. A window should pop up with an option to select “I am at a hotel or college dorm”. Select that option then follow the on-screen instructions!
Essentially, this feature allows you to select the Roku as the wifi network you wish to join from your PHONE. Once you are connected to the Roku, open a web browser on your phone, enter the credentials and you'll be up and streaming on your hotel TV in no time at all!
**this isn't limited to only hotels or dorms, it works on portable hotspots, convention centers, airports...anywhere wifi access is web-authenticated.
By the way...if you're a Time Warner customer, the company has been testing using a Roku in place of cable boxes in a couple markets. Stay tuned.