Odd Roku Remote Pairing Failure

roku3_and_remoteI’m a fan of refurbished electronics.  In my experience, they’re just as reliable (if not moreso) than new units, and they’re much, much cheaper.  That said, every once in awhile, you run into something weird.

This happened to me recently, when I purchased a refurbished Roku 3 on woot.com (at a significant discount from retail).  Typically, when you first boot up a Roku, its remote will automatically pair with the unit.  Then you use said remote to complete the setup of the Roku.  Unfortunately, my remote absolutely refused to pair either automatically or via the standard troubleshooting method.  That essentially meant that my new Roku 3 was stuck on the language select screen with no way for me to move things along (since the Roku app for phones and tablets requires the Roku to be on the network in order to control it).  The solution was actually a lot easier that you might think, but it took some time before it occurred to me.

What I ultimately ended up doing was connecting the Roku to my network via ethernet (unfortunately, not all Roku models have an ethernet port… thankfully, mine did).  Once it was on the network, I could use the Roku app on my phone to complete the initial setup… which also involved downloading the most recent firmware updates.  Apparently one of those updates was required for pairing with the remote they sent me.  This time, when I pressed the pairing button during the unit’s booting cycle, the remote paired almost immediately.  I was then able to switch over to wi-fi and disconnect the ethernet cable.

Which just goes to show… sometimes you have to get a little creative to get your toys to work.

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Nikki Blight – Web/PHP Developer