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How to Watch the Roku Channel on Vizio Smart TVs

An Expanding Streaming Powerhouse

Since launching its first streaming box in 2008, Roku has grown into one of the largest connected TV platforms. Today over 60 million people access content through Roku devices and smart TVs integrated with Roku‘s operating system.

Key partnerships have expanded availability of the company’s streaming offerings substantially. For example, in 2022 Roku signed agreements with Element and Hisense to license Roku’s operating system for select smart television models. Around 1 in 3 smart TVs sold in the U.S. now run on Roku software.

A central part of Roku’s appeal lies with its homegrown streaming service – the Roku Channel.

Roku Channel‘s Meteoric Growth

Launch year 2017
Hours streamed in 2021 Over 20 billion
Ad supported streaming viewership share 9% of total (3rd place)

This free, ad-supported OTT offering distributes both licensed content and original programming spanning movies, TV shows, news and more. Since launch just five years ago, the Roku Channel now accounts for a sizable chunk of ad-supported streaming viewership in the U.S.

However, Roku’s ascendancy among smart TV makers has not extended uniformly across brands – notably leaving out second place manufacturer Vizio.

Vizio’s SmartCast Platform

As a smart TV platform, Vizio’s proprietary SmartCast OS powers connected experiences on the brand’s range of 4K displays. It comes equipped with support for popular apps like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and Disney+.

Consumers have invested heavily in Vizio’s approach – over 15 million households now actively use a Vizio smart TV.

Vizio SmartCast App Availability

Pre-installed apps 30+
Available apps via SmartCast store 200+
Chromecast built-in integration Yes

Yet that popularity has not yet translated into a dedicated Roku Channel app for Vizio televisions – presenting some hurdles for accessing this increasingly prominent streaming service.

Fortunately there are several alternative methods available, with only modest compromises compared to an ideal native app experience.

Additional Ways to Access The Roku Channel on Vizio

Vizio owners hoping to watch the Roku Channel have two primary options: external streaming devices or mobile casting. But other alternatives using existing home devices exist too.

Laptop/Desktop Web Browser

Navigate to on any Mac, Windows computer or Chromebook to access the TV network’s web app player. Create or sign into your Roku account to browse and instantly play titles.

Casting the entire browser tab mirrors the Roku Channel web interface to a Vizio television. This avoids limitations of the mobile streaming experience.

The Roku Channel web app functions very similarly to mobile, albeit in a more comfortable format. However, casting an entire desktop browser tab taxes a device’s resources more heavily.

Miracast / Screen Mirroring

Some Android devices can utilize Miracast technology for screen mirroring instead of Chromecast. The Roku app on Windows 11 machines also leverages Miracast.

Enable wireless display in Settings, choose your Vizio TV as the target device, and mirror your smartphone or PC screen. Launch the Roku app and browse at will. Latency can be a drawback for this method, along with inferior stability versus purpose-built protocols.

Now let’s explore dedicated streaming hardware and mobile devices – the two most reliable techniques for enjoying the Roku Channel to its fullest on a Vizio television.

Method 1: Cast from a Mobile Device

One convenient way to pipe Roku Channel content onto your Vizio is by casting it from a smartphone or tablet.

iOS users can employ AirPlay, while Android device owners will use the built-in Chromecast functionality after installing the Google Home app.

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Download the Roku App

Install the free Roku app for your iPhone / iPad via the iOS App Store, or for your Android phone / tablet through the Google Play Store.

Download Roku Mobile App

Step 2: Connect to Your Vizio TV

Now wirelessly connect your mobile device to your television.

iOS users should enable AirPlay by swiping down from the top-right corner to access Control Center, then tapping the Screen Mirroring icon. Select your Vizio from the target device list.

Android users need to add their Vizio television within the Google Home app‘s device catalog. Open the app, tap the "+" icon, and choose your TV from recognized cast destinations.

Google Home App

Your smartphone screen contents will now mirror directly on the TV.

Step 3: Sign Into the Roku App

Open the Roku mobile app and either sign into your existing account or select Sign Up to create a new profile. Roku accounts are free.

With your profile loaded, you have full access to the Roku Channel and any other installed streaming channels.

Sign into Roku App

Step 4: Start Watching!

Navigate to the Roku Channel section and browse the catalog of on-demand movies, TV episodes, live news and Roku originals!

All streaming content plays flawlessly from your smartphone or tablet while mirrored on your Vizio television via the connecting technology – AirPlay or Chromecast.

Browse Roku Channel Content

Now enjoy ad-supported and premium entertainment from the expanding Roku Channel without any direct app support on Vizio SmartCast OS.

Method 2: Connect a Streaming Device

Instead of relying on a secondary mobile device, you can also watch the Roku Channel by connecting dedicated streaming player hardware to your Vizio television.

Here are your top options:

Roku Streaming Player/Stick

As Roku’s flagship streaming boxes and sticks, these plug-and-play HDMI devices include the Roku Channel prominently on the home screen UI.

Setup takes minutes and casting from another device becomes unnecessary, since the Roku streaming gadget handles everything natively.

The Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick 4K and new Roku Express 4K offer excellent performance paired with Vizio TVs.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon’s Fire TV platform competes directly with Roku and has its own Roku Channel app ready for install.

The inexpensive Fire TV Stick connects seamlessly with any Vizio television, while leveraging Alexa voice control support via the included remote.

But Fire TV menus push Amazon content front and center – not ideal for Roku Channel enthusiasts.

Chromecast with Google TV

Google’s latest Chromecast model equals the Fire Stick on pricing. It incorporates Android TV for slick applications and Google Assistant AI voice interactions.

Integrated Chromecast technology means you can still cast content from mobile too. Support for simultaneous HDMI pass-through also sets this option apart.

But channel app selection lags Roku availability slightly, with more gaps likely for new arrivals like the Roku Channel.

Based on the above comparison analysis, I recommend the Roku Streaming Stick 4K as the best supplemental device for watching the Roku Channel – and thousands of other apps – through your Vizio smart television.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Of course, casting from an iPhone or Android device works perfectly fine too. Now let’s examine the key features available once you start streaming the Roku Channel on a Vizio Television.

Roku Channel Content and Features

The Roku Channel grants free access to tens of thousands of films and TV show episodes, supported through intermittent advertising similar to broadcast television. What else does the Roku Channel encompass across news, entertainment, and its continually expanding original programming initiatives?


Over 5,000 films on demand, from newly released theatrical runs to classic titles. Genres span Action, Drama, Comedy, Horror, Kids, and Latino programming.


Hundreds of popular shows to binge, with full series runs available. Reality fare, Sitcoms, Sci-Fi – even cult hits find a home on the Roku Channel.

News & Entertainment

200+ live streams keep you in the know on global events, plus dedicated channels for entertainment, food, music, wildlife and other lifestyle content.

Roku Originals

Exclusive series and specials available only via the Roku Channel. Expect offbeat reality alongside scripted comedy and drama. Investments in original content continue rising rapidly.

Premium Subscriptions

Addon options for subscription OTT services like Showtime, Starz and AMC Premiere directly within the Roku Channel ecosystem. 30 day trials available for most premium partners.

This breadth of free and paid programming from the Roku Channel rivals virtually any other ad-supported streaming option available today.

And accessing all these features and benefits directly on the biggest screen in your living room makes for perfect viewing of Roku Channel content via a connected Vizio television.

Troubleshooting Tips for Streaming Issues

Despite the convenience of casting Roku Channel streams from a smartphone or tablet to your Vizio TV, hiccups in the connection can occasionally interfere.

If you run into playback problems like choppy video or buffering during mirrored streaming, here are some top troubleshooting tips to try:

Restart Devices – Fully power down your casting device and Vizio TV, leave them off for 60 seconds, then restart both. Ensures a fresh, clean slate connection on reboot.

Reconnect Session – Stop casting from Quick Settings/Google Home app, disconnect then reconnect your mobile device to your television via AirPlay / Chromecast. Retry streaming playback afterwards.

Reinstall Apps – Sometimes application data gets corrupted. Deleting and reinstalling the Roku app along with your casting framework (AirPlay or Google Home) resets configurations.

Factory Reset TV – For recurring casting issues, a factory reset on just your Vizio television (not your casting device) will wipe all stored connection info and often resolve persistent wireless display problems.

I hope these mobile troubleshooting recommendations get flawless Roku Channel streaming up and running again on your Vizio Smart TV. Let me know if issues persist!

Wrapping Up

In closing, Roku provides an excellent free streaming platform filled with movies, news and originals via the Roku Channel. Integrating access on Vizio televisions may require modest workarounds given lack of native app support.

But casting from iOS/Android devices or connecting a dedicated media player makes enjoying this unique content a breeze on your existing Vizio Smart TV setup.

Have you discovered any other handy ways of accessing the Roku Channel on Vizio? Let me know in the comments below!