Roku Netflix player – secret screens

Lately I’ve been exploring the Roku Netflix player. It’s got a number of “secret” screens – not really secret, since they seem to announce them regularly in the Roku forums, but I didn’t spot a place that had them all together. So here they are:

Installed software versions screen

Shows what versions of software (channels, screen savers, etc) are installed on your Roku.

To get there:
Home Home Home Up Up Left Right Left Right Left
(That’s Home:3x, Up:2x, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left)

Version menu:

  • Next/Prev

Enable developer mode

Turns on a web server and opens at least one port on the Roku. Allows you to upload new channels, and download logfiles if you turn them on.

To get there:

Home Home Home Up Up Right Left Right Left Right
(That’s Home:3x, Up:2x, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right)

Developer mode menu:

  • Enable/Disable installer

This reboots the Roku. Once enabled, you can go to http://roku-ip-address and install packages. There is also some utility software.

http://roku-ip-address/plugin_inspect

http://roku-ip-address/plugin_install

http://roku-ip-address/plugin_package

Once a package is built, it gets put in:

http://roku-ip-address/pkgs

Here’s a post about bash utilities for building Roku packages.

Debug options screen

Enables logging, lets you download beta releases, etc.

To get there:
Home Home Home Home Home FF FF FF Rewind Rewind
(Home:5x, FF:3x, Rewind:2x)

Debug options menu:

  • Factory reset
  • Cycle channel store server
  • Cycle software update server
  • Update software
  • Enable/Disable debug logging

When you enable logging, you can then go to http://roku-ip-address/pkgs and download tcpdump files (called log0, log1… etc). You need to have Developer mode turned on as well in order to get these. Developer mode enables the http server. Turn Developer mode on first, then enable debug logging.

Quality settings screen

Lets you set the bitrate of downloads from the Roku (this is not the bandwidth – the Roku uses full bandwidth until its buffer is full).

To get there:
Home Home Home Home Home Rewind Rewind Rewind FF FF
(Home:5x, Rewind:3x, FF:2x)

Quality options menu:

  • Automatic
  • 3.5
  • 2.5
  • 2.0
  • 1.5
  • 1.0
  • 0.6
  • 0.3
  • Enable/Disable playback debugging

Reboot

(thanks to G Whizz): reboots the Roku

To get there:
Home, Home, Home, Home, Home, Up, Rewind, Rewind, FF, FF
(Home:5x, Up, Rewind:2x, FF:2x)

General notes

That the Rewind button is the one to the left of the Pause/Play button; the FF button is the one to the right of the Pause/Play button. Start all sequences from the Home screen.

I guess someone was a Konami fan. Some people have trouble entering these codes – I didn’t, but I see on the forums that you should enter the keypresses with a regular cadence and about half a second between presses.

I don’t know if any of these will cause trouble in the long run. I think none of them survive a reset, but I’m not going to guarantee you won’t brick your Roku. Use at your own risk.

Secret channels

Roku also has “secret channels” – channels you need to add to your account with a code in order for them to show up. A good list seems to be available at streamfree.tv/apps/, along with directions on how to add them.

Know of any other secrets? Leave a comment.

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5 Responses to Roku Netflix player – secret screens

  1. Alicia says:

    THANK YOU! :)

  2. Paul says:

    Note the bitrate commands do work with Netflix channel – they do reportedly do work with some of the other channels on the roku

  3. Paul says:

    Correction (typo) The bitrate commands do NOT work with Netflix channel – they do reportedly do work with some of the other channels on the roku

  4. G Whizz says:

    There is a reboot option via the remote control; Home x 5, Up x 1, Left x 2, Right x 2 … the remote will appear to become unresponsive and within several seconds the device will power cycle.

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