One of the really fantastic features of the Roku is that you can add channels to expand the offerings available to the standard Netflix. From your Roku device, you can head over to the channels section to find a number of non-standard (read: non-television) options such favorites as:
- Shutterfly: View your Shutterfly photos on your television
- Animoto: Share photos
- Rokagram: Connect your Instagram account to your Roku
- The Bat Player: Listen to internet radio
And of course, plenty of television channels to suit every taste.
Recently Roku added another channel to their lineup. Dropbox. With this addition, the Roku becomes a tool that can actually be useful for businesses. Although you cannot play full-length movies with the Dropbox Roku channel, you can play shorter videos and slideshows of images... all right out of your Dropbox account.
Need a quick kiosk in your waiting room; one that you can manage from a desktop anywhere in your company? Add a television, a Roku, the Dropbox channel, add some photos/videos to your Dropbox account, and you're good to go!
If you don't want to bother with going through the somewhat clunky Roku menu to add the Dropbox channel, you can always add the mobile app (Android, iOS, Windows) and do the following (I'll demonstrate on Android):
- Tap the overflow button (three horizontal lines in the upper right corner)
- Tap My Channels (Figure A)
- Tap the Search button
- Tap Text
- Type dropbox
- Tap the entry for Dropbox
- Tap Install
- Tap Free
- Allow the installation to complete
The Roku app running on a Verizon-branded Droid Turbo.
At this point, all you have to do is launch the Dropbox channel on your Roku, log into your Dropbox account (with your Dropbox credentials), and start playing your files.
I would also suggest tucking the Roku remote out of the way and only using the Roku mobile app as the remote (it's far superior to the remotes shipped with the devices). Using the mobile Roku remote doesn't require you to be in front of the device, as it connects to your Roku via the wireless network (hint: Both Roku and mobile device must be on the same wireless network).
If you're looking for an inexpensive way to create an informational kiosk in your waiting room, or to show slides/videos in a meeting room, and you happen to have a Roku and a TV handy, adding the Dropbox channel could be the quickest, easiest, most cost-effective means of getting that kiosk up and running.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.