How to use Roku in a hotel like Holiday Inn…

Well, thanks to Global Warming, I’m homeless at the minute. The blistering heat of a massive winter storm hit my home town while I was driving back from a scientific meeting, and a pipe burst, flooding my home.  I have insurance coverage, but am currently living in a Holiday Inn Express, and will be for the next month while my home is put back together.

Staying here at the Holiday Inn Express, I decided I wanted to use my Roku.  However, there is a bit of a complication.  Holiday Inn, thank God, provides free wireless to its customers (unlike places like the Marriott, who charge you an arm and a leg).  However, it requires that you put in a password using a browser.

My Roku doesn’t have a browser.  There may be an option for that, but I don’t have it installed.  So, when I attached my Roku to the HDMI port on my TV at the hotel, it connected to the wireless sytem, but I could not provide the password that would allow full internet connectivity.

What to do?

Here’s my solution.  It required, for me, a laptop with Linux installed, though I am sure there’s a way to do it with Windoze.  So, here you go:

 

1) Attach the Roku device to the HDMI port on the video display

2) Choose Settings->Network, and connect to the hotel network.  It will attach without problem, but will not prompt you for a password (because it’s done using the proxy server on a browser).  Note the connection information, which is displayed.  Write down the MAC address.

3) At this point you are on the network, but cannot connect to Netflix, Amazon, etc.

4) Get on your laptop.  Use macchanger to change your MAC address to match the Roku device.  Attach to the network, and put in the password.  Once the password is accepted, change the MAC address back, or to something different, to minimize collisions with the Roku.

5) Now the Roku device should work.  For some reason, Netflix worked immediately, but Amazon Prime took about 10 minutes to start working.