The Roku is best suited for the USA, that is undeniable, however, with the right services and initiative we can get the Canadian Roku with American content!
First we need some way to change how these content providers view our IP address, in particular we need to appear to be in the US when they check our location. This is done with VPN and smartDNS services such as Overplay (see my Unblock US and Overplay review).
I suggest Overplay because I’ve tested it and use it myself currently. Unblock US on the other hand didn’t work for me with the Roku account creation process at the beginning of this year (2014).
When you have registered for this service be sure to modify your router with their settings. You will be updating the router’s DNS settings with the DNS addresses given to you in your “My Account” area under the “SmartDNS” (see image below).
You can find out how to change your router settings using a google search for your model number and brand. Unblock US has a fairly comprehensive set of instructions here.
When you have your VPN or SmartDNS service setup with your router begin the Roku account creation process (on a pc/tablet connected to the router).
1. First visit Roku.com and select “Please sign in”
2. From here choose “Create account”.
Be sure you can see [US] before “http://owner.roku.com/Login”.
This is VERY important. If you don’t see this be sure to check your smartDNS settings are working correctly. If you don’t see this then its likely your smartDNS doesn’t support this webpage. Overplay should, it worked for me.
3. Input your payment method normally, this can be deleted after account creation if you don’t wish to make purchases through your Roku. I haven’t had to pay for any of my content through Roku, only for subscription services like Netflix, paid separately. If you wish you can add a payment type later that has all your information with your Canadian address.
4. This is the tricky part, now you have to make sure “Country” is set to “United States” and choose an appropriate Zip Code. For this take your postal code and remove the letters, keeping the numbers, and replace them with two zeros on one side (Ex. A1B 2C3 becomes 00123 or 12300). Then verify this Zip Code is legit by checking here. Put the correct state where the Zip Code is found and fill in the rest with your normal address and your real name.
You can also choose a Zip Code of any five numbers if you like, just verify its a real one!
5. From here the rest is simple, follow the on screen instructions, turn on your Roku when the account is created and you are brought to the “My Account” area.
6. Follow the instruction for setting up your internet access and when the Roku presents a linking code asking you to link it to your Roku account, do so on the computer in the “My Account” area.
7. Last step is to verify that the account was setup correctly. Go to the Channel store (preferably on the computer) and look for the Pandora channel, install it and try to listen to anything. If this works consider yourself a digital resident of the USA, that music escaping your speakers is the sound of freedom! Much more content is now accessible!
Search around on this site and others and explore all that the Roku has to offer, in particular check out Plex, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora, etc. Also the private channel Nowhere TV is pretty cool, as are many others.