While I hate to admit it, sometimes the only way to get a few minutes of rest while away on a family vacation is to throw the kids in front of the tv for an hour or two. Unfortunately, most of the tv shows I’m willing to let my kids watch aren’t typically available in the hotel room.
Luckily, most hotels have tv sets that have a free composite or HDMI port available. This allows you to easily connect your own Roku, Apple tv or other streaming device and access your own programming. The one SNAFU is that most hotel wi-fi networks require you to authenticate your access with a password, and there is no way to do that from your Roku.
Here’s a little trick to get you around that. Assuming you’ve brought your laptop (for demonstration purposes, I’m using an Apple laptop), you can authenticate the Roku device using your laptop. The first thing you’ll need to do is to get the MAC address of the Roku. Luckily, it’s printed on the back in nice, easy to read lettering. Here’s a picture of mine:
One you have the MAC address, you temporarily ‘spoof’ (think clone) this mac address onto the wireless network adapter of your computer. On OSX 10.x, you do it in terminal like so:
Once you’ve spoofed the MAC address, join the wireless network and authenticate from your laptop:
Repeat the terminal command using the original MAC address to restore your original settings.
Now that the MAC address of the Roku has been authenticated with the hotel network and been issued a network address, you simply have to plug it into the tv, turn it on and then join the network from the settings page! You now have access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Plex and anything else you already have on your Roku! (And you have the kids occupied long enough to make a blog post!)