Roku Media Player - Playing your personal videos, music & photos

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The Roku Media Player channel allows you to watch your own personal video files, listen to your music files, and view your photos right on your TV via your home's PC, DLNA server or the Roku's USB port.

Learn more by browsing the questions below.

How do I use the Roku Media Player?

To watch a video or movie:

  • From the Roku home screen, select the Roku Media Player channel. (Channel must first be installed from the Roku Channel Store. If you have a Roku TV, the Roku Media Player will come pre-installed.) If your Roku TV has not been connected to a Roku account, your can use the builtin USB Media Player.
  • If the video is on a USB device and your Roku has a USB port, insert the USB storage device into the USB port.
  • If the video is on a DLNA server, make sure the DLNA server is running and on your network.
  • Select the Video media type from the Media Type selection screen.
  • Choose the device which has the content you want to watch.
  • Use the arrow and select keys to navigate through your folders to find the video or movie you wish to view. If the desired file is known to not be compatible, it will not be displayed. 
  • After navigating to the video you wish to play press PLAY or OK.

While a video or movie is playing, you can pause, skip forward and skip backwards using the PLAY/PAUSE, FORWARD and REVERSE buttons on your Roku remote control. NOTE: Not all files can skip forward and backwards. 

To stop video playback, press UP or BACK.

Tip: To supply your own poster artwork for a video, save a JPG or PNG file with the artwork with the same name as the video in the same folder.

Tip: To play all the videos in a folder as a playlist, click Play on the folder that contains the videos to play them all in a row.

What media file types does the Roku Media Player channel support?

The following media file formats are supported:

  • Video — H.264/AVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), on Roku 4 only: H.265/HEVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); VP9 (.MKV)
  • Audio – AAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); MP3(.MP3, .MKV); WMA (.ASF, .WMA, .MKV), FLAC (.FLAC, .MKV), PCM (.WAV, .MKV, .MP4, .MOV), AC3/EAC3 (.MKV,.MP4. .MOV, .AC3), DTS (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), ALAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .M4A)
  • Image — JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)

Only supported file types are shown in the Roku Media Player channel. The channel hides unsupported file types.

Multichannel AAC  is not supported on all Roku models. Roku TV’s and Roku 4 set-top-boxes do support multichannel decode to PCM stereo.

On Roku set-top-boxes Dolby Digital audio (AC3, EAC3) is only supported via pass through.

DTS is only supported via pass through on both Roku set-top-boxes and Roku TV’s. You must connect your Roku player via HDMI or S/PDIF to a TV or receiver capable of decoding Dolby Digital or DTS in order to hear videos with audio tracks in those formats.

Some media server software may convert files into Roku compatible formats.

DRM-protected content is not supported.

What USB hard drive formats does the Roku Media Player channel support?

The Roku Media Player channel enables you to play back personal video, music and photo files from a USB drive on your TV. The following USB drive formats are supported: FAT16, FAT32, NTFS and HFS+.

USB flash drives and externally powered USB hard drives work best with the Roku player. Some USB powered hard drives will not be able to draw enough power from the Roku player to function properly, especially if used with another drive on a USB hub.

The Roku Media Player also lets you access different partitions on a USB drive.

What DLNA Media Servers are supported by RMP?

Windows Media Server, Serviio, Plex, Twonky, and devices running MiniDLNA are known to work with Roku Media Player.

Roku Media Player instructions with Windows Media Player ?

The Roku Media Player channel is capable of playing media from a variety of networked media servers, including streaming from Windows media player.

Instructions and general information about getting started with media streaming in Windows can be found here.  It will teach you how to setup your Windows Media Player for streaming service.

If you have not already done so, install the Roku Media Player from the Streaming Channels Store (in the Top Free category).  Once your PC has been setup, you should be able to immediately find it when you enter the Roku Media Player

Can I connect multiple hard drives to my Roku player for use with the Roku Media Player channel?

Yes. You can connect more than one USB flash drive or USB hard drive to your Roku player by using a USB hub (not included).

USB flash drives and externally powered USB hard drives work best with the Roku player. Some USB powered hard drives will not be able to draw enough power from the Roku player to function properly, especially if used with another drive on a USB hub.

How can I convert my videos to play with the Roku channel?

There are a number of tools capable of converting videos into a format that is playable on the Roku player.  One of the more popular ones is called Handbrake. We have found that the Handbrake preset, “Regular – High Profile”, produces files that play well on Roku.  For further discussion on how to create or convert files that play well on the Roku player, please visit the Roku Forums.

Does the Roku Media Player channel support music playlists?

The Roku Media Player channel supports music playlists only for .m3u and .m3u8 formats at this time. You can play all the songs in a folder by pressing the PLAY button on your Roku remote while the icon representing that folder is highlighted.

Does the Roku Media Player channel support movie subtitles?

Yes. The Roku Media Player channel supports embedded subtitles in .mkv files. To choose a subtitle track use the ‘*’ button while the video is playing.

The Roku Media Player will automatically include subtitle tracks found in .SRT files. The .srt files must be saved in the same folder as the video. They must have the same name as the video. They must have an extension of .srt. To include multiple .srt files you must insert a language extension for example movie.eng.srt or movie.ger.srt

Can I use the Roku Media Player channel while my Roku player is not connected to my home network and the Internet? 

Yes. You can use the Roku Media Player channel while your Roku player is not connected to your home network and the Internet.

How do I play videos with 4K resolution?

Only the Roku 4 supports video files with 4k resolution. They also must either be encoded with VP9 codec or H.265 codec. You can watch them on any TV hooked to the Roku 4. It does not need to be a 4k TV.

How can I play a movie file in 1080p using the Roku Media Player channel?

The current Roku Media Player (RMP) channel does not need to know resolution or frame rate of video files played locally from a connected USB media or from a DLNA server.  This information is handled by the firmware. 

To optimize the picture quality of video playback:

  • Set the Display type to the appropriate TV resolution (i.e. 720p HDTV or 1080p HDTV)
  • Ensure video file is in a supported extension

Additionally, the RMP channel will only display video information on the user interface for video files on DLNA servers.  Video information for local files will not be displayed.

How do I play files with multichannel 5.1 AAC?

5.1 AAC audio is supported only on the Roku TVs and the Roku 4. It is downmixed into stereo for headphone, internal speaker playback, and hdmi/optical output. If you have a receiver that can decode Dolby Digital hooked up to a RokuTV, it will be transcoded into DD5.1.

On Roku set-top-boxes, Dolby Digital audio (AC3, EAC3) is supported via pass-through only. DTS is supported via pass through only on both Roku set-top-boxes and Roku TV’s. You must connect your Roku player via HDMI or S/PDIF (optical) to a TV or receiver capable of decoding Dolby Digital or DTS in order to hear videos with audio tracks in those formats.

I cannot hear the audio on a movie I am playing with the Roku Media Player channel. What should I do?

First, ensure the audio cable is connected properly between your Roku player and your TV or your receiver. Second, check to see that the volume on your TV or receiver is set to an audible level and that your receiver, if you are using one, is set to the correct input.

If you are playing audio that is Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 Surround Sound, make sure your audio subsystem or TV can decode Dolby Digital or DTS.

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