Roku Media Player Basics – USB Video, Music And Photos

If you have a Roku player with USB port, you can watch videos or personal movies on the TV using the Roku Media Player channel.

NOTE: The USB port is only available on the Roku 2 (model 4210).

To watch a video or a movie:

From the Roku home screen, select the Roku Media Player channel. (The channel must be installed first from Roku’s Channel Store. If you have a Roku TV, the Roku Media Player comes preinstalled).

Select the media type (video, music or photo) in the Roku Media Player channel.

Choose the available font that has the content you want to see. USB is only available if your Roku player has a USB port and a compatible USB storage device connected to it.

Use the arrow keys to navigate your folder directory and find the video or movie you want to watch. If the desired file is not supported, it can not be displayed.

Navigate to the content you want to play and press OK

While playing a video or movie, you can pause, skip forward and backward using the PLAY / PAUSE, ADVANCE and BACK buttons on your Roku remote control.NOTE: Not all files can be skipped and skipped back.

To stop video playback, press UP or BACK.

Professional Tip: To display the cover art of a video or movie, save a JPG file with the cap with the same name as the video or movie and place both files in the same folder.

Dolby Digital movies on MKV, MP4 and MOV are only supported through a transfer port. DTS movies in MKV are supported only through a transfer port. You must connect your Roku player via HDMI or S / PDIF (optical) to a TV or receiver capable of decoding Dolby Digital or DTS files so that you can listen to the videos with soundtracks in those formats.

NOTE: On Roku TVs, Dolby is supported natively, not through a transfer port.

Click on one of the following questions to get answers to the most common questions about the Roku Media Player channel: 

What Types Of Media Files Does The Roku Media Player Support?

Supports the following media file formats:

Video – MKV (H.264), MP4 (H.264), MOV (H.264), WMV (3.1 firmware only, VC-1)

Music – AAC, MP3, WMA, FLAC (firmware 5.3 and later), WAV (firmware 5.3 and later)

Photos – JPG, PNG, GIF (not animated)

Only supported file types are displayed on the Roku Media Player channel. The channel hides unsupported file types. Dolby Digital audio in MKV and MP4 movies are only supported through a transfer port.

DTS movies in MKV are also supported only through a transfer port. You must connect your Roku player via HDMI to a TV or receiver capable of decoding Dolby Digital or DTS files so that you can listen to the videos with soundtracks in those formats.

Some media server software can convert files into Roku-compatible formats.

Content with DRM protection is not supported.

What USB HDD Formats Does The Roku Media Player Support?

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

USB flash drives and externally powered USB hard drives work better with the Roku player. Some USB-powered hard drives will not be able to get enough power from the Roku player to work properly, especially if used with another drive in a USB hub.

The Roku Media Player also allows you to access different partitions of a USB drive.

Roku Media Player With Windows Media Player Instructions

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

Here you can find general instructions and information on how to start playing media in Windows. It will give you information on how to set up Windows Media Player for the playback service.

If you have not already done so, install the Roku Media Player from the Streaming Channels Store (in the Best Free Channels category). Once the PC is set up, you should be able to find it immediately when you enter the Roku Media Player.

Can I Connect Multiple Hard Drives To The Roku Player To Use The Roku Media Player Channel?

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

USB flash drives and externally powered USB hard drives work better with the Roku player. Some USB-powered hard drives will not be able to get enough power from the Roku player to work properly, especially if used with another drive in a USB hub.

How Can I Convert My Videos To Play Them With The Roku Channel?

There are a number of tools capable of converting videos to a reproducible format with the Roku player. One of the most commonly used tools is called  Handbrake .We have found that Handbrake’s preconfigured function, “Normal – High Profile”, produces files that play well on Roku. If you would like more information on how to create or convert files that work well on the Roku player, visit the   Roku Forums .

Does The Roku Media Player Channel Support Music Playlists?

The Roku Media Player channel only supports music playlists in .m3u and .m3u8 formats at this time. For other types of music files, you can play all the songs in a folder by pressing the PLAY button on the Roku remote control while the icon representing that folder is highlighted.

Does The Roku Media Player Channel Support Movie Subtitles?

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

Roku Media Player will automatically display the first available subtitle track you find in a .SRT file. The subtitle file must be saved in the same folder and its name must match the file name of the associated movie.

There are no controls in the application to enable / disable subtitles or select subtitles in other languages. You must remove the .SRT file from the folder in which the movie file is saved to turn off subtitles.

Can I Use The Roku Media Player Channel While The Roku Player Is Not Connected To My Home Network And The Internet?

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

I Can Not Hear The Audio Of A Movie I’m Playing With The Roku Media Player Channel. What Should I Do?

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

If you are playing audio in Dolby Digital or with DTS 5.1 surround sound, make sure the Roku audio mode is set to “5.1 surround sound”. From the Roku Home screen, go to Settings> Audio Mode. If you still do not hear the audio, the TV or receiver may not support Dolby Digital or DTS sound.

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 the resolution or frame rate of video files that are played locally from a connected USB media or from a DLNA server. This information is handled through the firmware.

To optimize the quality of the video playback image:

Set the display type to the resolution suitable for the TV (ie 720p HDTV or 1080p HDTV)

Make sure the video file has a compatible extension

In addition, the RMP channel will only display the video information in the user interface for the video files through DLNA servers. Video information for local files will not be displayed.