Roku provides the simplest way to stream your favorite TV shows and movies instantly on your Roku to your TV. With the Roku Media Player channel, you will get the opportunity to watch your personal video files right on your TV via Plex Media Server or Roku's USB port. Sometimes, you may happen to own some old TV episodes in MP4 file format and have no idea how to play MP4 files on Roku via USB drive or Plex Media Server as below:
"I have a several old TV episodes in MP4 which are not available on Netflix. Can the Roku (or any other box for that matter) allow me to transfer these videos to a USB and plug the USB drive into the unit and access some sort of play menu? I see some discussion of PLEX. Does this allow me to "stream" from my PC to the ROKU to eliminate the need to transfer the video with a USB drive? Thanks!"
Whether you plan to play video on Roku with USB drive or stream video to Roku via Plex Media Server, always make sure that the video are included in Roku media player channel suppored file formats since Only supported file types are shown in the Roku Media Player channel. The channel hides unsupported file types.
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)
From above lists, we can see that only MP4 file encoded with H.264/AVC are supported by Roku 3 or its precious model, as for Roku 4, the MP4 video must be encoded with H.265/HEVC. Therefore, if the MP4 file contains other incompatible codec such as MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (A)SP, VC-1/WMV, Real Video, Theora, Microsoft MPEG4 V2, VP8, etc. Roku Media player channel will fail to open it.
Fortunately, you can easily fix this format incompatible issue with some powerful video conversion tool. There's a simple and workable solution in hand called Pavtube Video Converter for Windows/Mac (best Video Converter for Mac Review), with enhanced media compatibility, you can use this program to convert various different codec encoded MP4 files to Roku 3/2 compatible H.264 MP4 formats and Roku 4 supported H.265 MP4 formats.
How to Convert Unsupported MP4 Video to Roku Playing via USB or Plex Media Server?
Step 1: Load MP4 video into the program.
Step 2: Choose Roku supported file format. For Roku 3/2, H.264 MP4 is favorable, for Roku 4, H.265 MP4 is preferred.
Best format for Roku 3/2
Best format for Roku 4
Step 3: Start MP4 video to Roku media player channel supported format conversion process.
When the conversion is completed, you can stream video to Roku via either USB drive or Plex Media Server.
Play MP4 video on Roku via USB drive
1. Install the Roku Media Player channel, either through the Channel Store on your Roku or via Roku's website.
2. Add the video file to your external USB drive from your computer.
3. Connect the USB drive to the Roku's USB port, located on the right side of the box.
4. Launch the Roku Media Player channel and select Videos.
5. Choose the drive that's attached to the Roku.
6. Navigate to the folder that has the video file you want to watch. Click OK to open the folder.
7. Select the video to watch and click Play on the remote.
Stream MP4 video to Roku via Plex Media Server
1. Download and installPlex Media Server. After installation, create a Plex log in ID.
2. Add media content on to Plex library according to the type of your content (i.e. Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos, or Home Videos).
3. Plex channel for Roku is now available and you can buy it from Roku store. After making the Plex channel run on your Roku media player, you can watch the compatible mp4 video you have added to Plex server with Roku player on TV.