If we talk about Roku, it is much more capable of just streaming content from the web. You may use it to watch video files that you have downloaded or torn, or even can play your personal music collection. You can do this using a USB drive or over a local network.
Of course, you can just plug a computer into the TV and play the movie, VLC or similar media player, but apart from that, Roku provides you with a convenient remote and interface design for the best touch control. Given below are the various methods for transfer videos to Roku and/or from your computer to the TV and vice versa.
Use a USB drive with Roku Media Player
Roku provides built-in USB port in some of its models. Roku 3 always provides this feature, and the newer Roku 2 (although not the old Roku 2) includes a USB port. This is an easy way to transfer videos, music, and pictures from your computer to your TV.
Place the media file on the USB drive on your computer, plug it into the USB port on the Roku, and launch the Roku Media Player channel. You can find your Roku at the store this channel, or add it from a web browser using www.roku.com/link. Select the connected USB device, select the media file, and play.
Ensure that media files must be in a supported format or they will not play on Roku. Consult the official list of supported formats to ensure media files supported by the channel using Roku TV Support. If you have an unsupported file type, you can always transpose it like a handbrake utility before putting it on a USB drive.
Use Plex Media Server and Roku Channel
You will find various channels (which are basically just “apps” for your Roku) to access your own personal media files on the Roku channel store. One of them is the popular Plex media server channel. By installing Plex on your computer, you can use that computer as a media server for all devices, and it’s easy to stream content to your Roku on the web. Plex can also be streamed to smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices using Roku Link Code.
Plex is a very mature media library solution that can even automatically convert media files to the Roku supported formats, ensuring they will play your Roku even if they are not supported in the format.
Check out the full list of apps at any time to access your own personal media files at Roku’s channel store. If you are looking for something completely free, there are other options.
Access files over the network using Roku Media Player
The Roku Media Player channel can also connect to DLNA servers on the local network and wirelessly transfer video and music from them. If you use windows, you can use the Streaming Options control panel to configure Windows to act as a DLNA server. But for this, you have to make sure that your Roku Setup is properly done. Then you should be able to browse shared media files on Roku and play them over the network – as long as your computer stays on.
Assuming Roku and your computer are on the same local network when you open the Roku Media Player channel, you will see the DLNA server appear next to the USB device.
On Roku from your smartphone
The Roku app for smartphones such as iPhone’s and Android phones offers the “Play on Roku” feature.
Using this feature, gives you leverage of streaming video and music files over the network that are stored on your phone. Your Roku will stream files from your phone to your TV.
To use this feature, install the Roku app on your phone and launch it. It will automatically find Roku on your Wi-Fi network. Select the “Play” feature and start playing content on Roku. Keep in mind that these files must be available on your phone.
So, is this the best way? OK, if you just want to get a file in your Roku a little fuss, good, old-fashioned USB driver method works just fine. You don’t have to worry about the network problems that interfere with your playback. Moreover, you can chat with Roku Support for dealing with any inconvenience.
If you plan to do this continuously, you may want to consider setting up a plex on your computer and connecting to your Roku. This is a slicker experience than using a DLNA or Roku smartphone app, it doesn’t require a USB drive to shop back and forth between your computer and Roku for media files as per the guidance of support.roku.