Roku is a streaming box with nothing else. Your personal video doesn’t have hard drive space, and most Roku models don’t even have a USB port for an external hard drive. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play your own videos, listen to your own music, transfer Videos to Roku, or browse through your photo collection.
If you want to make the most of your Roku, you should learn about the choice of streaming local media. You have four main options: setting up a DLNA server, using a plex, using a screen image, or using a USB drive (on Rokus that supports it).
Let us guide you with each of these in detail. But prior to that, make sure that you have successfully set up Roku Player. Further, proceed with the steps given below:
Turn your computer into a DLNA server: for all Roku models, very simple
The Roku Media Player is included in some Roku players and is available for free download by others (as per support.roku). This tool can play local media on your network using the DLNA standard.
Don’t worry it just sounds complicated but it’s actually not. Any computer can be quickly set up as a DLNA server, allowing any Roku on the same network to stream from it. We’ve already told you how to turn your computer into a DLNA media server using Windows built-in options, as well as free software such as PS3 media servers for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Just click on the guide and once your video is shared, open the Roku Media Player to view all the videos, music and photos. You can quickly browse and play any media that you have legally acquired over the years.
This is not the best interface in the world, but it can be done easily, which is why we recommend it first.
Plex: works with all Rokus and requires some settings
Setting up the DLNA server is fast, but the Roku media player interface leaves a lot of unsatisfactory places. The good news is that Roku has a Plex channel.
Build a Plex server where you can browse your media, complete show notes and more from a beautiful interface, however, you may require to do the Roku PIN Reset. This is a lot more involved, but the results are totally worth it if you have a movie library and show you regular visits.
Mirror your screen: fast, but potential problems
Does setting up the server sound like I want more work than I do now? Then you can mirror the screen of your Windows or Android device to your Roku. This feature is enabled by default on all recent Roku devices, but you can check it by going to Settings > System > Screen Mirror.
With this feature enabled, you can use the Miracast service built into Android and Windows to display anything displayed on your device on your TV screen with audio. This is a quick way to watch movies, music or photos on TV. The downside is that it doesn’t work on Apple devices and may be problematic due to Wi-Fi settings. But, need not to worry, as Roku TV Support is available for you 24*7. We won’t use this to watch a complete movie, but if you just want to show off a quick clip, this will be the fastest option.
Plug in a USB drive: simple, but only available on some devices
We finally came to the easiest option: play media from a USB stick or an external hard drive. Why should I leave it to the end? Looking at the entire Roku lineup, you’ll notice that the $100 Ultra is the only model that offers this feature, and most Roku users choose a cheaper model.
But if you are a Roku user, there is good news: you can insert an external drive and this popup will appear. This will open the Roku Media Player, where you can browse your drive and open any video, music or photo files you have.
It works very quickly and works – even if the interface is not perfect. Sometimes this is what you need.