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How to watch local video files on your roku

Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded. Read more.

How to watch local video files on your roku

The Roku is a streaming box…and not much else. There’s no hard drive space onboard for your personal videos, and most models don’t even have a USB port for external drives. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play your own videos, listen to your own music, or browse your photo collection.

If you’re trying to get the most out of your Roku, you should learn your options for streaming local media. You have four main options: setting up a DLNA server, using Plex, using screen mirroring, or using a USB drive (on Rokus that support it).

Turn Your PC Into a DLNA Server: Works With All Rokus, Mostly Simple

The Roku Media Player is included with some Roku players, and is a free download for everyone else. This tool makes it possible to play local media over your network using the DLNA standard.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Don’t panic—it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Any computer can quickly be set up as a DLNA server, allowing any Roku on the same network to stream media from it. We’ve told you how to turn your computer into a DLNA Media Server using the options built into Windows, as well as using free software like PS3 Media Server for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. Just hit up that guide and, once your videos are shared, open up Roku Media Player to see all your videos, music, and photos.

How to watch local video files on your roku

You can quickly browse and play any media you’ve legally acquired over the years.

How to watch local video files on your roku

It’s not the best interface in the world, but it gets the job done easily, which is why we’re recommending it first.

Plex: Works With All Rokus, Takes Some Setup

How to watch local video files on your roku

Setting up a DLNA Server is quick, but the Roku Media Player interface leaves a lot to be desired. Happily, there’s a Plex Channel for Roku.

Set up a Plex server and you can browse your media from a beautiful interface, complete with show notes and a lot more. It’s a little more involved, but the results are totally worth it if you have a library of movies and shows you’re going to access regularly.

Mirror Your Screen: Quick, But Potentially Glitchy

Does setting up servers sound like more work than you want right now? Well you can mirror your Windows or Android device’s screen to your Roku instead. This feature is enabled by default on all recent Roku devices, but you can head to Settings > System > Screen Mirroring just to check.

How to watch local video files on your roku

With this feature enabled, you can use the Miracast service built into Android and Windows to show whatever is on your device onto your TV screen, complete with audio. It’s a quick way to watch your movie, music, or photos on your TV. The downside: it doesn’t work with Apple devices, and can be glitchy depending on your Wi-Fi setup. We wouldn’t use this to watch a full-length movie, but if you’re just trying to show off a quick clip, it’s going to be the fastest option.

Plug In a USB Drive: Dead Simple, But Only Offered By Some Devices

We come at last to the simplest option: playing media from a USB stick or external hard drive. Why leave it until last? Looking at the entire Roku lineup, you’ll notice the $100 Ultra is the only model that currently offers this, and the vast majority of Roku users opt for a cheaper model than that.

But if you are a Roku user, there’s good news: you can plug in an external drive, and this popup will appear.

How to watch local video files on your roku

This will open the Roku Media Player, from which you can browse your drive and open any video, music, or photo files you have on it.

How to watch local video files on your roku

It’s quick, and it works—even if the interface isn’t perfect. Sometimes that’s all you need.

Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded. Read more.

How to watch local video files on your roku

The Roku is a streaming box…and not much else. There’s no hard drive space onboard for your personal videos, and most models don’t even have a USB port for external drives. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play your own videos, listen to your own music, or browse your photo collection.

If you’re trying to get the most out of your Roku, you should learn your options for streaming local media. You have four main options: setting up a DLNA server, using Plex, using screen mirroring, or using a USB drive (on Rokus that support it).

Turn Your PC Into a DLNA Server: Works With All Rokus, Mostly Simple

The Roku Media Player is included with some Roku players, and is a free download for everyone else. This tool makes it possible to play local media over your network using the DLNA standard.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Don’t panic—it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Any computer can quickly be set up as a DLNA server, allowing any Roku on the same network to stream media from it. We’ve told you how to turn your computer into a DLNA Media Server using the options built into Windows, as well as using free software like PS3 Media Server for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. Just hit up that guide and, once your videos are shared, open up Roku Media Player to see all your videos, music, and photos.

How to watch local video files on your roku

You can quickly browse and play any media you’ve legally acquired over the years.

How to watch local video files on your roku

It’s not the best interface in the world, but it gets the job done easily, which is why we’re recommending it first.

Plex: Works With All Rokus, Takes Some Setup

How to watch local video files on your roku

Setting up a DLNA Server is quick, but the Roku Media Player interface leaves a lot to be desired. Happily, there’s a Plex Channel for Roku.

Set up a Plex server and you can browse your media from a beautiful interface, complete with show notes and a lot more. It’s a little more involved, but the results are totally worth it if you have a library of movies and shows you’re going to access regularly.

Mirror Your Screen: Quick, But Potentially Glitchy

Does setting up servers sound like more work than you want right now? Well you can mirror your Windows or Android device’s screen to your Roku instead. This feature is enabled by default on all recent Roku devices, but you can head to Settings > System > Screen Mirroring just to check.

How to watch local video files on your roku

With this feature enabled, you can use the Miracast service built into Android and Windows to show whatever is on your device onto your TV screen, complete with audio. It’s a quick way to watch your movie, music, or photos on your TV. The downside: it doesn’t work with Apple devices, and can be glitchy depending on your Wi-Fi setup. We wouldn’t use this to watch a full-length movie, but if you’re just trying to show off a quick clip, it’s going to be the fastest option.

Plug In a USB Drive: Dead Simple, But Only Offered By Some Devices

We come at last to the simplest option: playing media from a USB stick or external hard drive. Why leave it until last? Looking at the entire Roku lineup, you’ll notice the $100 Ultra is the only model that currently offers this, and the vast majority of Roku users opt for a cheaper model than that.

But if you are a Roku user, there’s good news: you can plug in an external drive, and this popup will appear.

How to watch local video files on your roku

This will open the Roku Media Player, from which you can browse your drive and open any video, music, or photo files you have on it.

How to watch local video files on your roku

It’s quick, and it works—even if the interface isn’t perfect. Sometimes that’s all you need.

The Roku is a versatile device that can change the way you consume your content and entertainment. One of its most useful features is its ability to share content from your PC.
This is normally a simple process and all it requires is your PC, an internet connection and your Roku streaming device. Here is how you can stream contentment directly from your PC to Roku.

How to stream video content directly from your PC to Roku
1. Install software to enable streaming to Roku
Roku does not have the capability to stream directly from your PC. To make this possible, there is video and media software you can install onto your PC. The most popular software includes: Wondershare Video Converter and Plex.

2. Launch the Streaming software
Once the streaming software has been installed onto your PC, you are ready to start streaming video content directly to your Roku. After successful installation of the software, open it and on the left hand side, you will find a list of options.

3. Your streaming software detects your Roku device
Once the streaming software is online it will detect devices nearby that it can stream content to. If there are other devices capable of being streamed to, select your Roku from the options. Your PC now knows which device to stream content to.

By Michael Gowan 18 February 2014

Your Roku 3 can play video from a hard drive or USB stick — no streaming required. It can also play music and show photos.

How to watch local video files on your roku

The Roku 3 is a mighty streaming video machine, with channels offering movies and shows from most major streaming providers, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and HBO Go. But you don’t have to rely on the Internet to play videos on your Roku 3 —you can do it from a USB drive.

The Roku 3’s USB port opens up the option of playing video files from any USB drive, whether that’s a USB stick or a full portable hard drive. Here’s how to play a video on your Roku 3 from a 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. The Roku 3 can play MKV, MP4 and MOV files.

3) Connect the USB drive to the Roku 3’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 3.

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.

You can also use the Roku Media Player channel to listen to music or view photos from a USB drive. Play an entire folder of music files by pressing Play on the remote while on a folder, or navigate to a specific track to play only that song. For photos, you can start a slideshow by pressing play while on a folder of photos.

1) Add the music files to your USB drive. Roku 3 can play AAC, MP3, WMA and FLAC. It can’t play digital rights management (DRM) protected files.

2) Open the Roku Media Player channel and select Audio.

3) If you loaded the music files onto the USB drive in folders, select a folder to see the songs.

4) Press Play on the Roku remote to begin listening.

Chromecast , Roku and Fire TV sticks are often hailed for their web streaming capabilities, letting you Netflix binge on the cheap. You can, however, easily stream local files from your computer to these HDMI-enabled dongles as well with the right apps installed—here’s how to get everything set up.

Chromecast

Your Chromecast is controlled by your phone or by the Chrome browser on a laptop, so you need an app that works with either (or both). Plex is one suitable solution ( which we’ve written about before ). Set the server software up on your main computer, then use a Chrome browser or Plex’s smartphone apps ( Android , iOS ) to beam your media files to the Chromecast.

As Chrome has both local media playback capabilities and an official Chromecast extension , you can just use Google’s own browser to beam your videos to the dongle if you don’t mind a rather bare bones (and occasionally sluggish) solution. Third-party Chrome app Videostream offers a somewhat smoother experience for browser casting if you’re on a computer.

Returning to smartphones, there are a bunch of apps that will do what Plex does. Videostream Mobile ( Android , iOS ), VLC Streamer Free ( Android , iOS ), LocalCast ( Android , iOS ), and AllCast Premium ( Android ) are currently some of the best apps that will do the job for you.

Roku Streaming Stick

Once again, Plex is an excellent choice . To get your local media up on a Roku stick, you need to install the Plex server app on your computer, build up your library, then use the Plex app for Roku devices to stream content. As long as your computer is powered on and connected to the network at the same time as the Roku, Plex’s free tools are enough to get the job done.

There are other options: Roku does in fact have a native Media Player app for local files, but you need another application to set up the media on your computer and serve it out to the rest of your home network—the likes of Twonky, Windows Media Player, Tversity and (of course) Plex are among those supported. It’s not the most straightforward solution, but it works.

Other Roku channels that can get local content up on your HDMI stick include MyMedia , PlayTo , and Emby . The process is much more straightforward on the full Roku boxes, which feature a USB port that you can plug an external hard drive straight into, but there are still plenty of options available to you if you’re using the Roku Streaming Stick.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Yes, you guessed it: Plex is available for the Amazon Fire TV Stick as well. In fact, there are a bunch of apps that are capable of picking up video (and music) files from a local network and displaying them on a big screen through Amazon’s HDMI dongle, but in terms of overall ease-of-use, simplicity, interface design, and extra features, Plex is the clear winner.

Vimu Media Player is another option, though you will have to pay for it and set up your own UPnP/DLNA server separately. VLC for Fire is also capable of picking up local files made available on a home network, and like the many other VLC applications, it offers support for all the most common file types (some users report that you need to install ES File Explorer as well, however).

There’s also the impressive Kodi media software (previously XBMC), which provides a ton of useful functionality but is tricky to configure. To start, you need to sideload the app onto your device then add your computer’s media library as a source to get all your content available on the Fire TV Stick. If you want to give it a go, full instructions are available on the Kodi wiki portal .

Roku is a widely-accepted media player, which you can use to stream videos directly on your TV with lots of channel choices. But do you know that it can also be used as a streamer to cast your local video files on mobile to HDTV that you have at home. The biggest limit, however, is that the supported format range for this feature is not wide enough. That’s why we are here to learn how to stream any video format from your mobile to Roku in the easiest way.

Tip: If you want to get more information on how to enjoy media on TV,check out this guide>>

How to watch local video files on your roku

Part 1: Roku Supported and Unsupported Video Formats

First, let’s see what video and audio formats can really be supported by Roku. Here is the short list:

  • Video format: MKV, MP4, MOV, WMV
  • Audio format: AAC, MP3, WMA, FLAC, WAV

How to watch local video files on your roku

Have found the format that you have most on your mobile? If not, find it in the much longer list of the unsupported format below:

  • Video format: 3GP, VOB, MTS, AVI, M4V, WMV, XviD, DV, MP4-XviD, DIVX, H.264, H.265 (HEVC), MP4-MC, OGV, ASF, MPEG-1 NTSC, MPEG-1 PAL, MPEG-1 SECAM, MPEG-2 NTSC, MPEG-2 PAL, MPEG-2 SECAM, DVD-Video NTSC, DVD-Video PAL, DVD-Video SECAM, FLV, F4V, SWF, 3GP, 3G2, etc.
  • Audio format: AC3, M4A, OGG, AIFF, AU, MKA, APE, M4B, M4R, etc.

Part 2: How to Stream Roku Supported Videos and Audio

If you have the video formats that Roku supports, congrats. But wait a minute, you can only cast them from phones to your TV via Roku, as long as you have an Apple device with iOS 4.3 or later, or one of the following Android phones or tablets:

  • Samsung Galaxy S III
  • Samsung Galaxy S IV
  • Samsung Galaxy S2
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  • Motorola Moto X
  • HTC One
  • Nexus 4
  • Nexus 5
  • Google Nexus 7 (2012)
  • Google Nexus 7 (2013)

Now, are you ready? Let’s see how to cast your local files on phones to TV with step-by-step guide.

Note: Though Roku doesn’t support beaming videos from your PC to TV officially, you can find other solutions instead.

Step 1: Install Roku app for iOS or Android

Get Roku app for iOS here and get Android version here.

Step 2: Connect to the same network

Get your phone or tablet connected to the same network as your Roku device, that is, the same route. Then you can open your Roku app with a list of Roku devices appearing. Choose one of the devices and get control of it with your phone or tablet. Before that, you may need to get login with your Roku account.

How to watch local video files on your roku How to watch local video files on your roku

Step 3: Play on Roku

Now go to find the Play on Roku tab on your app and then choose a video that you want to cast to your TV. After some minutes, you will be able to watch the videos on your TV’s big screen.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Part 3: How to Stream Roku Unsupported Videos and Audio

For naturally unsupported formats of Roku, you will need a third-party tool to help you out. Allcast should be one of the best choices. Here is how you can use it to stream you mobile files to TV through Roku, including video, audio and even photos. By the way, it offers 5-minute trial and you need to buy it for $4.99 to enjoy the whole time of your media.

Step 1: Install Allcast

Please get Allcast for Android here. And its official iOS version will be released in the near feature, while it has already opened its test sign-up.

Step 2: Connect to Roku

Make sure your phone and Roku are connected to the same network. Then open Allcast and it will automatically scan your available streamers like Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV or Xbox. For now, please choose the Roku streaming player.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Step 3: Stream your file to Roku

After you have chosen the device, now you will see all your files on Allcast, which has done a thorough scan of your phone. Tab a photo or video and it’s magic time. You will see the photo or video on the TV in real time.

How to watch local video files on your roku

That’s done. Very handy, isn’t it? Alternatively, you can also use a video converter to first convert your media to Roku supported formats like MKV, MP4, MOV, WMV. And then stream the files to TV with Roku. This is where Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate comes in, which is a powerful and handy tool to fulfill this work. Just try it out. And it does more than you expect like, it can stream your PC’s local files to TV as easy as Allcast in the Android platform. Can’t wait to have a try? Download it below and you should never miss it.

They’re downloading

UniConverter for Mac

Use this complete all-in-one video toolbox to convert, edit, enhance, download, burn, organize, capture, and play any videos on your Mac.

UniConverter

Much more than a converter – Convert, edit, enhance, download, burn, organize, capture, and watch in over 1000 formats.

A tiny Roku set-top simple delivers everything you could possible want to the RV: Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Pandora.

Oh, well, okay, not quite everything: it can’t stream your personal library of videos without other third-party software. But don’t worry! Here I’ll show you two ways to get the job done. One is to use Wondershare Video Converter which is simple easier to setup; another is to use the popular Plex which helps better organize your media and stream them to your big screen. You can also play iTunes videos on TV at home. To get more solution, check our complete guide on how to stream media to TV.

Method 1: Use Wondershare Video Converter

Wondershare Video Converter is not only a powerful converter, but also a video editor, downloader and DVD burner. The latest version even included a powerful plugin called Media Server, which enables you to stream your local media files from PC to Roku as long as both of them are located in the same network. Now follow the steps below to see how it works:

Step 1: Launch Media Server

After installing Wondershare Video Converter, the shortcut icons of Media Server will be appear on the desktop. Once it’s started, the Media Server will automatically detect the available streaming devices in the same network. In this case, choose Roku from the bottom of the primary window.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Step 2: Add local files to it

Choose a category from the right side of Media Server, then hit “Disk scan” to add all the media in your discs or folders to the files tray. You can also choose to click “Import” to add specific files. To directly locate your files, just navigate through the Computer option.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Step 3: Start streaming

Hovering over a clip and the “Play On TV” icon will appear. Click on it and the streaming window will pop up. When the file is successfully loaded, you can immediately enjoy it on the big screen. You can also control the playback by adjusting the volume or changing the episode.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Method 2: Use Plex

Another solution to stream video from PC to roku is to use Plex. However, it can be tricky to set up. Here let’s see how to get started:

Step 1: Set up the Plex Media Server

First you should download and install the Plex Media Server to your PC. Then double click the Plex Media Server icon in your System Tray.

After a few seconds, a new tab in your browser will pop up. Here click “+” and you’ll see five options for adding media to your library. Choose a type and click “Next”.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Then hit “Add Folder” and navigate to the folder containing the media you want to add. Click “Add Folder” again if you want to include additional folders.

How to watch local video files on your roku

When you’ve finished making your selections, click “Add Library”. It may take a minute or two for your media to appear in the browser tab.

Step 2: Add Plex channel

Then add the Plex channel to your Roku and choose this channel on your TV screen. You should see the selected media files, which you can now browse and view as you like.

Roku is an amazing service that lets you have all your streaming services and channels bundled together for your viewing pleasure. You can even project your music, photos, and videos from your PC or smartphone directly to your big-screen TV.

How to watch local video files on your roku

All you need is the right media player. There are several of them for Roku, but the obvious choice here is Roku Media Player, which is often integrated and pre-installed on various Roku streaming devices.

This article will explain how to use this media player in full detail and even suggest some good alternatives for those who aren’t quite satisfied with it.

Setting up Roku Media Player

After you register your Roku account, you need to link your devices to your Roku account. Click on “Activate a device” and then enter the link code which will be displayed to your TV. Confirm with “Agree and continue.”

Finally, you can install Roku Media Player on your other devices, such as a smartphone or personal computer. Follow this link and click on “Add channel” to install it. It is the designated media player for Roku, so you should obviously try it before any other media player.

Not only can you play and browse your local network media servers for content but also your flash drive (of course, if your Roku device features a USB port). The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) servers that work with Roku include Plex, Twonky, PlayOn, Serviio, Windows Media Player, and Ready DLNA.

For those curious, DLNA is a technology used to share content on multiple devices through a local network. You just need DLNA server software running on the device, and of course, use the same network connection on your Roku. Many routers and network-attached storage devices already have an integrated DLNA server.

How to watch local video files on your roku

What Does Roku Media Player Support?

RMP supports a lot of files and options. Let’s take a brief look at the key ones:

  1. File formats – RPM supports PNG, GIF, and JPG Images. AVC/H 264, MP4, MKV, and MOV video formats are also supported. For audio, there is WMA, AAC, FLAC, DTS, PCM, EAC3, Vorbis, and ALAC support. The player is also equipped to reproduce M3U, PLS, and M3U8 playlist files.
  2. Subtitle Support – Make sure you pack an SRT or VTT subtitle file in your video folder if you want it to be automatically integrated when you play the video. Also, the subtitle file should share the name of the video in question.
  3. Audio Support – It depends on the Roku player you have. You need to check your device specifications to find out about the audio capabilities it has. Most players will pass through Dolby Audio only (E-AC3 or AC3).

How to Play Multimedia on Roku Media Player

With all the technical stuff out of the way, here is how RMP actually works. Follow these steps to play your multimedia files on Roku Media Player:

  1. Within the Media Type selection window, choose the media type you want to play.
  2. Now select the device that contains these media files (your PC for example).
  3. Locate these files on your device. They won’t be displayed if the file format is not supported.
  4. Tap on the Play button or OK button after you select the file you want to play.
  5. Once you play it, you can pause or rewind at any time using the Forward Scan, Reverse Scan, and Pause buttons accordingly.
  6. If you want to stop playing particular content, simply tap on the Back button.

Alternatives to Roku Media Player

Not everyone is satisfied with Roku Media Player. Luckily, there are some alternative players that get the job done just as good as RPM. Here we’ll take a quick look at some of the best alternatives.

1. MyMeda by PlayOn

MyMedia is a good choice for viewing or listening to your personal content on Roku. You can watch your slideshows, listen to your favorite music, or play home videos via its smooth interface. With the premium upgrade called PlayOn Plus, you can stream just about any type of media from any website to your Roku.

2. Plex

Plex also has a free and a premium option. The Plex media server can stream all multimedia files to Roku. It allows you to sync all of your media to cloud storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) or any of your devices. Plex offers a lot of versatility with free functions.

These include sharing your content with friends, remote access, casting, and even security features. You can access your media from iPhotos, iTunes, and other sources. You can even save multimedia files from the web for later viewing.

The best feature Plex boasts is cross-platform control. It allows you to use any device to access Plex on your Roku. Visit their website to get all additional information.

3. Emby

Emby is a great choice for bundling all your media in one place. You can have all your personal multimedia files accessible via a slick UI. Emby also allows multi-device access, and you can even pause and rewind across devices.

You can download Emby for free on their website for many platforms such as Linux, Mac, and Windows.В It allows you to share content with your loved ones, it has a great community, and its developers are dedicated to improving the service based on the feedback they receive from users.

Besides Roku, it also supports Smart TVs, Windows, iOS and Android devices, Chromecast, and more.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Unlimited Multimedia Content

Roku is truly a gem of modern technology. You can access all your private photos, videos, and music on it, plus stream from all popular major media platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. The entertainment options are infinite, and they’re available across all your devices. As great as Roku is, remember to go outside once in a while and stay in touch with your family and friends. Your Roku will wait for you.

What is your favorite media player for Roku? What features does it have that other players you’ve tried don’t? Tell us more in the comments below.

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Many boxes you plug into your TV, including the Roku, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and even some smart TVs themselves offer DLNA (“Digital Living Network Alliance”) streaming support. They can stream video files and music over the network from your PC—as long as you set up a DLNA server on the PC first.

This feature is also known as Play To or UPnP AV. Using it is easier than you might think, as the server software you’ll need is built into Windows. There are also third-party DLNA servers with more features, and you can run them on any operating system. Here’s how to set up DLNA on your machine.

Option One: Enable the DLNA Media Server Built Into Windows

There are many different pieces of software that can function as DLNA servers, but you don’t need to install anything special to get started. Windows has an integrated DLNA server you can enable. To activate it, open the Control Panel and search for “media” using the search box at the top right corner of the window. Click the “Media streaming options” link under Network and Sharing Center.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Click the “Turn on media streaming” button to enable the media-streaming server.

How to watch local video files on your roku

Although this Control Panel doesn’t mention the term “DLNA” at all, the media streaming feature in Windows is a DLNA-compliant media server.

You can now customize the streaming settings. The default settings allow all devices on your local network to access the media files in your media libraries, and that’s fine if you’re on a local network with only devices you trust. You probably don’t need to adjust these.

How to watch local video files on your roku

This window doesn’t actually tell you how to add video, music, and picture files that can be streamed over the network. However, the media streaming feature depends on your Windows libraries.

If you want to stream video, music, or picture files, add them to the Videos, Music, or Pictures libraries. You don’t have to move the files to the current library folders—you can add new folders to the libraries. On Windows 8.1 or 10, you’ll need to unhide the libraries to access them.

Once you have, either copy the media files you want to stream to your libraries or add folders containing media files to your libraries.

For example, if you have a bunch of videos at D:\TV Shows\, you could right-click the Videos library, select “Properties”, click “Add”, and add the D:\TV Shows\ folder to your Videos library. The files would still be stored at D:\TV Shows\, but they’d be visible in your Videos library and available for streaming from other devices.

How to watch local video files on your roku

You can now access the DLNA media player on your other device—for example, the Roku Media Player, PS4 Media Player, or Xbox One Media Player apps all include this feature

For example, on a Roku, you must first install the Roku Media Player channel and open it. DLNA servers on your local network will appear in the list, so you can select your computer and stream media files from it.

In addition to browsing your shared media library from the device, you can use the Play To feature to find media on your computer and start playing it directly on the networked device. Or use the DLNA media-streaming features to share media between your PCs.

Option Two: Install Plex or Universal Media Server

The Windows DLNA server is the easiest and fastest one to set up, but it’s not necessarily the best option. Due to the way DLNA works, you can only stream certain types of media codecs, for example. If you have other types of media, it just won’t work.

Other DLNA servers improve this by offering real-time transcoding. If you try to play an unsupported file, they’ll transcode it on-the-fly, streaming the video in a supported format to your DLNA device.

Many different media servers support DLNA, including the immensely popular Plex media server—so you can set up the Plex media server on your computer and use DLNA on another device to access your media, if you want. Plex’s own media player offers more features, but your Plex library can also be accessed from any media player that supports DLNA. This allows you to access your Plex library on devices that don’t have a Plex client or web browser, but do offer DLNA support.

You might also be interested in the completely free Universal Media Server, which is based on the now-discontinued PS3 Media Server. It boasts a large number of features, and you can install and configure it on Windows as well as macOS and Linux. Macs and Linux PCs don’t have this feature built-in, so third-party media programs like these are the only option.

How to watch local video files on your roku

DLNA seems to be on its way out, which is one reason why it’s so hidden on Windows 10. DLNA is fundamentally focused on playing back media files you have downloaded on your PC (video files, music files, and image files) on other devices. Modern solutions are usually focused on streaming media from the cloud. And, even if you want to manage your own local media library, a solution like Plex is more full-featured and better.

This standard’s strength is still its wide ecosystem of supported devices. Even though it’s not an ideal solution, it provides the glue to link a wide variety of devices together without any third-party apps. Devices that don’t have web browsers or apps you can use to access Plex may support DLNA.