Plex on the Roku - Plex Blog

Plex on the Roku

, | 03 May 2011 | by 102 Comments

As many of you know, we’re rather fanatical about making Plex as widely available as possible. At the center of the picture, all your media is happily served up by the Plex Media Server, running today on OS X and Windows, and in the future on various flavors of Linux. We are working hard to continuously improve the heart of the Plex experience, and listening to our users every step of the way (P.S. we love you all!).

Bonjour Browser 1

On the other end, a wide variety of clients are available to consume content from the Plex Media Server. Our philosophy is not a “one size fits all” ~ the interfaces are tailored to each specific client, and there are a range of options, depending on your particular needs and budget. If you purchase a 2011 LG Smart TV, a Plex client is built in at no additional cost. On the other end of the spectrum, you can run our flagship client on a Mac Mini connected to your TV. Indeed, many of you run multiple Plex clients in your home and take advantage of the centralized management features to seamlessly switch between them.

Today, we’re proud to announce the addition of a new line of Plex clients: The Roku Streaming Players. These are awesome little devices, starting at just $59 for a 720p version, and $79 for a 1080p version. That’s less than the cost of a few beers over a weekend, or maybe even a single night, assuming you like waking up with tattoos and tigers. I personally have one in our guest bedroom, to rave reviews.


The Roku client, written by the talented and charming Jonny Wray (twitter: jonny_wray)  is available right now, for those of you who already have Roku players. Simply log into your Roku account, select Add a Private Channel, and enter “plex” for the channel name.

Roku | Add Channel

The Roku client is considered beta, and supports only video content at the moment, although photo and music support will be added in the future (what can we say, we were super excited to share it with you!).  The devices have great video playback capability, and they support Direct Streaming, which means high quality video without transcoding in many cases.

Give the new client a try, and let us know what you think in the new Roku forum!

IMG 0015

IMG 0018
IMG 0019

IMG 0020

IMG 0024

Share this

102 Comments so far

  1. Blogem May 3rd, 2011 9:40 am

    Very awesome! I loved Plex to bits, but had to go back to XBMC since you need one of the latest Mac Mini’s for 1080p. Those cost a bit to much for just a mediacenter.

    But nothing can beat 80 bucks. When Plex Server arrives for Linux, I’ll definitely consider moving back to Plex.

  2. Steeebro May 3rd, 2011 10:07 am

    Looks really NICE.
    More users mean more input and more updates.
    And unfortunately more work for you;)
    Hope you still have the time for a few beers…

  3. Scoobydoofus May 3rd, 2011 10:29 am

    I was all excited about this because my bedroom telly isn’t HD, so I can’t use an Apple TV up there. Also, cheapness! Then I found out Roku don’t ship internationally.

    It seems is my best bet, but they charge more for the device itself, and then whack on €25 for delivery. Not such a great deal.

    Still, it’s great that Plex is available on more devices, well done guys.

  4. Lundmark May 3rd, 2011 10:41 am

    Will they support switching between Hz? I use the Mac mini now but 24p content suffers from judder and there’s no solution for it. Compared to the PlayStation3, which can change the display output itself, will the Roku be able to do the same thing? Laggy 24p playback is my major gripe with Plex as of today.

  5. RockStar May 3rd, 2011 10:41 am

    very nice! 79 bucks and no jailbreak mumbo jumbo I gather? Great work!

  6. xain09 May 3rd, 2011 11:01 am


  7. Sascha May 3rd, 2011 11:01 am


  8. rantom May 3rd, 2011 11:03 am

    Wow, great news! I’m just skeptic whether the 10/100T-Ethernet is enough for streaming my content to it.

  9. Marco™ May 3rd, 2011 11:11 am

    Great news… if you live in the US! Roku is ONLY available for NTSC systems.

  10. Pascal May 3rd, 2011 11:12 am

    This sure looks like great news for owners of another bunch of devices!

    I was wondering though, what about support for DLNA? Every TV/Bluray-Player with Wifi/ethernet seems to support it. I know it’s something that would live next to the Plex Media Server Protocol, but it sure would make Plex even more useful for those who already own some devices. And I know, you Plex people are rather fanatical about making Plex as widely available as possible!

  11. Norma May 3rd, 2011 11:16 am

    Also looks much better than the average plex skin :)

  12. Charles F May 3rd, 2011 11:23 am

    Woe guys. Amazing. Just posted my notes from installing this morning on an HD and an XD/S. You guys just made Roku an extremely compelling device.

  13. puithove May 3rd, 2011 11:37 am

    Super cool and very intriguing since the Roku has been around and been very well reviewed for quite a while. It’s been a tempting device before but with Plex it sounds super tasty. This could be an excellent client device. I’m waiting to hear some more real-world experiences from Plex on Roku in the forums.

  14. 5stringdeath May 3rd, 2011 11:55 am

    OMG I love you guys. Bought a cheap SD roku awhile back for Netflix on an old tube TV we still have .. never dreamed Plex would ever appear!

    Roku’s and ATV2′s are certainly affordable clients for everyone. Great news and great job!

  15. Bramus! May 3rd, 2011 12:02 pm

    And yet once again the power of the separation of the Plex Media Server from Plex (the “suite”) has become more clear than ever. Great work!

  16. 41john May 3rd, 2011 12:11 pm

    Legendary and may solve the dilemma of what to put in the bedroom as a plex client.

  17. Nick May 3rd, 2011 12:22 pm

    This. Is. Amazing.

    Almost regretting my $800 mac mini purchase!

  18. Merrin May 3rd, 2011 12:37 pm

    I love this UI.

  19. Lanstroem May 3rd, 2011 12:51 pm

    PMS officially coming to Linux?!

    Sweet! =)

  20. Steve May 3rd, 2011 12:51 pm

    Will the app allow the Roku to play more file types other than what it currently allows? The Roku is limited in the file types it supports from external hard drives but if this app allows all of the normal Plex supported video file types to be played then I will be a 100% sold on it. Thanks.

  21. Raygan Kelly May 3rd, 2011 1:15 pm


  22. marklight May 3rd, 2011 1:32 pm

    wow! this is great news. great work everyone involved!

  23. Mike May 3rd, 2011 1:42 pm

    Awesome news! What formats are supported by the Plex Channel? I still have a lot of videos in Video_TS structure. Are these supposrted in the Roku Channel or is the file support similar to the Android/iOS app?

  24. Daniel May 3rd, 2011 2:11 pm

    This is great! Sounds like a good alternative to running a long hdmi cable from my office to the living room :)

  25. Anville May 3rd, 2011 2:24 pm

    Wait, you have a tiger in your guest bedroom??

  26. Gary May 3rd, 2011 2:34 pm

    Am I reading this correctly? Does the Roku work just like having a full client on a mac would with no loss in playback?

  27. aristidesfl May 3rd, 2011 2:55 pm

    I would love to be able to run a version of PLEX in those old 30$ used xbox’s I have laying around..

  28. Julian Rodriguez May 3rd, 2011 3:11 pm

    Are there any plans for a Windows PMS client?

  29. enghamar May 3rd, 2011 4:03 pm

    Awww! I just received my ATV2!
    This looks like a much better fit!

  30. GBDESAI May 3rd, 2011 4:05 pm

    Dang I gave away my Roku box a little while back… Now I gotta buy a new one! Damn you Plex (meant in the nicest way possible :)). You guys are really raising the bar again and again, it’s getting hard to keep up!

  31. Jonny Wray May 3rd, 2011 5:06 pm

    Not enough space here but if you have specific questions about the capabilities please post a forum question. There’s already some good info there in a couple of posts.

  32. Boron78 May 3rd, 2011 8:55 pm

    This is just awesome! Only Thing missing now is a Windows Phone 7 client…

  33. brent112 May 3rd, 2011 10:15 pm

    Great News. I just purchased a Roku XDS to try it out.

  34. Leonardo Costa May 3rd, 2011 11:04 pm

    Amazing! Thats on thing I would love to see on the WDTV line! The “WDTV Live” is an amazing media player, probably even better than the ROKU. I have one and I use it on my TV to access my media throught network share. It plays everything, but it doesnt have the PLEX interface…
    Of course I have a MacMini running the Plex Server on the other room.
    So having PLEX CLIENT built in the WDTV would be perfect!

  35. john May 3rd, 2011 11:11 pm

    anyone else not seeing it available in channel store?

  36. Leonardo Costa May 3rd, 2011 11:13 pm

    Can you imagine how perfect would it be if the PLEX SERVER could be built into the SYNOLOGY NAS ?
    We could get rid of MacMini, and use LG TVs or ROKU players only! It would be definatly one less computer turned on. And plex clients always having access to the server!

  37. Anna May 3rd, 2011 11:16 pm

    You guys keep raising the bar….nice work!

  38. Jonny Wray May 3rd, 2011 11:22 pm

    john, not sure which channel store you are referring to but you can get it by using the Roku private channel code ‘plex’ via the interface on the Roku web site.

  39. Euchre May 4th, 2011 6:56 am

    The empire grows…

    One media solution to rule them all.


    (But no Barkley?)

  40. Brian May 4th, 2011 7:30 am

    Any thought on ever doing a Plex Media Server for a freeNAS (BSD) release?

  41. Ben May 4th, 2011 2:10 pm


    Pleaaase contact the french ISP team to implement this feature in their set top box.

    their last set top box is one of the best in the world !!!
    They provide a deelopment framework for their box (gameloft has developed many games on this platform).

    You can target a major market in France : succès garanti !

  42. Water May 4th, 2011 5:50 pm

    Nice I will try it

  43. Open Mind May 4th, 2011 7:10 pm

    Great job guys. How did you know May 3rd was my birthday? I can wait to see Plex on the Roku mature and become very succesfull. I’ll probably buy a couple of Roku boxes just because I love the concept. Also can’t wait for the next Plex update with new library sharing options. Then in the future, the kids can have their own Roku box and only see the libraries I allow them to see.

  44. Curtis May 4th, 2011 7:47 pm

    Is there some list I can get on to be notified when the Windows server software will be recognized by the Roku app?

  45. CBeloch May 4th, 2011 7:53 pm

    And next: Boxee Box App please!
    a) Boxee Box Content recognition is really bad (it sucks)
    b) Still access to my content with iOS / Android Devices and macs in the household

  46. Roku Lover May 5th, 2011 2:50 pm

    This is the greatest news ever… the one puzzle piece Roku has been missing this whole time is ability to play local media. I installed Plex yesterday, and will test out the Roku app tonight. Very cool!!!!!!!!!

  47. Jonny Wray May 5th, 2011 10:01 pm

    Curtis: I’ll post a message in the Roku forum and tweet about it also.

  48. Paul May 9th, 2011 4:04 am

    The screenshot of what I presume is Bonjour Browser showing ‘Virtual Linux’ implies a Linux PMS is in development. Interesting.

    Personally, I’d second the call for a FreeBSD PMS.

  49. fama May 12th, 2011 11:42 am


    With this update, unfortunately, the subtitle display is always disabled and i have to enable it in every movie/tvshow play. Also, it’s not picking by default the subtitle file with the matching name as the movie/tvshow.

    any clue ?

  50. fama May 12th, 2011 11:43 am

    Sorry, I mean verions

  51. rob May 15th, 2011 7:09 pm

    the skin loooooks awesome pls build it for the normal mac version

  52. Praveen Prakash May 16th, 2011 9:08 pm


    I just did add the private channel ‘Plex’ in my Roku and I can see my local content, add/update/restart plugins from Roku but none of my plugins are displayed or I can watch content from Plex video plugins. I bought Roku just to be able to view my Plex video plugin content on my HD TV.

    So wondering does Plex plugins accessible from Roku?

    If yes, could you please share any pointers/directions to solve the issue that I’m facing?


  53. Paul May 20th, 2011 2:22 am

    Haha, I was right about the upcoming Linux version :-)

  54. Bruno (TaRuGo) May 27th, 2011 3:39 pm

    I Think PLEX is THE BEST! But, the only thing that i miss.. is something more Boxee Social Hub, with Facebook integration, like post the epsodes that i already watch and etc. Show the videos my fellas was shared and etc!


    Will be the champiom!

  55. Jens May 31st, 2011 9:54 am

    Will there be support for the music players too?
    I like the idea to have one of those in my kitchen :)

  56. Brandon June 22nd, 2011 7:39 pm

    Does this allow the Roku to play .avi files off of a plugged in USB or External Hard Drive? I see another person asked this question, and don’t see it’s been answered.

    If this is so, you’ve just convinced me to purchase the Roku. I honestly hope so!

  57. James June 30th, 2011 3:07 am

    Has anyone had success running Plex with Wine on a Linux system?

  58. elan June 30th, 2011 3:13 am

    @James: Why not just use the Linux release?

  59. Jackpile July 18th, 2011 9:21 pm

    This sounds great, but what is the current status/version? Have photos/music been added?

    I’d like to stream media from my ReadyNAS NV+ device but I’m worried that it needs to run a Plex Media Server to server up content to this client. Or can this client be configured to take various network folder locations to serve? It doesn’t look like ReadyNAS has a Plex for this device yet, though appears a version is available for Intel versions of ReadyNAS. :-(

  60. Dan July 21st, 2011 2:27 am

    So, I read this but then also read there is a new line of Rokus as of yesterday. I assume Plex will work on them? I have the server running on my NAS and love it. Can’t wait to get a Roku now :)

  61. Joe July 26th, 2011 10:47 am

    Roku aren’t selling these outside the USA :-( Is there any chance of getting support for AirPlay streaming to 2nd. generation Apple TVs in the next Mac client update, so it wouldn’t be necessary to jailbreak them? Can the code available here be adapted and integrated into Plex?:

  62. cue July 27th, 2011 12:47 pm is not shipping roku players internationally either. Just tried.

    “Roku 2 XD Streaming PlayerVideo Device – Black cannot be shipped to the selected address.” does not have it.

  63. ell September 24th, 2011 10:09 pm




  64. scorpio September 29th, 2011 5:04 pm

    It does not play AVI file format. All my media shows up under the PLEX channel on Roku but does not Play these avi’s.

    PlayOn on the other hand plays all media types.

  65. JohSm November 2nd, 2011 8:10 am

    Hi, i got like 3 ROKU XD Players and do need an additional function : Loop / Repeat option of a Video playbacks that i can use it for continuous playback! Or some kind of picture playback modes to have a continously playback mode… Is it possible to stream or multicast one video to many Roku XD players and have it running in some kind of endless mode to display same video/pictures on many media players at the same time? /Johan

  66. Scott C November 25th, 2011 8:32 pm

    Thank you so much for the Roku plex.Me and my wife bought 2 roku hd 720p and we love them we watch Netflix and Hulu and now plex omg all the movies we have are now on demand with my boxes no more switching movies out of the dvd player.Thank you i feel like my own cable company now we dropped cable period.

  67. Nick November 27th, 2011 10:37 am

    Any idea when music will be supported?

  68. Ken November 28th, 2011 12:43 pm

    First, let me say the client/server Plex setup is FANTASTIC!

    However, I’m seeing that my movies are being duplicated as selectable offerings in the Roku media client as I use it. I only have 4 movies on the server and the first time I show the Plex client I see the 4 movies (all good!). However, as I switched between categories (e.g. genres, latest, all, etc), those same 4 movies now doubled (two of each), tripled, etc. Any ideas? Is it querying the server as I move around and appending the same movie titles to list each time?

    I have developer mode enabled on the Roku. I’ll connect via telnet and see if anything useful comes up.


    Plex client running on the Roku HD. The client was installed directly from Eclipse using a build from the latest github download (last updated Nov 1). The Plex media server (version is running on my iMac (2.7GHz i5, 16GB RAM).

  69. Ken November 28th, 2011 1:00 pm

    Update and correction:
    I’ve installed the client directly from Roku using the private channel “PLEX” and am seeing the same behavior.

    Correction: The client doubles the movie offerings (not triple!) after I selected the “unwatched” category. When I went back to the “All movies” category, it still showed the 8 movies. The correct number of movies should’ve been four.

  70. Eric S. November 29th, 2011 1:52 pm

    avi files worked for me right away. plex rocks!

  71. DF December 11th, 2011 3:42 pm

    No luck for me… Roku 2100x. Pled works on my iPhone, iPad, kindle fire. Can’t see my server in preferences on the roku. Disappointing.

  72. John December 14th, 2011 6:11 am

    Plex just saved me… I snagged a handful of Roku boxes off of woot the other week (they had the XD boxes for $49) and I wanted them to extend my streaming functionality that I get on my xbox/ps3 to other tvs without spending $$$ for those devices.

    Gabby didn’t work for crap.
    Roksbox didn’t work.

    Plex – installed like a dream, scanned my NETWORK shared drive and built an index…

    Added the private channel…

    And BOOM! Streaming to three additional rooms in my house!!!

    Thank YOU!

  73. Craig December 15th, 2011 3:52 am

    I just ran across Plex today and installed Plex media server on my HP EX495 WHS as a service. Then installed the Roku channel on my original Roku box that is now 2 years old. All works perfectly. I have a Linksys MCE that I have been using to stream ripped DVDs from WHS, but it is old, slow and requires constant attention (something is always going wrong). Plex worked like a charm on with of my AVI files. (Unlike the MCE, it won’t stream WMV movies purchased from Amazon, but for me that is the exception and not the rule anyway. I do prefer digital purchases, but the battles with drm to watch a movie on the device you want to use is endless and exhausting. Easier to buy the DVD and convert to AVI.) The graphical interface isn’t as eye-catching as the MCE media browser plug-in, but I’ll take the standard Roku media layout over fighting MCE problems any day. This is an awesome addition to Roku, one that has been sorely missing.

  74. Aviad December 16th, 2011 6:50 am

    Is it possible to browse Plex Media Center through Roku 2 HD ?

  75. Todd December 30th, 2011 9:26 pm

    Craig, I’d love to know how you installed PMS as a service. In the Plex forums, there is a thread where people have been trying to do this for months, and the devs say it’s not currently possible. Because of that, I am returning the Roku.

  76. Raja December 31st, 2011 8:29 am

    Great medial player for people who wants to stream video files from their personal computer.

    The only issue is that plex services are taking 70% of my CPU resources. I have windows 7 professional, Core i5 3.0 quad core processor with 12 GB RAM. Computer with lower resources may encounter resources related issues.

  77. Roku February 10th, 2012 7:49 am

    Thank you very much for this information! You made it very easy… But this is an older post… Are we any closer to streaming music?

  78. bruce February 11th, 2012 10:05 pm

    I’m trying to stream from a windows 7 pc too my roku LT. I can’t seem to get PMS to show up in the Plex channel. What am I doing wrong?

  79. bruce February 11th, 2012 10:26 pm

    Ok nevermind. McAfee was blocking me. Got it working now. This is seriously one of the coolest things I’ve seen! Will definitely be making a donation to the devs of this software! Thanks!

  80. Roku 2 February 25th, 2012 3:54 pm

    My PS3 started blocking my local streaming media. Does anybody know how to get around the Cinavia DRM protection???

  81. Kevin L March 20th, 2012 4:46 pm

    I installed PMS on Mac Mini, but the Roku Chanel is stuck on the Plex preferences. I don’t think it can find the server, which is running on my Mac. I have entered IP, Port, tried to auto discover… Nothing. Can’t leave preferences screen on Roku. Any advice?

  82. Lance March 22nd, 2012 9:16 am

    Awesome !! Almost bought the apple tv version 2 and jailbreak to use Plex in my kids rooms. Instead, I heard of Roku. Went and Bought a Roku HD. Easy instructions to setup and now, they r able to see all the movies with plex. The best thing is that Roku box is so tiny, it’s like nothing is there.

  83. Birdman March 24th, 2012 9:07 pm

    I’m unable to get this channel from Roku (2-25-12)?
    I am new to Roku so likely I’m user malfunctioning, but I log into my Roku account. (Set my Roku up & have been using it for a few weeks).
    Under MY ACCOUNT, I select Add a Private Channel.
    Then I get the page that says: “Add Channel
    As an alternative way to add a public channel to your Roku player, or to add a private or beta channel not listed in the Roku Channel Store, enter the channel access code you received from the content provider below”
    I’ve tried & retried Plex, PLEX, plex, … in the space and it always gives me the error message: “The channel code provided is not associated with a valid channel” Perhaps it’s my browser (Safari for Windows) – off to try Firefox.

  84. Birdman March 26th, 2012 5:31 am

    I found out in the Plex forums that’s it’s temporarily off (they said they would explain later today… Not sure what day that part was posted.
    Anyway they said if you can’t wait for the new one to be posted try the “plexbeta” (no quotes) instead. It was found immediately.

  85. Martin March 26th, 2012 10:05 am

    code is not working for me either….can anyone help????? just got my roku in the mail i bought it specifically for plex

  86. Sony March 26th, 2012 12:48 pm

    Hey Martin,

    Use code as plexbeta and it should work. Good luck.

  87. Roku2 March 27th, 2012 4:13 pm

    Plexbeta now? What happened to plex?

  88. Darian April 12th, 2012 9:34 am

    I just purchased the Roku LT and got it today. Added the “plex” channel from the Roku website, and it loaded up right away on the Roku. The in-laws now can watch all of my media on their TV. Best Son-In-Law ever!

  89. John April 20th, 2012 8:07 am

    I am a big ROKU fan. Plex sounds like just what I have been wanting – almost. Let me know when it runs on Ubuntu.

  90. Chad April 21st, 2012 8:23 pm

    Love Roku & Plex. This is the perfect pairing. The new app looks great and works flawlessly. Congrats guys! My home media center/InternetTV setup is now complete.

  91. DJ May 8th, 2012 7:39 am

    Um, PMS is already on various flavors of Linux. I run it on my Centos 6.2 box and have installed it on fedora 16 with no issues as well. I’m also fairly positive that PMS is running on Ubuntu/Debian with no issues as well.

  92. Jason December 31st, 2012 10:51 pm

    Easy set up..but seems laggy over wireless to the Roku…is it worth getting a hard line to it?

  93. Curtis Gunter February 15th, 2013 5:31 pm

    I have Roku and Plex is one of the channel I am interest in. I am also looking for information about Plex.

  94. Curtis Gunter February 15th, 2013 5:32 pm

    Looking to become a member of Plex channel.

  95. Tom February 17th, 2013 8:18 am

    I have some videos in my pLEX queue, but they aren’t showing up on my Plex channel on my Roku box. Any suggestions?


  96. Negatron July 27th, 2013 1:04 pm

    Having an issue with PLEX getting the titles completely wrong or no title at all. For example my complete season of Afro Samurai is titled Anime Mirai: Super Veggie Torracman… “The Following” is listed as Midsomer Murders (something I’ve never even heard of).

    Or when I go into my genre folders like TV>DRAMA> instead of showing HOMELAND, BOARDWALK EMPIRE folders etc. it just lists SEASON 1, SEASON 2 etc. with no way of finding the actual shows I want to watch.

    Very frustrating and makes this app almost worthless!

  97. elan July 27th, 2013 3:34 pm

    @Negatron ~ sounds like maybe you have your library set up incorrectly, in terms of the paths and naming. Please read to make sure.

  98. Negatron July 27th, 2013 3:42 pm

    I was able to get around the issue by turning off all of the metadata rubbish. However, when adding my tv shows back in I noticed that for some reason it duplicates every episode of one of my shows (Plebs) into every other folder so I have 12 copies of the same show instead of the actual files I wanted.

    I’ve literally spent all day trying to circumnavigate this wretched piece of software and come to the conclusion it’s not worth it. I’ll stick to uploading shows I want to watch on a memory stick and watch them on an XBox. Plex is the shittiest app I’ve ever used hands down. Anyone reading this just pay the extra $$ and get an AppleTV!

  99. elan July 28th, 2013 9:21 am

    @Negatron ~ it’s almost certainly the case that your files are not named the way Plex expects them to be, but if could post a thread with specifics in our forum, we’d be happy to help. The software has cataloged TV shows perfectly for a gazillion other people so it’s likely there’s something different about your layout or setup.

  100. Xristo December 28th, 2013 3:23 pm

    Thanks team, I am stoked, got my roku 2, plex app, linux plex media player. On a low budget, cant afford smart tv, now I can watch all my youtube faves etc. Have a great new year!

  101. Debbie January 8th, 2014 9:20 am

    I can`t get Plex to work on anything I have, there is no phone support, I have a Roku. A Samsung wifi tv and a Lg wifi tv and nothing I paid for a month of service and nothing, I`m not a very happy Camper

  102. elan January 8th, 2014 6:06 pm

    @Debbie ~ sorry, we’re too small to offer phone support (as are most small online companies these days). If you’d like a refund, please email plexpass at

Leave a reply