Plex for Roku is now official - Plex Blog

Plex for Roku is now official

| 27 Mar 2012 | by 68 Comments

You’re probably already familiar with the Roku Media Streamers, but if not, you’ll want to check them out! They have a line of lovely little devices, starting at just fifty bucks, capable of 720p on the low end, and 1080p and Angry Birds on the high end. They also have a great SDK which allows third parties to write Roku Channels, and we’re extremely happy to let you know that as of today, the Plex Roku Channel is now officially available in the Roku Channel Store.

We’ve had a private channel available for a few months, but we’ve really been working hard to make it even more awesome. In a great example of why I love the our community, a Plex team led by Schuyler collaborated with Alan, MattL0stS0ul and others from the forums to create this new version.

If you haven’t seen it for a while, this is what’s new:

  • Full myPlex support: Sign into your myPlex account, and you get instant access to your media queue, shared content, and your own servers that you’ve published through myPlex. So easy! So awesome!
  • Audio and Photo support: We now support browsing and playing the full range of media that the Plex Media Server supports, both from your library and channels.
  • Revamped UI: as you can see below, we’re now using grids on a lot of screens now, and there’s a nice Plex-like theme throughout.
  • Direct Play: For media formats that are supported by the Roku, we’ll try to play it without transcoding.
  • Tons of other stuff, including many bug-fixes.

Have a look through the screenshots below, and consider getting a Roku device, either for your primary Plex client, or for that guest room (lucky guests!), kid’s room (lucky kids!) or doghouse (Barkley has the Roku2 XS).

Official home

Official movies

Official tv

Official track

Official movie

Official queue

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68 Comments so far

  1. Madburg March 27th, 2012 3:28 pm

    Awesome, what does one have to do to upgrade? Is it as simple and going into the channel store and exiting out, in order to upgrade, or is it recommended to remove the private channel first?

  2. Roopesh Sheth March 27th, 2012 3:35 pm

    Awesome. I saw an amazon deal for the roku2 xs this weekend and almost bought it as a plex client. The only thing holding me back is the steaming speed limit (8mbps). Maybe once I get a more powerful PMS box…

  3. Marklight March 27th, 2012 4:06 pm

    I haven’t used the Roku for a long time but this is so nice it’s breathed new life into the little box! Awesome job team!

  4. Sergio March 27th, 2012 4:33 pm

    anybody found plex on the official roku channel store? here I can’t found it yet.

  5. kelly manley March 27th, 2012 4:36 pm

    Please add subtitles for all deaf people can use them!

  6. Sergio March 27th, 2012 4:40 pm

    nevermind, its not showing in the web frontend but found it in the channel store in-roku.

  7. Schuyler March 27th, 2012 6:04 pm

    Hey guys, in addition to browsing the channel store on the Roku, you can install this new version by going to https://owner.roku.com/add/plex

    If you’re upgrading from an older version (the old private channel or the beta channel), this is a completely separate channel from the Roku’s perspective. It would have been nice if it upgraded automatically, but it turns out to not really work that way. There’s not really any reason to hang onto the old channel, feel free to delete it after grabbing the new one.

  8. Schuyler March 27th, 2012 6:10 pm

    @kelly

    Subtitles are supported, though I think there have been a couple fixes checked in since the version that had to be submitted to Roku for approval. Those improvements will be in the first update.

    FYI, the Roku itself supports SRT, so those usually end up being the most readable since we can let the Roku show the subtitles itself.

  9. Reallynotnick March 27th, 2012 6:20 pm

    What codecs does it support for direct play? And if say the audio is supported but the video is not, does it re-encode both or can it do just the audio?
    As much as I love Plex being able to transcode on the fly I sadly don’t have the CPU power to do that in HD.

  10. Aaron March 27th, 2012 6:54 pm

    Will it stream through my local LAN directly if the server is on the same network?

  11. Patrick March 27th, 2012 7:36 pm

    Do MKV subtitles transcode?

    This is a feature I’d also like for iOS. Everything comes through in giant Arial font, which isn’t great…

  12. Jonas De Smet March 27th, 2012 8:55 pm

    Hi,

    Is there no way to buy this in europe? Are background-art coming? Didn’t see it in the screenshots and the cool UI with background-art is the reasons why I would use Plex!

  13. Jay March 27th, 2012 11:29 pm

    @Jonas
    I am from Germany and buying it on amazon.com was actually no big deal for me. You have to pay some money for delivery and customs but it just worked great. Received the Roku within four days, which is quite awesome.

  14. Jay March 27th, 2012 11:36 pm

    Btw, the Roku Update is amazing! Now it feels quite snappy, almost as smooth as on the ATV2. No comparison to the older version. I was really really stunned by the speed. But one little thing is still missing for me: Badges on not-yet-seen episodes like on the ATV2. Will this be part of an later update, perhaps? I really appreciate your good work, thanks!

  15. Sudo March 27th, 2012 11:52 pm

    @Jonas De Smet

    Roku are for sale in Britain and Ireland via Amazon.co.uk, I don’t know if they will deliver to mainland Europe but failing that you could try getting anyone you know there to buy one for you.

  16. TomFrost March 28th, 2012 12:22 am

    Has the artifact/distortion issue from the latest beta been corrected, as described here: http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/36509-faq-roku-2-users-pixelation-artifacts-during-playback ? If so, that’s great news! If not, though, I think it’s a little misleading to tout Roku as the latest and greatest Plex client, when it can’t yet be used without horrible graphics glitches every few seconds. But I love you guys dearly, so I hope that’s not the case!

  17. Dez March 28th, 2012 2:55 am

    Hello. This looks great. I want to retire my popcorn hour. But I have a question. I currently have 2 x Roku 1 (HD-XR model N1101) and I cannot get 1080p to work on PLEX. Is that a limitation of Plex or my version of the Roku? Just trying to figure out if its time to upgrade.

  18. Chris Lentz March 28th, 2012 3:23 am

    I tested out the new Plex Roku app this morning and found a wide range of issues. First, search does not work at all. Search from the homescreen searches, but you can not select any of the results. Search from with in the movies/tv sections crashes the app completely.

    The second issue I am having, is how to I view a list of all of my movies. I have 300+ but the “All Movies” grid list only lists 83 of them???

    Is this not compatible with a Roku 1? Only for Roku 2?

  19. Chip March 28th, 2012 7:40 am

    Oh man! I was just at my brother in-laws setting him up. I wish I had known this release was out! Great work guys. Cant wait to get back out there and see all the changes.

  20. Janet March 28th, 2012 8:21 am

    Great news … amazing potential, based on screenshots. I’ve installed but only managed to queue YouTube videos. Can’t find how to add channels, movies, TV shows, music. Guidance or link, please? I’ve looked in earnest. I’m either blind and/or dense or it’s too hard to find. Thanks!

  21. MiltonM March 28th, 2012 8:42 am

    Not sure if this is the right place for a suggestion, but it would be nice if the channel on the Roku was configurable for “what view” to default into. I always want to see based on folders, but it is like a dozen clicks down, just annoying to always have to get there for what I want to see.

  22. Schuyler March 28th, 2012 11:16 am

    Dang it, I didn’t read comments for half a day and I’ve fallen behind! Thanks for all the feedback! Let me try to respond to a few…

    Search bug – Yeah, sorry about that. It’ll be fixed in the first update, more info at http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/39270-v10-multiple-issues-on-roku-xd/

    @Reallynotnick The Roku has good support for MP4, we’ll direct play MP4 with H.264/AAC/AC3 and WMV. You *might* be able to direct play some MKVs with a Roku 2, but people have had problems with this and we’re going to disable it in an update until we can sort it out. More info available on the forums if you’re curious. The Roku 2 and PMS will gladly just remux the content if one or more of the codecs in the original is supported.

    @Jay badges are… tricky. I never like to say never, but we can only give the Roku a single image URL, so to show a badge would require compositing it at the server.

    @Jonas background art is… tricky. If a future Roku firmware rev allows bakcground images, absolutely. If not, the only way to pull it off is to do the entire UI in a custom control, which probably isn’t worth the effort (and would almost certainly feel clunky compared to standard controls).

    @TomFrost No. My understanding is that it’s a Roku firmware problem, not a Plex channel problem. We had hoped that 4.3 would fix it, but it doesn’t sound like it did. If you have a sample that can be shared with the folks at Roku to help diagnose the problem, drop me a line on the forums (schuyler).

  23. Antares March 28th, 2012 12:15 pm

    I’m trying to send some pics from folders on my PC to my entertainment center via Roku / Plex. I get most of the screens shown above, so I’m certain the server and Roku app are running OK. The “Preferences:Manage Plex Media Servers” correctly identify my PC which is running Plex Media Server.

    The Plex Media Manager seems to be the place to set up a “section” (?) for My Pictures and specify a path to the folder on my PC containing them. I can get the Media Manager to find and specify the proper folder. But, no matter what I’ve tried, I can’t get get this specification to be accepted by Media Manager. At the end of the process, the only buttons I can hit are “cancel” and “Add Section.” I’ve tried dragging and what not but I can’t find anything that will allow me to add the specified path/folder to any kind of list.

    I can’t help but feel inept at this point. Surely this objective can’t be as hard to fulfill as it seems.

  24. Neil B March 28th, 2012 12:36 pm

    The new Roku App is awesome!!!! Nice work.

    Once I get DLNA it will be one Media Server to rule them all!

  25. dewey March 28th, 2012 8:09 pm

    After installing the new version on my Roku box I get no sound. As a movie loads from my harddrive or is being retrieved from one of the channels there’s a loud pop from my speakers, the movie starts playing but with no sound. All my other Roku channels sound just fine as does normal TV. It’s only since the update this has started.

  26. dewey March 28th, 2012 9:29 pm

    Update on no sound. I went to my Roku box settings and changed the “audio” from 5.1 to stereo and everything works. HOWEVER, before the update, in other words while using the Plex Roku Beta version everything has worked just fine with 5.1 selected in the audio settings. Please advise – THANKS!

  27. AW March 29th, 2012 7:41 am

    1. Crashes on most movies in my library
    2. The movies it will play have no sound
    Sound set to Stereo on Roku but only display’s 5.1 on Plex

    So, mostly useless still.

  28. ChrisH March 29th, 2012 10:22 am

    Why does season 10 of Friends only have one episode show up in the Plex client? All episodes are in the folder on my hard drive, but don’t show up on the Plex media server or client. I had this issue with beta and I am still having it with the new version.

  29. elan March 29th, 2012 10:23 am

    @ChrisH: probably a naming issue, but impossible to tell without more information. Read http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/PlexNine_PMS_Naming_Guide and if you have things named properly, please open a forum topic.

  30. ChrisH March 29th, 2012 10:24 am

    Also, is there a way to shuffle the itunes audio tracks in the Roku client?

  31. Antares March 29th, 2012 11:22 am

    I’ve been working with Plex Media Center and Server for the better part of the day. To make a very long story short, I have run into numerous examples of bizarre behavior… everything from my mouse not working in Media Center (because I had yet to set the “System:Input” device to “enable” in a “System Preference” I happened to discover quite by accident)… to no sound on the one QUEUEd item I finally managed to play on my PC (but not yet on my somewhat elaborate entertainment center system. After many hours, I finally succeeded in displaying (and hearing!) a segment from the Charlie Rose channel.

    These are just a few of the anomalies I’ve encountered. Heck, right from the get go, the only way I could launch the Server and have it stay launched was to “Run (it) as Administrator.” Else, it would flash some window query about updating automatically, then terminate immediately.

    Bottom line? Plex isn’t ready for prime time… except perhaps for techies who have considerably more talent, PC moxie, and time on their hands than I do. Still, I have to admit, it seems to be one helluva product. If only man’s reach didn’t so often exceed his grasp, eh?

  32. elan March 29th, 2012 12:10 pm

    @Antares: major points for using the word “moxie” which is one of my favorites. And yes, you’re absolutely right, the first run/overall UX is not where we want it to be. Behind the scenes we’re taking steps to address those issues!

  33. Chad March 29th, 2012 4:18 pm

    I’m really loving being able to use Plex on my PS3. One complain/suggestion that I have is that I can’t tell which videos I’ve watched already in my TV Shows. Might I suggest that the asterisk currently showing up next to the episode titles on my PS3 be used as an indicator of whether or not the show has been watched already?

    Also, I’m not sure if it’s possible with DLNA or not, but could the poster for the show be used instead of the generic folder icon for TV Shows?

    But other than that, great work!

  34. Christian den Boer March 29th, 2012 9:07 pm

    This is awesome!!!!

  35. Ahmed March 30th, 2012 3:26 am

    I have Htc sensation how do I connect it to roku xs I was fine connecting the roku to pc and htc to pc but I can’t find the roku and the phone..I’m trying to find the roku as server but I can’t find it..please help I’m new hate I just installed pleća today

  36. Schuyler March 30th, 2012 4:59 am

    @Chad I think you’re commenting on the wrong recent blog post. :]

    For the asterisk specifically, I think it’s actually something that the PS3 adds itself, not something Plex is adding. But your point is well taken.

    For posters on folders, we tried all sorts of things but the PS3 seems to always ignore artwork on folders. It only respects artwork when you get to the actual media.

  37. Brian March 30th, 2012 5:45 am

    You guys did a great job on this! How cool is it that, when I launched Plex one day, I was notified that an official Plex channel was now available. All I had to do was click “Add it” and Plex took care of the rest. Great interface, and I love that music is now supported. Plex is in my top 3 Roku channels, and it keeps getting better. Kudos.

  38. ben March 30th, 2012 7:44 am

    This is amazing stuff. Very responsive (my previous gripe) and very polished. This is my primary streaming solution from now on. And I am greatly appreciative of the Linux media server port – this is perfect for my home NAS. Great job Plex team!

  39. chester March 30th, 2012 10:50 am

    I spent two hours trying to set this up with roku .I deleted it to much of a pain.

  40. elan March 30th, 2012 10:54 am

    @chester: We’d be super interested to hear what you had trouble with, if you don’t mind sharing.

  41. Ahmed March 31st, 2012 6:11 am

    Can you play videos from your phone on tv using plex? I can’t contact my phone to roku how do I do that?

  42. xaliscienxe March 31st, 2012 6:39 am

    How do u add channels and plugins to the server? …. its Plex like PlayOn? Thanks in advance.

  43. james April 1st, 2012 2:45 pm

    I’m deleting too. No instruction on how to set up of find server. I even tried to manually add my NAS and no love.

  44. Jeff April 2nd, 2012 9:14 am

    Fantastic channel! I bought my first Roku the day you announced this and setting it up with Plex was way too easy. I just found the channel, logged in to MyPlex and BOOM! I was watching movies from my PMS. My wife loves it too because she can see the movie posters instead of just names like we had on Streambaby and TiVo.

    Quick question: I want to buy a Roku for my parents, login to my MyPlex account and let them watch movies from my server on their TV instead of their iPad. Will that work like I think it will?

  45. Jeff April 2nd, 2012 10:51 am

    One other question, as well: Is there any way to make the channels not show up on Roku? I already have all of these channels in Roku itself, so I don’t need to see them in the Plex channel.

  46. Tim April 6th, 2012 8:31 am

    I have been using Plex over 2 years, just keeps getting better and now it has encouraged me to buy 3 Roku units. Love it! Wonder if I can play music on all the devices like AirPlay? Then I would have to buy even more Roku’s.

  47. Eric S. April 17th, 2012 3:48 am

    For the life of me, I could not get my Roku 1 to find the Plex Media Server running on my computer. I tried feeding in the IP address directly, using the friendly name, and even enabling SSID broadcasting, even though other Roku apps were working fine. The previous beta version of Plex worked fine on my Roku 1. I assumed the new version would work, so I deleted the beta and now I can’t get the beta back and I have a non-functional new version of Plex. Please advise.

  48. Schuyler April 17th, 2012 11:03 am

    @Eric: Hmm, that makes very little sense. There’s nothing different about the official version and the older versions when it comes to entering an IP address manually. If you enter an IP address manually then the Roku very literally just makes a request to http://the_ip_you_entered:32400/ and reports an error if and only if that doesn’t work. Does it show you an error dialog when you enter the IP manually?

    If you want to start a topic in the forums (http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/forum/84-roku-streaming-players/), I and others will be happy to try to help. I don’t come back and check these blog comments very often.

  49. epstewart April 19th, 2012 5:04 am

    I’m appreciative of Plex for Roku. I’ve just installed the Plex Channel on my new Roku LT, with my MacBook Pro running the Plex Media Server. But I was primarily interested in using Plex for YouTube, and I thought Plex supports a YouTube Plex Channel. I can’t find it, though, in Plex on my Roku. What am I missing???

  50. Fritz April 20th, 2012 7:32 am

    PMS was working fine before and after officail channel update. Now suddenly, it’s not.
    Nothing changed. Plex App plays fine on desktop 10.6.8.
    Weird, tiresome.

  51. Brad April 20th, 2012 6:16 pm

    Read wiki about naming scheme for multi file movies. I get to end of disc 1 file and disc 2 file does not appear. Known issue ?

  52. Brad P April 22nd, 2012 5:30 am

    I have downloaded the media server to my mac. I have a roku device connected and it shares my content from iphoto, itunes fine.

    It has identified some movies which aren’t actually there on my hard drive and I’d like to remove them from the library. Do you know how to do this?

    Also, when I use the Plex It! bookmarklet, I run into trouble with watching videos from any site other than youtube. The videos from other sites (cbs, etc) queue up fine but when I click to play them on the Roku it doesnt work. Any thoughts?

  53. elan April 22nd, 2012 8:05 pm

    @Brad: For sites like CBS, etc., you may need to install the Flash plug-in, as described here ~ http://www.plexapp.com/download/win-download-new.php

  54. Sid April 25th, 2012 5:07 am

    I just discovered PLEX for Roku. So far super happy with it. I can only find some plugins in the desktop version of the plex media client. For eg: I can install the hulu plugin and the dailyshow plugin on my macbookpro (also where my mediaserver is running). But these plugins dont show up on my Roku. Some other plugins like the apple movie trailer plugin show up on both. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong? I would very much love to have the hulu plugin for my roku.

  55. jimtut June 7th, 2012 6:25 am

    How do I submit bug/feature requests for Plex-for-Roku? I know how to do it for Plex-for-ATV and Plex/PMS itself.

    Basically, by request is this: When the Plex channel starts and lists all my sections, it starts by listing my first section first on the left, the 2nd section next to it on the right, and so on. However, the section that is ALWAYS selected is the 3rd section, even though I almost never use it. Strange as it seems, I think it’s selected because it’s in the middle (there are 5 sections displayed at a time). Why not auto-detect the first section (there’s a reason why I made it the first section), or even-better remember the last section used?

    Thanks!
    Jim

  56. elan June 7th, 2012 9:58 am

    @Jim: I’ve added your feature request to our tracker!

    @Jason: That sounds very odd, maybe make a forum post with details if the issue persists?

  57. shawn July 1st, 2012 8:06 am

    Do I have to leave my laptop up and running in order to use the Plex? I see it connects, but does my laptop or desktop need to be on at all times?

    Can I do it on my iphone? and have my Roku connect with that since that is always on my wifi?

    Thanks

  58. elan July 1st, 2012 9:24 am

    @shawn: yes, the media server needs to be running in order to serve media to the roku. The iOS app is a player, not a server.

  59. RKR July 6th, 2012 5:20 am

    Is there anyway to stream iTunes downloaded video (movies and TV Shows)?

  60. Erin July 22nd, 2012 3:47 am

    I loaded Plex for Roku on my parent’s Roku and was very impressed with the fantastic interface as well as the ability to resume playing and clearly see whether something has been viewed already or not. I do not have a Roku but I would love the same functionality to be accessible when using my PS3. I downloaded Plex when I got home hoping to replace the media server I am using now after seeing how great Plex was on the Roku and was disappointed that it had nowhere near the same functionality. Is there any hope that the same kind of functionality that is found on Plex for Roku will ever come to the PS3?

  61. Steph September 16th, 2012 7:08 pm

    Has the youtube channel been removed?!?! I can’t find it.

  62. anu December 8th, 2012 3:56 am

    Plex channel was working fine up until last night. Now when I select the plex channel it resets the Roku device. I have tried factory reset, uninstall install several times but same result. Any idea what may be the issue.

  63. elan December 8th, 2012 11:49 am

    @anu: Fixed in a subsequent update, sorry!

  64. Robert Karl Skoglund November 11th, 2013 11:03 am

    We have two roku 3 boxes for two televisions in the house.

    How do I find or create a PLEX for the second television set we got today?

    It is fed by Wifi.

    It would be nice if one PLEX site on the computer would service both television sets, but it obviously doesn’t do it.

    How do I find or create or energize a second PLEX site for the second television set we got today?

    Or will one PLEX site on the computer service both television sets?

    I am obviously not a computer guru. Thank you for your help.

    Robert Karl Skoglund 207-226-7442

    thehumblefarmer@gmail.com

  65. Damian November 16th, 2013 5:39 pm

    I hope PLEX will get a much better, cleaner and friendlier UI for roku. It would be nice seeing something similar to the original pled app on roku. Keep going guys, you doing a great job.

  66. Julio January 29th, 2014 1:19 pm

    will plex work with roku while the pc is asleep or hibernating? How can I redirect plex to particular folders please show me where I can find the instructions. Pretty excited about using this with my roku 3.

  67. elan February 5th, 2014 11:28 am

    @Julio ~ your machine has to be on for streaming to work.

  68. Crocography April 14th, 2014 9:44 am

    Agree with Damian, I would also like to see a cleaner and friendlier UI for roku, much more similar to the original plex app. Wondering which streaming media player to get but need the best Plex implementation, and unfortunately this is not it.

    Saying that however, it is nice to see Plex being developed for the Roku as well.

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