Network - Wireless & Wired Connections

Help & troubleshooting for network issues, including connecting your device to your home Wi-Fi network, connecting to public networks, troubleshooting wireless issues & ethernet connections, and optimizing streaming performance.
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Level 7

Playing external HDD through Roku - HELP!

Hi everyone! Happy new year!

If there is anyone out there who I can help I would really appreciate it. I will keep this really short.

We have a Panasonic TV bought in 2011 (not smart) with no USB port only HDMI but still works perfectly. Really don’t want to buy a new TV.

Hubby had accumulated about 400 DVDs in a cupboard in our living room but moans every time he steps on a toy. Solution: donate cupboard to toys (His idea. I Just wear slippers 😂) He has diligently uploaded all his DVDs to a Seagate 1TB external HDD without its own power supply in MP4 format using Handbrake.
We think a Roku media player will now allow them to be played on our TV. We currently have an Amazon Firestick and extensive research would suggest that the Firestick will not play ball and be a suitable media player so a friend suggested a Roku but just don’t want to pay out for one if it is not going to work. He has worked so hard on this project. I just want to see his weeks of work come to fruition. 
NOTE: obviously will not hold anyone responsible for their ideas/ advice 

Any suggestions very gratefully received. 

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3 Replies
Level 19

Re: Playing external HDD through Roku - HELP!

I can get you started, but someone else will have to carry the ball from there.

Roku has a Roku Media Player (RMP) app that can play appropriately encoded music files.  I have my music files on a drive in my desktop computer that the Roku can access over my home network via a DLNA server installed on my computer.  My DLNA server is an older one called TVersity because that's what I got started with long ago and I really like the index options it creates, but there are others. All my files are mp3 so I don't know if RMP can handle mp4s.

The Roku Ultra is, I think, the only current Roku model that has a USB port that can be used to connect an external drive directly instead of connecting to a computer over your net to access the files.

I have no idea what's involved in configuring an external-drive-to-Ultra setup, but there others here with experience in this area.

  • Roku Streaming Stick +, 3810X, Ser YH0059427035, wifi - Samsung UN55ES6100
  • Roku Streaming Stick, 3600X, Ser 5S56D8240827, wifi - JVC EM37T
  • TCL Roku TV 43S425/C107X, Ser X000001R60KV, wifi
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Level 21

Re: Playing external HDD through Roku - HELP!

It should work as long as the media is in a supported format - https://support.roku.com/article/208754908

Only a few Roku devices have a USB port for connecting a drive - the Ultra (not the Ultra LT sold at Walmart), the Streambar, and the Smart Soundbar.  You can see all the current devices here:
https://www.roku.com/products/players

A lot of people find it more convenient to use a computer or NAS (network attached storage) running a DLNA server to play their media via a Roku device.  With that setup you can use any Roku device.

@makaiguy  beat me to it!

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Level 19

Re: Playing external HDD through Roku - HELP!


@renojim wrote:

@makaiguy  beat me to it!


I only got the ball to the 50 yard line.  You took it across the goal.

  • Roku Streaming Stick +, 3810X, Ser YH0059427035, wifi - Samsung UN55ES6100
  • Roku Streaming Stick, 3600X, Ser 5S56D8240827, wifi - JVC EM37T
  • TCL Roku TV 43S425/C107X, Ser X000001R60KV, wifi
0 Kudos