Roku Device Features, Settings & Updates

Help configuring Roku device settings, using Roku OS features such as screen mirroring, adjusting display type and audio settings, using Guest Mode, and assistance with software updates.
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
mikep7co
Level 7

Can I watch movies from a USB key / drive or SD card?

Jump to solution

Hi

I bought a Roku Ultra LT but it does not seem like I can watch a movie from a USD key or drive or SD card, is that correct?

There is a SD slot but is it just to extend the memory of the roku and not being able to watch something from it?

That is such a common use case, I am surprised Roku does not support this on all its devices.

Is that only possible with the most expensive Roku Ultra device?

Thanks

 

0 Kudos
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
atc98092
Level 21

Re: Can I watch movies from a USB key / drive or SD card?

Jump to solution

The Ultra LT is a decontented version (I believe for a specific retailer) of the Ultra 4660, and as you noticed it does not have a USB port. You are correct that the SD slot is only for expanding channel storage space, and cannot be used for any other purpose.

Yes, the USB port for media playback is only found on the Ultra 4800, older versions of the Ultra (4640, 4660/61, 4670), and some much older versions that I would not recommend simply because they are too old. 

Most Roku users stream their content from another device on your home network, rather than connecting the media directly to the Roku. This can be done with a computer or NAS device, and there are many different server software options available. Plex is likely the most common, Emby is also a good choice, and both have dedicated channels for Roku devices. You can also use any number of DLNA servers and use the Roku Media Player to access the content. Serviio is probably the most common of these DLNA servers. 

The advantage to using a media server like these is that your media is now available on any networked player, and not just the device with the media drive connected. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
5 Replies
atc98092
Level 21

Re: Can I watch movies from a USB key / drive or SD card?

Jump to solution

The Ultra LT is a decontented version (I believe for a specific retailer) of the Ultra 4660, and as you noticed it does not have a USB port. You are correct that the SD slot is only for expanding channel storage space, and cannot be used for any other purpose.

Yes, the USB port for media playback is only found on the Ultra 4800, older versions of the Ultra (4640, 4660/61, 4670), and some much older versions that I would not recommend simply because they are too old. 

Most Roku users stream their content from another device on your home network, rather than connecting the media directly to the Roku. This can be done with a computer or NAS device, and there are many different server software options available. Plex is likely the most common, Emby is also a good choice, and both have dedicated channels for Roku devices. You can also use any number of DLNA servers and use the Roku Media Player to access the content. Serviio is probably the most common of these DLNA servers. 

The advantage to using a media server like these is that your media is now available on any networked player, and not just the device with the media drive connected. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
mikep7co
Level 7

Re: Can I watch movies from a USB key / drive or SD card?

Jump to solution

I see, thanks.

I don't watch that many things that are not streamed from the internet so I can't justify setting up a home media system at the moment.

 

0 Kudos
Strega
Level 12

Re: Can I watch movies from a USB key / drive or SD card?

Jump to solution

For anyone reading along, I recommend you go to this page before buying to make sure you get the best model for your uses. On that page, on the "Local playback via:" row, the Ultra shows "USB" and the LT is blank (meaning no such feature.)

 

0 Kudos
AvsGunnar
Level 9

Re: Can I watch movies from a USB key / drive or SD card?

Jump to solution

If you are able to access your router to do some simple configuration, you can also also use a simple USB stick at your router's USB port. (esentially creating basic NAS).  You just enable the NAS, DNLA settings from within your router and play through the Roku Media Player.  Some routers may also be preconfigured by default (insert USB with compatible media, reboot router and see if appears under Roku Media Player).  May also need to reboot your Roku device.

This way content available to any future Roku devices you may buy and also accessible from your other wifi connected devices (laptops,tablets,etc)

Just a simplified version of @atc98092, without needing the addition of a seperate media server. This way, as your needs change, you have in place the basic building block of a larger NAS and home media server.

0 Kudos
atc98092
Level 21

Re: Can I watch movies from a USB key / drive or SD card?

Jump to solution

As @AvsGunnar mentions, many home routers have a built-in limited DLNA server function. If your media is compatible with Roku devices (containers and codecs are supported) then this is a reasonable option. However, if any of your media is unsupported (either container or codec) then your Roku will not see the media and it cannot be played. Such media requires transcoding, and routers do not have the processing power to perform that function. Some NAS devices are powerful enough, but a typical PC would do much better. 

You can look at this page to help identify if your media is supported. There is an additional supported container not listed there, which is TS (.ts, .m2ts). If your containers are all supported, then you need to determine the codecs within the container. You can use a program such as MediaInfo to read the contents of your media. If you have VLC installed on a computer, it too can tell you the media contents. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
0 Kudos