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.
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Roku 2 XS (3100X) won't stream from Windows Media Player library

I have a Roku 2 XS and a Windows 7 computer with Media Player. Using the Roku Media Player app installed on the Roku 2 XS I can browse the media library folders on my computer through the network. The numbers after the folder names seem to correctly show the number of video files in a folder. However, the Roku thinks none of the video files are compatible so the list is empty after I enter the folder. They are WTV files made by Windows Media Center. They are recorded TV show episodes. I read Roku doesn't read WTV files but it will read MP4 so I used Handbrake to convert one of the WTV files to MP4. Roku still won't detect the file as compatible through the network but if I put the MP4 on a flash drive and plug the drive in to the USB port on the Roku then the Roku will play the file. Why can't my Roku detect the file as compatible and play it through the network?
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3 Replies
atc98092
Level 13

Re: Roku 2 XS (3100X) won't stream from Windows Media Player library

If all you did was recode your WTV files to MP4 without changing the video codec, the 2 XS will not play them. WTV records the video in whatever codec is used in your location, which for North America is MPEG-2. No Roku older than the fifth generation supports MPEG-2 video, and even some of that generation might not. The oldest player I know that supports MPEG-2 is the Ultra 4640. 
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Windows Media Services offers very little transcoding, and zero control over what little it does. Also, the 2 XS has a bitrate limit of around 14 Mbps. This is enough for ripped DVD, but not Blu Rays. I just checked some recorded HD TV shows and they are reporting average bitrates of 12.8 Mbps and peaks of 80 Mbps  :shock: . Even a movie recorded from a 720p broadcast (PBS station) shows an average of 10.2 and max of 19.4 Mbps.  So recorded HD TV shows of movies might be a problem with your 2 XS. I know, as the 2 XS was the original Roku player I started with. 
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In short, you have two issues: Windows Media Services is a terrible DLNA video source, and your 2 XS is a really, really old and outdated player. If you don't need the Ethernet connection, a brand new Premiere is $30 or less on sale. It supports 4K, MPEG-2 video, and is so much more powerful and faster than the 2 XS you wouldn't believe it. For your media source, I suggest one of the available DLNA servers you can install on a Windows computer. I am partial to Serviio, as I authored the Roku profiles for the developer. But Plex or Emby are both good options, and both offer dedicated Roku apps/channels that might offer you a better user experience than Roku Media Player. Myself, I am quite happy with RMP, but some people prefer something closer to a Netflix style control app. All three that I mentioned offer free, no-cost versions, and all three offer a paid version with additional features. But the free versions likely will do anything you want on your home network.
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Re: Roku 2 XS (3100X) won't stream from Windows Media Player library

But the Roku 2 XS does play them (MP4 files) from a USB flash drive. For some reason it won't recognize the MP4 as playable through the network when using Windows Media Player as a DLNA media server. I guess all I did was recode the WTV file to MP4. I used Handbrake's default preset "Fast 1080p 30". I didn't mess with the other settings. I didn't see any issues while watching the episode from the USB drive. Anyway, I set up Plex on my computer and Roku. Now I can watch the WTV files without using Handbrake first.
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: Roku 2 XS (3100X) won't stream from Windows Media Player library

Yep, Plex is a great solution for many people. As I mentioned, Windows Media Services is a terrible DLNA server, so it was the cause of your problems. Glad you have a working solution.  Smiley Very Happy
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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