Stream and Play MP4 Files on Roku 4/3/2

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Will Roku ever actually play mp4 files properly?

When I have any video file I want to stream to Roku I have to convert them to mp4 then it is hit or miss whether roku will play them or not. Some will start right up and play nicely and others especially larger HD files will not work at all. When I convert I always use h264 for video and aac for audio because these are the codecs that are supposed to work. It’s the same whether I stream the file or put it on a USB drive and plug it in so it’s not the streaming software’s problem. I wish Roku would get their stuff together and write some software that actually works with video files, as it is it truly sucks.

Play MP4 on Roku

Why Roku not play some MP4 files?

You can use the Roku media player channel to play own personal video right on your TV via home’s PC, DLNA server or Roku’s USB port. However, only supported file types will be shown in Roku Media Player channel. From Roku media player channel supported file types, we can see that Roku 3/2/1 can playback H.264/AVC MP4 files, while on Roku 4, you can also play 4K H.265/HEVC MP4 files. If the MP4 is encoded with other unsupported video codec, you will definitely fail to open them in Roku Media Player from USB drive.

For people who try to stream unsupported MP4 files to Roku via Plex, the Plex Media Server will automatically transcode the incomaptible files to Roku media player readable file formats. However, as the transcoding process is very CPU intensive, in addition, the transcoding process will also use the temporary disk storage for the converted media. If your Plex Media Server CPU is not faster enough or if your boot drive is very small, it is not ideal to perform the transcoding process with Plex Media Server.

When in that condition, it is highly recommended to convert MP4 to Roku media player supported file formats with a third-party video conversion tool. Here, an remarkable tool called Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate (best video converter review) can assist you to comprehensively convert all the unsupported MP4 files formats for Roku playback.

If you have video backgroud information, you can get the best Roku playback settings by flexibly tweaking the output video codec, bit rate, frame rate, resolution and audio codec, bit rate, sample rate and channels, etc.

Apart from MP4, you can also use this program to stream and play Blu-ray/DVD, ISO image, BDMV, Video_TS or other incompatible file formats on Roku 4/3/2.

For Mac users, your can turn to download Pavtube iMedia Converter for Mac to perform the same conversion on Mac OS X El Capitan or macOS Sierra.

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How to Convert MP4 for Streaming and Playing on Roku 4/3/2?

Step 1: Load unsupported MP4 video files into the program.

Click “Add Video” bar to import unsupported mp4 video into the program. You can batch load multiple MP4 video with different encoding into the program.

Step 2: Define output file format.

Click “Format” bar, from its drop-down option, select Roku 4/3/2 media player channel supported streaming formats from “HD Video” > “H.264 HD Video (*.mp4)”.

Step 3: Customize output profile parameters.

Click settings to open “Profile Settings” window, here you can flexibly adjust output video/audio codec, file resolution, bit rate, frame rate, sample rate, etc according to your own situations.

Step 4: Start MP4 to Roku 4/3/2 conversion process.

One click the big button “Convert” on bottom-right corner to start conversion.

Once finishing conversion, you can stream/play converted files on Roku 4/3/2 either from USB drive or via the Plex Media Server.

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About the Author: John Salley

Travel, photography, movies, music, production is my hobby. I will share everything useful articles I think.

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