The Best Media Players for Roku [July 2019]
Roku is an amazing service that lets you have all your streaming services and channels bundled together for your viewing pleasure. You can even project your music, photos, and videos from your PC or smartphone directly to your big-screen TV.
All you need is the right media player. There are several of them for Roku, but the obvious choice here is Roku Media Player, which is often integrated and pre-installed on various Roku streaming devices.
This article will explain how to use this media player in full detail and even suggest some good alternatives for those who aren’t quite satisfied with it.
Setting up Roku Media Player
After you register your Roku account, you need to link your devices to your Roku account. Click on “Activate a device” and then enter the link code which will be displayed to your TV. Confirm with “Agree and continue.”
Finally, you can install Roku Media Player on your other devices, such as a smartphone or personal computer. Follow this link and click on “Add channel” to install it. It is the designated media player for Roku, so you should obviously try it before any other media player.
Not only can you play and browse your local network media servers for content but also your flash drive (of course, if your Roku device features a USB port). The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) servers that work with Roku include Plex, Twonky, PlayOn, Serviio, Windows Media Player, and Ready DLNA.
For those curious, DLNA is a technology used to share content on multiple devices through a local network. You just need DLNA server software running on the device, and of course, use the same network connection on your Roku. Many routers and network-attached storage devices already have an integrated DLNA server.
What Does Roku Media Player Support?
RMP supports a lot of files and options. Let’s take a brief look at the key ones:
- File formats – RPM supports PNG, GIF, and JPG Images. AVC/H 264, MP4, MKV, and MOV video formats are also supported. For audio, there is WMA, AAC, FLAC, DTS, PCM, EAC3, Vorbis, and ALAC support. The player is also equipped to reproduce M3U, PLS, and M3U8 playlist files.
- Subtitle Support – Make sure you pack an SRT or VTT subtitle file in your video folder if you want it to be automatically integrated when you play the video. Also, the subtitle file should share the name of the video in question.
- Audio Support – It depends on the Roku player you have. You need to check your device specifications to find out about the audio capabilities it has. Most players will pass through Dolby Audio only (E-AC3 or AC3).
How to Play Multimedia on Roku Media Player
With all the technical stuff out of the way, here is how RMP actually works. Follow these steps to play your multimedia files on Roku Media Player:
- Within the Media Type selection window, choose the media type you want to play.
- Now select the device that contains these media files (your PC for example).
- Locate these files on your device. They won’t be displayed if the file format is not supported.
- Tap on the Play button or OK button after you select the file you want to play.
- Once you play it, you can pause or rewind at any time using the Forward Scan, Reverse Scan, and Pause buttons accordingly.
- If you want to stop playing particular content, simply tap on the Back button.
Alternatives to Roku Media Player
Not everyone is satisfied with Roku Media Player. Luckily, there are some alternative players that get the job done just as good as RPM. Here we’ll take a quick look at some of the best alternatives.
1. MyMeda by PlayOn
MyMedia is a good choice for viewing or listening to your personal content on Roku. You can watch your slideshows, listen to your favorite music, or play home videos via its smooth interface. With the premium upgrade called PlayOn Plus, you can stream just about any type of media from any website to your Roku.
Plex also has a free and a premium option. The Plex media server can stream all multimedia files to Roku. It allows you to sync all of your media to cloud storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) or any of your devices. Plex offers a lot of versatility with free functions.
These include sharing your content with friends, remote access, casting, and even security features. You can access your media from iPhotos, iTunes, and other sources. You can even save multimedia files from the web for later viewing.
The best feature Plex boasts is cross-platform control. It allows you to use any device to access Plex on your Roku. Visit their website to get all additional information.
Emby is a great choice for bundling all your media in one place. You can have all your personal multimedia files accessible via a slick UI. Emby also allows multi-device access, and you can even pause and rewind across devices.
You can download Emby for free on their website for many platforms such as Linux, Mac, and Windows. It allows you to share content with your loved ones, it has a great community, and its developers are dedicated to improving the service based on the feedback they receive from users.
Besides Roku, it also supports Smart TVs, Windows, iOS and Android devices, Chromecast, and more.
Unlimited Multimedia Content
Roku is truly a gem of modern technology. You can access all your private photos, videos, and music on it, plus stream from all popular major media platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. The entertainment options are infinite, and they’re available across all your devices. As great as Roku is, remember to go outside once in a while and stay in touch with your family and friends. Your Roku will wait for you.
What is your favorite media player for Roku? What features does it have that other players you’ve tried don’t? Tell us more in the comments below.