Meet Plex, our Roku Pick of the Week. The Plex channel makes it a snap to stream your entire library of personal movies, photos and music on your Roku, and it’s totally free. We’ve put together a quick 5-step guide to get you up and running in no time. Let’s get started!

1. Set up Plex on your Roku
Install the Plex channel here or find and add it to your player in the Roku Channel Store under ‘Photos and Apps.’

2. Install Plex Media Server on your computer
Plex Media Server is free to install on WindowsMac and Linux. The Mac version will simply ask a series of questions to guide you through a quick setup. If you’re a Windows user, download and then double-click the set-up file to begin. Follow the setup wizard, leaving the default settings alone. Once installation is complete, click ‘Run Plex Media Server on exit’ and ‘Finish.

3. Configure Plex
Right-click on Plex taskbar’s notification area icon and select ‘Media Manager.‘ If you’re using Internet Explorer, turn on Intranet settings when prompted and click the bar at the top of the screen to install Google Chrome Frame. When the pop-up appears, click ‘Activate Google Chrome Frame’ followed by ‘Accept and activate’ to make IE compatible with Plex Media Server. Set a name for the Media Server and click ‘Done.’

4. Create libraries of music, movies and photos
Plex’s naming guides explain how to name your media files so they’ll be easier to manage and locate.  A pop-up window will appear to help set up each library. Change the ‘Section type’ from Movies to TV Shows, Music or Photos as necessary, give your library an epic name and click on the + button to add media folders. Click ‘Add section’ when done and repeat for as many libraries as you want.

5. Configure Plex to connect to Plex Media server
On your Roku, go to ‘Plex Media Servers.’ Click on ‘Add Server Manually’ and enter the IP address of the computer you’ve installed Plex Media Server on. We recommend setting up a Static IP address or DHCP reservation on this computer.

Congrats – you should now be able to stream media from your computer to the big screen with your Roku!

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  • Jonah

    One of the best additions for Roku and home content! We love it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Duckie1562 Chuck Graham

    That’s awesome!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5TDGCBKWFJC4D4QTYLBJYCDIHA Andy

    When will it be fixed so that it stops pixelizing?

  • Nick S

    I got a Roku and immediately got the Plex app, since I was a previous user of Plex, but almost everything I watched (streaming from my desktop computer, which is more than capable) had an out of sync issue between the audio and video. It was very disappointing. I decided to stop using the Roku (will likely be returning it) and will just continue to use a media computer connected to my TV instead.

  • http://twitter.com/nicksak Nick Sakellariou

    Any support for MyPlex?

    • Anonymous

      Yes! The official Plex channel fully supports myPlex (queue, shared sections, and accessing your sections remotely).

      • http://twitter.com/nicksak Nick Sakellariou

        That’s awesome news! Thanks for letting me know. Will try out asap.

  • Anonymous

    Plex is spectacular but I really wish someone would fix the pixelation. Other than this minor nag, it’s hands down the most used app on Roku!

  • Anonymous

    Andy, azholio, et. al:

    For more information on the pixelation issue, take a look at the Plex forums. The very latest release of Plex Media Server (http://elan.plexapp.com/2012/05/18/plex-media-server-v0-9-6-2-plex-v0-9-5-3/ ) addresses the problem. There are also some updates to the Roku channel which should make it even better and we’re working on getting that released ASAP.

  • C838924

    This app is great. All of my audio and video seem to work great. I do think there room for improvements, but overall is a great channel.

  • Adam

    Hmm. I’m having trouble getting this working on my PC. The directions you have above don’t quite matching what I’m seeing when I install it on my PC (Windows 7).

    • Adam

      Ah, there’s a difference between the Media Center and the Media Server. Now that I’ve downloaded the right file, Plex works! Awesome.

      • Tom Burke

        I had the same issue, so to clarify we should download both the Media Server and Media Center. Correct?

        • Adam

          I downloaded only the server, and it works pretty good. I was able to get some audio to work and some video. Some other video doesn’t work for some reason; I’m not sure why. Perhaps it only plays certain media types (?) I can stream home movies. It’s very nice. But I have yet to get any of the channels (Hulu, National Geographic, USA Network) to work. Am I the only one? It sure would be nice to watch Hulu via Plex. Why doesn’t it work?

  • Adam

    Got it working. But how do you watch Hulu and other channels on this?

    • Adam

      OK, I see the other channels, but many do not appear to work. Am I the only one?

  • http://twitter.com/CrunchDude Crunch

    Pixelation? What are you guys talking about? Maybe you didn’t set it up properly? I have used Plex on my Roku 2 XS since day one and it works phenomenally well. Both Plex and the Roku, that is. I have it set to the highest bitrate, too, which is 8Mbps (1080p) I believe.

    In total, I would say that I have watched at least 200 hours worth of movies, TV, etc. – in various different formats – by way of Plex specifically on the Roku – and some on Plex for iOS (most on iPad 3). I don’t say this for “effect” and I am completely genuine when I say that I have yet to experience any type of pixelation, which includes older firmware.

    Audio was out of sync in one instance and I suspect that it had to do with that particular movie. It wasn’t good enough for me to try to watch it elsewhere. One single time.

    There is one difference between how most people that I have talked to about the Roku use it. Most have it hooked up to a 720p or 1080p HDTV with HDMI. I use my Roku on my 1080p projector from Epson, which is also equipped with a couple of HDMI (1.3) ports, so I wonder if that even matters when it comes to pixelation and overall picture and sound quality.

    I have one idea as to what might be the problem for some of you. As Plex is a bandwidth-hungry application, you might want to make sure that there are no downloads running, either ones you set up, or in the background, while you’re streaming. Try turning off any applications that potentially use up precious bandwidth, such as iTunes, for example.

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  • Anonymous

    Will ROKU add a channel that connects to DLNA & UPnP servers?
    Without the need for something like PLEX which seems to require transcoding on a computer.

    We have 4 NAS units that share our music, photos & videos via ethernet & wifi.

    I was looking to Roku to give our non-smart TV sets a boost (we have two smart tvs) but, come to find out even a Roku XS can’t play local files.

    Surely if you can stream music and video files from the internet, you can stream LAN files in mp3, mp4 etc format. No?

  • http://www.cheapcarfinance.co/ Contact

    Also have trouble getting this to work on my PC

  • Techie now

    Works great. Thank you for this.*Techie now*

  • Jwsl

    I don’t get a plex icon in my taskbar, I can’t configure a media server, and when I go into the programme, I can’t see how to access files on the network and if it tries to contact the plex server, it becomes non responsive and i have to manually shut off the programme. These instructions don’t seem to correspond to the current version of plex, so i might see if i can use a different 3rd party software to get access to my files. Roku has been a lot more complicated so far than it initially promised to be…

  • Loni

    how do i get my show on roku? I have many shows that I want to post on roku. How do I get on Roku or who do i contact?

  • Loni

    how do i get my show on roku? I have many shows that I want to post on roku. How do I get on Roku or who do i contact?