New to Roku or looking for new channels to explore? Get tips and tricks straight from our channel partners in our new Channel Highlight series. Leave your questions or comments below for Plex!

Everybody loves how simple it is to combine all their favorite media streams through their Roku player, and Plex, enhances that functionality by turning your Roku player into a window for all your personal media. With Plex on Roku, you have the ability to better organize your videos, photos, music and movies and stream them to your big screen.

For Roku owners who’ve used the Plex app, you already know about the way Plex makes your personal media look beautiful by automatically pulling in metadata like cover art, descriptions, ratings and more.  If you’re unfamiliar with Plex, here are some tips to turn your Roku Player into the perfect center for your personal media.

  1. Share your media with friends and family – Plex allows friends and family to stream your media directly to their Plex-enabled mobile, desktop or set-top devices.
  2. Queue videos from different websites, like YouTube, Vimeo, Ted Talks and more, to watch later on your Roku. The Plex app allows you to prepare a streaming video list for later viewing, saving you time.
  3. Give the bookmarklet a whirl. Easily bookmark videos from your favorite sites with one-click and watch later on Plex.
  4. For Plex Pass subscribers, now you can easily stream your most up to date photos from your smartphone or tablet to your big screen using the new Camera Upload feature.

With these tips & tricks, you’ll see why Plex is one of the top-10 channels on the Roku player.

In a nutshell, Plex organizes all of your personal media, no matter where it’s stored, so you can access and enjoy it on any of your devices. All Roku users in the U.S., Canada and UK can add the Plex channel for $4.99 after a free 30 day trial.

About Scott Hancock

Plex, Vice President of Marketing
Posted in Tips | Tagged , , |
  • Plexer

    Wait, is the Plex channel on Roku no longer free?

    • Rick

      It’s free if you were able to add it before December [before they released an update]. The server [program] itself is free, but the Plex app for new customers [those who got it around December] will have a 30-day trial before getting charged for $4.99.

      I got it before the December update so you could consider me lucky but after having the Plex app for a while, I’d still pay for the $4.99 [it’s just a one time fee] to support their efforts.

      • The_El_Conquistador

        I had it last fall and it dies after 30 days. PLEX is a four letter word around here. I miss XBMC.

        • I recommend you see how you like the free Rarflix channel: It’s the unofficial alternative to the official Plex channel.

          You could also try PlayOn or get one of the Amazon Fire TV models, which allow XBMC to be “side-loaded”.

  • PlexFan

    IMO Plex on Roku isn’t worth it. The reason I started using Plex was because of the gorgeous interface with slick menus, plenty of data displayed on movies and episodes, and big splash posters. The Roku’s cut-and-paste interface for every app except Netflix is pretty disappointing, especially for Plex which is capable of a really beautiful display. Plex developers wish they could do more with it but the Roku’s dev kit limits them to these boring menus. I’m probably switching to Amazon’s FireTV.

    • Shawn McDonald

      Or… You could download Plex’s Home Theater software (same site, still free) to a dedicated Home Theater PC and get all the expanded functionality that you seek.

      • Dale Cooper

        Yeah, but then you need an IR remote for the PC. I want to sit on my couch. 🙂

        • mike

          Or, since it’s a PC, you could install any number of IP remote apps on the PC and your smartphone.

        • Jeff

          You can get a decent one for $15 bucks. IR Receiver plugs into usb port. IR Keyboards are pretty cheap too. You can get one for $20 with built in track pad

        • Holly_Wight

          You could get a Harmony Smart Remote. That plays nice with Bluetooth.

        • Scott De Santi Sr.

          Unified remote is available for PC, Apple and Android…no IR remote needed.

    • tommy thumb

      FYI- Plex managed to get the Roku interface updated. My understanding is it was a pretty big undertaking but it looks great.

  • jonyi89

    To clarify, the fee is a ONE TIME FEE. imo it is definately worth it for the features PLEX provides.

    • Jim Thomas

      I thought it was 4.99 a month

      • I can see where there might be some confusion. A PlexPass subscription is $4.99 a month and offers the latest and other premium features. However, you can use many features of Plex for free, although, non-desktop/laptop platforms (including Roku, iOS, and Android) have a one-time fee to purchase the corresponding app. (Once in a while Amazon offers the Android app for free through their app store.)

        On Roku, the free Rarflix channel is an unofficial alternative to the official Plex channel:

  • hulu plus, Plex, Netflix. Top channels on all of my Rokus in that order. buy it now.

  • Eric Johnsa

    I just bought a Roku Streaming Stick on 5.1.14 and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! The quality is extremely high, there are a gazillion really polished channels, and I now wirelessly stream Amazon Prime Instant Video flawlessly… and I am streaming HD movies over a 3 meg internet service at it WORKS perfectly. The PBS and Smithsonian app are also really good.

  • George

    Perfect addition to my HD antenna, allowing me to recover some of what was lost when I cut the cord. Roku rocks!

  • paleolith

    If you’re using Plex mostly for movies and have a lot of them, the Plex on Roku app is horribly clumsy. The only way I’ve discovered to locate a movie is either to search for it using the joystick keyboard (ugh) or to do interminable horizontal scrolling with movie posters taking up most of the space despite their being too small to help identify the movies. The app would be enormously better if it offered a simple text-only list of each Plex channel, with skip-to-letter buttons to skip quickly to a place in the list.

    Also, I often see a lot of jitters and pauses when streaming from PMS. While this may be the fault of the server, it would help greatly if the Roku/app used a larger buffer to smooth out such glitches. I don’t know whether the app or the Roku itself determines the buffer size.


    • ftyjyry

      I agree, I wish there was an alphabetic short cut to help jump to different movie titles, I get dizzy scrolling thru all the movies. Maybe add a way to organize movies into folders by genre too. That would be a major improvement.

      I don’t think it’s that much to ask.

      • SgtPep216

        The only way I found around the alphabetizing issue is to create individual folders under the root “Movies” folder. You need to create a folder for each letter (A, B, C, etc.) as well as a # folder for movies starting with numbers. You will need to drag your movies into their appropriate folders initially, but now you only need to scroll through to the letter of the movie you want…or view all the movies within that letter. Hope this helps a bit…

        • Jason Stevenson

          Your experience on Roku is very different from mine. On my Roku 3, I have many ways to browse my 900+ movie collection. I can choose by Actor, Genre, First Letter, Year, etc.

          Perhaps you all need to update your Plex Channel on Roku.

    • app1wxw

      I have 800+ videos/movies on plex… have yet to experience what you describe ???

  • Ron Moses

    We were big Plex fans up until a few months ago. We’re not sure what happened, but things just stopped working. Movies take 10+ minutes to buffer, continually cut out, some no longer have audio…it’s just become a nightmare. Judging from what I’ve read around the net, we’re not alone in our experience. Until they fix whatever they broke, I sadly have to start recommending folks steer clear of my formerly-beloved Plex.

    • Shawn McDonald

      There’s a limited storage buffer in your Roku. Unplug, count to ten, and replug the Roku. See if that fixes your issue.

      • Ron Moses

        Thanks for the tip… we’ve moved to the Amazon Fire Stick since I posted that, and we’re not having any Plex issues at all.

        • Shawn McDonald

          Just as a point of curiosity, which Roku was it? We’ve got a 2 and a 3. We never have lick of problem with the 3, but the 2 is an exercise in frustration.

          The only reason we have the 2 is that we have a ginourmous Sony that must have been the last model off the line without HDMI. It’s to the point where I’m going to drop $400 on a new TV just to get the HDMI port that allows me to buy a Roku 3 and throw the 2 under the back wheels of the truck.

          …And yes, I know buying a new TV so I can buy a new smart appliance makes no sense. But, like Apple, once you train the family on one particular tech ecosystem… Sometimes it’s easier just to stay there than have to troubleshoot questions every time the kids change the channel.

          • Ron Moses

            It was the 2. I get the impression the 1&2 were both woefully under-engineered, and only the 3 (and the stick, I guess) was really up to the task of performing as advertised. That strikes me as a bit of poor decision-making.

          • Morgan Wilke

            Nope the stick is just awful. We have constant loading problems no matter how fast our internet is. The roku stick was a bad buy it just buffers buffers and buffers. I am getting so frusterated if the plex didnt have such a pretty interface I would never use it.

          • Ron Moses

            The Plex interface on the Fire Stick is lovely, just sayin’.

          • Eric

            It’s great, but I haven’t been able to access Plex content remotely on the Fire Stick. I can access remotely on everything else; computer, phone, Roku. But on the Fire Stick the libraries just don’t show up. Have you gotten Plex content to work remotely on yours?

          • Wayne Michaels

            Stick works fantastic for me.

  • LauraK8

    what a joke PLEX is. After downloading the server, we spent two hours trying to get roku 3 to find it, to no avail. And we’re doing everything right. Spent hours on roku and Plex forums. We have the right IP address, repeatedly tried to put it in manually after roku was not able to find it. Then on the forums all we found was tons of code crap that we’re supposed to try and figure out to correct. I paid $5 for a useless app. And the stuff it offers looked really limited, unless I am missing something. Anyway, as far as I can tell Plex is in beta as far as Roku 3 is concerned. And it totally annoys me that Plex would offer it with no solution to help in finding the server except trying to decipher lines and lines of code. BY THE WAY – another major annoyance: They have someone named Plex Ninja (either one person, or many) who over the last two years tries to help people with this server problem, and they always act like it’s the first time they’ve heard about it. Two years of acting like they never heard about a server problem with Roku before. Dishonest.

    • SystematyK

      It seems youre having a lot of issue with your setup! I can assure you that Plex should be easy to set up and manage. I have been using it for a couple years now and could not imagine NOT using it, its a nearly flawless system. If you want help with your set up, just let me know, I would be more than happy to help get you going.

    • kerumbo

      Never heard of Plex until yesterday, thought I’d give it a try. This morning I had about 10 minutes to spare before leaving for work, so I found the Plex site, signed-up, downloaded the server, and entered the PIN from the Plex channel on my Roku. All that took maybe 5 minutes. Then I added some photos and movies to the Plex folder on my laptop, which took less than a minute, and began watching them on my TV. “Plex It” didn’t work on pages that embed videos from other sites, but it worked fine for YouTube, again in no time. I’m no engineer, so I have no idea why you had such nightmares over it, but it’s not that way for everybody. Good luck,

    • Bob Jones

      Installing the Plex Media Server on your desktop or laptop is easy. The hard part is getting the Plex Media Server (PMS) on your desktop to communicate with your Roku on your local area network (LAN). To do this you have to open up port 32400 and also have a local static IP on your router. What a pain. I used a common port forwarding utility to do this. Now it works perfectly…but your PC needs to be up and running at all times (no sleep mode). The setup was not very intuitive and is more complex than average users are going to want to attempt.

      • this tends to be more a result of security defaults that keep wireless devices in another network domain (and usually hidden) from wired components on the LAN

        • Dylan Charpentier

          I agree with you. On the plex forums I’ve seen a lot of people freak out because they installed it and can’t access it or they updated their firewall/PMS and now its not working. That is not an issue with plex or really an issue at all. They merely have to do as has been described above and open the port. Easy. A static isn’t even necessary as long as they are logged into a plex account on the server either though this will have the media streaming out to the internet and then back.

  • iam

    Been using Plex for awhile and it’s great on the Roku. Add Tablo for local channels.

  • Joe S.

    terribly written page about maximizing you plex experience. The new plex app on roku is very slick.

  • Christopher Kawasaki
    Meet friends and share library’s. Plex media server hosting.

  • Keith

    I love Plex, and like that it now includes a lot of the new features that I liked on the mobile app, but… What happened to Music “By Folder” ??!! That’s how all my music is organized and the lastest Roku app makes it impossible for me to find albums organized that way. I’m now actually looking for another app for music just so I can view by folder!

    And how can I easily get to the bottom (lastest) in a long list of TV episodes? I used to be able to cursor left from the beginning and it would wrap to the end of the list, but now, cursoring up takes you to Home. I have daily shows with many dozens of episodes and I always want to watch to latest unwatched, which is always at the end of the list! And why does the list include Unwatched episodes even though I’ve selected to view Unwatched?? If it’s going to include Unwatched, which I don’t think it should if you’re viewing Unwatched, it should at least automatically skip down to the first unwatched, since there are likely a whole lot of unwatched episodes at the top that ppl have to cursor down through.

    I’m still getting used to the new interface design, but I have to say my first week impression is that it’s more clumsy and busy than I want or need, especially with all the large/small tiles and “smart suggestions” that often seem downright ridiculous, and compete for screen space. Today I saw the suggested music category “ARTISTS ON TOUR”. Really?! That gets screen space but I can’t get a simple view by folder??

    And what’s up with the one huge show/movie tile and four small? It’s annoying to me because the interface seems to be saying there’s something special about the huge one when in fact it’s completely random, as is which five are chosen to appear, in most cases forcing me to cursor down and press “More…” to get to the actual list. This does more to hinder navigation than to improve it IMHO.

    Is the Roku app a work in progress or am I just missing how to get these things to work? Is there a way to go back to the old one? …not that I really want to abandon the desirable new features that I always liked in the desktop and mobile app version. Or could there maybe be a way to choose an alternate Roku interface that works more like the desktop and mobile version, which I think are elegantly designed, straight-forward to navigate, and not cluttered with suggestions and categorizations not requested or desired? Did Plex get bought my MS?? jk

    • Keith

      What happened to Music “By Folder” ??!! That’s how all my music is organized and the latest Roku app makes it impossible for me to find albums organized that way. I’m now actually looking for another app for music just so I can view by folder!

      And how can I easily get to the bottom (latest) in a long list of TV episodes? I used to be able to cursor left from the beginning and it would wrap to the end of the list, but now, cursoring up takes you to Home. I have daily shows with many dozens of episodes and I always want to watch to latest unwatched, which is always at the end of the list! And why does the list include watched episodes even though I’ve selected to view unwatched??

      How do you turn off the auto-start next episode, a new feature that apparently defaults to on?

  • Dennis Louie

    I have the plex media server running on my pc and i have the plex channel on my roku 3 but when i click on the plex channel I get an error message No Media Server Found, must have version 9.1.1…. and then says name of my pc is offline-unreachable? Anyone have any ideas why this is I was on phone with Roku for like an hour to no avail.

  • John Real

    Where do my posts go???

  • William H Darrow

    Can I simply log onto Plex through Roku without turning on my computer???

    • Josh M.

      Your computer acts as a server when you run Plex on it. So in order to view the content on your Plex server you need to have the computer running. I would suggest buying a cheap PC with the bare minimums and use it as a designated Plex server computer. You could pry find a cheap computer for less than $250 with a large enough hard drive to hold all your information you want to view on Plex. This way you don’t need to keep your main computer running all the time.

  • William H Darrow

    When I try to watch Plex on Roku, my channels do not show until I turn on my computer and log onto Plex there first.