Play MP4 Video on Roku from USB Drive

Your Roku can do more than just stream from the web, you can use the Roku Media Player, a channel which can be downloaded through the Roku Channel Store to watch your personal video files such as MP4 video files that you’ve downloaded or ripped yourself using Roku device’s USB port. While the USB port is available on these Roku models including the Roku 2(model 4210), Roku 3(model 4230), Roku 4, Roku Ultra.

Requirements to play MP4 video on Roku from USB drive

To successfully get any MP4 video played on Roku from USB drive, make sure that:

1. Your drive are formatted with Roku Media Player supported drive formats including FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, and HFS+ file systems.

2. Make sure that the MP4 video is included in your Roku device supported file types since the Roku Media Player channel won’t play unsupported file types.

Different Roku devices support different formats. Newer firmware may support additional formats. The type of audio formats supported is dependent on the type of TV or A/V receiver your Roku device is connected to. Formats supported by your Roku device can be viewed by accessing the ?/Help pages from the Media Device and the Media Type selection screens.

Following are supported file formats:

Video – H.264/AVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV)
Audio – AAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); MP3(.MP3, .MKV); WMA (.ASF, .WMA, .MKV), FLAC (.FLAC, .MKV), PCM (.WAV, .MKV, .MP4, .MOV), AC3/EAC3 (.MKV,.MP4. .MOV, .AC3), DTS (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV,.DTS), ALAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .M4A)

The following media formats are supported on Roku 4 and Roku Ultra that support 4K
4K Video – H.265/HEVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); VP9 (.MKV)
4K Video – H.264

Convert unsupported MP4 for Roku USB drive Playback

From Roku supported file formats, you can only play H.264/AVC codec encoded MP4 video with a maximum resolution of 1980*1020 on Roku 2 or Roku 3, as for Roku 4 or Roku Ultra, you can play both H.264 or H.265 encoded 4K MP4 video on them.

If the MP4 video that you try to view on Roku from USB drive don’t meet the standard listed above, you will need to perform either a codec transcoding process or a file size compression process. If you are looking for a powerful yet simple to use application to get the job completed, we highly recommended you our best MP4 Video Converter – Pavtube Video Converter to you.

The program has full support for all 4K/2K/HD/SD MP4 video encoded with various different compression codec including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, H.265, WMV/VC-1, etc. Thanks to its batch conversion mode, so that you can load multiple MP4 video at one time for conversion to save your precious time. With the program, you can not only transcode MP4 to Roku 2/3 best favorable H.264 HD MP4 video, but also produce Roku 4/Ultra compatible 4K H.264/H.265 MP4 video with perfect quality. If you plan to play 4K video on Roku 2/3, it would be essential for you to compress 4K to 1080p for smooth playback experience.

Tips: The program supports hard-ware acceleration for H.264/H.265 codec encoding. You can get up to 6x faster H.264 codec encoding speed if you run your computer on Graphic card that supports Nvidia CUDA or AMD App technology or up to 30x faster H.265 codec encoding speed if your computer runs a Graphic card that supports Nvidia NVENC technology.

Related article: Stream 4K to Roku Premiere for 4K TV | Apple TV VS Google TV VS Roku VS Chromecast VS Fire TV

To get Roku playable audio formats, just click settings to open “Profile Settings” window, in audio section, from “Codec” drop-down list, select AAC, MP3 or other Roku supported audio formats to output. You can also do other profile settings tweaking according to your own needs.

Pavtube Video Converter is available for Windows 10/8.1/8/7, it is also accomplished with a Mac version – Pavtube Video Converter for Mac for macOS High Sierra, macOS Sierra, Mac OS X El Capitan, Mac OS X Yosemite. (The Mac version of our program don’t support hard-ware encoding acceleration)

How to Convert MP4 for Roku 2/3/4/Ultra Playback from USB Drive?

Step 1: Load MP4 video files.

Click “File” > “Add Video/Audio” button to import the MP4 videos that Roku refuse to play. Or directly drag and drop the MP4 files or the folder where the MP4 are located to the main window of this Roku Video Converter.

Load MP4 video

Step 2: Output Roku supported file formats.

Click the “Format” drop-down list, select Roku 2/3 compatible “H.264 HD Video(*.mp4)” under “HD Video” main category.

Output Roku 2/3 playable file formats

If you plan to play 4K MP4 on Roku 4/Ultra, just output “H.264 High Profile Video(*.mp4)” or “H.265 MP4 Video(*.mp4)” under “Common Video” main category.

Output H.264 High Profile MP4 video

Output H.264 High Profile Video

Output H.265 MP4 video

Output H.265 MP4 video

Step 3: Adjust output profile parameters.

Click “Settings” on the main interface to open “Profile Settings” window, in audio section, from “Codec” drop-down list, select Roku supported AAC or MP3 audio formats. You can also change other settings according to your own needs.

Step 4: Begin the final conversion process.

After all setting is completed, hit the “Convert” button at the right bottom of the main interface to begin the conversion process from MP4 to Roku playable file formats.

When the conversion is finished, click “Open Output Folder” icon on the main interface to open the folder with generated files. Then follow the steps below to play video on Roku from USB drive:
1. Install the Roku Media Player channel, either through the Channel Store on your Roku or via Roku’s website.
2. Add the video file to your external USB drive from your computer.
3. Connect the USB drive to the Roku 3’s USB port, located on the right side of the box.
4. Launch the Roku Media Player channel and select Videos.
5. Choose the drive that’s attached to the Roku 3.
6. Navigate to the folder that has the video file you want to watch. Click OK to open the folder.
7. Select the video to watch and click Play on the remote.

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