Roku has a lot of great features right out of the box, but being able to stream movies from your home network is not one of them. Fortunately there is a free solution for this. With a little help from Plex Media Server and a little bit of your time, you can easily setup a home media server that will stream movies to your Roku box and other devices on your home network.
Create a folder on your computer to store your movies. For this tutorial, I created a folder on the C:\ drive called “Handbrake_Rips”. You can name it whatever you like though.
Download Plex Media Server. You’ll want to choose the “Computer” option and then the Windows download.
Once the download is complete, run the executable to install it on your computer.
Depending on the security on your computer, you may be asked if you want to run the setup program. Select “Run”.
When you see the start screen, click “Install” and let it run. It shouldn’t take long.
When it has finished installing, click “Launch” button. This will start the Plex Media Server service.
Notice how you know have a Plex icon in your system tray in the lower right hand corner.
Right-click this icon and you will be presented with a menu. Make sure that “Start Plex Media Server at Login” is selected.
Once you’ve double checked that, click on “Media Manager”, which should be the first entry in the menu.
You will see a screen that prompts you to sign up for a myPlex account. For this tutorial, it is not necessary. Click “Skip”.
Next, begin by giving your computer an easy to recognize name. So that when you are looking at it on the network, you’ll know exactly which computer is your media server. In this example, I named mine Movie Computer.
Now you’ll need to add a section. Click the “+Add Section” and select “Movies”
Give this section a name as well. I named mine “Handbrake Rips”
Next, specify the folder where your movies are kept. Remember the folder we created in Step #1? Navigate and specify that folder. When you’re done you should see something like this.
Click “Save” and you will see that your folder has been added to the section.
The next screen allows you to install Channels for other streaming content. Feel free to add some if you like, but for this tutorial we’ll skip this part.
That’s it! You’re done. You will now see your Movie section and all the movies that are in your folder. To add movies, simply copy them into the Handbrake_Rips folder.
Now, fire up your Roku box and add the “Plex” channel.
When that’s done, select that channel and it should automatically detect your library.
Select your movie, and kick back and enjoy the show!!
Now, you can add your entire library to Plex and stream movies to your Roku hassle free. I set mine up a while ago and couldn’t be happier.
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