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Connecting Roku to Plex server via ethernet

griebsgriebs Members Posts: 7

Plex is rad. My wifi connection is not. I have the top tier package (only 6 Mbps upload), situated fairly close to the router, and Plex still has issues streaming content from my Media Server to Roku. I project my content onto a 120" screen so I need the original quality of large files-- usually 8-30GB.

My setup: 4TB external drive connected to my Macbook via USB.

Roku Media Player is pretty robust. I can throw a lot more content at it than even my Sony BR/UHD players. However, it has had issue with some audio streams (most recently a Dolby TrueHD 5.1), as well as some embedded subs. And let's face it, the Plex interface blows it out of the water.

What are my options? I want to bypass the shared wifi network and connect my Mac to the Roku via ethernet if possible. Or would I have to buy a separate router to connect my laptop to Roku? I can run Parallels on my Mac but I'd prefer to connect within OSX.

I am sure this has been discussed elsewhere but after researching for some time the closest I can identify is this thread:
https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/71478/roku-without-internet-connectivity

Thanks all!

Answers

  • griebsgriebs Members Posts: 7

    Roku 4 running current version BTW ;)

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Forum Moderator Posts: 2,557 Plex Ninja

    I am not sure what you mean by "the shared wifi network," but if you have a home network and you hard wire all of your Plex devices into your router using Ethernet, the wireless connection of that router would not even be a factor when your Roku accesses your local PMS computer.

    But do understand that the Roku models with Ethernet all use wifi remotes, so if your wifi is really bad, you will still have trouble with the remote. My parents had one of those horrible modem/router combos that their ISP provided. I finally had them buy a separate router because I got tired of them calling me saying the Roku did not work, when it was really just the Roku remote lost its wifi signal again due to the horrible modem/router combo they had.

    Now the use of USB for media storage through your PMS system could be an issue. I am not sure how well that setup would work for huge high quality media files. I use an external 3.0 USB hard drive for some media, but mine is directly connected to a router with 3.0 support and the quality of my media is much lower quality than the media you are trying to access.

  • griebsgriebs Members Posts: 7

    By "shared wifi network" I merely meant the Wifi network both my computer and roku (and roommates) connect to. There is a wall separating the Spectrum-provided Ubee modem/router and besides I doubt my wonderful roommates would love a hard line snaking directly to my room, which is already the nearest to The Source.

    I was just curious if there was a way to connect HDD>laptop>Roku without dropping coin on a router solely for that purpose.

  • Elijah_BaleyElijah_Baley Members, Plex Pass Posts: 4,173 Plex Pass
    edited August 2

    You cannot, at least not without problems/difficulties, directly connect a client to a server. for what you want a small inexpensive router would, most likely, be your best choice.

    There are other issues that you could run into because connecting another router in your setup will probably produce a double NAT situation but that is really only a problem if you want to share your library.

    BTW: If you get another router and connect your server and Roku to that you will be fine BUT it will not be so easy for your roommates to connect to your server.

    Having said that from your initial description you were setting up one of the worst possible server situations in that your server connects wirelessly to the network and that is just begging for streaming problems no matter how good your wireless connection is.

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  • griebsgriebs Members Posts: 7

    Great, I'll look into routers. Thanks much all! My roommates don't need to access my files. I attempted several speed tests while they were away (no devices running) with my laptop next to the router and my speed was 50/6. Spectrum is the only option in Hollywood. Fingers crossed for Fiber.

  • Elijah_BaleyElijah_Baley Members, Plex Pass Posts: 4,173 Plex Pass

    @griebs said:
    Great, I'll look into routers. Thanks much all! My roommates don't need to access my files. I attempted several speed tests while they were away (no devices running) with my laptop next to the router and my speed was 50/6. Spectrum is the only option in Hollywood. Fingers crossed for Fiber.

    As far as wireless for a server connection goes speed tests mean very little. Wireless is just unreliable for the kind of connection a server, particularly a Plex server, needs.

    But, since you are getting a separate router and you are connecting your server and your router to it wired the wireless factor will not come into play. The bridged connection from the new router to the old one will be wireless but that is meaningless for your Plex streaming.

    In fact what you will end up with is simply a standard double NAT and there are many many Plex users that have that kind of setup including my standard setup. The only difference is that my connection from my router Plex is on to my router that connects to the internet is wired but I have tested it with wireless and it gives no problem.

    "We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming." Wernher von Braun
    "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children." Ancient Indian Proverb
    "The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth." Niels Bohr
    "When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it." Clarence Darrow
    "Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away." Robert Orben
    "My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
    "Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have."
    "Televangelists: The Pro Wrestlers of religion."
    "I do not want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality by not dying." Woody Allen
    "Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same." Oscar Wilde

  • griebsgriebs Members Posts: 7

    So my secondary router must connect to the main modem/router with internet even if I just wish to bounce data from my computer to Roku? Will try to configure DD-WRT and report back.

    Can most users stream 15+GB files to their Roku without buffering at full quality? I'm just curious what a "standard" setup might be besides a double NAT solution.

  • griebsgriebs Members Posts: 7

    DD-WRT isn't available for my router. Derp.

  • griebsgriebs Members Posts: 7

    I ended up purchasing a Netgear WNR200v2 and turned it into an access point more or less following the instructions here:
    http://vpncasestudy.com/download/usefuldoc/how_to_access_point.pdf

    Took a bit of finagling but got it going.

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