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Can I connect a drive to my router and stream to ROKU through the Plex channel?

Hi all, this is my first post to hopefully find an answer for a basic media center scenario using Plex, a ROKU XS and an external USB drive.

 

Is it possible to access/stream videos from an external USB hard drive connected to a router (D-Link DIR-645), playing through the Plex channel of my ROKU XS? My goal here, is to find a way to connect a storage device to the router, so that it is available and detectable by the ROKU, to stream videos (tv shows and movies) without having to leave my PC on. I guess I am trying to find a cheaper solution to building an HTPC, and not looking to get a full NAS, just possibly a single affordable drive that can connect to the network, and not require the PC to be on.

 

The ROKU will connect directly to the router via Ethernet, and directly to the TV via HDMI. The router would then have an external hard drive connected to its USB port, but I think it might be important to note that it's a D-Link router, which might require the Shareport software to connect... this I am not sure about, and I am worried that D-Link's Shareport utility might cause issues with seeing a drive connected to the router.

 

I have also read about the HipServ channel for the ROKU that supposedly connects to the Seagate GoFlex Home, which could be an option for network storage cheaper than a full NAS, but the reviews for this drive seem mixed, and I suppose there are no guarantees that this channel will work. Has anyone tried this route?

 

If anyone has any suggestions for how to have storage connected to the network to stream to the ROKU (via channels) without having to leave a PC on, I would be really interested in hearing them. Keep in mind I am not looking to build a custom HTPC, or spend too much time using command lines to talk to devices, but I am willing to spend $150 if it gets me a solution.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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Comments

  • TrudgeTrudge Gone off to greener pastures.... Posts: 9,360Members ✭✭✭

    To use Plex, you need the Plex Media Server running, which needs to run on your PC, it can't run on your router.

  • CompassMeridianCompassMeridian Posts: 4Members

    I have decided against the D-Link router above, and will be going with the ASUS RT-N66U, which supposedly has media server capabilities built-in, and supports uPnP and DLNA. Would the Plex channel be able to see the USB drive attached to the RT-N66U router, with the PC powered off? I am hoping that the router's media server software might help.

    If anyone has ANY ideas as to how to be able to stream videos locally from a USB drive attached to an ASUS RT-N66U router, I would be very interested, and does not have to use Plex or a ROKU. I am open to any supported media device, as long as the PC can remain powered off with the videos sitting on the router-attached USB drive.

  • zeaguszeagus Posts: 277Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    CompassMeridian wrote on March 6 2013, 5:18 PM: »

    I have decided against the D-Link router above, and will be going with the ASUS RT-N66U, which supposedly has media server capabilities built-in, and supports uPnP and DLNA. Would the Plex channel be able to see the USB drive attached to the RT-N66U router, with the PC powered off? I am hoping that the router's media server software might help.

    If anyone has ANY ideas as to how to be able to stream videos locally from a USB drive attached to an ASUS RT-N66U router, I would be very interested, and does not have to use Plex or a ROKU. I am open to any supported media device, as long as the PC can remain powered off with the videos sitting on the router-attached USB drive.

    The Plex Channel needs to see the PMS which needs to be running on a PC or NAS which would need to see the drive (which it could, but frankly the performance of all Router-based "NAS" solutions is utterly abysmal as are their DLNA implementations).  I own the ASUS RT-AC66U, by the way.

  • CompassMeridianCompassMeridian Posts: 4Members
    zeagus wrote on March 6 2013, 8:16 PM: »

    The Plex Channel needs to see the PMS which needs to be running on a PC or NAS which would need to see the drive (which it could, but frankly the performance of all Router-based "NAS" solutions is utterly abysmal as are their DLNA implementations).  I own the ASUS RT-AC66U, by the way.

    Can this be verified by anyone else, that having a USB hard drive attached to the RT-N66U router would not perform adequately enough in order to be able to stream videos through a media player? Would connecting a hard drive to the actual media player be the same/worse/different? I am trying to find an alternative to having a PC/HTPC on when streaming videos, and also trying to avoid having to purchase a NAS. Any other suggestions?

  • johnmnagyjohnmnagy Posts: 166Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    You are missing the point. A Plex channel is served by a Plex server to a Plex or compliant client. The fact of a media server of some sort in your NAS or ROUTER does not make it a Plex server, and Plex channels won't work. And a Plex client won't work without a Plex server. A DLNA compliant player/client can play SOME Plex-server content. Various media players will be able to play your NAS or ROUTER served/housed content. Some of these players might work on the ROKU. A PLEX CLIENT will not because it won't have a PLEX SERVER to pass it the presentation and selection data.

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