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Roku3 Will Not Play

Greetings -

First time posting here, but I've read the FAQ's and hopefully I'm doing this properly.


PMS is installed on a Windows 7 quad-core machine.  This thing rocks by the way.  ;^)

As far as I remember - PMS is running the default configuration settings, which means Debug logging is turned on but not Verbose.

I have multiple types of video media:  AVI/Xvid, VOB/VIDEO_TS.IFO and H.264/MKV.

I've noted that the Roku streamer does not support the ripped DVD format, and so I've been only attempting to play AVI/MKV.

I can play the content through Plex/Web and also my iPhone/iPad using the IOS client.


It's a brand new Roku3 - and other channels work fine.  Plex/Roku is v2.6.1, and Roku logs are from that, although I have tried PlexTest/v2.6.4 and same result.  Let me know if you want me to provide logs for the PlexTest version.  Plex/Roku is using the default configuration settings, and is linked to myPlex account as per instructions.


Roku finds my server, and I can browse my Movies and TV Shows just fine, but what happens is that when I attempt to play something, all I see is the Loading progress bar (it does progress to 100%) - I never see video or hear audio.


The video I'm trying to play for debugging purposes is an H.264/MKV 720p video.


Please let me know if you need anything else to troubleshoot the issue.


Note: I was unable to use your forum file uploader - tried on both Chrome and FF - no joy.  No matter which I used - advanced or basic uploader, it returned a message:  No file was selected for upload.


Therefore - you can find the .zip of the logs here on my Dropbox.







  • lawrence@readshaw.netlawrence@readshaw.net Posts: 4 Plex Pass

    I am having a similar problem. The loading bar gets stuck at 100%. If I drop the video quality down to 3.0 Mbps, it will play. Higher bitrates get stuck. This is with the Roku 3 on a wired network and a quad core i5.

  • CrowInCaryCrowInCary Posts: 20 Plex Pass

    Yes - thank you for reminding me - this Roku3 is also on a wired network - same switch as the server.

    I tried dropping the video quality down to 2.0 Mbps/720p and also 1.5 Mbps/480p, and still the same issue.


  • BruceDeVriesBruceDeVries Posts: 89 ✭✭

    Guys. I have an older Roku and it is working well only thing I may be doing differently is to select Transcode/stream in my playback settings.  It should work with your settings too of course

    Have you tried switching  to the old stable transcoder?.

  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,786 Plex Employee

    Thanks for including the logs, but it looks like the debug logging is *not* enabled. The entire log only had a handful of lines, none of them at DEBUG. Can you enable debug logging on your Plex Media Server and try again?

  • CrowInCaryCrowInCary Posts: 20 Plex Pass

    Whoops - here you go.

  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,786 Plex Employee

    Huh, that's pretty weird. Everything seemed to be going fine, the transcoder was generating data, the Roku was asking for data, PMS was returning it, and then the Roku decided it didn't like something and stopped. It had successfully requested about 1:40 worth of video before it decided something was wrong. And the error that it reported is a hopelessly vague one that basically means "unknown error."

    Frankly, that can be hard to debug. Is it happening for all of your videos or just this one? It may be helpful to get a sample file (either the whole thing or just a few minutes, shorter is better as long as it still shows the problem) and we'll try to reproduce the issue over here and poke around a bit.

  • CrowInCaryCrowInCary Posts: 20 Plex Pass

    Hi Schuyler -

    It happens to all of my videos, unfortunately.  I'm happy to provide you with the sample video, but it is quite large - let me research some MKV manipulation tools so I can give you a reasonable piece of it, and I'll get back to you.

    The other thing I'm going to try is installing Plex on an older Roku at my daughter's house to see how that works.


  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,786 Plex Employee

    And while I personally want to figure out what's going wrong and fix it, if you'd like to try to get it working, it's possible that increasing your quality setting will make a difference. You have the quality set to a max of 3Mbps and that video was a bit higher. So it's possible that by bumping it to 4Mbps the video will remux instead of transcoding and lead to a different result. Obviously not a real solution, which is my preference, but something to try maybe.

  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,786 Plex Employee

    Some day I'll be motivated to write up good instructions on creating a sample. But I must confess, I spend enough time working with ffmpeg and command lines that I never know which user friendly tools do the right thing. I think maybe mkvtoolnix has something that will do the trick? But if a command prompt doesn't intimidate you, you can definitely create a sample with our transcoder. On windows, you can open up a command prompt by typing "cmd" from the start menu. Then, in that window, run this:

    "C:\Program Files\Plex\Plex Media Server\PlexNewTranscoder.exe" -i "" -t 300 -map 0 -c copy sample.mkv

    That "-t 300" is the number of seconds to include in the sample, five minutes is probably good enough. And the last argument is the name of the file it'll create, doesn't matter at all.

  • CrowInCaryCrowInCary Posts: 20 Plex Pass

    OK - well here's a possible clue.  First, I tried setting the video quality to 4 Mbps/720p, and also 8 Mbps/720p and no joy.

    Next, I tried playing with the Playback Options.  The test video (an MKV) plays if I set the Transcoding: to Direct Play w/Fallback.  Unfortunately this does not work for any of my TV Episodes (which are AVI's).

    Not sure if this helps or not.  I haven't figured out how to give you the test file yet - it's 4G - but I should be able to just truncate it and it should still play, yes?


  • CrowInCaryCrowInCary Posts: 20 Plex Pass

    Schuyler -

    I sampled the test video per your instructions.   Here you go.

    Thanks for looking into this!


  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,786 Plex Employee

    Thanks for the sample! Unfortunately, it's playing fine for me on my Roku 3. Have you tried with the sample video, does it still fail for you? I might also be curious if [topic=64584]this test channel[/topic] works for you.

  • CrowInCaryCrowInCary Posts: 20 Plex Pass

    Hi Schuyler -

    1) I replaced the test video .mkv file with the sample I sent you, and tried to play with the default playback options (Transcoding: Automatic).  No joy unless I select Direct w/Fallback.

    2) I added the RokuXsHls channel, and got pretty much the same result.  Progress bar goes to 100%, but then hang.  When I exited, the message said that it had recorded the video as playing successfully.  (odd)

    So.. for some reason, my Roku3 doesn't want to play transcoded video streams?  Is there a test server anywhere I can connect to in order to test with a known/good working setup?

    Just want to remind you - I've been working only with the release version of the Roku channel - not PlexTest, although I'm getting the same results with that.


  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,786 Plex Employee
    mst3kroqs wrote on April 5 2013, 9:16 PM: »

    Is there a test server anywhere I can connect to in order to test with a known/good working setup?

    That's basically what that test channel was. It's not using your Plex Media Server at all, and it's not transcoding on the fly. It's using pre-transcoded video from a (presumed) reliable server to just test the video playback. But it's a total mystery why it sometimes fails, and so far nobody at Roku has ever reproduced any problems so I think they think I'm crazy. :/

    Thanks for mentioning that it failed but reported it as a success. That was actually the main reason I had it mention what it sent, because there were a couple of scenarios that I wasn't sure about. You're the first to mention that it didn't report the right thing though.

    Short term, you may want to try switching to the old transcoder. Inside the channel on the Roku, Preferences -> Advanced Preferences -> Transcoder, switch to Stable.

  • CrowInCaryCrowInCary Posts: 20 Plex Pass

    OK - I figured out what the problem was. 

    I had the Roku3 connected to a Samsung T260HD - which is a 26" TV/Monitor.  It does support digital audio over HDMI, but not all types/protocols. 

    Don't ask me which ones it doesn't support, but suffice it to say that when I connected the Roku3 to another TV, everything worked fine.  Apparently if the Roku3 is not able to negotiate the right kind of audio profile with the TV via the HDMI, it will not start to play the video, and it will just 'hang'.

    All is OK - Plex Release, PlexTest and the test video all work fine.  Plays all of my MKV's/AVI's.

    Schuyler - thanks for all of the ideas - great support here!

  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,786 Plex Employee
    Whoa, fascinating! Thanks for reporting back and glad things are working.
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