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November 22nd 2011 10:15 pm

Can I stream mkv files from my computer to the Roku 2?

So I've got a bunch of mkv's that I've *ahem* acquired from the internet, and I'd like to stream them to my tv from my PC. Can the Roku 2 do this? Or is there another box that can do this?
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Cam's pick

Yes, you can stream MKV files using Plex. I can confirm that it works on the Roku XDS with the Plex channel. It'll do some on the fly transcoding on your computer (have only used this on my MacBook Air though) before it gets streamed to your TV, but it's pretty seamless.
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Cam's pick

No, Roku doesn't support streaming anything from your PC. Depending on the model you CAN put files on a USB Flash Drive or SD card and play them from there using the USB "channel". HOWEVER, the format support is highly limited. Many MKVs I've tried did NOT work.

If you want to playback video from your PC or Mac, you likely need to look at a different box. I think the current list of recommended options includes the Boxee Box, the Netgear Live or the new Sony thingamabob.
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The Roku has the "Plex" channel, which does allow streaming from your computer to your roku. I'm not sure how well an MKV will play, but it should.
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I can also confirm the Plex mediaserver & channel are a good solution to stream stuff to the roku.
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Though Roku USB channel has the ability to read and play MKV files, there are some restrictions on the MKV files. Roku USB Media Player channel only plays MKV files encoded with H.264 video codec and AAC/MP3/DTS/AC3 audio codec. If the MKV is encoded with other video or audio codec like MPEG-2, WAV and etc, we will fail to play MKV on Roku via USB drive, SD card or external HDD.

To solve Roku won't play MKV files issues; a recommended fix is to convert Roku unsupported MKV to Roku more compatible MKV or MP4 at­/video­-converter­/roku­-mkv.html
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Plex is good way to stream videos to Roku, while, if you want to transfer local media in MKV to Roku, you need to first convert MKV to MP4(H.264) for playback on Roku without incompatibility issues.

Brorsoft Video Converter is a ideal solution for you. The software has a codec pack that enables conversion between different video and audio file formats, it can convert AVI, VOB, MOV, MKV, FLV, MPG, etc to Roku supported file format such as mp4 with the best quality.
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MKV is the norm for high definition video content. Usually, these files have a 5.1 surround sound audio track. There are two issues with these 5.1 audio MKV files. The main issue lies with Dolby Digital and DTS audio. These files only work over USB and the audio is only supported via pass through. This means Roku won’t help you out if your system doesn’t support 5.1 DTS audio.

If you're facing problems playing MKV via Roku, you'd better convert MKV to Roku compatible video format like H.264 encoded MP4 files. I've also encountered the probems you have, finally I found EaseFab Video Converter (­/video­-converter/ ) to solve the problems, it worked perfectly. You can also use Handbrake to do that, however, it runs so slow.
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Thank you Chris, the software from your link is much helpful than I have ever tested. Great!
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