How to Solve Roku 3 MKV Playback Problems
The Roku 3 is a mighty streaming video machine, with channels offering movies and shows from most major streaming providers, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and HBO Go. But you don't have to rely on the Internet to play videos on your Roku 3 - you can do it from a USB drive. The Roku 3 can play MKV, MP4 and MOV files. But there are some restrictions on playing MKV files on Roku 3.
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 3 via USB drive, SD card or external HDD.
So, how to prepare your MKV videos for playback on Roku 3? Luckily, there's a workaround that can make your movies playable on Roku 3 - Encode MKV to Roku 3 officially supported MP4 videos.
How to convert MKV to Roku 3 supported file format
To begin, free download Brorsoft Video Converter (or the Mac version.)
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 3 supported file format such as mp4 with the best quality.
Step 1. Start video converter, drag and drop the MKV files to the software window to import.
Step 2. After the files are added, click Format > Common Video and set output video format as mp4. The reason mp4 is the target format is that by packing the videos in mp4, the file size will be reasonable small and the video quality remains
Tips: There are also some optional tinkering you can take to make the videos look better on a HDTV screen, such as changing the aspect ratio or specifying the video resolution. Just click the Settings icon to do it.
Step 3. Finally, hit the Convert button to star converting MKV to mp4 for Roku 3 playback.
After the conversion is completed, transfer the converted videos to Roku's SD card or to a USB stick that can be attached to Roku 3 streaming player. Now you can enjoy your MKV movies with Roku 3.
How to Play Movies on Your Roku 3 from a USB Drive
1) Install the Roku Media Player channel, either through the Channel Store on your Roku or via Roku's website.
2) Add the video file to your external USB drive from your computer. The Roku 3 can play MKV, MP4 and MOV files.
3) Connect the USB drive to the Roku 3's USB port, located on the right side of the box.
4) Launch the Roku Media Player channel and select Videos.
5) Choose the drive that's attached to the Roku 3.
6) Navigate to the folder that has the video file you want to watch. Click OK to open the folder.
7) Select the video to watch and click Play on the remote.
You can also use the Roku Media Player channel to listen to music or view photos from a USB drive. Play an entire folder of music files by pressing Play on the remote while on a folder, or navigate to a specific track to play only that song. For photos, you can start a slideshow by pressing play while on a folder of photos.
Quick-Learn: Is there any limitations as to the format of the USB drive?
The following USB drive format are supported by Roku, Roku 2 and Roku 3 streaming player: FAT16, FAT32, NTFS and HFS+. So, chances are actually small that Roku can't handle your USB drive.