Roku devices not only provide a direct access to media content from various online services, but also possess the ability to play local video and audio content stored on a USB drive. However, there is a very common complaint submitted by a lot of users, that is, Roku Media Player won't play MP4 files. Now let's discuss the details about the primary cause and a workable solution to this typical issue.
Kevincy | Oct 21, 2020
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Can Roku Play MP4? It All Depends!

As you may know, Roku Media Player is able to directly play videos stored on a USB drive which is formatted with the FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, and HFS+ file systems. But oddly, many people complained that Roku could display the MP4 files but refused to play them. How come the problem happened?

In fact, although different Roku devices support different formats based on firmware updates, MP4 format is undoubtedly supported as stated on Roku official webpage. What you need to know is that MP4 is just a container format that can be encoded by various video and audio codecs. Once the certain codec used within the MP4 container is not recognized by Roku, the MP4 file will fail to play. Fortunately, however, this issue can be simply fixed through a process of video transcoding.

Also Read: Can Plex Play MKV | Cast AVI to Chromecast | Samsung TV Won't Play MP4 | Playing MKV on LG TV

Solution 1 - Play MP4 on Roku Using Free HD Video Converter Factory

Don't worry about the unintelligible task, a free video conversion program can facilitate the transcoding work. Free HD Video Converter Factory does a good job as its name suggests, which allows you to convert the problematic MP4 files to Roku compatible format in a dead-simple method. Download and install it below, then follow the instructions.

Step 1

Launch Free HD Video Converter Factory, open the Converter module. Click on "Add Files" button to import the MP4 files that Roku refused to play. Or you can simply drag the files into the software window. All videos will be listed in the workplace. And as an aside, the Downloader option enables you to download online video and music from 300+ streaming sites like YouTube, Facebook, etc.

Step 2

Press the format profile on the right side on the application to unfold the output presets. There are over 500 tailored profiles for different purposes so that you can conveniently select it without extra settings. To make Roku play MP4 normally, you're recommended to select the "MP4" or "H.264" profile under "Video" category.

Step 3

Click on the inverted triangle icon at the bottom of the program to determine an output directory to save the converted MP4 files. Finally, hit the big blue "Run" button to start the conversion process.

Note: By using the same method, you can also address Roku won't play AVI issue. Once the conversion is complete, Roku is supposed to play the MP4 files properly. If you're an experienced user, you can open "Parameter settings" to make further changes, such as change video resolution, adjust video bitrate, aspect ratio, frame rate, etc. In addition, you can also change audio encoder and channels if you've run into Roku MP4 no audio or Roku MKV no sound problem.

Solution 2 - Play MP4 on Roku Using HandBrake

Yep, HandBrake is another free solution to Roku MP4 not working issue. The interface layout is a bit more complicated than Free HD Video Converter Factory though, it's an acknowledged choice, I bet. If you are using an old version or have not installed this powerful open-source video transcoder yet, download/update it via the official website https://handbrake.fr/.

Step 1

Run HandBrake, you're prompted to open a video file in either clicking buttons or dragging and dropping. HandBrake will read and list all video information subsequently.

Step 2

If you're not tech-savvy enough to customize the video parameters, just navigate to "Presets" part on the right side. Unfold the "Devices" category and select Roku related options as you wish.

Step 3

Head over to "Save As" section to set an output folder to store the converted file. Lastly, hit the "Start Encode" button to transcode the MP4 file to fix Roku MP4 playback failure issue. Besides, you can take full advantage of "Add to Queue" feature for HandBrake batch conversion.

Final Words...

Actually, Roku can play MP4 files in most cases unless a certain codec is unsupported, the MP4 is damaged or encrypted. Nevertheless, the two solutions above can help solve any format incompatibility problem that you could ever meet. If this post does work for you, don't forget to share it with those people in need.

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