Thanks to mike27oct, problem solved in getting Roku to play media that is on a WD Hub. I have gone ahead and tested the new free app from PlayOn called MyMedia that he pointed out in an above post and it works well.
You can get it and read more about it here
Install the application on a PC, and it will will transcode or stream natively (your choice by format) your local media allowing it to be played by the Roku (as well as several other streaming clients) on it’s own channel. By mapping a drive to the HUB, and choosing whatever folders you would like to share out, the Roku can now play files that are on the HUB, without having to buy the full version of PlayOn.
Once you have installed and chosen the folders to share, the app will go through and add them to some type of library. On the Roku, go to the channel store and install the MyMedia channel. You will see all of the folders that you shared from the server, can browse and play the videos / music and Pictures. You can also get to the same folders from inside the PlayOn channel on your Roku if you have the full version installed. Free, and pretty awesome. It is also well worth noting that the application DOES transcode ISO files which makes me extremely happy.
Notes on Install
1) You do need VLC installed on the computer you are using for this.
2) Transcoding local media seems to be a very processor intensive. Expect this to tie up a computer if it is not pretty fast.
>>>>>how is it different from Playon; this new one is free
Easy answer, the free app just transcodes your local media and plays it to your Roku. The full version of PlayOn is a media streaming server that has 100s of channels. I see no diferance though between the MyMedia part that comes with the full version, and the free version. They both have virtually the same interface and do the same thing. The free app is just a part of the pay for app and does not provide any PlayOn channels. It is also accessable as a Roku Channel instead of having to go through the PlayOn interface to get there.
This is a general PlayOn tip but works the same with the new free app from them. Since it is transcoding on the fly, you may find it stutter a bit depending on the bit rate etc. You can solve this by starting your video, and then hitting pause and waiting a few minutes. The app will have transcoded forward enough to be able to play straight through without issue.
This is a big move for Roku IMHO. Now it can play all the same files that the HUB can, as well as provide the other services which have already made it so popular. The two products are much more in contention for the same market share. For Roku to do this though, it does require another computer to do the processing, so the reality is that it is still just a client for other computers, local or remote to stream to, while WD devices actually play the media themselves.
1) It’s Free
2) Will stream media on Hub to a Roku and other devices that cannot play local media
3) Will Steam ISO files to mobile devices
1) Transcoding local media is very processor intensive depending on the media type. MKV is pretty reasonable, ISO hits the CPU much harder.
2) Stopping the video does not immediatly free up the CPU cycles. I turned off he “video resume” feature which should solve this but it did not. The server seems to just continue transcoding the video incase you come back to it. I am sure there is a fix for this but I have not found it. For me, if I just start a playon channel, it stops transcoding the last local video to start the steaming of the new one, and channel streaming does not take much CPU time compared to local media. Gotta be an easy answer for this though.
So yes, you can now get a Roku to play files from your HUB for free, assuming that you have another computer that you can dedicate to transcoding the files first. Probably easier to just by another HUB unless you use the full version of PlayOn and get the streaming channels as well.