New to forum and soon to be a WD Live Hub user with a couple questions

Hello all, 

I will soon be ordering my WD Live Hub and wanted to know if the Roku is capable of connecting to the Hub.  I originally used the Roku but soon found that I wasnt totally impressed with the unit.  I ended up giving it to my son and he uses it in his room.  So my question is, can I use the Roku with the new player or should I also upgrade his player as well?  He mainly uses it to watch Hulu but he may watch some stored content that would be located on the 1tb drive in the Hub.  Thanks

As long as the Roku is connecting to the Hub via DLNA (“media server”) it should be fine.

actually there’s 2 ways it can access the hub

DNLA (media server)


SMB (windows network share)

KAD79 wrote:

actually there’s 2 ways it can access the hub


DNLA (media server)




SMB (windows network share)

Are you sure that a roku can access windows network shares?

richUK wrote:

KAD79 wrote:

actually there’s 2 ways it can access the hub


DNLA (media server)




SMB (windows network share)

Are you sure that a roku can access windows network shares?

no I’m not sure on anything roku

but the WD Hub will make the media available via both of those protocols

edit a quick google, shows not only can roku not do SMB, but also does not do UPNP

so WD will make the media available but roku has no way to access it

So the answer to the op’s question is that you probably cannot access the hub from a roku player.

Yeah, now that you mention it, I do recall seeing that Roku only works with Plex?

Maybe an actual Roku owner can respond. :slight_smile:

Dunno much about Roku either but I do know there are people using them with PlayOn. Maybe the hub can be accessed via the My Media option in PlayOn. Maybe mapping might be needed to do this IDK. 

TonyPh12345>>> Maybe an actual Roku owner can respond.:smiley:


Ask and ye shall receive.

Short Answer:

Yes this can be done with a Roku, but as far as I can tell it does require PlayOn as flhthemi noted (yes I do have both)

Long Answer:

I had never tried this before, but since the question was asked, I figured I might as well test it out and get us an answer.  

PlayOn has a “My Media” setting that you need to turn on, and allows you to set up points of access to folders on the PlayOn server, as well as to shares mapped to that Computer. I set up access to a folder that was shared on my HUB. From your Roku, you go to the PlayOn Channel, and the the “My Media” sub channel, and you can browse the folders that you have setup on the PlayOn server. There are also options for “All Video”, “Genres” and  “Playlists” but I have not yet tried any of those, just browsing by folder. You can play video, audio and pictures that are on the HUB or any of the other shared directories on your network that you desire and are mapped to your PlayOn server with a drive letter. By default, PlayOn transcodes the video for you, but you can list file extensions that it should push native to your device if you like. For a Roku, I  would guess you need them all transcoded? Seems to work quite well and the videos that I have tested played very smoothly on my local network on my TV and on my Nexus 7. Note from the pic below there is also an Itunes playlist options but since I dont use ITunes, not really sure how that works.

This would solve the original problem stated by Ziggy75 and your son could browse and view content on your HUB using his Roku, but you would have to buy PlayOn and install it on a computer. The added bonus would of course be that you would have access to hundreds of TV channels, both live and on demand as well as solving your issue for less than the cost of another HUB or SMP.

Mobile Acess:

Though not related to the original question, For me, there is a very nice feature this brings up, being that PlayOn has apps for Android, IOS, and Browser based that will allow you to access your PlayOn server from the Internet. (you first have to setup and use each device on the local net, perhaps so it retains the mac address? and setup appropriate port forwarding). This allows me to access all of the media I setup as well as the streaming channels from PlayOn from anywhere with a Internet connection. Since I just did this, I have not tested it from off my home network with local media files, but I do use PlayOn when I am on the road and have had pretty good success with channels that have a decent stream. I am guessing that since local media does not have to first be downloaded, and then forwarded back out again, this could in theory work pretty well. I well update this thread when I give it a shot. I have some heavy travel coming up, so should be a good test of the ability for this to actually access the files stored on the HUB both remotely and in a reliable manor

Pretty Cool if ask me, though since it is just access to the media on the HUB, not the interface or apps on it,  that same media could just as easily be stored on the PlayOn server itself and do the exact same thing.

I am a big fan of PlayOn, and would highly recommend to anyone to give it a try. It works with WD Devices, though it does seem particularly mated for Roku. When I bought it a little over a year ago, the package deal they had going at that time was that a  lifetime license for PlayOn and PlayLater (kind of a DVR) actually came with a Roku 2 XD. That pretty much says it all.


TonyPh12345 wrote:
Yeah, now that you mention it, I do recall seeing that Roku only works with Plex?

Maybe an actual Roku owner can respond. :slight_smile:

Here I am:  three Rokus and two WD Live Plus in operation at this encampment.  Well, not a lot of love shown between either of the devices.  Roku doesn’t see anything on the network, WD doesn’t see any Rokus, let along could they talk to one another. 

Unlike the WD units, the Roku is not a native DLNA device, but with Roku channels (i.e. apps) it can be made into one for specific programs.  For example, Plex has a channel so that Plex running on a PC can direct media to the Roku.  I don’t use Plex; it seems too klutzy for me since the TV and computers are in different rooms.  Not so with mobile devices such as phones and tables.  This is why I LOVE using Twonky Beam on my iPad.  I can “beam” media to either the WD or the Roku with Twonky Beam from the iPad in my lap while in front of the TV.  Since the WD is a DLNA device, I need no app on it to use Twonky Beam, but the Roku needs the Twonky Beam channel added to the Roku to work.  I think Twonky Beam works best on the Roku because the screen save must be in auto shut down when stuff beamed to it is playing, but not the case with the WD, which goes to screen save mode way too often when beaming to it, because I have it set to 5 mins. kick in.

So, can I beam media on my attached WD drives to my Roku?  Nope.  Twonky Beam only sees drives connected to  servers, such as the two drives installed in my PC or the drives installed on my Pogoplug device.  It does not see the drives connected to the WD.  It can beam any sort of DLNA compatible file it finds.  Also, it beams pretty much everything from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and other sites built-in; and even websites you type into the Twonky Beam browser if it is set up to respond to Twonky Beam (e.g.

I have said many times here that both devices are different enough, have their own strengths and weaknesses and is why I have both units in the house.   They only cost $100 each, and I believe I have already gotten my money’s worth out of my Rokus and my WDs.

BTW, Twonky Beam is a free app for iOS and Android devices.

mike27oct wrote:> I have said many times here that both devices are different enough, have their own strengths and weaknesses and is why I have both units in the house.   They only cost $100 each, and I believe I have already gotten my money’s worth out of my Rokus and my WDs.> * * *

+1 on that mike27oct. Although they don’t intermingle that well, having a HUB and a Roku on the same TV/Stereo setup gives me about all I could want in an AV setup. Although there is some overlap, each has it’s strengths which make owning both well worth the $ spent.



Just turned on the Roku tonight and got the NEW MENUS.  Cool.  Also, there a new Roku app of just a few days ago called MyMedia from Playon.  Take a look – how is it different from Playon; this new one is free.

pearl >>>  gives me about all I could want in an AV setup.

Not until you tell me you are also using Twonky Beam and are a fan!   :wink:

So mike does this new app enable you to connect to the WD hub directly?


I am waiting ever so patiently $#$%%# for the new interface on Roku. I am completely confused with their rollout plan. I guess one day I’ll just wake up and it will be there.

Nice find on the new mediamall (playon) app. Shocked they are giving it away for free, but this is great. I downloaded it to see how different than the one that comes with PlayOn. Going to install on a differerent computer than my PlayOn server. I have further read about the transcoding option. Specific to Roku, mp4 is the only format you can stream natively, but in my testing of PlayOn, the transcoding really did not take all that much CPU time. (YMMV)

As for Twonky… Trust me my friend, you evangalism has not gone unheard. I have saved all your posts on the topic. I did setup the beam app on my nexus earlier this week and have been able to push some stuff to my TV, but havn’t had a chance to really play around with it and understand it well. Ill let you know how I like it when I am up and running, but you have me sold that it will change my life. :smileyvery-happy: You best not be pitchinng me snakeoil


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.

A Tip:
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.



Seems you have been busy w/MyMedia.  Thanks for all the info.  Too busy myself today – yard work. . . .  I will get it up “shortly”.

Yep, the new Roku menus came in auto-magically yesterday.  Heck, goose your Roku to check for updates “now” and maybe you will get a bingo!  Hmmm, might not work; I just checked the other two Rokus (older ones) and they did not have new menu, nor did goosing the update work.  Roku likely goes through serial numbers/mac addresses to do the updates in some sort of Rokuish order.

Yes, I figured out that MyMedia was just a subset of Play On – if one has a Roku, they don’t really need Play On and it’s channels, since most are in the Roku already.

MyMedia needing VLC to transcode ISO, etc, sounds very much like what VLC Streamer does to play ISOs on the iPad, etc.  Eats up computer CPU, and yes, pausing can sometimes help to catch up the buffer (until it needs to catch up again.)

If My Media can play stuff from the Hub, then it ought to be able to play stuff from my WD Plus-attached drives, but then what’s the point when the WD is right there to play the stuff.  Could be useful if the two units are not connected to same TV.   Ah, gadgetry.


Yeah, just a bit of playing around today, might as well see how these things work together. You are correct though, the app really does not serve much purpose if you have WD stuff which already plays all the media you have. Just a way to enhance a Roku player and make it play local media. 

>> if one has a Roku, they don’t really need Play On and it’s channels, since most are in the Roku already.

I could not disagree more and I am surprised you see it that way. It’s just a matter of finding the right plugins and scripts. The channels that come with Roku are okay and a few I use very regularly, but PlayOn offers an unfathomable ammount of channels and shows, and I am never at a loss of finding a specific show I am would like to watch.   alone has provided enough channels to more than keep my happy and well justify the cost of PlayOn. Also worth  checking out

Still waiting on the new interface… hoping to be wowed with all the hype surrounding


OK, I believe you if you say PlayOn has more channels than Roku – you have both, so you have checked it out.  I do not have PlayOn.  Jeeze, we have not cut the cable cord with lots of digital channels, we have Roku and WD, blu-ray etc…  I likely need more “content” like I need a hole in the head.  I will put MyMedia into action, though.  I like “free”, and since not everything is on the WD drives and some is on PC only, I am sure I will find good use of MyMedia.  I’ll be interested in how it implements the iTunes playlists for Roku since I use them to randomly play music on my WD drives.

Spent some time re-arranging my Roku channels so the favs show up at the top of the new menu design.  I think it will work out fine as a new design format.  Too bad WD can’t send us new menu designs for our players and give them a face lift.

So for the benefit of the original poster we can now say that you cannot play any media directly from the WD hub to a roku player. However you can install free software on your computer and an app on your roku which will allow media to be played via your computer.