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Troubleshooting Plex Roku Problems

Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.


The Plex app for Roku gives you user-friendly interface you can use to access content hosted on a Plex Media Server. Because the team supporting Plex is very active in upgrading existing functionality and adding new functionality for users, problems can crop up pretty regularly. Common problems with Plex for Roku include a Video Unavailable warning, video buffering issues, audio issues, problems related to server settings, and hardware issues.

Access content hosted on a Plex Media Server through the Plex app for Roku.

Access content hosted on a Plex Media Server through the Plex app for Roku.

Audio Not Working with Roku 4

  • Ensure that the Plex app on your Roku device is up to date by doing the following:
  1. Choose "Settings."
  2. Click "System."
  3. Choose "System Update."
  4. Click "Check Now." Any system updates that are detected will be installed.
  • Try disabling DTS if it is enabled in your Roku settings.
  • If you're attempting to play an MKV file ensure that you're not attempting to force the file to direct play. Try resolving this particular issue by navigating to the settings part of the Plex app for Roku and setting Direct Play to "Auto."

Video Takes Longer to Buffer with Headphones

Try enabling Direct Stream in the settings on your Plex Roku app. The slowdown you're experiencing may be the result of the audio force transcoding to stereo, which may not be necessary.

Plex Media Server

The Plex team pushes out updates very frequently, and they are always adding and tweaking functionality to accommodate changes in the platform the service operates on, and improve the user experience. As a result, it's important to make sure that you're server is up to date in the event that one of the recent updates they pushed out can actually solve your specific problem. You can check for updates to the Plex Media Server software by doing the following:

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  1. Open the Plex Media Server application on the computer you're using as the server. This is separate from the Plex app on your Roku device. If you're accessing a Plex server that someone else is hosting that you don't have access to, reach out to them to see if they can check for an available update.
  2. Click "Settings" and then choose "Server."
  3. Click "General." If you see an orange "Download Updates" button to the right of the server version, click it. The update will download. After the update is finished downloading, the button will become active and will change to say "Install Update."
  4. Click "Install Update." The update will install, and will temporarily stop the Plex Media Server application from running while the update is occurring. After the update is finished, the app will relaunch and open, and you'll be required to log in using your Plex credentials.

Can't Connect to Plex After Enabling Remote Access

Enabling Remote Access in Plex and actually getting it to work can be a huge headache. The most common solutions to that problem are either setting up access through your computer's firewall or setting up port forwarding in your router settings. If you've recently enabled remote access, are able to successfully access Plex on other devices, but are still having problems access Plex on your Roku device, the most common solution is to allow insecure connections to the Plex app on your Roku. You can set this up by doing the following:

  1. Select "Settings."
  2. Choose "Advanced."
  3. Enable "Allow Insecure Connections."

Plex Constantly Buffers on Roku Streaming Stick

If possible, the first thing you should test is playing the same video back through the Plex app on a non-Roku Streaming Stick device. If it plays fine, the issue is most likely related to the Roku Streaming Stick's issues with connecting to your wireless signal. There's a lot going on immediately near your TV, and it can wreak havoc on your Roku Streaming Stick's ability to pick up a signal. If possible, get an HDMI extender to connect the Roku Streaming Stick to. No, it won't look sexy, but it will move your device out away from the TV to give it a better chance to pick up a stronger signal.

If that doesn't work, try throttling the quality settings down inside of the Roku Plex app.

Video Unavailable

This can stem from a few different things:

  • First, check the server. If something that happened that forced it to restart, it may have restarted or turned off, and you'll need to reboot, log back in, and fire up Plex Media Server.
  • If your Roku has an Ethernet port on it, connect a cable and see if having a hardwire connection resolves the issue.
  • Make sure that you have at least 100MB of available storage space on the computer running Plex Media Server. This space is required to store temporary files created during the transcoding process.

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