Can the Roku device play video files from a PC hard drive?

I’m considering purchasing a Roku player (, but I cannot determine if it will see shared directories on my PC, or what formats it can play. I’m guessing it cannot do this and can only play content from its channels. Is this correct?

From the website, it looks to me as though it does not connect to your PC at all: It just streams data direct from your broadband modem or router, and puts it on your TV screen. So yes, I guess you only get content from its channels (for which you will no doubt need to pay a healthy subscription fee).

Correct, it is internet streaming only.

FWIW, I have been very happy with my Roku & $8.99/month NetFlix. So far, I have not found any other channels I’m interested in - but I keep hoping for Hulu…

I investigated this as I am interested in purchasing a Roku myself.

It turns out that Roku supports the use of “private channels” and at least a couple of these can be set up to do what you are asking. Look up Roksbox - this seems to be right on point.

I was thinking along the lines of it accessing shared directories of my PC via the network, not connecting directly to the PC.

I’ll look into that, thanks!

An Apple TV can have Boxee installed on it, which will in turn run Netflix, as well as stream all your networked media.

Right - but it costs about twice as much.

It’s a good time to buy a Roku, because they recently majorly upgraded their Netflix interface. Before a month or two ago, all you could do is browse your Netflix instant queue. Now you can browse through (limited) categories and suggestions, and do searches.