Frequently Asked Questions


What video, audio, and photo formats are supported?

Video: mp4, mov, m4v, wmv

Audio: mp3. wma

Photo: jpg, png, gif


What settings should I use to encode videos?

Very good results have been obtained using HandBrake with the following settings:

Using the HandBrake preset Regular -> High Profile usually works well. Otherwise, try the following settings:

Output Settings

Container - MP4 File - Select "Large file size" if the file will be larger than 4GB.

Video Filters

Handbrake recommends using Decomb - Default for deinterlacing video files.


Video Codec - H.264 (x264) Framerate (FPS) - 29.97 AVG Bitrate (kbps) - 2500


What's the difference between directory structure, and XML method?

With the XML method, an XML file is created which gives Roksbox the information it needs to display information about the media, and play the proper files. The XML method can provide detailed information such as Title, Genre, Actors, Description/Synopsis, Rating, Director, Length, poster art, etc. XML files can be generated automatically using third-party software, or they can be generated manually.

The directory structure method does not require an XML file. It searches your directory structure to find existing media files to play. It will search multiple levels of your directory structure, displaying each level it finds. You can include poster art at each level, which will be displayed if available.


Can I get detailed information with directory structure?

Yes. You can create an XML file for each video which contains detailed information about the video.

See Video Directory Structure Option for more information.

Also, you can use a program called ThumbGen to generate poster art, detailed information, and a movie sheet for each video. See Using Movie Sheets for more information.


What is the frugal option?

Frugal mode allows you to make the most efficient use of the Roku player's memory. Frugal mode can be used when using the directory structure to access your media. It is most useful when you have a very large video, music, or photo collection, or if it takes a long time to load your media. If your media collection is so large that it won't load at all, frugal mode can probably solve the problem.

Instead of parsing and loading the entire directory structure from a particular category, frugal mode parses and loads only the current directory level. The subsequent levels are parsed only when selected. This results in parsing and loading the directory levels only when needed, and eliminates loading unnecessary items.

However, by not parsing the entire directory structure, you won't get poster art from lower levels to show up at upper levels that don't contain poster art. This is easily remedied by putting poster art in each subcategory folder. Also, since Roksbox doesn't "look ahead", you can have folders showing up on the screen that don't have any media files in them.

You can easily turn frugal mode on or off by toggling the frugal indicator on each of the media options in the media settings. Frugal mode has no affect when using xml files.


Why do my posters load very slowly?

Large poster sizes will take a long time to load and will slow down navigation speed. Make your poster art at or close to the recommended size. Following are the recommended poster art sizes.

Movie Poster Art (portrait): SD=158x204; HD=214x306

Music Poster Art: SD=223x200; HD=300x300


How do I create thumbnails to use on the slideshow screens?

You can include a thumbnail image which will be displayed on the Roksbox screen for each folder in the form of a thumbnail.jpg, or thumbnail.png file. The thumbnail file should be in the folder that it represents. If there is no thumbnail file, Roksbox will look at the first photo in the folder. If it is less than 100k in size, it will use it as a thumbnail image. If no thumbnail image is found, Roksbox will try to find a thumbnail image in a lower level folder. If it can't find a thumbnail file, it will use a default thumbnail image.

Thumbnail images should be SD=224x158; HD=304x237


What operating systems will Roksbox work with?

Roksbox will work with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. For more information, see the Roksbox tutorial at Roksbox Tutorial.


Will Roksbox work with my NAS device?

Probably. Roksbox users have gotten Roksbox to work with several types of NAS devices. Basically your NAS device will need to run a web server which can be accessed from your local network, and your media files will reside inside your web server. You can use the directory structure method, or the XML file method.

See Tutorial - Media Server.


Can I privately share media files with friends and family to play on Roksbox?

Yes. You can privately share media files through

For complete instructions, see Roksbox and Dropbox.


Does Roksbox support large media collections?

Yes. The Roku player has no hard drive, and a limited amount of internal memory. Roksbox has three different methods of accessing media. The XML method, directory structure method, and the frugal method. All three methods use techniques for preserving memory. If you have a large media collection, and have problems using the XML or standard directory structure method, then use the frugal method. The frugal method makes the most efficient use of memory by using only what is needed at the time. It does not "look ahead" at subsequent directory levels.

For more information on the frugal method, see Frugal Mode.


Can I play media files from public websites?

Maybe. Some public websites contain media that is available to the public without requiring a username or password. In these cases, you can have Roksbox access the media by specifying the web address, and any folders that the media resides in. Rokbox will search the website and folders for the media and play it if it is in the proper format.


Does Roksbox play YouTube videos?

No. Due to licensing concerns, YouTube functionality was removed from Roksbox.


Can I set up multiple profiles on Roksbox?

Yes. You can create up to five different profiles on Roksbox. Each profile can have the same or different web servers or USB devices, and the same or different folders. For example, you could set up a profile to use a web server, and another one to use your USB device. Or you can set up a profile for yourself, and another one for your kids to use.

See Setting Up Roksbox for more information.


Can I password protect my media?

Yes. Each profile can have it's own optional password.

See Setting Up Roksbox for more information.


Can I use poster art and movie information from internet movie databases?

Yes. If you use the XML file method, you can use a third-party software called Personal Video Database (PVD) which will search internet databases for poster art and movie information. PVD will then automatically create the XML file which Roksbox will use to display the information.

See the GUI Software option at Organize Media Folders And Files for more information.

Also, you can use a program called ThumbGen to generate poster art, detailed information, and a movie sheet for each video. See Using Movie Sheets for more information.


Can I play media from my USB drive?

Yes, if you have a Roku model with a USB port.

See Media Settings at Setting Up Roksbox for more information.


My videos start rebuffering after about 1 hour of play. Why?

To prevent rebuffering after about 1 hour of play, encode your videos at 29.97 frames per second (FPS).

See Recommended Video Encoding for more encoding recommendations.


I can't play a video larger that 2GB. Why?

If you are using Lighttpd web server, by default there is a 2GB file size limit. Decrease the size of your video by using other encoding options, or use a different web server such as Apache or Mongoose.


What poster sizes should I use?

Recommended poster art sizes are:

Movie Poster Art (portrait): SD=158x204; HD=214x306

Music Poster Art: SD=223x200; HD=300x300

Photo Thumbnails: SD=224x158; HD=304x237


Can I manually create my own XML files?


For the XML file method, see XML Files.

To create individual XML files to use in the directory structure method, see Video Directory Structure Option.

Also, you can use a program called ThumbGen to generate poster art, detailed information, and a movie sheet for each video. See Using Movie Sheets for more information.


How much does Roksbox cost?

There is a one-time $12.50 registration fee. This fee will cover every Roku player within your household. (Fee subject to change)


Does Roksbox work on Roku 2?

Yes, Roksbox works on all Roku models.