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Posted on Apr 20, 2013 in Roku, Roku Tips and Tricks, Roku YouTube Channel | 10 comments

Watch YouTube on Roku

Last week, Video Buzz was removed at a request by Roku. The private Channel had allowed viewers to access YouTube content through an un-official channel.

No need to worry though, you can still watch YouTube on your Roku by following the steps below.

Roku YouTube

How to Watch YouTube on Roku

In order to watch YouTube on Roku, you are going to need to do a couple of things. First, you must have a computer with PLEX Media Server that is on the same network as your Roku streaming media player. You must also have the PLEX Roku channel installed on your Roku device.

  1. Download Plex Media Server
  2. Follow the Plex install instructions
    1. Plex install guide for Windows
    2. Plex install guide for Mac OSX
  3. Install the Plex Roku channel
  4. Open the Plex Roku channel and verify that it detects a Plex media server

If all of the above steps have worked, then you are on your way to watching YouTube on your Roku.

Install Plex YouTube plugin

Within Plex, you can install plugins for many different online streaming services. The plugins are similar to Roku channels so it is like adding channels within a channel. Because Plex has an official YouTube plugin, you will not have to worry about it getting pulled like Video Buzz did.

Step by step Setup Instructions

After you have installed Plex media server on a computer, double click on the Plex icon in the system tray.

Plex System Tray Icon

On the Plex dashboard, click on the settings icon (picture of a wrench and screwdriver)

Plex Settings Icon

In the Plex settings click on ‘Show Advanced Settings’

Plex Show Advanced Settings

Plex settings menu

On the left sidebar, click on ‘Channels’


Plex Channel Settings

Plex Settings Options

On the channel settings page, scroll down until you see the option for ‘Disable Capability Checking’. Make sure the box is checked. If you don’t do this, the YouTube plugin will not be shown when you go to the plugins list.

Plex Capability Checking

After checking ‘Disable capability checking’ scroll to the bottom of the page and click the save button.

Plex Save Settings

Go back to the Plex dashboard and scroll down until you get to the channels section.

Plex Dashboard Channels

Click on the ‘Add Channel’ icon (picture of a + symbol)

Plex add channel icon

On the Plex channel selection page, click on the ‘Most Popular’ tab and then click on the YouTube icon.

Plex Youtube Plugin

The YouTube information box will open. Click the ‘Install’ button.

Plex YouTube plugin install

The install will begin. Once completed, you will get a message telling you if it completed successfully or not.

Plex YouTube plugin install successful

If it installed successfully, than you are now ready to access the YouTube plex plugin on your Roku.

Get YouTube Through Plex Roku Channel

At this point, you should have the YouTube plugin installed on your Plex server. Now, turn on your television and get your Roku remote. Open the Plex channel and you should see a YouTube icon at the top of the screen. Scroll up and click on it.

If you are looking for the YouTube search function, select videos and then scroll over to the far right and you will find search.

That is all you need to do. If you have any problems, leave a comment below and I will do my best to help you solve the problem.

10 Comments

  1. Hi I tried these steps to setup the media server and channel on roku. But when I try to search for videos on roku it does not find anything. I have checked that Roku is connected to the internet and I can watch other channels. Also on plex media server setup, when I select media manager->channels->youtube, I can not find any contents except under live menu. Please can you suggest.

    • When doing a search for “anything” via the Roku “Main Search” it will not find youtube videos of any nature,

      also when searching using Roku Search it will only
      give u results for Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Crackle, VUDU and HBO GO.

      Most every other channel will have its own search tool.

      FOR YOUTUBE TO SHOW UP within the Plex server you have to MAKE SURE you ‘Disable capability checking’ I couldnt find that at first but then read the directions again and did go to the “Channel Settings” its way at the bottom if I remember right and you will see it there.. Once you do this CLICK THAT SAVE BUTTON! If you do this it will show up once back at the “Channel selections” you will see clear as day…

      Once it is added go to Youtube and you will see all kinds of sections go to the very end of all those sections and click Preferences or My Account not sure which once there you put in your user name and password once it checks that and all is ok then your hooked up. Now you can view your playlists subscriptions and everything you can do when your on youtube itself, to find “your account” its always at the end.. To view other parts of Youtube you will find it within the choices in the very beginning of all those selection thingies…

      (There is also a search feature to search Youtube) u can find this in the “US Video Section”

      I hope I have helped you and given the right info I am doing this from memory as my roku is not with me at the moment.

      Also one more tip make sure u have the server going or your laptop connected otherwise you will get a blank screen when you open the plex app

  2. Or you can use Twonky Beam or PlayTo to send YouTube (and other) videos to your Roku from your mobile device.

    • Well if you can put YouTube an other can I some how put my direct tv app or showtime app on my roku

  3. This worked perfectly. The floating share widget on this page was very annoying though. Made it very hard to read.

    • Thanks for the feedback Vicki. The sidebar has been removed.

  4. I have youtube hooked up and i have put in my youtube email and password in and everything seems ok because i can search and view youtube content on the roku but I still can not view my youtube playlists or subscriptions, i keep getting a “this channel is currently unavailable” message.

  5. I installed the channel and it works great most of the time…..sometimes though certain videos (mainly vevo) wont play and other times the same video will play…..if it doesnt play I get “video unavailable” message…any ideas?

  6. I can install the youtube channel fine and it tells me it successfully installed, but when i click on the channel, it tells me “The media server responded with an error.” and won’t load the channel. All other channels work fine. The youtube channel used to work fine but a few months ago this started happening.

  7. My goal is to install YouTube via PLEX. I have added the icon “successfully”, but when I click on the YouTube icon in the list on PLEX, I am presented with a error “CONTENT UNAVAILABLE – An error occurred while trying to load content. Make sure the server is running.”

    The server is running, because when I click on neighboring icons to YouTube in PLEX, I do not have trouble in opening them.

    However, I have yet to find the location to add my user name and password. However, it is possible that I have to overcome the error before a request is made for those credentials.

    Please advise.

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