So you want to watch free ad-supported Hulu (not Hulu Plus) and YouTube through your Roku device, but neither are officially available. However, there are workarounds. Playon software is one method but at a price. Plex is another way to get the job done, and it’s free. And not only do you get Hulu and YouTube, you’ll also be able to watch programs from CBS and other online shows.
Here’s how to do it:
- First click here to add the Plex channel to your Roku account.
- Next, click here to download Plex Media Server. (If you have a Mac, use this link)
3. Once Plex Media Server is installed, click on the Plex icon in your taskbar.
4. Click on Preferences (on the far right) then go to the myPlex tab and create a Plex account using an email address and password. You need to do this if you want to use Plex to stream local media files from your PC or Mac to your Roku.
5. Now open up the Plex channel on your Roku device. Here’s what you should see:
Hulu and YouTube work quite well on the Roku when using Plex. The other available channels are hit and miss. But you can explore Plex and see what works for you.
There are a couple issues though. Plex uses your PC or Mac as a server to deliver channels to your Roku device. So when you’re watching a show on a Plex channel, audio often plays through your computer. Here’s how this could be a problem. Imagine that your spouse is in the living room watching Hulu on Plex while you’re in another room using the server computer to watch Netflix. Hulu audio will interfere with your Netflix audio. And here’s the kicker, your Netflix audio will also interfere with your spouse’s Hulu stream. So unfortunately, Plex doesn’t multitask well. Therefore, if you’re using Plex, you’ll need to mute the server machine’s audio unless you want to hear what’s playing on the Roku. Playon doesn’t have this problem. Video loading can be slow, at least in my experience, which can be a bit of an issue as well.
But If you can overlook some quirks, Plex will bring free Hulu and YouTube to your TV. And the price is right. It’s free.