Watching Flip Video on Roku via USB


I think we’ve finally found a solid use for Roku’s limited USB support…

My buddy Tim has been struggling to find an efficient way to pipe his Flip UltraHD videos to the television and his first stop was the Xbox. And, for whatever reason, his 360 delivered stuttering 720p video when the Flip was directly connected. Knowing I have just about one of everything laying around, he wondered how the Roku would fare. As it turns out, while Roku supports a narrow range of video at this point, Tim’s Flip has produced fully compatible files that can be browsed and viewed just fine using the private USB channel. However, he’s going to need to hold his camera a bit more steady or provide Dramamine for our next experiment. Additionally, even friendly cats look evil when you capture them in a single frame.

To add USB support while the feature is still in testing:

  • On a computer, go to
  • Click “Add a Private Channel” and input this code: HMKLI
  • On the Roku player, enter then exit the Roku Channel Store to sync the USB channel to your home screen
  • Before selecting the USB channel from the home screen, insert the USB key into the slot

It seems there’s a bit of confusion regarding which Roku models support USB playback. The new XDS ($100) is the model I tested with – that obviously provides USB. But, LiveDigitally recently misspoke when stating their existing HD-XR model wasn’t capable of USB playback (and why the XDS is appealing). However, last month, Mari put together a post of 5 tips and tricks on how she best utilizes her XR’s USB port.

Click to enlarge:

3 thoughts on “Watching Flip Video on Roku via USB”

  1. PS… Tim’s Flip UltraHD is the one that does 720p not the newer 1080p model. So we don’t know how that’ll perform, although the Roku is rated up to 1080p USB video playback (of limited codec/container/file/biterate).

  2. Dave,

    Just to clarify further, of the two models that have a USB port, the XD|S is the only one that *currently* supports 1080p. The HD-XR will support 1080p via a future firmware upgrade. Once the HD-XR gets upgraded this will be a moot point, but in the meantime it’s an important distinction, especially since there hasn’t been a solid time table established (only vagaries) for release of the 1080p firmware upgrade.

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