Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

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Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby JustinP » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:50 am

UPDATE!!

So my problem was that I couldn't watch Amazon VOD without constant rebuffering, making any video from them unwatchable. Things from netflix worked fine. I had tried EVERYTHING to get Amazon to work on the RoKu even got another box from Roku, tried on another ISP, trust me I tried EVERYTHING! I see from reading on the forum here I am certainly not alone in my problems with the RoKu, not to mention their customer support is HORRIBLE!

SOLUTION: Ditch the RoKu, bought a sony Blu-ray play model S370 for the same price as the RoKu. I can now watch Amazon VOD on my projector with no rebuffering. This sony seems to have lots of online content without all of the useless stuff I never used on the RoKu. It has the big ones like Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Crackle, even HULU!

Time for RoKu to go back!!!



Hello all. I recently bought a new RoKu HD XR player and have been having issues, mostly with Amazon VOD. First let me say that yesterday was spent talking to tech support of my ISP, Amazon, and Roku - lots of fun LOL! My ISP more then satisfied me that there is no problem with the internet connection, between running speed tests and looking at line stats like attenuation and line noise that were excellent. I have an 8M connection and was always getting 6.5M - 7.5M.

The #1 reason I bought the box was to watch VOD from Amazon in HD with surround sound. I have previously watched Amazon VOD in HD on my computer no problems. Now with the roku box I am having constant rebuffering. I have turned the debug mode on the box on. When I first start to watch something on Amazon it will say playing 2.5M stream on your 6.5M network. It then loads and within no more then 2 min it has to rebuffer. It will then say something like playing 2M stream on your 2.2M network and it happens again and again making the shows unwatchable. Normally it ends up going all the way down to saying I am on a 1M network sometimes even less. If I exit Amazon and play anything else like a netflix HD the stats go back up to where they should be and I don't have an issue.

Amazon refunded my HD purchases and basically said that that is the nature of the internet. RoKu support had me reset the modem, router, and roku box (I had done this myself several times) and reinstall the amazon channel. They tried many times to say I needed to upgrade my internet connection and also said that Amazon HD VOD through HDMI requires at least a 3.5M connection which I have no problem always getting well over that. Finally I had enough and asked if I am going to have to return the box or is roku going to send me another player? They are currently sending another player but I don't have high hopes for that being the problem. It really seems like a problem with RoKu and Amazon together. I even get constant rebuffering while amazon is in standard def making any shows from them unwatchable.

I have tried forcing the player to use different speeds when I did this it literally took 8 Min. to load played for 5 min and then loaded again for 8 min and this repeated itself, this was at a forced 2.5M setting. Again if I switch to another channel like netflix it shows the correct speed and stays there no problem. I have also tried many different times of day, like really early morning, late at night and no changes. Anyone that could provide any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Anyone else having a similar issue? Also wanted to add I am using a wired connection through a router and have also tried directly connecting RoKu to my modem, no change. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to provide as much detail as possible.

Thanks,
Justin
Last edited by JustinP on Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:07 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby robertm » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:53 am

You have made that ridiculously hard to read. Please go back and add paragraphs or give a reader's digest version.
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby cwniles » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:06 am

yes, it would be easier to take in had it been broken into paragraphs but in the same breath, that response from Robertm is a bit uncalled for.....the guy went out of his way to post as many details as possible and you chastise him for it and offer no assistance at all? whatever, I don't want to get into it but still, kind of a snarky little reply IMHO

Justin, with all those details it's difficult to suggest a course of action as it seems you are fairly knowledgeable on the various parameters and nothing jumps out at me and says "I'm the problem".....one quick suggestion would be to power everything down everything, connect your Roku directly to the modem, power up the modem and wait for it to completely initialize and then power up and test your Roku.

I realize you said you have tried a direct connection previously but I am not sure if you powered down, made your connections, powered up the modem and then powered up the Roku....if you have done this, I apologize but it is the only thing that currently jumps out at me.....beyond that, I have heard of things like changing DNS entries etc. but have never had to myself so am not clear on the procedure.
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby robertm » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:25 am

cwniles wrote:yes, it would be easier to take in had it been broken into paragraphs but in the same breath, that response from Robertm is a bit uncalled for.....the guy went out of his way to post as many details as possible and you chastise him for it and offer no assistance at all? whatever, I don't want to get into it but still, kind of a snarky little reply IMHO

Justin, with all those details it's difficult to suggest a course of action as it seems you are fairly knowledgeable on the various parameters and nothing jumps out at me and says "I'm the problem".....one quick suggestion would be to power everything down everything, connect your Roku directly to the modem, power up the modem and wait for it to completely initialize and then power up and test your Roku.

I realize you said you have tried a direct connection previously but I am not sure if you powered down, made your connections, powered up the modem and then powered up the Roku....if you have done this, I apologize but it is the only thing that currently jumps out at me.....beyond that, I have heard of things like changing DNS entries etc. but have never had to myself so am not clear on the procedure.


My assistance was asking him to please edit his post so he could get the help he needs. You know, please, that word you use to be polite?
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby chris0071 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:21 am

This is just a thought based on readin similar comments on the board .... but it does seem like most conection and buffering problems happen with HDMI connected units.
Perhaps some units are having issues with the HDMI ports?

Anyway .... changing any possibly connections, while sometimes appearing silly, is a legitimate troubleshooting step.
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby Jay2004dee » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:34 pm

I had a problem playing Amazon on Demand HD movies. If the audio is set to 5.1 surround sound, some HD movies will not play audio. The solution is to set the audio setting to stereo for that particular HD movie.
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby JustinP » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:28 pm

Cwniles - Thanks for the suggestions, I have tried direct to the modem after a power cycle. When I do this the debug mode always shows a really fast connection on the initial load but it is rebuffering within 2 min. Again all of this is only an issue with Amazon VOD. I too have heard of changing the DNS though I have not seen where I can change the DNS server in the roku box, I will look into that more.

Chris0071 - I like your idea, I have not tried using component cables and will give this a try. Thanks for the suggestion!

Jay2004dee - Thanks for the help but so far the audio has not been a problem, though I did set it to stereo at one point thinking that would require less bandwidth and may help but no change.

At this point I will try the few things listed so far. While I wait for the new box I will be giving the old box to my father to take back to another area to test the Amazon VOD with another ISP to see if there is any change there. Anyone else that has any other suggestions or even a similar situation as me I still would like to hear about it.

Thanks,
Justin
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby LadyVixen » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:48 pm

I tried Amazon VOD for the first time last night, and also experienced several episodes of my HD-XR rebuffering.

My box is setup as:

HD-XR ====> receiver (via HDMI for video, and digital TOSLINK for audio)
receiver ===> HDMI switch (sharing HDMI connection to projector w/ 400 disc DVD changer, 400 disc Blu Ray changer and video output from my computer)
HDMI switch ===> 1080p projector

Hardwired Internet connection (HD-XR ===> Gigabit switch ===> DOCSIS3 modem/gateway w/ Gigabit ports ... all connections using CAT6 cabling... business connection w/ sustained 100 Mbps DL)

Ideas?
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby JustinP » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:30 am

Well I tried the component cables last night, no change. Before I swapped the cables I unplugged only the RoKu and when I powered up I tried Amazon VOD. The debug screen came back with trying to play a 2.5M stream on a 7.4M network. Less then two min later it was rebuffering this time saying 2M stream on 2.2M network, then shortly after that it was down to saying I was on a 1.2M network! It still rebuffered 5 times before I got to the opening intro of the show I was watching! Went to netflix and watched a selection all the way through not once did it rebuffer. Also watched the show I was trying on the Roku from amazon on my computer, stayed in HD the entire time and no rebuffering!

Like I say I have a new box on the way but I don't have high hopes for it. I looked into other options for watching Amazon VOD on my home theater and am now leaning toward a Sony Blu-ray player. The model I am looking at Sony BDP-S370 does Netflix, Amazon VOD, Pandora, you tube, and MUCH more. This player can be had online for about the same price as the RoKu.

I hope someone from RoKu sees this. Does anyone know how much memory is available for buffering on the RoKu? It seems to me if they would just buffer a little more of the stream this wouldn't be an issue. What about a firmware upgrade that allowed you to use a USB thumb-drive as added buffer space? I would rather wait for a longer load time then constantly have my show interrupted by rebuffering!

LadyVixen - Thanks for the reply, good to know that someone else has trouble with Amazon VOD. Have you turned on the debug mode. I have found this quite helpful to find out what the RoKu box THINKS its bandwidth is. You can access this by pressing HOME x5, FF x3, then REW x2. I don't see anything about your setup that I would change to help with the Amazon stream. I would ask if you know that since you have your HDMI cable from RoKu plugged into your reciever you shouldn't also need the optical cable as HDMI carries the sound as well as video.

So anyone else? ROKU ANY IDEAS?
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby chris0071 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:34 am

Is it just AOD?

Did you try removing the channel from the channel store under "my channels", and then add it again?

That shouldn't do anything since you've done a reset .... but stranger things have happened where technology is concerned.
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby JustinP » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:06 am

UPDATE!!

So my problem was that I couldn't watch Amazon VOD without constant rebuffering, making any video from them unwatchable. Things from netflix worked fine. I had tried EVERYTHING to get Amazon to work on the RoKu even got another box from Roku, tried on another ISP, trust me I tried EVERYTHING! I see from reading on the forum here I am certainly not alone in my problems with the RoKu, not to mention their customer support is HORRIBLE!

SOLUTION: Ditch the RoKu, bought a sony Blu-ray play model S370 for the same price as the RoKu. I can now watch Amazon VOD on my projector with no rebuffering. This sony seems to have lots of online content without all of the useless stuff I never used on the RoKu. It has the big ones like Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Crackle, even HULU!

Time for the RoKu to go back to where it came from!
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby chris0071 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:25 am

Where did you find the Sony Blu-ray play model S370 for $99?

Does it have wireless internet?

Do I have to buy cables extra?

I want one too, but I'm curious about these things.
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby JustinP » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:54 am

chris0071 wrote:Where did you find the Sony Blu-ray play model S370 for $99?

Does it have wireless internet?

Do I have to buy cables extra?

I want one too, but I'm curious about these things.



New it goes for $129 at most places. I got mine used for $120 shipped with 8 NEW Blu-ray movies, a heck of a deal I think.
No wireless, not a concern for me at all.
Just like the RoKu no cables included, I had an HDMI cable.

The main thing is it works 100% flawlessly for me, it might be an option for others who have problems with the RoKu box.

TO ROKU: I really wanted your product to work for me! I had a few people interested in one, waiting to see how it worked for me. I would of considered buying an updated product when released from you or even recommending it to friends and family but the HORRIBLE customer service will stop me from doing either.
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Re: Amazon VOD problems, anyone else?

Postby SuetyStanes » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:11 pm

This is so disappointing. I really had hoped it didn't have anything to do with the Roku box itself, but this seems to indicate that Amazon is broken on Roku boxes, at least on enough that I've heard of this problem happening to others besides myself.

I actually enjoy a lot of the content available through Roku, the wireless option, and the ability for the community to create 'private' channels. But the functionality of Amazon is one of the major reasons I like the Roku, and now that I've invested money in videos from Amazon VOD I'd really like to be able to watch them the way I had been in the past.

Hopefully Roku can come up with a fix for this, otherwise I'll have to seriously consider going with a different product. The ability to watch Hulu on my t.v. is tempting enough by itself.
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