Not happy with my Roku

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Not happy with my Roku

Postby egruber » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:13 am

I have the Roku XS and I am not happy at all with the performance. For a short time, I had a Sony TV that had streaming video via my wireless and it worked great. We moved the TV, so I got the Roku to provide the streaming for an older HD TV. The difference has been very disappointing. Selecting channels is like rolling dice. Sometimes they load fairly quickly, other times it just hangs endlessly and says Retrieving..... Playing anything with reasonable quality starts and stops so often that I usually give up in frustration....if I can get it to start at all. Sometimes, unplugging it from the AC and plugging it back in improves things somewhat. I haven't tried a hard reset yet because I didn't want to lose all my settings.

I have checked the wireless connection and Roku says the signal is 'good', and we have nothing else competing for the bandwidth in our house. Is this device just a dud?
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:28 am

egruber wrote:I have the Roku XS and I am not happy at all with the performance. For a short time, I had a Sony TV that had streaming video via my wireless and it worked great. We moved the TV, so I got the Roku to provide the streaming for an older HD TV. The difference has been very disappointing. Selecting channels is like rolling dice. Sometimes they load fairly quickly, other times it just hangs endlessly and says Retrieving..... Playing anything with reasonable quality starts and stops so often that I usually give up in frustration....if I can get it to start at all. Sometimes, unplugging it from the AC and plugging it back in improves things somewhat. I haven't tried a hard reset yet because I didn't want to lose all my settings.

I have checked the wireless connection and Roku says the signal is 'good', and we have nothing else competing for the bandwidth in our house. Is this device just a dud?


It's unlikely that it's a dud. The most likely problem is a weak wireless signal. If possible, connect via an ethernet cable and see if that fixes the problem. If you can't do that, you may want to change the channel on your router, as some congested channels cause poor performance.

You might also want to go to a site like speedtest.net and see what your internet speed is. If there's a bottleneck anywhere in your network (including your connection to the internet), it could cause the problems you're seeing.
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby egruber » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:44 am

The part that I can't understand is why the Roku box performs differently than other devices attached to my wireless network. I use a laptop on the same network and have no problem streaming. I used an Internet TV on the same network and I had no problem streaming. Just the Roku box seems to have difficulty. I have a Verizon FIOS router, and I've no idea how to make changes to the settings. Why would the Roku box perform differently than other devices on the same wireless network?
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:00 pm

egruber wrote:The part that I can't understand is why the Roku box performs differently than other devices attached to my wireless network. I use a laptop on the same network and have no problem streaming. I used an Internet TV on the same network and I had no problem streaming. Just the Roku box seems to have difficulty. I have a Verizon FIOS router, and I've no idea how to make changes to the settings. Why would the Roku box perform differently than other devices on the same wireless network?


The Roku may be more sensitive to interference than your other devices, or where you're placing it in your setup might cause more interference. There are a number of reasons why wireless have issues, which is why it's good to connect via a wire to see if the problem is the streams, or if the wireless is the most likely culprit.
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby egruber » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:10 pm

Connecting via a cable is not an easy option because I am nowhere near a wired connection. I did run the speedtest.net from my laptop and it says I have a 10.4 mps download speed. Again, the Roku box says the connection is good. It almost seems like the memory of the box just fills up and then it gets stuck until I unplug it again. Weird.

If I try the reset option from the Roku Settings menu...is that the same as a hard reset? Do you think that is worth trying?
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:28 pm

egruber wrote:Connecting via a cable is not an easy option because I am nowhere near a wired connection. I did run the speedtest.net from my laptop and it says I have a 10.4 mps download speed. Again, the Roku box says the connection is good. It almost seems like the memory of the box just fills up and then it gets stuck until I unplug it again. Weird.

If I try the reset option from the Roku Settings menu...is that the same as a hard reset? Do you think that is worth trying?


I don't believe "good" is the best connection possibility, and with streaming, even a little interference can cause a lot of problems. It's unlikely, however, that the streaming buffer is getting "filled up" and "stuck" - the technology just doesn't work that way.

You can certainly try resetting as a next step (the reset in the menus is the same as the "hard" reset). If that doesn't solve your problem, you really should try to connect via wire, or change your router's wireless channel to see if that helps. Those are the next two important troubleshooting steps here.
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby egruber » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:34 pm

I moved the Roku box so that it was in a more open area. That seemed to improve things quite a bit. I'll let you know if it is a temporary thing or not. But thanks for the suggestions.
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby mommom » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:52 pm

You asked for help and were given good advice.I understand that you may have difficulty connecting wired.But you really should try changing the channel on your router,it has helped a lot of people.Its not difficult,if you do not have a manual for your router,you can Google it,I'm sure.Thats what I did when I needed to learn how to access my router settings.
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby egruber » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:00 pm

I hope I didn't sound unappreciative. I'm sure the advice was sound.

But, I hesitate to make changes to my router if it is not necessary. The Roku device is marketed as something simple to use. If every other device on my network does not require router changes, then the Roku box should do the same. If this new placement doesn't work, then I will certainly explore the router changes.
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby kc8pql » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:13 pm

egruber wrote:I moved the Roku box so that it was in a more open area. That seemed to improve things quite a bit. I'll let you know if it is a temporary thing or not. But thanks for the suggestions.

Rf interference from other components, DVD players, cable boxes, even the TV, can cause problems with WiFi sometimes. We've seen a number of cases here where just moving the box did indeed solve the problem. Hope it continues to work for you.
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby evanroode2 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:38 pm

egruber wrote:The Roku device is marketed as something simple to use.


Home networking in general is marketed as "simple", yet the return rate of wireless enabled
devices is reportedly more than 20%, where the return rate for regular electronics is 1% or 2%.

And streaming is pretty sensitive to networking quality (both local and ISP). Sometimes I think
its a wonder it seems to work for so many people.

Erik
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby atheling » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:08 pm

evanroode2 wrote:
egruber wrote:The Roku device is marketed as something simple to use.


Home networking in general is marketed as "simple", yet the return rate of wireless enabled
devices is reportedly more than 20%, where the return rate for regular electronics is 1% or 2%.

And streaming is pretty sensitive to networking quality (both local and ISP). Sometimes I think
its a wonder it seems to work for so many people.

Erik


I'd rephrase that to I usually think its a wonder it works at all for anyone. I went through enough years of networking pain "in the old days" to be amazed that today's video streaming experience is as good as it is.
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby evanroode2 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:23 am

atheling wrote:I'd rephrase that to I usually think its a wonder it works at all for anyone. I went through enough years of networking pain "in the old days" to be amazed that today's video streaming experience is as good as it is.


Yeah, I have felt the pain.

I've done video conferencing in the late 90s, and I was in streaming video (short clips, nowhere near tv quality) 9 years ago.
My employer has a worldwide network, serves gigabytes of traffic, but has trouble getting wireless working on the campus I'm on.

Erik
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby egruber » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:04 am

I have concluded that Roku is like Real Estate...location...location...location. It really matters where you place the box, since it seems very sensitive to interference from the surroundings.

I originally had the roku box on top of my FIOS STB. Signal strength was good, but the box never worked right. I moved it away from the STB and placed it off by itself and it was 100% better. I then tried to hide it by placing it behind my center channel speaker....and it was back to lousy performance. Moving it back by itself cleared it up again. Not sure why a speaker would interfere, but it apparently did.

Perhaps Roku should put something in their instructions to guide people with placement. I would have saved a lot of aggravation had I known.
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Re: Not happy with my Roku

Postby gonzotek » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:32 am

Wireless Support Video:
http://support.roku.com/entries/2057040 ... nnectivity

Two more relevant support links found by searching for 'wireless' on the Roku support site:
http://support.roku.com/entries/2029329 ... l-strength
http://support.roku.com/entries/2028918 ... u-2-player
Remoku.tv - A free web app for Roku Remote Control!
Want to control your Roku from nearly any phone, computer or tablet? Get started at http://help.remoku.tv
by Apps4TV - Applications for television and beyond: http://www.apps4tv.com
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