Purple Screen of Death

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Purple Screen of Death

Postby lauramoir » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:10 am

Ok, I have purchased 3 ROKU 2 XS boxes. One is on my Panasonic HD tv in my living room and works great. We have it hooked up via HDMI cable to the tv and it is wireless. Our downstairs box is hooked up to a Sharp Aquos tv via HDMI cable wireless as well. The first box we had worked for a few days and then at every single streaming channel we got the purple screen of death where there is no streaming of video but you do hear the audio. Called Roku and they told us it was a defective box after 2 hours of trouble shooting. We took the box back to Walmart, they replaced it 1 day ago and now we are going through the same thing all over again. Roku has no idea what the problem is. We have made sure the box is hooked up via a surge protector and the same exact hdmi cable as upstairs. We do not know what is wrong with this thing and why they keep failing. When it works, it works great. But when this purple screen comes up, it really makes me mad especially since the Roku customer support is lacking in their people skills and they do not care that I paid nearly $100 bucks for their box. Ideas???
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby lauramoir » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:18 am

When Reporting Issues

Postby RokuShawnS » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:11 pm
Hello fellow Roku'ers!

I'm posting this tonight to outline what QA, the Engineers, and I need in general in order to better serve you as Roku users. Whenever you post regarding an issue, please keep these requests in mind, in order to provide us with as much information as possible so we can investigate the issue, as well as provide better support.

Reporting Issues

Critical:

Channel name. All movie streaming channels
Channel version (Home 3x, Up 2x, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left)
What is the issue being reported? purple screen when streaming movies
What are the steps to reproduce? go to a movie channel, (does it with any of them, netflix, epix, etc)
Is it reproducible (how many times out of 5 does this happen)? yes it is, has happened with 2 Roku 2 XS units now.
What is the serial number of the box? (Found on the bottom of the unit labeled ‘SERIAL NO’ and in Settings -> About, ‘Serial number’.) first one I took back to the store so I do not know. this one is 13c1aL076858
What software version is the box running? (Roku2 = Settings > About ----- Roku1 = Settings >Player Info) both boxes had version 4.2 build 1006


Nice to have:

Code for the channel installed. any of the movie channels
Is the box connected to the internet via wireless or a wired connection? (Wifi or Ethernet.) wireless or wifi
What signal strength is the box reporting if connected to the internet via Wifi? (Roku2 = Settings > About, labeled "Wireless signal strength" ----- Roku1 = Settings > Network)
What type of internet service does the user have? (DSL, Cable, T1, Fiber, Satellite, etc) We have cable internet via comcast
How is the box connected to the TV (HDMI, Composite, Component)? hdmi cable
What resolution is being used? 1080
If it is a paid channel is the user a subscriber/member, and for how long? on netflix we have had the acct for 2 weeks. the others we are new but this also happens on the free channels
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby atheling » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:23 am

Your "Purple Screen of Death" on a Roku2 where the streamed video is purple but the sound still works is an indication that the content copy protection negotiation between the TV and the Roku has failed. I personally think they ought to put out a message, something like "Content Protection Failed" rather than a mono-color screen. But they don't so most people don't have a clue that the box is trying to tell them about their system. Apparently the Roku support people don't either...

There are three things that can affect this: The Roku2 is messed up, the HDCP wires in the HDMI cable are messed up, or the TV is messed up. Power cycling the power on the Roku2 will clear up its internal software (there is no state information about copy protect that survives power cycling that box). Assuming the cable is good (pretty good assumption) then the issue might be in the TV. Try unplugging the TV for 30 seconds or so then plugging it back in. I suggest unplugging because the power switch on modern TVs generally does not actually turn off the power to the processor in side the TV so it will not fully reset the TV's state.
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby ronfelder » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:38 am

lauramoir wrote:Ok, I have purchased 3 ROKU 2 XS boxes. One is on my Panasonic HD tv in my living room and works great. We have it hooked up via HDMI cable to the tv and it is wireless. Our downstairs box is hooked up to a Sharp Aquos tv via HDMI cable wireless as well. The first box we had worked for a few days and then at every single streaming channel we got the purple screen of death where there is no streaming of video but you do hear the audio. Called Roku and they told us it was a defective box after 2 hours of trouble shooting. We took the box back to Walmart, they replaced it 1 day ago and now we are going through the same thing all over again. Roku has no idea what the problem is. We have made sure the box is hooked up via a surge protector and the same exact hdmi cable as upstairs. We do not know what is wrong with this thing and why they keep failing. When it works, it works great. But when this purple screen comes up, it really makes me mad especially since the Roku customer support is lacking in their people skills and they do not care that I paid nearly $100 bucks for their box. Ideas???



Have you tried a new hdmi cable? Also try a different hdmi input to the tv. The problem should dissapear if you turn the tv off then on, but to fix it permanently i'd try the two suggestions I mentioned. The reason you're getting the "purpe screen of death" is do to a hand shaking problem between the Roku2 and your tv. Usually it's a cable. I know in my case by turning off the tv and back on redid the handshake and all was ok. My problem was caused by a setting in my surround receiver. You make no mention of anything betwen the Roku 2 and your tv so a receiver shouldn't be the issue.
Roku 2100x, (2) Roku2 3100x , Actiontec M1424-WR Rev I modem/router, Verizon FIOS 25/25, LG HDTV 42LH90, Pioneer VSX-920 Audio/Video Multi Channel Receiver
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby lauramoir » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:04 am

After reading through everything in this forum that came up with "purple" last night, we tried using the composite cable instead of the new hdmi cable we bought. As it seems, it works perfectly with that and the purple screen of death went away. I guess our hdmi cable does not work with this roku. I may buy the one on the roku site as folks swear by it. The picture with the composite cable is not as nice as the hdmi cable. I dunno why the customer support people did not know this nor did they suggest to us to try this.
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby parsa » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:47 am

Mine had the exact same problem. It couldn't play video on HDMI but audio was perfect, as was the UI. I ended up having roku send me a replacement. Tried different cables and TVs.
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby RickRansom » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:34 pm

parsa wrote:Mine had the exact same problem. It couldn't play video on HDMI but audio was perfect, as was the UI. I ended up having roku send me a replacement. Tried different cables and TVs.

There was one user who suggested to disable the screensaver from settings. I forgot the thread on where I found that but give it a try. If you still have your box this might be something that might just fix it.
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby Mark12547 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:13 pm

atheling wrote:Your "Purple Screen of Death" on a Roku2 where the streamed video is purple but the sound still works is an indication that the content copy protection negotiation between the TV and the Roku has failed. I personally think they ought to put out a message, something like "Content Protection Failed" rather than a mono-color screen.


Since some report the solid color screen as being "purple", some "blue", some "green", I strongly suspect it is the TV that is using the solid color to represent DHCP failure or invalid mode, not the Roku. In any case, it usually indicates either a video mode the TV doesn't understand or HDCP handshake failure.

A few things I had seen in the messages that may solve the solid color video issue include:

  1. Make sure the TV (and amp, if one sits between the Roku and TV) have its software up to date. (HDMI handshakes are one of those things that seem to get tweaked from time to time.) Also, if the Roku hasn't already updated its software since you received it, on the Settings menu, I think it is under "Player info", is a button for "Check for updates".
  2. Make sure the HDMI cable connectors are seated all the way in the sockets. (Sometimes the socket at either the TV or Roku end are "tight" and the HDMI cable isn't fully inserted.) The little catch on the plug should really catch, just like the catch on a modular phone cord.
  3. Sometimes a different HDMI cable (sometimes from a different manufacturer) does make a difference.
  4. Sometimes third-party screen savers cause problems.
  5. If the TV is normally left on the Roku HDMI port, sometimes switching to a different port and back will cause the TV to re-request the HDMI handshake.
  6. On rare occasion, the TV might get confused about a HDMI device plugged into it and the TV has to be turned off and unplugged to get the port and software in the TV completely reset. (This has been reported on rare occasion after the Roku had done its first software update. It's rare, but I recall seeing a couple messages in that direction.) It's worth a one-time try.
  7. On rare occasion, I have seen reports that a factory reset of the Roku after the initial software upgrade has fixed some issues. I don't recall if the "blue screen" (or green or purple screen) was one of the issues solved, but is worth a try. Note: a factory reset requires the reset button be kept pushed in for 30 seconds so the Roku box not only resets but also clears its settings. The box will have to be re-associated with the roku.com account and then the channels should reload automatically, though those requiring associations with other accounts (such as the Netflix channel or the Amazon channel) will have to be re-authorized. This is worth a one-time try.
  8. Some TVs aren't listening to a renegotiated HDMI handshake unless the connection is physically broken and reconnected, or the TV is powered off and on, or the Roku is powered off and on.
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby lollerskates » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:30 pm

A possible hardware solution for those that get the purple/blue screen

Hi all. I got the purple screen and tried everything mentioned in this thread and elsewhere. I knew it was something wrong with the Roku because the Roku provided 1080 video over HDMI until it started to play something. I could even browse netflix and it made sounds and everything just fine. But playing a video would just turn into a purple screen with audio.

My solution involves any piece of hardware that sits between the Roku and TV that can "strip" the audio signal from the HDMI stream, basically re-encoding the stream (?) to the TV. Whatever processing happens in the sound bar that removes the audio successfully communicates the video stream to the TV.

Basically, Roku -> HDMI cable -> Sound Bar (or any hardware that removes the HDMI audio) -> HDMI cable -> TV.

I haven't seen this solution posted anywhere but it works wonders in my situation. I hope it helps anyone else (please post if it does!)
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby Gilgamesh » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:33 pm

Quite old thread.

From the forum rules:
In general, if a thread is more than six months old, it will be best for our moderators if you generate a new thread, to prevent confusion.


Software changes and fixes and solutions also change.
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Re: Purple Screen of Death

Postby mike_zilber » Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:07 pm

Thanks RickRansom,

I tried different TVs and Cables. Did not get it to work until disabled the screen saver!

Thanks!!
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