Roku seems to kill our internet connection every time

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Roku seems to kill our internet connection every time

Postby knuckles01 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:18 pm

Hello! We just got our first Roku Netflix player last week. So far, every time we have tried to use it, we've had the identical problem -- we'll get about ten minutes into a movie and it will interrupt to load more of it, and then just freeze there. We'll go to one of the computers in the house (desktop is wired, laptop is wireless, Roku is wireless), and the internet connection will be dead, even though our cable modem still has the flashing "Activity" light that is supposed to mean the connection is active.

While the Roku is in the frozen screen trying to load more of the movie, nothing can be done about the disconnected internet connection. If we try unplugging the cable modem and wireless router and plugging them back in, we still can't connect to the web from any computer and nothing changes on the Roku. If we exit the movie and return to the Home screen on Roku, however, and THEN unplug and replug the cable modem, poof, suddenly the internet connection returns.

This happens even if we are ONLY using the Roku and not doing anything else on our network, so it doesn't seem like it could be a bandwidth problem, unless the Roku uses a TON more bandwidth than streaming Netflix movies on a computer does (we'd been watching movies on our computer for months prior to this and have only experienced this problem since connecting the Roku).

Typically, this happens ten or so minutes into a movie, and then we restart everything and it'll be fine for the rest of the evening. Does anyone have any ideas about what might be causing this problem? Or things I should try in order to further diagnose or fix it?

Thanks!
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Postby RokuLyndon » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:24 pm

Does this happen if the Roku is wired? Given that it occurs so quickly into the movie, it should be easy to test.

Can you verify if unplugging an replugging only the router fixes the problem after you disconnect the Roku?

This is unusual behavior.
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Re: Roku seems to kill our internet connection every time

Postby kumasuki » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:54 pm

knuckles01 wrote: Or things I should try in order to further diagnose or fix it?


One possibility is the router dropping the Roku's IP address (which would also be consistent with the other connections simultaneously losing Internet access) This 'should' be easily tested by assigning the Roku a static IP address - but surprisingly I can't find an option for doing this in the network setup. I'm going to start another thread on this because the inability to assign static IPs is not a trivial design flaw!
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Postby RokuLyndon » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:14 am

It doesn't make sense that the unit not getting an IP would cause your other devices to be unable to connect to the internet.
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Postby knuckles01 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:23 am

Thanks for your suggestions for things to try next. This morning, I moved the Roku into our office and tested it with a wired connection (Comcast cable). I let it run for two hours and it never disconnnected. I moved it back to the living room and reconnected it to our wireless network and have since had it running for about 90 minutes -- it hasn't disconnected.

But, after I posted my original question last night, it disconnected three more times (once more while I was using it, and then twice when my husband was trying to watch a movie later in the evening).

This morning, it's back on the wireless network and hasn't disconnected. The only thing different this morning is A) the time of day (previously, we've only used it in the evenings), and B) it's now sitting on the floor in front of the TV cabinet instead of on its own shelf in the TV cabinet. This couldn't be explained with RF interference from the other electronics in the cabinet, could it?

I could see that causing problems for the Roku's connection, but why does it kill our internet connection for the whole house, then? Unless the connection ISN'T dead, but is just slowed down so much by the frozen Roku trying to load something that when we try to load a web site in Firefox on the computer, it times out before it can load the page and we just THINK the connection's totally dead? But if that were the case, wouldn't restarting the Roku solve the problem? Because it doesn't -- the only thing that works is unplugging the cable modem and plugging it back in. And only AFTER the Roku has been taken out of the frozen "loading" screen and returned to the Home screen that shows the movies in your queue.

My plan for now is to keep letting it play stuff periodically today and see if it disconnects again. I'll report back tomorrow with an update! Thanks for your continued assistance! We REALLY want to get this thing working consistently as we're both extremely excited about the content that's available (150 things in our queue already!).
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Postby kumasuki » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:20 am

knuckles01 wrote:... but why does it kill our internet connection for the whole house, then? -- the only thing that works is unplugging the cable modem and plugging it back in. And only AFTER the Roku has been taken out of the frozen "loading" screen and returned to the Home screen ...


Back in my netadmin days I'd come across routers which exhibited what we called the "Xmas tree lights" effect. Just like when 1 bulb went they all went, if one IP address was dropped then the others stopped communicating too (I agree it "doesn't make sense") This was also with earlier versions of DHCP (don't know how old your router is).

The 'solution' was to reset modem/router - which I would have thought would ignore the still 'frozen' roku (not sure what's up with that). You could consider the replies to my 'static IP' thread which suggest disabling DHCP and/or making manual DHCP entries - both of which depend on what software features are provided by your router.
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Postby knuckles01 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:38 am

Thanks, Kamasuki -- that really does sound like what we're experiencing. I'll look into the DHCP stuff and give that a try and see what happens!
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Postby xtalman » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:16 pm

Here's a guess: possibly your router is overheating? I've seen the same thing when I had a lot of traffic (p2p software) and QoS turned on. The QoS put an additional strain on my router and all my connections would die, probably due to increased processor load leading to overheating.

Is your router confined in an area of poor ventilation in your TV cabinet? I don't know if more power is necessary to run a wireless connection versus a wired one. Do you watch movies wirelessly on your laptop without problems?
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Postby knuckles01 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:51 pm

Nope, the router is sitting out in the open in another room, surrounded by nothing but fresh air.

Additionally, we've done things on our network before that were much more intensive, like download high res video on one computer while someone else is playing an MMORPG on the other. The worst we've ever experienced is sluggishness -- we've never had our connection fail, let alone had it fail over and over several times a day like this.

I did read elsewhere that turning off the QoS stuff might help, but I didn't see that as an option in our router's settings.

We didn't use Watch Instantly that often before we had the Roku, but I probably watched 5 or 6 things on my laptop (connected wireless). Never had any problems like this. Whatever it is, it's the Roku that is doing it, either directly or indirectly. It's the only new variable.
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Postby plooger » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:37 pm

My steady-state is wired, so both my Roku players have performed admirably.

However, I *will* say that when I tried testing wireless after a week or two in, doing so regularly caused my router to lockup. Given that I was a "wired" customer, and that the problem may be related to an old non-commercial firmware (Sveasoft Talisman Basic 1.0.5) on my Linksys WRT-54G, I opted to bypass any debugging and scurried back to wired mode.
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Re: Roku seems to kill our internet connection every time

Postby danville_bob » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:38 am

Ok, I know this sounds like magic, but I am having a similair problem on my DSL line.
My Netflix Player is connected via Ethernet to a DL601 router, this in turn is connected to my Xyzel DSL modem. The DL601 maintains our PPPOE connection to our ISP.
Everytime we watch a movie, if we leave the Netflix player in the Main Screen, after some period of time our DSL Modem locks up. We lose our internet connection. Resetting the Xyzel modem restores the connection.
The only possible theory I can come up for this is that the Netflix Player is somehow logging us out of our PPPOE connection, or that Our ISP's DSL equipment is disconnecting us for some unknown reason.

Someday soon, I am going to try to get a Wireshark capture of the traffic between the DSL Modem and the DL601 Router.
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Re: Roku seems to kill our internet connection every time

Postby wideasleep1 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:47 am

danville_bob wrote:Ok, I know this sounds like magic, but I am having a similair problem on my DSL line.
My Netflix Player is connected via Ethernet to a DL601 router, this in turn is connected to my Xyzel DSL modem. The DL601 maintains our PPPOE connection to our ISP.
Everytime we watch a movie, if we leave the Netflix player in the Main Screen, after some period of time our DSL Modem locks up. We lose our internet connection. Resetting the Xyzel modem restores the connection.
The only possible theory I can come up for this is that the Netflix Player is somehow logging us out of our PPPOE connection, or that Our ISP's DSL equipment is disconnecting us for some unknown reason.

Someday soon, I am going to try to get a Wireshark capture of the traffic between the DSL Modem and the DL601 Router.


Hey danville-bob! (Used to live in Diablo!) What do you mean 'main screen'..do you mean the queue? Or the movie details?
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Postby ltsching » Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:45 am

I have the same problem whether connected through wireless or ethernet. Previously I have had the Roku player blinking problem that required me to restart the player once a day. Now we have duplicated the internet outage problem every time we use the Roku player. My set up is Apple Time Capsule router with Time Warner cable modem service. I am going to call support and request a different unit.
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Postby wideasleep1 » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:44 pm

ltsching wrote:I have the same problem whether connected through wireless or ethernet. Previously I have had the Roku player blinking problem that required me to restart the player once a day. Now we have duplicated the internet outage problem every time we use the Roku player. My set up is Apple Time Capsule router with Time Warner cable modem service. I am going to call support and request a different unit.


RE: Time Capsule..did you see erinford's post wrt "WPA2 Group Key Timeout" in settings? Changing this solved it for some. Search for the 'daily restart' thread. G'Luck!
Then as it was, then again it will be
An' though the course may change sometimes,
rivers always reach the sea

M1000x2,M2000,Twonky 4.3.3 RC1 beta on LinkStation HGLAN400gig,Buffalo whr-g54s on DD-WRTfirmware-luv'in it!
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