Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

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Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby keeverw » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:24 am

So I have a question, and I know it's been asked here before, but I need some clarification that I haven't found yet.
Roku phone support was no help to me at all, so I hoped someone here could help me understand why my Roku XD keeps reloading about every 2 minutes during shows on Netflix.

Here is my setup.
I have AT&T DSL internet at my house. I am using an eWire brand DSL modem/router which has wifi and wired connections as well.

I have a home theater system that I've pieced together. Harmon Kardon reciever, Samsung 50" plasma (720p) HDTV.

I am using the analog (SD) video and audio outputs from the ROKU into my reciever.
My TV will do 720p, but I don't have an HDMI cable, and the Roku didn't come with one, so for now I'm doing SD.

I connected the Roku to my wifi which is password protected, so I know nobody else is stealing bandwidth.
It connected no problem, and said it had excellent signal strength.

I went to Netflix channel and started a tv show in a series we've been watching lately.
It loaded up in a reasonable amount of time, and it started playing. The picture and sound were satisfactory, and all was well, I thought.......

But then after about 2 minutes of playing the show, it paused and started reloading again. It took about the same amount of time as the first load, and then it picked up and started playing where it left off. Then after about 2 or 3 more minutes it did it again.


My first thought was, turn off the wifi on my laptop, and on my Droid, and see if that makes a difference.
It made no difference. And those are the only two other devices connected to my network.

Then I thought, ok, I'll try connecting with a wire. I know that should be a faster connection right?
It made no difference. And yes, I did redo the network setup for "wired" on the Roku properly.


Now I don't know exactly how fast my DSL connection really is. And I'm not at home right now to check it online.
But I do know this. Netflix worked just fine on my laptop via the same wifi connection and it never had to reload anything.
When I told the tech support guy this, he told me, "yes, but the laptop is a much lower resolution for that 14" screen, where as the Roku is a higher resolution on the 50" screen.)
But, when I watch Netflix on my laptop, I have the S-Video output from the laptop plugged into my home theater reciever, so I am actually watching it on the 50" tv, and also on the 14" laptop screen simultaneously, and the video quality from the laptop plugged into my tv doesn't look any different than when the Roku was playing on the same TV. So I am not saying the resolution was exactly the same, but it had to be pretty close. And maybe it was the same. I don't know. Truth be told, the only real reason I wanted a Roku is to eliminate the need to stretch a cable from my laptop to my home theater reciever every time we want to watch streaming netflix, which we are doing more often now. I have two toddlers, so leaving that cord strung accross the living room isn't an option. But the audio/video quality is great using that method.

My question is this.

Whatever my actual DSL speed is, if it's fast enough to stream Netflix all day long on my laptop connected to my tv, then why isn't that same connection fast enough for the Roku to do the same thing playing the same movie? Is the buffer smaller? If that were the case, I would think when I initially start a movie the laptop would take longer to load than the Roku (filling it's larger buffer) but it takes about the same time. And I've even eliminated the wifi connection as being the weak link as well, because it did the same thing hard-wired into my DSL modem/router.


So what gives?

Because at this point, I am seriously considering returning the Roku XD for a refund, and putting a little more with it to get a Wii, which will not only do a better job of streaming Netflix, but also play games.


It really got under my skin that customer service instantly pointed the finger at my internet connection speed, without even considering that maybe it's the Roku that has a problem.
I mean, there is nothing on the Roku box or advertisements, or system requirements that says you need to make sure you have a way faster than average internet connection to insure an acceptable viewing experience. It just says "high speed internet" and I have that. My DSL is fast enough to stream Netflix on my laptop just fine, but the Roku (a device designed specifically for streaming netflix) can't do it?
The tech support guy kept telling me that the Roku has hardware limitations. Limitations that make it require a faster connection to play the same movie that my laptop plays flawlessly?
I am no expert, but that doesn't make sense to me.


Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated, either by Roku or by fellow Roku users.



Thanks!
Last edited by keeverw on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:36 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby RokuShawnS » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:30 am

Each streaming device uses different sources to pull the titles from. It depends on your DNS servers as to where those streams are pulled. Some users have had success using GoogleDNS or OpenDNS, so you may want to give those a try.

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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby keeverw » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:34 am

RokuShawnS wrote:Each streaming device uses different sources to pull the titles from. It depends on your DNS servers as to where those streams are pulled. Some users have had success using GoogleDNS or OpenDNS, so you may want to give those a try.

C. Shawn Smith


How do I change that on the Roku?

And is there a way I can find out which servers my laptop is using, so set the Roku up to use the same ones?
Sorry if those are dumb questions, but I don't know much about that at all.

Thanks for the help!
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby RokuShawnS » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:40 am

No, you can't do any of that on the Roku.

For the DNS stuff, look up GoogleDNS and OpenDNS, and then take a look at your router/modem. You'll make the changes there.

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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby TheEndless » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:44 am

keeverw wrote:Because at this point, I am seriously considering returning the Roku XD for a refund, and putting a little more with it to get a Wii, which will not only do a better job of streaming Netflix, but also play games.

You should be aware that the Wii doesn't support HD resolutions, so you'll be limited to 480p if you do end up going that route.
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby keeverw » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:54 am

TheEndless wrote:
keeverw wrote:Because at this point, I am seriously considering returning the Roku XD for a refund, and putting a little more with it to get a Wii, which will not only do a better job of streaming Netflix, but also play games.

You should be aware that the Wii doesn't support HD resolutions, so you'll be limited to 480p if you do end up going that route.


But 1080p that reloads every 2 minutes is no good either.

I'd rather have 480p that works than 1080p that doesn't.

I've already got the Roku, and trust me my first choice would be to get it working properly.
I only bought it a couple of days ago from a retail store, and I still have the reciept. I'm only gonna mess with it so long before I take it back for a refund and go a different route.
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby SuetyStanes » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:25 pm

keeverw wrote:
TheEndless wrote:
keeverw wrote:Because at this point, I am seriously considering returning the Roku XD for a refund, and putting a little more with it to get a Wii, which will not only do a better job of streaming Netflix, but also play games.

You should be aware that the Wii doesn't support HD resolutions, so you'll be limited to 480p if you do end up going that route.


But 1080p that reloads every 2 minutes is no good either.

I'd rather have 480p that works than 1080p that doesn't.

I've already got the Roku, and trust me my first choice would be to get it working properly.
I only bought it a couple of days ago from a retail store, and I still have the reciept. I'm only gonna mess with it so long before I take it back for a refund and go a different route.


Completely understandable position, and I wish a lot of people that came here with problems were as logical as you are being about it.

RokuShawnS' suggestion will probably provide you your solution. I just want to add that if you decide that you want to return the Roku because you don't want to spend a lot of time getting it to work, it is very possible (even likely?) that whatever streaming device you decide to replace it with will have the same problem. Some tweaking is necessary with these devices sometimes. It shouldn't be a huge effort though, just a little time adjusting settings to get it perfect and you should be able to leave it alone after that.
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby keeverw » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:47 pm

SuetyStanes wrote:Completely understandable position, and I wish a lot of people that came here with problems were as logical as you are being about it.


Thanks. I am trying to look at this logically.

SuetyStanes wrote:RokuShawnS' suggestion will probably provide you your solution. I just want to add that if you decide that you want to return the Roku because you don't want to spend a lot of time getting it to work, it is very possible (even likely?) that whatever streaming device you decide to replace it with will have the same problem. Some tweaking is necessary with these devices sometimes. It shouldn't be a huge effort though, just a little time adjusting settings to get it perfect and you should be able to leave it alone after that.


I'm assuming I'll probably have to contact AT&T (my ISP who also provided the modem/router) to get info about changing these settings?
Will they affect other things that I do? For example, after making these changes will I be like "My Roku works great now, but every other website takes 100 years to load on my laptop?"

I know I'm being simplistic, but that's all I can be since I know very little about this subject.
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby TheEndless » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:49 pm

keeverw wrote:
TheEndless wrote:
keeverw wrote:Because at this point, I am seriously considering returning the Roku XD for a refund, and putting a little more with it to get a Wii, which will not only do a better job of streaming Netflix, but also play games.
You should be aware that the Wii doesn't support HD resolutions, so you'll be limited to 480p if you do end up going that route.
But 1080p that reloads every 2 minutes is no good either.

I'd rather have 480p that works than 1080p that doesn't.

I've already got the Roku, and trust me my first choice would be to get it working properly.
I only bought it a couple of days ago from a retail store, and I still have the reciept. I'm only gonna mess with it so long before I take it back for a refund and go a different route.

Not disagreeing. Just pointing out what may not have been obvious to you. The Wii isn't the only alternative for Netflix streaming.

On a related note, though.. I'm curious as to why you're convinced that the Wii will "do a better job of streaming Netflix" without ever having tried it? If the issue you're having is network related, then there's every chance that the Wii (or any other Netflix device) could perform just as badly, or potentially even worse.
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby RokuShawnS » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:49 pm

What router/modem do you have (exact make/model)? If you can provide that information, we can look up your device's manual and help guide you through the setup process.

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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby keeverw » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:32 pm

RokuShawnS wrote:What router/modem do you have (exact make/model)? If you can provide that information, we can look up your device's manual and help guide you through the setup process.

C. Shawn Smith


That would be awesome!

I'm about to leave work right now. I'll look it up tonight, and then I'll post it tomorrow.


Thanks!!!
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby keeverw » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:35 pm

TheEndless wrote:On a related note, though.. I'm curious as to why you're convinced that the Wii will "do a better job of streaming Netflix" without ever having tried it? If the issue you're having is network related, then there's every chance that the Wii (or any other Netflix device) could perform just as badly, or potentially even worse.


First, the wii is the only other device that will stream netflix and play Mario Galaxy. Which is a plus.


But seriously, I've looked around a bit, and there are entire websites devoted to what's wrong with Roku's. So I had gotten the impression that just about anything would work better. Not saying I'm correct, but that's the impression I got. Of course I didn't read this before buying the Roku, or I probably wouldn't have bought it.
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby cwniles » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:56 pm

keeverw wrote:But seriously, I've looked around a bit, and there are entire websites devoted to what's wrong with Roku's. So I had gotten the impression that just about anything would work better. Not saying I'm correct, but that's the impression I got.


really, entire websites? got any links?


and regarding your comment about 480p that works being better then 720p or 1080 that doesn't work.....completely logical but to get a Wii to do that is not logical as if you want to limit the Roku to SD streams, it can easily be done....so, if the HD streams are a problem and as you say, working 480p would be better, just change your Roku settings so you only get the SD streams.

I am sure the ideal resolution would be to fix what is causing the HD streams to choke but I just thought you should know that if you want access to 480p streams, you don't need to buy a Wii.
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby Arwen » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:57 pm

One thing that bit me was the default DHCP lease time for my
setup. I had loaded a Linux DHCP server on a minature PC which
had for some strange reason a 10 minute lease time as it's default.
Since my Roku was going to be the only client, I changed that to
12 hours.

That one change reduced re-bufferings dramatically. Now that
was with earlier firmware, so it's possible it's not a problem today.

But check your DHCP server, (broadband router?), and it's lease time.
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Re: Constantly reloading netflix movies AAARRRGG!

Postby evanroode2 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:17 pm

to stream content flawlessly you need a certain number of bits per second.The amount of bits you can retrieve from the server on the other side of the connection varies over time (network congestion/wireless network interference etc). Buffering can smooth that variation somewhat to give the impression of continuous uninterrupted streaming, but there is a limit as to how much variation it can handle.

The bigger the buffers and/or the faster your average download rate is, the less frequent your buffer runs out (which pauses display until enough data can be fetched). Allegedly roku doesn't have a great quantity of memory for buffering (compared to more expensive hardware).

There can be different sets of servers for different streaming devices. Eg, there could be "pc content " streaming servers around the corner, wii content streaming servers across town, and roku content streaming servers on the other side of the state you live in. Being able to stream on a wii perfectly, and not on a roku doesn't mean the roku is bad, it could simply be that bandwidth to their respective streaming sources is different. For the average consumer it is impossible to tell whether there is a bandwidth constraint, where it is, or what else could possibly be the problem.

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