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drcristoff
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:41 am

Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:45 am

I am finally posting a forum question because I have exhausted just about every avenue of troubleshooting and testing.  I have worked with Roku support on this but they don't have much to offer in the way of very technical help.

background:
I purchased a new Roku Ultra so that I could have a unit to replace my old Roku 3 and have one for upstairs and downstairs.  I have had the Roku 3 for years and although I have not made any changes to its configuration or added and removed any channels it has streamed youtube, netflix, and amazon prime with no issues.
My internet provider is CenturyLink ADSL 10mbps down 1mpbs up - not exactly lighting the world on fire, but at least fast enough I should not have issues configuring the Roku.
My DSL modem is a Netgear DM200 set in modem only mode (so basically router functions turned off).
My Router is a Netgear R6400v2 - most every security feature disabled at this point (because I have been troubleshooting), connecting with wireless I have tried both the 5ghz band and the regular wifi channels (have also rotated channels just to be sure).  I have also tried ethernet and have the same results.

The issue:
When activating this new Roku Ultra on the exact same network that the Roku 3 has been on for years I had encountered major connectivity issues.  First off it was extremely difficult to activate the unit, I would go through the setup adding the wifi connection up to the point of using the generated code to active the device on roku's servers, this would often time out with the 001 connection error before I could get the unit activated, eventually I was able to be speedy enough that the unit did activate.  From there I would experience frequent intermittent issues trying to add or remove channels (says unable to remove channel now, try later) and even the clock that normally shows in the upper right would often not be visible.  
- I have only been able to get amazon prime to load one time, most often it hangs for a long time on the loading screen then displays the no connection screen.  Currently can't get amazon to work at all.
 - I had a great deal of trouble getting youtube to install and setup correctly, often it will display the no connection screen, suddenly it seems that something went right and now about half the time displays content without error.  
- The strangest thing is that the netflix app has been rock solid throughout this process, always displays the menus and always streams no problem.
Each of the channels I have been having trouble with I have tried removing and re-installing multiple times.  I have connection reset and factory reset this unit multiple times.
The symptoms seem to point to some trouble connecting to specifically Roku's servers.  All the searches, channel lists, my followed items, and loading channels seem to have connection issues and only rarely will actually complete.  But it seems that if I get an app to the point that it is playing a video stream, everything works fine (amazon prime, youtube have no trouble once the stream is actually playing, it is just very rarely that I can actually get a menu to load and get to the videos).  The exception of course is netflix which has worked perfectly the whole time.

Now you might be thinking, ok this is a defective device.  To decide if it was a faulty unit I decided to factory reset my old Roku 3 (which had been working fine up to this point) and see if I experienced the same setup issues.  Lo and behold I am seeing the same problems setting up the Roku 3 as well, and after drudging through the many connection attempts and trying time and again to get apps installed without errors I am now seeing the same issues getting the same apps to load (youtube and amazon prime), netflix of course working fine.  So basically now I am seeing the exact same behavior on the old previously working unit. The network has not changed between its working and now factory reset and not working state.  The difference perhaps being that I had set it up originally at a different location with a different network.  So perhaps I would have always had trouble configuring a unit with this connection and maybe since the configuration did not go smoothly, now the unit is in a half broken state? but because it was correctly configured previously it was able to work on this network?

All of these issues disappear if I switch over to my verizon cell phone hotspot.  Suddenly menus load fine and searching and channel list loads fine.  So it points to some kind of issue with my home internet connection.  The problem is that I have been using this network for many other devices laptops, phones, google home, tvs etc... and nothing else has these kinds of issues.  Most unusually my TV (not roku) which can stream amazon prime works just fine connected to the same network.  And previously I had my roku 3 working fine on this same network.  I ping devices within my network and I see no packet loss at all internally.  I run speedtest as well as dslreports.com more comprehensive tester and my internet connection shows I am getting my 10 down and 1 up speed and showing less than 1% packet loss.  My router has no specific security settings or filtering of any kind on it (I have disabled most things at this point, thinking it is blocking something). My main question is whether anyone else has experienced these kinds of very strange and specific connection issues with their roku?  Any potential known router settings that can cause issues?  Any users specifically with netgear routing equipment have any issues?  Any centurylink users seeing these kinds of problems?

My only next move is to call CenturyLink and have them verify that my connection is not having any issues and that they do not have any issues specifically with Roku.  I have no confidence that they will have anything to offer as far as help since their people are generally trained only for the most basic issues.

I really appreciate any help or suggestions that anyone can offer.  I really love Roku, I think they have the simplest and most easy to use interface for streaming, but not being able to load most channels is a pretty big deal breaker.  Thanks
 
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atc98092
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Location: Auburn, WA

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:52 pm

Excellent job troubleshooting. You have absolutely narrowed it down to the network, not the Roku players. The fact they all work correctly on the hotspot nails it. While I also have CenturyLink DSL, I don't run through double routers, so I can't speak from experience. Your DM200 supports VDSL2 (which I have) but tops out at 100 Mbps. At times My speed will exceed that, but I normally get about 90. 
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Basically, one of your Netgear boxes is not passing something required for your Roku players to communicate with the Internet. From the documentation I can find on their website, CenturyLink doesn't list any Netgear modem as supported for their DSL service. Mostly just Actiontec and ZyXEL, with a few others thrown in. Most likely CL will recommend replacing your DM200 with something they claim to support. Personally, I hate the Actiontec routers they offer, but there doesn't seem to be any quality options available. Your R6400 should be fine in its role, assuming it hasn't done something unexpected like fizzle out on you. 
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The easiest way to isolate which Netgear box is causing the problem would be to temporarily replace your R6400 with something else and see if things start working correctly. If so, then there's either a setting buried somewhere that's wrong or it has failed in some way. If the problem still exists, then the DM200 would seem to be the culprit. First see if anyone you know has a spare router sitting around you can try, before buying some inexpensive box. If doesn't need to be fancy, just something that works as a basic router. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), and Ultra (4640), Insignia Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network. Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Yamaha RX-V583, CenturyLink DSL
 
trekkeriii
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Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:47 pm

I heard on the internet and via friends on Facebook CenturyLink had some major internet issues over the holidays. I don't know if they have fully resolved the issue or not. Could be there's some problems still.
http://trekkeriii.com/Roku_PHP_list.php
Router - ASUS RT-AC68U
ISP - TWC - 50 Mbps/5 Mbps
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atc98092
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Location: Auburn, WA

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:20 am

I hadn't considered the CL outage. For some reason, even though I'm in an area that was listed as impacted, I never had an issue. Good catch. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), and Ultra (4640), Insignia Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network. Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Yamaha RX-V583, CenturyLink DSL
 
Miami Son
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 12:39 pm

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:28 am

Just for grins and giggles, try disabling your router firewall and see if that makes a difference. You may need a special firewall configuration or rule.
 
drcristoff
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:41 am

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:44 pm

An update and a mysterious conclusion:

Thank you all for the replies, especially atc for the modem info, had scheduled a service appointment for next week to have them try out an “officially supported” modem and see if that got me any more traction.

The mysterious end to the confounding tale:
Upon waking this morning all issues had vanished as if delivered by Santa under the Christmas tree. No changes to my setup were made to cause the fix, just a conclusion as quick and confusing as the problem.

I have two main suspects:
Potentially an issue with roku’s servers and century link was causing odd latency which was resolved on rokus end. I had also thought perhaps with the holidays and many people getting new devices their severs might be more taxed then usual. I think this is unlikely as probably many more users would see the same issues. I’m not sure of the Venn diagram between slow century link dsl users and Roku devices but I would think I am not the only effected party.
The more likely culprit: Centurylink may have had an issue somewhere along their network that was causing latency or bad connections that were only really visible on the Roku, now that it is resolved I am noticing that just using my phone and laptop browser seems to resolve dns faster (maybe psychosomatic who knows). Further support for this idea is included in some of your other responses, it could just be part of a hangover effect of their large outage a couple weeks back.

The entertaining part is that neither Roku nor century link would admit to any irregularities so the cause remains thoroughly and maddeningly anonymous. For myself I wish I knew the origin in case it happens in the future.

In the end for any others who find themselves with the same issue: maybe don’t tear your entire internal network to the ground, wait a week or two and see what happens. I did put all the elements back together on my network and everything is still working fine, so almost certainly the issue was not with my equipment. One thing I did take away from this is that perhaps Roku devices might be somewhat more sensitive to poor connections.

So thank you all for the help, hopefully my miraculous fix continues to hold and the problems don’t return.
 
Marklafite
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:15 pm

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:13 pm

I believe I have similar issues. I purchased a roku ultra and have attuverse with their new BGW 210 router. The mobs is usually running in the 120 range. When loading Netflix it sometimes loads and sometimes not. The speed showing in connection settings is only 2.3 to sometimes 8. Is this simply of U-verse router not communications with roku? The speed was checked on multiple devices a few feet away from Roku so room dorsn’t Seem to be the problem. 
Also Ultra has an Ethernet connection and I am wired with fiber optics and Ethernet so is it possible to connect Roku and U-verse both through the Ethernet and solve the wireless problem?
 
DougHill
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:11 pm

Good explanations here. My buddy is probably experiencing the same. Gonna try those tricks.
 
charlesdebatz
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Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:04 am

I am having a very similar, though not identical, issue.
 
For years I have been a Roku user with an old Roku2 on Comcast and no issues.  Over a month ago, I installed a new Roku Premier at a nearby relative's house where Centurylink is the ISP.  From that Centurylink location, neither the new Roku nor my old Roku can complete activation, add or remove channels, play the Roku channel, or access any Roku server hosted content.  If I take the devices to my nearby location where Comcast is the ISP, everything on both devices works perfectly and both devices can be activated with no issues.  After I activate and load 3rd party channels on the devices using Comcast, those channels continue to work when they are moved back to Centurylink (add/remove functionality again is lost and Roku hosted content cannot be viewed, but the devices otherwise work).  I have done many troubleshooting steps at the Centurylink location and I cannot find an explanation for this other than the Roku servers themselves are blacklisting the range of residential Centurylink IP addresses in my area which are all 174.28.XXX.XXX.  I suppose there is still a remote chance Centurylink has blacklisted Roku’s servers, but I think that is not the case because when I point a browser to the IP address for api.roku.com from the Centurylink ISP, I receive a “No required SSL certificate was sent” message back, indicating to me that the Roku API servers did hear my attempt to connect.  I initially suspected Roku might be geoblocking the local Centurylink IP addresses, however all but one of the internet geolocation services I checked correctly point to the nearby large city as the location, and the one that is wrong (IP2Location) at least still shows the correct state in the US, so I do not expect inaccurate geolocation is to blame.
 
FWIW, the DSL modem is a Netgear DM 200 set in modem mode and the router is an old Buffalo WHR-HP-54G running Tomato and configured for PPPoE.  There are no filters or firewalls in play.  There are no local network connectivity issues.
 
It looks like this will not be resolved unless someone here knows the solution, or if there is a network engineer working for Roku who reads these posts and can help.  I contacted Roku customer support initially, but this is clearly outside the scope of what they can handle and they were not able to elevate the problem to a higher level of technical support.  Also, Roku seems to have dropped live customer support entirely for the Roku Premier since this problem was first brought to their attention.  Go figure.
 
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atc98092
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Location: Auburn, WA

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:27 pm

Nope, I have CenturyLink as my ISP, and have no issues with any of my Rokus. So it's something with the CL router that is messed up. Not saying it isn't something that CL can control, but I'd log into the router/modem and see if there's any settings that might be blocking Roku access. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), and Ultra (4640), Insignia Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network. Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Yamaha RX-V583, CenturyLink DSL
 
charlesdebatz
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:41 pm

atc98092 wrote:
Nope, I have CenturyLink as my ISP, and have no issues with any of my Rokus. So it's something with the CL router that is messed up. Not saying it isn't something that CL can control, but I'd log into the router/modem and see if there's any settings that might be blocking Roku access. 

I have taken down and reworked about every aspect of the local network that I can.  As I stated in my prior post, there are not any local connectivity or filter/firewall issues.  Also, I do not think Centurylink is blocking access to the Roku servers.  As I said, I can trigger a security message from the Roku API address using a browser.  If you look carefully at what I posted, you will also see that I do not have a Centurylink router.  At the location in question I have carefully pored over the configurations, I have swapped with different routers, different router firmwares, reset the dynamic IPv4 address to a new one multiple times, etc.  As far as I can tell, the Roku servers have blacklisted the range of Centurylink IP addresses in my area.

The only things I can think of that I have not yet tried are temporarily switching out the DSL modem with a different make and model or setting up a virtual IP address with a VPN.  I may swap out the modem next, but I seriously doubt that will reveal anything new.  As for using a VPN, one is not otherwise needed at the location in question and it adds cost and complexity, so I would rather not do that if I do not have to.

I see you are in the Auburn, WA area.  What modem and router are you using and does Centurylink provide native support for IPv6 where you are?  (I am in the Albuquerque, NM area.  I tried switching to an IPv6 address, but it appears Centurylink does not natively support that where I am, so no help there).

Thanks.
 
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atc98092
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Location: Auburn, WA

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:16 pm

I missed that you aren't using a CL router/modem. I have the Actiontec C1000A, but I think all of their modems are garbage. I have to keep a fan blowing on mine year round or it ends up locking up eventually. Yes, they do support IPv6 here. It's been a while since I had it disabled, so I can't say for sure if that makes any difference. My Rokus all worked fine when I had IPv6 disabled, but as I said it's been a while since I ran it that way. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), and Ultra (4640), Insignia Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network. Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Yamaha RX-V583, CenturyLink DSL
 
charlesdebatz
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:20 pm

Resolved!

I swapped the Netgear DM200 DSL modem with an old ZyXEL PK5000Z.  The PK5000Z was set as a DSL modem only with WAN: Transparent Bridging, DHCP: Disabled, Firewall: Medium, WIFI: Disabled.  I literally inserted the PK5000Z in place of the DM200.  No other changes were made, and suddenly Roku servers could be accessed by the Roku set top box.  To be certain this was not a fluke, I re-installed the DM200.  The Roku box was again denied access to Roku servers.

The Netgear DM200 was set in modem mode, firmware v1.0.0.58.  Aside from DSL flavor, there are almost no options that can be set on the DM200 when in modem mode.  There is no firewall available, etc.  The DM200 in question has been in service for years and as far as I know there have not ever been any problems accessing any other internet content.

PRESUMABLY DUE TO SOME OBSCURE BUG, ROKU'S SERVERS AND THE NETGEAR DM200 DSL MODEM RUNNING OVER CENTURYLINK ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.  I am extremely surprised.
 
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atc98092
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Location: Auburn, WA

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:32 pm

Well, that's interesting. I certainly would have expected the Netgear to have better configuration options than a CL modem. My Actiontec C1000A (very similar to your ZyXEL) has a fair number of things I can change, but nothing like I've seen on a quality router from a major manufacturer. Netgear might be interested in hearing about your issue. I suggest providing them a detailed report, and how the [font=-apple-system, Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, sans-serif]ZyXEL worked as expected. Perhaps it's something they can address with a firmware update, assuming that hardware is still supported. [/font]
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), and Ultra (4640), Insignia Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network. Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Yamaha RX-V583, CenturyLink DSL
 
charlesdebatz
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Roku Ultra and Roku 3 major connection issues

Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:09 pm

The Netgear DM200 is a budget DSL modem.  Configuring it for "modem" mode bridges the modem directly to the LAN port and disables the router features.  The setting is intended to be used with an external router.

This modem is officially not supported by Centurylink (although it typically will work correctly if a user has enough networking skills to set it up).  I think it was discontinued some time ago.  I expect Netgear lists it as a legacy product.

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