I use my ROKU M1001 in a detached garage which places about 100' between my ROKU and router. Signal strength was OK (-87dB) with frequent rebuffering several times during playback of even 128K MP3s.
Out of frustration, I sought solutions. Purchased a better router with external antenna options. Added high gain omnidirectional antennas. Relocated all equipement. Tried all avail channels. All resulted in no better performance...........
Decided I would try a directional antenna. I assumed that the signal strength was "OK" since I could play 256K MP3s a few at a time every few listening opportunities without problems. The rebuffering I blame on the busy inner city wireless noise. (IE: 2.4Ghz Baby Monitors, cordless phones, and other.....)
Since I had other devices that roamed the house, I did not want anything other then a omni-antenna on the router end. I decided that the best place for the directional antenna was on the ROKU itself. This would give better signal strength and lower interfering noise levels. Improved signal to noise ratio.
Did searches on the internet for homemade directional antenna solutions. Found the "Cantenna" idea to be right at the appropriate price level since I didn't know if it would workout. It worked excellant!! Previously, I was in the upper 80s for signal strength and now I run from 58 to 62 consistently with no rebuffering during a few days of listening. This was unheard of for my setup.
How to get there? This is a tough one. What I am suggesting should not be performed if you intend to keep any kind of warrenty with ROKU-Labs. This will indeed toss your warrenty since you will be violating the guts of the unit. NOT Recommended for anyone other then techs, engineer, or your super-geeks. Find someone handy with a soldering iron and proper ESD practices. Pay them to do the mods!
Start by searching the web for details on building the "Cantenna" itself. I used a coffee can and "SMA" style RF connectors with low loss RF coax cable. The COAX cable is where not to skimp om quality. 2.4Ghz is very high frequency and very sensative to the media used for transmission. Improper quality COAX and\or too much length anf you'll get worse performance then before the mods.
1) Remove Endcaps, Metal Shell, and Plastic Cage for MainBoard
2) Remove bright blue "WTC" chip antennas
3) Solder COAX cable to proper pads in place of "ANT2" chip antenna
4) Mount or connector on endcap or run cable straight out. (Less Loss)
5) Build Cantenna (www.wikipedia.org
6) Connect Cantenna to ROKU
7) Align\Aim your antenna on a stiff mount (Be creative...)
Enjoy skip free music from further locations!!!!
If you would like photos of my setup, and\or tech info. Let me know!
Email Me: RocketRanger125@yahoo.com