I'm posting this as a follow-up since having received the HDMI extender cable last week. The net result is a drop in temperature of approximately 8 degrees Celsius, as reported the device's "secret screen" in an operating state as close to idle (sitting at the secret screen for an extended period of time) as possible. This results in the device idling at around 90 degrees Celsius
, as reported by its own sensor, which still seems incredibly high for such a device. By comparison, a Roku 3600X I have idles at around 64 degrees Celsius.
Someone else in this thread suggested using another power supply and reverting to that supplied with the Roku, but changing power supplies didn't alter the measurements. Using a considerably more robust one I had for powering small SBCs, a switching power supply capable of supplying voltages at an amperage well in excess (5V @ 3 amps) of the power supplies provided by Roku, also showed no change in idle temperature.
Besides the moderate change in idle temperature, I noticed an undesirable side effect in the use of the HDMI extender. The image displayed by the 3800x is overscanned by a noticeable amount when connected to the display through the extender. I've had other HDMI extenders in the past, including some right-angle varieties, that I've used to attach Roku stick devices to displays that had their HDMI input ports at inconvenient locations and I found they are often hit-or-miss with cheaper ones not properly supporting certain resolutions or corrupting the output in some other way. Even so, I expected Roku might have more carefully selected an extender capable of avoiding such problems given that there is no way to compensate for over/underscanning (that I'm aware of) on the Roku but, considering they are giving these away free, I imagine this extender was deemed good enough for their cost. Coincidentally, the 2nd. generation Chromecast I have suffers from the very same problem on any of the displays to which I've connected it. Kodi
boxes allow you to make adjustments like this easily so I don't know what's prevented Roku and Google from including such a feature.
All this aside, forum readers will probably want to know whether these apparent heat-related problems have abated since using this Roku 3800X with the HDMI extender furnished by Roku. While the extender did result in a drop in idle temperature, assuming I can believe these high temperature readings reported by the device itself, I found no combination of extender or power supply (whether Roku's, various external switching types, or the display's USB port) alleviated the previously observed problems. I'm still observing the same symptoms at roughly the same frequency. Despite lowering the idle temperature a small amount by using the extender, I think the 3800x's idle and operating temperature are so high to begin with that the small temperature reduction introduced by the extender is simply not enough to address the problem.
Another post on this thread raises the question as to whether certain apps or activities can trigger some of these problems. Even though it's not possible to conclude this unequivocally without observing a Roku device in a development setup in order to monitor process loads, operating temperatures, and so forth during program execution, I'm inclined to say yes based on observation of the same apps running on many different Roku devices. The 1st. generation "Streaming Stick" (such as the Roku 3400/3500 model sticks in the blue colored shell) struggled to run apps such as Sling and Amazon Prime Video, taking far longer to load, exhibiting stuttering during playback, and likely keeping their slower CPUs running at their highest oscillating frequency for extended durations (and generating more heat because of it), compared to something like the 4200X (a tabletop Roku device with a considerably faster CPU). So, while the 1st. gen. Streaming Stick appeared worse in terms of performance and frequency of crashes compared to the newer Roku devices I have, one might wonder how another device with more in terms of electronic resources to apply toward apps, such as the 3800X, could suffer from similar problems as the 1st. gen. Streaming Stick. My guess is the form factor of the sticks is a problem. The 3800X seems as responsive and quick as a 4200X, while also providing some features the 4200X lacks, into a shell a fraction of the size of the 4200X, and it does so without any apparent provisions for ventilation. I'm surprised by this because the older 3400/3500 model sticks had slots for ventilation along two entire sides. Given that Roku has tacitly acknowledged thermal problems with its devices, I'd be curious to know what lead to the decision that eliminated ventilation slots from newer devices like the 3800X. Could dust have been considered that much a problem?
I'm still hoping Roku finally addresses these stability problems with its devices, whether ultimately heat-induced or otherwise, because I have used numerous Chromecast and Kodi devices and find them all lacking in too many respects, despite their greater stability, to replace the Rokus I have.