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.
Last edited by keeverw
on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:36 am, edited 3 times in total.