The Roku 2 XS has been unstable for years. The basic instability, which Roku has never acknowledged, is actually in every XS but not every XS exhibits it, gets exposed by a software update or a channel install or any of a number of other things but once exposed it very rarely goes away.
It is not any particular single thing that causes the problem but many different things can expose it. The update did not "break" anyones XS because they are all broken already.
That isn't really how things work. Computers are simple devices. You fill memory locations with instructions, addresses. and data and the computer runs those. The same thing happens every time you do this on the same hardware. I have domain over a large fleet of Roku 2 XS streamers. My experiences are not anecdotal. The case
could be made that the R2XS was the best streamer Roku ever made.
The first R2XS stability problem (that I recall) came in March of 2013. March of 2013 was also the launch of the Roku 3. The instability was attributed to a new Plex app, but, in hindsight, was likely a consequence of the first time Roku shoehorned Roku 3 firmware into the Roku 2 XS. December of 2013 marked the first time Roku 2 XS problems were linked to an update (5.3 b3049). That thread
is eight pages long. In another thread
, it was speculated that the update was intended to block root access
. Roku scrubbed the forums of information related to this at the same time.
RokuShawnS in Dec 27 2013 wrote:
I've been with Roku for almost 3 years. Almost every single time a firmware update gets sent out, you will see people posting with similar problems. In general, it's usually not the firmware that caused the problem, though it might be a symptom. Mostly, the problem is on the end-user side, rather than the unit itself.
RokuShawnS in Jan 21 2014 wrote:
We've identified an issue that is causing the problem. There isn't a way currently that I know of to mitigate the issue.
It should be fixed within the time frame of the next major firmware release (version release, not build release).
RokuShawnS in Feb 18 2014 wrote:
I can't confirm anything, except that the fix for the freeze/restart issue is in the next major software update, as stated previously.
The Roku 2XS runs on the same software (more or less) that the Roku 3 does. So when the Roku 3 gets, say, version 5.4 firmware, it's a pretty safe bet the 2XS will as well. I don't see this changing in the foreseeable future.
The eight page thread became very contentious and many of the participants no longer post here. It ends without resolution on March 24 2014. As with this update, there were multiple threads and this one
runs sixteen pages through May 27 2014 with this post from RokuShawnS...
RokuShawnS in May 27 2014 wrote:
This thread will be locked due to the nature of the recent comments. I don't mind a redux thread, but KEEP IT ON TOPIC, and with any updated information for Engineering to help reproduce.
As it stands, Roku does not publicly comment on bugs, other than to confirm them, prior to releasing a fix. You may get more information or receive fixes earlier if you join our beta program.
In July of 2014, 5.5 rolled out and with that this thirteen page thread
which ends in December with YOU attributing the problems to a hardware bug
With the release of 6.1 reboots returned. By this point (April of 2015), few were engaged in the discussion. Now, we have 7.0 and the Roku 2 XS is unstable again. That's the Cliff's Notes (yes I am that old) version of the Roku 2 XS update history. Since the launch of the Roku 3, the R2XS has been unstable except for brief periods before updates -- the proverbial calm before the storm.
Think of the XSs as having a balance inside them and as stuff gets added and changed and removed the balance gets weights added and removed form both sides. Most of the time the weights get removed and added evenly but from time to time something causes the weights to get placed unevenly and the balance tips. When it so tips it gets stuck and the XS becomes unstable. After the XS becomes unstable many things can easily cause reboots but the most common is playing local media.
The kind and nature of the media that consistently causes reboots has been extensively tested by me and reported to Roku through their poor at best beta program but they never found the problem or even admitted that the problem was real blaming the channel I was using in spite of the fact that it happened in EVERY local media channel I tested including RoksBox, Chaneru, Plex, PlayOn, MyMedia and even Roku Media Player. (their own local media channel)
Per RokuShawnS (above), is that software is being written for the Roku 3 and shoehorned into the Roku 2 XS. That is why the best solution is to freeze the Roku 2 XS at the last stable update. This cycle of pain is organic to their update process. Beta testers are telling us bugs are found before launch and that Roku knowingly launches buggy updates.
Roku never even offered to exchange my XS so that they could test a known improperly operating XS. In spite of many many hours spent by me attempting to test and diagnose the reboots. I got the feeling that Roku really did not care and simply wanted to string me along until I finally shut up. It worked, I partially retired my XS by relegating it to playing music which did not cause reboots.
I finally solved my XS problem; I sold it.
Roku, for some reason, has failed to provide any decent support to the XS users and I would not expect any different handling at this point. They treat the XS like the proverbial "red headed step child" and just want them all to fail so the problems they cause will go away completely.
I do not know why Roku has handled the XS issues so poorly but they have and no one should expect them to do any differently at this time. The XS is at unofficial "end of life" and all owners of them should treat them as such. If they are currently working well they may continue to do so for the indefinite future but they also may fail after any change at any time and become effectively unusable.
The problem is that the Roku 3 is now the Roku 2 XS and the Roku 4 is the Roku 3. If they are developing and testing on the Roku 4 and shoehorning into the Roku 3, then the cycle migrates to the Roku 3s.