Roku server problems? I have been checking this forum recently to see if anyone else has been having problems with their roku box. My roku has been virtually unusable since the new netflix update. I cannot access netflix, amazon unbox, or any other channel offered through the box. I have tried to power down my router and unplug my box but nothing has worked so far. I am very disappointed in this situation. I was willing to tolerate a few days of no service but we are going on more than a week now. Not to mention the weekend is mostly move nights for me and my wife. I have heard that roku is having some server problems but so far they seem to not have made much of an official statement concerning this besides they are working on it. Does anyone else know more specific details on what is going on?
asked by kem on June 18, 2010
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Sorry to split hairs, but the server issues are on Netflix's end. Netflix has had server issues since they upgraded the interface the first week of June (they've since stopped rolling it out to all users). It seems to only happen during prime viewing hours though. If you are having problems with services other than netflix and at odd hours I'd look for another problem, either with the roku box itself, your router, or your ISP.

I haven't experienced problems with other services but I don't use Amazon on Demand. There may be a correlation between netflix and amazon as I read netflix migrated to Amazon's servers. Try some of the other channels to determine if it's a problem with anything else (nasa tv? pandora? etc). Netflix's engineers are struggling to find the correct content to display on their main screen without overloading the servers, it changes almost daily. I expect they'll get it resolved soon but it's been a bad couple weeks for them.

For more information check rokulab's user forum:
http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewforum.php?f=28
S. Payne answered on June 19, 2010
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Once again I must clarify this issue. The problem is not with my particular roku box as you have implied. It is with roku in general. And I have a very hard time believing that this issue is isolated as you say. As proof that the problem is with roku I linked my box up to my router via ethernet and I was able to stream flawlessly. Once I disconnected my box from my router and hooked it back up with a wireless connection I was also able to continue to stream flawlessly for the remainder of the night. The next morning however, the box went back to the same problems. I also have received enough variation in my wireless streaming experience indicative that the wireless portion of my box DOES indeed work. As a matter of fact it worked perfectly until this update (2.6 build 677 - The same update that numerous roku forum posters have also complained about). Now it only works off and on and I can never fully retrieve service of the same quality that I had prior to this problem. Unless of course I hook it up first via ethernet, and then disconnect it to wireless service which will give me good streaming wireless service for a short period of time. I also feel that your tone and comments indicate a clear sarcasm and a possible financial connection to roku. Perhaps you are an employee? It doesn't matter. Everyone is entitled to their opinions right?
I have already sent several emails requesting service support to roku only to be cycled the same message over and over again from different representatives all telling me to do the same thing over and over again. Unplug my box, power down my router, press reset for 40 seconds, etc. This tells me that not even roku is sure what is wrong. The problem is not on my end. It is with roku. In any type of quantification experiment where an individual is trying to identify a potential variable that could be the source of error a series of steps are undertaken in order to first identify the problem. Then once the problem has been quantified data can be funneled more clearly toward finding a conclusive solution to that particular problem. I along with MANY other users (despite your claims to the contrary) have identified the problem. Roku needs to stop denying the problem and focus on finding a better solution. They also need to place more value upon their users and customers. I have been through this kind of stuff before with other pieces of technology (A Sony hdtv, the first generation ipod nano screen, the xbox 360 rrod, compatibility issues with windows vista) and I can definitely attest to one thing concerning this matter, if roku does not begin to become more transparent about this issue by either releasing more information in regards to what is going on or in regards to a more permanent fix to this issue they will have a class action lawsuit on their hands. And I am glad that you have a flawless roku service experience. I envy you in this regards sir. One of the benefits perhaps of living in the shadow of their corporate wings.
kem answered on July 1, 2010
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Shadow of their corporate wings? Financial connection? Naw, I'm just a fanboy happy with his Rokus. The only hardware related issue I've encountered is with the A/C power supplies; they seem to last 2 years as a rule (Roku sells them for a reasonable price on their website, however last I checked they were sold out...)

Sorry about your problems. As I've said, I haven't experienced anything similar with either box I'm using, one wired, and one wirelessly.

If it were me I would try to remove the router from the equation to see if that's part of the problem. Try connecting directly to the modem if practical or trying a different router. I've had good luck with linksys routers (perhaps try one and return it if it doesn't resolve the problems you're experiencing). This is the model I've been using: Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G Broadband Router (Compatible with Linux)

You may also try removing your ISP from the equation by setting up a webserver on one of your computers and streaming content (MP4s, MP3s etc) from that source, to see if the connection is reliable within your home network. If trying this sounds interesting there are detailed how-tos on this third party developer's site (no, I'm not under his shadow either, but I do enjoy streaming content from my own computer for both DVDs and music through the little Roku boxes...):

http://roksbox.wikispaces.com/
S. Payne answered on July 2, 2010
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if you move the roku ie disconnect from your original setup, its impossible to set it up again...doesn't connect to server, can't find wifi, screens don't apperar to reset it..."support" is from India with stiff language issues....total nuisance....don't ever undo it!
Walker Pond answered on January 14, 2011
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Thanks for the clarification, I'm sorry, it sounds like you do have problems with your Roku.

Two roku's here, in the small town of Atlanta. no problems. I read the roku forums regularly, and while there are isolated cases of units failing to upgrade, it's not a general problem. Once rebooted under the new upgrade all channels (other than netflix) continue to work as they have in the past. Anecdotally, the performance issues Netflix has had appear to have been resolved as of last night. They are back to full browsing menus and no performance problems during peak viewing hours.

If your unit is out of warranty, suggest you purchase an extended 2 year warranty. This is available from Roku for $20 and is retroactive. Link:
http://shop.roku.com/Webpage2.aspx?WebpageId=2
S. Payne answered on June 20, 2010
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There is a definite issue with roku in general. I just visited the roku forum and have read MULTIPLE complaints of roku boxes that have become unusable in the past week since the netflix update. Meaning NONE of the channels work. On my box in particular I had no problems whatsoever for more than a year with netflix, pandora radio, and amazon on demand. Since the update none of these channels are working. I even tried to reset my roku to factory settings and it could not even reconnect with the roku server. The box gets stuck in an infinite loop while trying to download a software update upon restarting. I tried to cancel the update process in order bypass it and go straight to the old update but I cannot. That tells me that the issue is with roku and not just netflix. The part of the country that I am in could also have something to do with this. About 3 months ago I purchased a roku hd for my brother-in-law who lives in fayetteville arkansas (college town) and he told me today that he hasn't had any problems with netflix whatsoever in the past week. I live in Houston Tx (3rd largest city in the U.S.) so of course there would be much more traffic on the servers here than there. And there have been many complaints from roku owners in my city that concur with me that their boxes have become unusable since this update.
kem answered on June 19, 2010
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I'm not sure whether Roku 2 will make you any happier. I just purchased a Roku 2 unit as my first entry into this type of media delivery and was somewhat underwhelmed. First, I had issues getting connected, but that was moreso on my end because my wiereless router has a 2 step security process for granting access to devices. Once connected, I was impressed by the channel offerings and was very happy that I could use Pandora. My issues, however, started with Angry Birds. Although the unit showed the game control was paired and I could use the remote to select channels, I could not control the game. None of the buttons or waving the controller would move the cursor on the screen. After spending 45 minutes with Roku support, the agent told me to return the unit to Best Buy, which is where I purchased it, and exchange it for a new one. In addition to the controller issues, although the unit has a micro SD card slot (a huge factor in my buying decision), I saw no obvious options on my screen for viewing the media stored on the card I had put into the unit. The only thing related to my SD card was an option to format it that appears when the unit comes on if the card is already in there. If I removed the card while the unit was on and reinserted it, no option to format it or any other obvious recognition of the card appears.

My next issue (chronologically it was the first and final issue) was being able to find a unit in my city. I live in a city that has 9 Super Wal Mart stores, 5 Target Great Land stores, and 3 Best Buy stores in addition to other brand name electronics retailers (Radio Shack, etc.) Although Roku supposedly has some kind of exclusivity deal with Best Buy, I had purchased 1 of the only 2 players currently available in the entire city (going by website information). When I returned the unit per the tech support agent's instructions, the Best Buy clerk told me the unit I was returning was the only unit in their DISTRICT. He offered to order a unit for me, but I said I could do the same from home and probably get it faster. HUGE letdown. This unit was a player I had been wanting for a long time. I had only held out buying because I wanted to get to a point with Netflix and movies stored on my PC where I saw the need and had the technological ability to consolidate viewing everything on my TV without having to move and connect my laptop to it.

After doing some further research, I've gone with Apple TV. First, I could purchase it online for quick delivery. Second, I ended up walking into the Apple Store in my city and getting the device along with a comprehensive demo while my wife drove around the shopping mall's parking lot for about 5 minutes looking for a parking space. I only mention that because she was surprised with the efficiency and satisfaction of the whole buying experience. Connection was very easy. 5 minutes. Although it doesn't have games (I wasn't purchasing Roku 2 XS for the games, but for Netflix and the SD card option), I have not had any issues. It has a USB connection, plus it connects to my iTunes account where I can access all the movies on my PC via my iTunes library, and it plays them just as well as the Netflix movies. So, the SD card isn't really necessary.

I've been working in tech for over 15 years, and it's obvious that Roku has rushed the 2 series to market. From the lack of availability, to controller issues, to unclear instructions and support (I didn't want to bother getting into that as it would make this post longer than it already is), to the seemingly unnecessary unit categorizations (only 1 model is needed, not 3), the negatives overshadowed the positives of my user experience.
Amazon Customer answered on August 15, 2011
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Sorry for not replying sooner. How's it working now?

It's a bit of a techno-waltz between Netflix (or other provider), the intervening nodes on the Internet, your ISP's service, their modem, your router, your neighbors' 2.4ghz cordless phones and microwaves, the distance between your router and the Roku, and your Roku.

Troubleshooting connection problems involves removing/altering as many of these pieces as possible.

I'd start by repositioning either the Roku or the router. Then try the Roku at a closer location to see if interference/distance is the issue between your router and Roku. If this seems to be the problem, then as a last resort you may have to run ethernet cat5 cable from the router and Roku and give up on wireless. The Rokus I have seem at least as sensitive as other wireless devices we have. It could be your Roku has a wireless problem.

If this doesn't help, I'd remove your router from the equation. You should be able to connect the Roku directly to your ISP's modem and see if this resolves the problem. If yes, then you may have a compatibility problem with the router.

If neither of these helps, I'd contact Netflix customer service and ask them for help running speed tests from your end. This will help determine if it's a local issue or a problem with your ISP. Netflix uses "cloud" servers positioned physically around the country, so latency and bandwidth issues to their servers via the Internet are minimized, but some people may be too far to get a good bandwidth.

If this doesn't help then you might try contacting Roku's customer service (might require some perseverance).

The fact you can stream Netflix successfully to your computer wirelessly tends to implicate either the Roku box, a compatibility issue with the router, or some weird local wireless interference that only impacts the Roku.
S. Payne answered on July 4, 2011
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Thanks for your help. I have written to Roku about this as you suggested. I moved the box to no avail. Still can't pick up the Airport WiFi. We'll keep trying.
70Randy answered on May 14, 2011
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You could plug the Roku into your modem, but then you won't have any place to plug the computer in. You could unplug and replug each time you want to use a different device.

I recommend a router between the modem and all the other devices in your house that use the internet (even if you have only one!). Besides "splitting" and "routing" the internet signals either wired or wirelessly to multiple internet devices, the router is also a humdinger hardware firewall; it prevents any unsolicited internet access to your computer better than any software firewall (this still doesn't prevent you from downloading mal-ware, but it prevents internet "worms" from attacking your system. Scary huh?)

There are routers that don't have the wireless "wifi" component but these are the same price as the ones that have it.

I still recommend this router. It's pretty bullet proof. There is some setup but everyone knows a geek they can invite over for a beer and pizza.

Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G Broadband Router (Compatible with Linux)

This router has one "in" connection from your modem, and four wired "out" connections. Running ethernet cable can be expensive and a lot of work. Go wireless!
S. Payne answered on May 14, 2011
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