How to Troubleshoot Roku Problems

The Roku is a fantastic way to get streaming services on your television quickly and painlessly. You can access all the popular services and loads of custom content as well which makes it a neat little device. However you might have some problems with the Roku and I’m here to help out. I’ve had a Roku for a few years and sometimes you run into bugs. Thankfully you can solve your Roku problems quickly and with little effort.

Drawing of someone watching streaming on tvI’ll go through a variety of problems you might have with your Roku from lost remotes all the way to playback errors. All of the fixes are quite simple and don’t require you to be a computer genius of any type. So let’s dive right in since there are quite a few things to cover.

Roku Playback Problems

Green Play buttonThe Roku typically performs flawlessly in it’s job at streaming entertainment to your television. Occasionally you’ll encounter some problems with your Roku that cause interrupted or choppy playback of your movies and TV shows. Check the following tips to help clear things up:

Weak Wireless Signal: You’ll have problems streaming video on the Roku is you’re using a wireless network with a weak signal. If your router is on another floor of the house or there are many walls separating it from the Roku then signal might be weak. You can fix this by relocating the router closer or setting up a wireless extender device. A wireless extender boosts your wireless signal for you if moving your router isn’t an option. They’re fairly cheap and you can get them right from Amazon.

Interference: You can have a problem with your Roku playback if there are too many devices using the same wireless network. These days, with everyone’s phones, tablets and computers fighting for wireless signal there isn’t much room left for the Roku. You can clear up this Roku problem by turning off devices that you aren’t using or using a ‘dual-band’ router. You might already have a dual-band router if it’s newer but if not then pick one up since you’re probably due for an upgrade. A dual-band router splits your wireless network into two different signals. One signal for regular devices and another for more demanding ones like the Roku. Check the owner’s manual for your router on how to use the dual-band settings. Having a separate wireless signal for your Roku will give you less interference and few playback problems.

Plug It In: The newer Roku players have old fashioned ethernet ports where you can get off the wireless and achieve better speeds. This is especially important to use if you’re attempting to watch the new ultra-high-definition content on the Roku 4. Wireless is great but nothing beats a direct connection.

Roku Reset Problem

Reset Symbol of Red and Green ArrowOne problem with my Roku I’ve noticed is that it sometimes likes to reset itself from time to time. This may only be a problem with older Roku’s but it’s worth mentioning.

Turn It Off: You might have never noticed this but your Roku doesn’t have a power button. This means it’s always on which is nice but it might lead to a problem with your Roku. All electronics need a break once in awhile and your Roku is no exception. If your Roku is having problems like resetting itself then unplug it and let it sit for about ten minutes. Hopefully this should clear things up.

Keep It Cool: The Roku can build up quite a bit of heat since it’s always on and working hard to give you a great streaming experience. Make sure the Roku is on a hard, flat surface and out in the open. Shoving it in a cramped spot in your entertainment center can case your Roku to have problems like overheating and weakened wireless signal.

Lost Roku Remote

Image of generic remoteWho hasn’t lost a remote? If you lose your Roku remote you’re in trouble since the units don’t have buttons.

Order a Replacement: You can get a new remote easily online for not too much money. Before you do however, there are a few different types so watch out.

IR Style: The older Roku’s used the old-school IR remotes. These are the remotes with the little light-bulb at the end and only work if they are pointed directly at the box. If you had one like this make sure your new one is the same style. If the one your looking at is an ‘RF’ style it won’t work.

RF Style: New Roku’s use what is called an RF style remote that don’t have the little light bulb. These work on a radio signal so they don’t have to be pointed at the box to work. You can even use them under your blanket so your hands never have to get cold! If this is the type of remote you had then look for an RF style replacement.

Roku Stick: The Roku Stick is a little different than the box versions. I’ve looked around a little and you’ll pay nearly the same for a new stick remote as an entirely new Roku Stick setup. If you’ve been enjoying the Roku then why not use this opportunity to upgrade? You can pick up a refurbished Roku 2 for just a little more than a new Roku Stick Remote.

Roku App: If you lost the remote but desperate to finish that series you’ve been binging for days then listen up. Roku has a free remote app that’s available on Android, Apple and even Windows devices. You can use your computer to control your television! Download the app and you’re back in business.

In addition to being a remote the app also let’s you stream movies and view pictures from devices. The app has an option called ‘Play on Roku’ which let’s you select pictures or movies on your phone and display them directly to your television. It does a great job with pictures but older Roku’s like the Roku 2 can have a problem with high-definition video.