Channel Issues & Questions

Help & troubleshooting for channels on your Roku device, including adding/removing channels, logging in to, authenticating, or activating a channel, channel-specific playback issues, assistance contacting channel publishers to report issues, and adjusting channel-specific settings.
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Beck38
Level 7

Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

I recently posted this problem to a thread that was, apparently, more than 6 months old, so the old thread was locked out. Okay, so here goes another try.

I have 3 Roku 4's, that I got when it first came out some 2yrs ago. I expanded my Netflix subscription (been with then almost since the day they started with DVD's), added Hulu, and also added my Amazon Prime video as I had been with them for years as well. Also added all the basic 'cable' channels as well, and premiums like HBO/Showtime/Starz as I subscribe to them all through my provider, DirecTV..

Everything worked fine for several months. Then Showtime started acting up, then some of the 'basic' channels, then Starz, and finally HBO. Requests for re-authorization went from once every couple months, after some 6+ months to now every week. I've talked to both my provider and Roku and nobody seems to know whats going on. Netflix/Hulu/Amazon have worked without fail during all this. All involved (DirecTV, Roku, the individual channel providers) all point to the others involved as being the problem.

My boxes have been re-booted ad-infinitum. They all have additional memory cards, and the systems on all report less than 10% of the space used, even though I get channels 'reloading' all the time, so what gives with that I don't know. A neighbor friend, who has had Apple TV's longer than I have had my Roku's, and has DirecTV as well, reports he has never had problems with 're-authorization'.

I've talked to Roku twice and gotten nowhere. They've looked at my boxes, I've been told to re-boot, and I wait another week and channels once again need 're-authorization'.
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12 Replies
Basil
Level 10

Re: Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

This may take some work, but if you're willing to do it, we may be able to figure it out.

First, let's think about why they might require reauthorization, excluding errors (software glitch, etc). Well, the most obvious reason is to stop people from sharing logins. That doesn't mean you are sharing your login, it means they want to make sure you aren't. 

Why would they think that? Well, if there are logins from different IP addresses, they may require re-authentication. So, why might there be logins from different IP addresses? The simplest is that there are different physical locations logging in on that account. In other words, someone else using your login. But, there are other reasons, too. For instance, your ISP could be assigning you a different IP address. Another reason could be a VPN running on your network.

Let's address the VPN first. Some people use those for security reasons, not for geolocation circumvention. So, are you using a VPN? If so, that may be your problem. Your ISP thinks you have people from all over using your login. They want to stop that.

Next, let's see if your ISP is changing your IP address. Open a browser and go to your search engine. Search for "what is my ip address" and either view the results (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo), or click one of the utilities returned by the search (Yahoo). Keep a log every day, and every time you have to re-authenticate. 

Next, let's rule out others using your credentials. Of course, if you are sharing it, there's your problem. But, let's assume you aren't sharing it, at least, intentionally. I'd suggest changing your Content Provider password. That way, only you now know it. Oh, and be sure you don't forget it. For now, write it down while you're troubleshooting. That would rule out, or prevent, unintentional sharing of your login.

Another cause of the problem could be the individual apps. Something may have cause a glitch with the data saved. So, when an app requires re-authentication, remove the app, then reboot the Roku (this is important). In fact, reboot all the Roku devices at that time. Then, app the app back to a Roku, and re-authenticate. Then, go to each of the the other Roku devices, reboot it again, then launch the app and re-authenticate.  When you're done with that app, go to your browser and record your IP address (remember, we're not sure what the problem is, so we're handling the IP address thing at the same time).

This may seem like a lot to do, but here's what it gets us. All three of your devices now have the same app with the same authentication at the same time. If there's an issue with the login timing out, it should now be consistent across all three devices. The next time that app requires re-authentication on one device, you should expect that on the other devices. Make notes when that happens for each device.

That's a lot to do, I understand. But, the data gathered may help determine what the issue is. Others may have other ideas. But once there's enough data, we may be able to find the cause. Once the cause is known, the resolution may present itself.
Basil
https://www.basilsblog.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Apple TV (5th gen), TiVo

Previous:
Roku boxes from every generation.
Apple TV (2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)
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Beck38
Level 7

Re: Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

No sharing, all roku's are on my home network (one wired 2 on wifi) and not on my commercial vPN, which is solely for the PC's on my network, and doesn't have the bandwidth for even one stream anyway. Also, my comcast IP address has not changed in 3+ years as I'm on business class service. Everything you have brought up has been gone over. From the number of pirate sites I see using roku, that might be a problem, but it isn't mine, so stop wracking me for your programming errors. Since the roku boxes can't have static ip addresses, and pull that from the dhcp pool, that might be a problem but again, that's a programming/system problem, not mine.

I'm about to pull my directv subscription and subscribe directly to these channels since the netflix/hulu/amazons work without fail. Bad/incorrect programming at whoever is at fault, just like the hdmi failures at directv that cause multiple handshake
problems even with the newest sat receivers and displays.

But from the rabbit hole I think this is going down, that having multiple boxes is a potential uncorrectable problem, and if so, then dumping roku is the only solution. Another month of this and they lose my business.
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Basil
Level 10

Re: Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

"Beck38" wrote:
... stop wracking me for your programming errors. ...

First, I'm a user just like you. I don't work for Roku. I have nothing to do with Roku other than owning several.

Like you, I have Comcast as my ISP. I don't have issues having to re-authenticate. I don't use DirecTV as a Content Service Provider, but do use DirecTV Now. So, as for what's wrong? Don't know. Mine's working. On all my Roku devices.

Maybe someone with whom you will work will come along. Good luck there.
Basil
https://www.basilsblog.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Apple TV (5th gen), TiVo

Previous:
Roku boxes from every generation.
Apple TV (2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)
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Beck38
Level 7

Re: Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

The bottom line from Comcast is, NO ONE should be using ip addresses to verify logins, attachments, etc.  They made this very clear over a decade ago.  Roku should be using the unit serial numbers, cross-referencing that with the boxes/units listed with the users roku account.

Why?  Because Comcast, like any ISP, can change the IP's at any given time, especially those which are assigned to the wifi ports, even if the main account (either commercial/business class or not) has a static ip.  So, forget about that rabbit hole.

Is Roku using the unit serial numbers to verify subscriptions across multiple boxes?  I know for a fact that if I get a re-authorization request on a channel, go to another unit and get the same, that if I jump though the hoops on one box the other WILL NOT get the authorization, I have to do it on all of them, one by one.  AppleTV went to a system which would auto authorize multiple boxes from a single unit quite a while ago, and at the time Roku announced that they would be doing the same; obviously, such a system would require looking up the serials listed as belonging to that specific account.  Roku announced quite a while ago that they were going to the same type of system, but when I get a request on one box (an the others are requesting it as well), and then update it, it is not auto-updating the other boxes.

Two weeks ago I started an Excel spreadsheet to track all the re-authorization requests; yesterday, I started getting lock outs on several of those channels that were authorized at that time, so they lasted right around two weeks.  There were a few that I missed that are at the one week point right now, so I'll see what trips out in the next few days. 
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Beck38
Level 7

Re: Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

"Basil" wrote:
"Beck38" wrote:
... stop wracking me for your programming errors. ...

First, I'm a user just like you. I don't work for Roku. I have nothing to do with Roku other than owning several.

Like you, I have Comcast as my ISP. I don't have issues having to re-authenticate. I don't use DirecTV as a Content Service Provider, but do use DirecTV Now. So, as for what's wrong? Don't know. Mine's working. On all my Roku devices.

Maybe someone with whom you will work will come along. Good luck there.


For how long have you had your roku's and your DirecTV Now?  With me, most everything worked fine for about a year, then the 'basic cable' channels started requiring re-auth every couple of months, then slowly creeping up to every month and then to the point they are now (10-14 days or so).  Starz and Showtime started going on around 18 months in, and getting worse until they are at the 2 week level now.  HBO was the last one to go, right at about the 2 year point, and is just as bad as everything now. 
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Beck38
Level 7

Re: Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

An update as to the 'single point login' for subscribers rolled out by appletv a year + ago (and supposedly being worked on by roku accounts according to their press release).

Apple just announced a 'zero sign-in' system they will be rolling out with providers (cablecos etc). Let's see how long it will take roku to respond.

Meanwhile, in going through my collection of roku channels last night, another half-dozen are requiring re-authorization some 10-14 days after last authorized. I logged into my roku account and yep, all my boxes are there.
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Beck38
Level 7

Re: Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

Just an update, as subscribed channels are continuing to require reauth every one to two weeks. Finger pointing between Roku, DirecTV (my main subscribed supplier), and the individual 'tv everwhere' (more like 'tv nowhere') streaming services.

At this point, no real difference in reauth requests between 'basic' channels and 'premiums'. Showtime continues to be a bit of an outlier, as they are the only service (although Fox News may be following up on the same sheme) that requre the phone app to renew authorization, whereas every other 'service' uses a direct web server.
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reddice
Level 7

Re: Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

That is why I took those channels off my Roku tired of having to re-authorize them.  My Apple TV only has HBOGo and Starz as it suppose has single sign on support with Dish Network however sometimes I still have to input my Dish password.  Super annoying.   I guess they really want you to pay for HBONow as before Now came out HBOGo kept me signed in for many months.
Charter Spectrum.
My Router: Netgear R7000 - Advanced Tomato 3.4-140 K26ARM USB VPN-64K.
My Primary Streaming Devices: Fire TV Box (2nd Gen), Roku Premiere.
Cats are the best pets.
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Beck38
Level 7

Re: Constantly have to re-authorize 'cable' subscribed channels

A bit of an update:
In the last 2-3 months, reauth requests were getting as bad as 7-10 days. However, starting around the middle of June, most services jumped to 3-4 weeks, or have not required any reauths since that time (coming up past one month right now). Only a couple have remained at the hyper level, cnn in particular for whatever bizzare reason.
So, has directv (my prime provider) repaired its authorization links to the providers or some other link in the process changed (and if so, what's up with cnn??).
I keep my eye on ott services, and youtubetv is my current #1 choice, only lacking one channel.
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