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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seejester
Level 7

Roku TV Media Player stopped working

Last year, we purchased a TCL Roku TV for the purpose of looping a silent video for promotional purchases. Over the past year it's worked fine, but recently it stopped playing our mp4, giving us the error:

"File Not Playable"
"An unexpected problem (but not server timeout or HTTP error) has been detected."

I've tried installing a fresh version of the video on the USB drive, reformatted said drive for FAT32, even did a full factory reset on the TV, but nothing has worked. Please remember it's worked fine for months, then suddenly something's changed.

Does anyone know how I can get this working again? It's essentially turned our setup into a $1,000 paperweight...
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11 Replies
RokuDale
Level 8

Re: Roku TV Media Player stopped working

Did you contact me already about this issue?
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seejester
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Media Player stopped working

This was the first post I've made about this (posted just before I went on vacation), though I wouldn't be surprised if other people were having similar issues.
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RokuDale
Level 8

Re: Roku TV Media Player stopped working

A problem was found in mp4 files created using Power Point. 
See : https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=119402
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seejester
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Media Player stopped working

Thank you, that fixed it.

The short answer for all future folks who have this issue: Roku doesn't support MP4's very well, you need to convert the file to MKV and that'll fix it.

"If you're using Windows, there a program called MediaInfo https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo[/url:rk08dtxa]. Actually, they have Mac and Linux versions as wel...
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: Roku TV Media Player stopped working

Actually, it plays properly encoded MP4 files fine. But if there's a problem with the encode, then issues may appear.
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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speechles
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Media Player stopped working

"atc98092" wrote:
Actually, it plays properly encoded MP4 files fine. But if there's a problem with the encode, then issues may appear.

I love the back and forth, do not get me wrong. But even rokudale wouldn't make that statement. He was very wise to simply redirect the user to the appropriate thread where this was an issue and how it was solved. I give rokudale a hat tip for that way of thinking and acting. Don't argue with the facts, let the facts speak. Indeed.


 In no way am I saying, using MKV is the answer. But also, in no way can you make the statement that it had an encoding error and the remux fixed it. The answer is likely one or the other. Neither of us has the file, nor has enough information (such as media info attributes of the problem file) to even start to make these assumptions. I just know on roku, presently MKV is a magical container. Aladdin's lamp.

“If the facts are against you, argue the docs. If the docs are against you, argue the facts. If the docs and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like he_ _ (hockey sticks for both underscores)”.
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: Roku TV Media Player stopped working

Even in the MKV container I have encountered files with a "glitch" and a simple remux cleared it up. And my statement stands. If there's no issue with the encoding, and the codecs are correct, every Roku player supports MP4 fine. Yes, we don't have details of what his file contains. But as I said, the file might show everything correct, but there's still something amiss. I have repaired a number of unplayable videos with a remux. 
.
Just because a video is in a particular container is no guarantee that it will play on a specific player, regardless of brand. I take no offense at any of this, and only offer what I have encountered through my past experience. Your mileage may vary.  Smiley Very Happy
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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RokuDale
Level 8

Re: Roku TV Media Player stopped working

I believe Dan meant that "properly encoded MP4 files" included knowing the limitations of the Roku. Different Roku devices have different limitations and the MP4 encoding standard is pretty flexible. Just because an MP4 encoding doesn't have errors in it, doesn't mean it can be played. Bitrate, resolution, and other resource requirements can cause the mp4 file to play nicely on one device but fail on another.
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speechles
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Media Player stopped working

A glitch? You can't give that up.

The file played previously on roku. Now it doesn't. The firmware changes adapted what can be played on roku.

Therefore, the correct statement is. Yeah, some mp4 formats that played previously now require mkv to do the same thing. Sorry for any inconvenience.

To assume there are glitches is glitched thinking. Don't assume what others are thinking. It was quite clear. I understand fully how to build a roku profile. I've already done it. I take no offense at all either. But I do have a better understanding on what can and cannot play than both of you. Not saying this to be arrogant either. I am confused why others aren't as versed as me. It just takes sample files and experiments. All of my knowledge is passed along to emby. Together build a better world. Thats all I am trying to do.

I do agree, glitches can be problems. But every single one of my mkv/mp4 with glitches will play. The roku plays them just fine, and when it gets to that glitch unpredictable things happen. The sound gets all staticy for a bit, the colors go green, blue weird macroblocks.. but then it normalizes and back to perfect. These are obviously transmission errors where the OTA singal goes wonky as the HD Homerun builds your TS/MKV. Its common enough that people always mention glitchy spots in videos, but they don't cause the player to halt.

Are they even glitches? Sometimes no, they are encoded perfectly, but look, feel, act entirely like a glitch, but its not. The stream is built to look as it was received. But sometimes the encoder can't figure out what to do with the corrupt data and either makes stuff up to fill in the blanks, introducing huge macroblocking, or it tries to make due, and you get corrupt frames and frame lockup, then as it finds a new keyframe can build upon that and continues. Pretty standard stuff. Yawn. heh.

If the OP of this post, was kind enough to host their video on googledrive, dropbox, or similar and give us a link to that video we can dig deeper. I am very curious as to what causes the video player to balk. It obviously is getting through the "format detected" routine. The roku believes it can play it, then the video player gets the video and actually can't. This is what we are seeing.

To make it simple: ffmpeg -i file.mkv -t 10 file.mp4

If the OP of the thread runs that on their video, they can limit what gets trimmed. We need the original streams, not reencoded. Same way MKVToolNix was copying the streams this will have ffmpeg do. No mapping. All streams copied. Trimmed to 10 seconds. This should be enough. If that 10 seconds leaks any proprietary/commercial/etc information and even that would show too much. Make it 5, or even 2 seconds. We just need the short sample to reproduce the failure. Thanks.
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