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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Psilobite
Level 7

Some apps (mainly Hulu) have skipping / lagging video problem

I have a 2017 Roku Ultra. I have it connected to a 1080P TV - a 2012 Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 with HDCP 1.4. I have the "Auto-adjust display refresh rate" enabled, so I get 1080P 24 from the Roku into the TV on most movies like those on Netflix. Otherwise, the Roku seems to send 1080P 60 to the TV, so I assume the internal scaler in the Roku is increasing the frame rate on the fly.

On some apps, mainly Hulu, video sometimes has a lagging effect (not a pixelation or other type of issue usually seen with a low bandwidth or connectivity issue). It's almost like it's skipping frames, or lagging, as if you were watching video on a computer that didn't have enough CPU power to keep up.

On the last movie that had this issue, I checked my TV and saw that it was receiving 1080P 60 from the Roku. I thought that was weird for a movie that should be at 24 fps.

Is Hulu (and other apps that have this problem, like WeTV) trying to save bandwidth by using a non standard framerate like 20 fps? I'm wondering if it's something like that, and the Roku has to triple the framerate on the fly which is too much for it on 1080P. (Just my own speculation, since it's not possible to see what the framerate of the actual source video is on most apps.)

I tried disabling "Auto-adjust display refresh rate" but that made no difference. Also tried the usual check for update + restart, unplug / plug back in, and remove app + check update + restart + add back app + activate app. That also made no difference.

Other apps such as Youtube, Netflix, PlutoTV, HBO, Showtime, etc. do not have this problem. (Well, actually, on free apps that show ads, I noticed that this problem often occurs on the ads... but not the main video. The ads that have this problem often show a HDCP error message that goes away after about 3 - 5 seconds.)

I have not tried this yet, but I have read that you can try changing the video output on the Roku from 1080P to 720P. (Not a *real* solution - if it works - but most people can't tell the difference.) Again... if the Roku is frame tripling on the fly, then 720P might be easier on the CPU.

Is this something that can be fixed by the user? If so, how? Otherwise, is this issue going to be fixed, or is it just something I have to live with?
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8 Replies
Miami_Son
Level 7

Re: Some apps (mainly Hulu) have skipping / lagging video problem

First off, you are confused on some things. 1080p refers to the pixel dimensions of the video. 24p refers to the frame rate of the video. One has nothing to do with the other. You can have 1080p or 720p in 24, 30 and 60 frames per second (US). Because 1080p is higher resolution (more data) it requires higher bandwidth from your internet connection to stream reliably. 720p...not so much. I tried Hulu and was annoyed by how often it would buffer even with my 75mbps internet connection, so I dumped it. Picture quality sucked, too.
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Psilobite
Level 7

Re: Some apps (mainly Hulu) have skipping / lagging video problem

I am not "confused" about frame rates and pixel dimensions. Not sure how you inferred that.

You might have missed the parts of the post where I stated "not a pixelation or other type of issue usually seen with a low bandwidth or connectivity issue" or "Youtube, Netflix, PlutoTV, HBO, Showtime, etc. do not have this problem".

Speedtesting my connection shows I have more than enough bandwidth for 4K (which the Roku Ultra handles).

You might be confused about standard frame rates, since you didn't seem to understand my speculation that Hulu might be having this problem because it might be using some kind of non standard frame rate, like 20 fps. That would make the Roku have to triple the frame rate on the fly to output 60 fps, which is what it is putting out. I suspect that is the case, because film frame rate is 24 fps, and it would not make sense for Hulu to change it to something higher, because it would use more bandwidth. It could also be a bug with latest Roku software, or a bug with the latest Hulu software... instead of outputting 1080p24, it's increasing the frame rate on the fly to 1080p60 (when it shouldn't), which is causing system lag.

You seem to show by your post that you don't understand the above, and have jumped to the conclusion that the problem I am describing must be bandwidth related because you experienced issues with connectivity to Hulu in the past (i.e., buffering). The problem you experienced as you describe it is not what I am seeing. (Not sure what you mean by "Picture Quality" as that could mean a number of things.)
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Psilobite
Level 7

Re: Some apps (mainly Hulu) have skipping / lagging video problem

I just went into Hulu and replayed the movie that had the lagging issue.

The Roku is now outputting the movie at 1080p24, and the lagging issue is gone. So, it must be a bug. I didn't check the exact versions of the Roku and Hulu apps when the problem occurred (I should have), so I can't confirm that either had a software update that fixed this.
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clayvligon
Level 7

Re: Some apps (mainly Hulu) have skipping / lagging video problem

I mainly stream netflix from roku but there are so many shows that I cannot access because they are not available in my region? Should I use VPN with roku and does it support it? Though I haven't faced any lags so far but I have heard the downloading speeds do go down when using it with a VPN. If anyone has got any suggestions, it would be most welcome. My friend has suggested me <redacted>
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atc98092
Level 15

Re: Some apps (mainly Hulu) have skipping / lagging video problem

VPN discussion in this forum is not permitted. 
Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Psilobite
Level 7

Re: Some apps (mainly Hulu) have skipping / lagging video problem

Issue is back and worse than ever. Same hardware, latest Roku software (9.0.0 Build 4142-46), latest Hulu (6.13 Build 2). TV is 2012 Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 with HDCP 1.4. Roku is a 4660X Ultra.

Roku output is 1080P. It happens if Roku handles framerate (Roku outputs 1080P60) or if Roku outputs native framerate (System -> Advanced system settings -> Advanced display settings -> Auto-adjust display refresh rate -> Disabled; Roku outputs 1080P24).

The problem is actually worse when Auto-adjust display refresh rate is disabled and the Roku outputs 1080p24.

Tried restarting Roku and TV, makes no difference.

It appears the video "jerks" every 1 second, kind of like what you see with some kind of CPU or system lag.

TV is fine with cable, blu-ray @ 1080p24, etc. Other apps such as YouTube don't have this problem.

I'm not sure if a) this problem happens to everyone and no one notices or cares, b) my Roku is malfunctioning, or c) there is some compatibility problem with the Roku and my television set.

Would a Roku 4661 solve this problem?

Wish this problem could be solved, as it makes content on Hulu nearly unwatchable.
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DBDukes
Level 10

Re: Some apps (mainly Hulu) have skipping / lagging video problem

"Psilobite" wrote:
..,
Would a Roku 4661 solve this problem?
...

No. The 4660 and 4661 are the very same device. Not almost the same. The same.

Unless of course, you simply have a bad 4660. Then a 4660/4661 would. But, I took your question as thinking it was a different device. It’s not.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Some apps (mainly Hulu) have skipping / lagging video problem

Thanks for the note here. Each channel source will provide differing content formatting, depending on their encoding specifications. 

- Have you tried testing your device connected to a different TV to see if the same issue occurs there? 
- Is Hulu the only channel that you observe this issue with? Does it occur on 'Live' content or on standard streaming content, or both? 
- Have you tried removing the channel from the Roku home screen, restarting your device from Settings>System>System restart, then adding the channel back once more? 

If you're only experiencing this issue on the Hulu channel (app), I'd recommend contacting Hulu support to follow up and report the issue to them as well. Keep us posted with what you discover and we'll continue looking into this. 

Thanks,
Tanner
Tanner D.
Roku Community Manager
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