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mgreen123
Level 7

YouTube Videos Freezing and Pixelating on Roku Ultra

Beginning yesterday, I noticed about half of the videos I try to watch on the YouTube app will begin to pixelate and freeze after a few seconds.
I've confirmed this behavior on two different Roku Ultras ( both 2017 models), one connected to a Toshiba and the other to a Vizio HDTV.
Never had a problem prior to yesterday watching any YT videos through the Roku YouTube app.
Also, I noticed yesterday that Roku pushed out an update to their YouTube app so they must know something's up.  However, it DID NOT fix the problem.

My guess is that YouTube made a change to how videos are encoded, and that is causing an incompatibility with Roku's YT app
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7 Replies
atc98092
Level 16

Re: YouTube Videos Freezing and Pixelating on Roku Ultra

Roku doesn't push channel updates. This is the sole responsibility of the channel owner/developer. So Google pushed it. Yes, it comes from the Roku update servers, but Roku has nothing to do with the app/channel (with a very few exceptions, like the Roku Media Player and Roku Channel).
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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mgreen123
Level 7

Re: YouTube Videos Freezing and Pixelating on Roku Ultra

"atc98092" wrote:
Roku doesn't push channel updates. This is the sole responsibility of the channel owner/developer. So Google pushed it. Yes, it comes from the Roku update servers, but Roku has nothing to do with the app/channel (with a very few exceptions, like the Roku Media Player and Roku Channel).

Thanks for the information.
To further clarify, the YouTube app was updated AFTER the freezing started.  So I believe somebody was trying to fix something they broke.
Still isn't working properly.
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atc98092
Level 16

Re: YouTube Videos Freezing and Pixelating on Roku Ultra

I'll play some YouTube videos this evening and see if anything occurs for me. You never know until you try...
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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atc98092
Level 16

Re: YouTube Videos Freezing and Pixelating on Roku Ultra

While I'm currently using my 4, and not the Ultra, I am having no issues with YouTube. I've watched 1080, 720, and SD material. 
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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mgreen123
Level 7

Re: YouTube Videos Freezing and Pixelating on Roku Ultra

"atc98092" wrote:
While I'm currently using my 4, and not the Ultra, I am having no issues with YouTube. I've watched 1080, 720, and SD material. 

Try this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHwMWmTXziI

All YouTube videos play back fine on my desktop; it's only the Roku Ultra that is having problem with some, not all.  If I go back through my YT history, I can play all the old videos (uploaded more than a week ago), but the newer uploads, about half of those, are freezing on the Roku Ultra YouTube app.

I think Google changed something about the encoding which is causing their Roku YT app to fail on some newly uploaded videos.  It's difficult to pinpoint, but, like I said, they updated their app right AFTER the freezing started so it seems they were trying to fix a known problem.  Or maybe just coincidence.
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atc98092
Level 16

Re: YouTube Videos Freezing and Pixelating on Roku Ultra

I'm still watching on my 4 (no problems), and I'll try the Ultra after I go to bed (it's in the bedroom). I'll concentrate on recently uploaded to see if I can replicate it.
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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atc98092
Level 16

Re: YouTube Videos Freezing and Pixelating on Roku Ultra

I watched several videos on my Ultra last night, include some 4K HDR material. I did not experience playback issues with any of them. Even the 4K material was ramped up to full resolution within seconds, and no sign of any pixalation. I was seeing a bitrate from the high 20s to the low 30s Mbps.
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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