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Meliconda
Level 7

TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering

I have a TCL in my living room that works fine. As well as the TCL in my sons room. The TCL in my room is constantly buffering in Netflix. Just like all of the other users. So frustrating. I think it’s a manufacturing problem and we should get reimbursed with a replacement or money back. Very frustrating. We don’t have much to entertain ourselves these days so NETFLIX is important. I’m ready to throw it in the trash   

20 REPLIES 20\
Meliconda
Level 7

Re: TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering

Me too. I’m ready to throw my Roku tv in the trash and go with something else. 

Visitor45763
Level 14

Re: TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering


@Meliconda wrote:

 I think it’s a manufacturing problem and we should get reimbursed with a replacement or money back.   


That's an interesting topic to me. There does seem to be differences in experiences (even with the same model of tv) that point to hardware. But, these problems don't occur until an update of the software. That leads to a perplexing question what the expectations are between Roku & tv manufacturers it licenses to. Do manufacturers expect Roku to test updates on every model/revision it exists on? Does Roku expect manufacturers to adhere to a hardware model they don't? (Did neither party even consider the topic? Does Roku expect customers to just live with this unstable environment? There won't be any fallout to Roku?).

It's bizarre when you think about it. Either someone has not lived up to their agreement and should be responsible (as you suggest). Or, it was complete irresponsibility (conveniently overlooked?) by both parties, and they hope to continue overlooking it (as Roku customers don't know what they're getting into when they buy)?

All of this is a good reason to file a complaint with the FTC. Also, state AGs often take consumer complaints, or will know of the state agency that does. In either case, I wouldn't expect everyone drop what they're doing and get my problem fixed. I think it's more of "getting on their radar" (that something is foul here. "Where there's smoke, there's fire."). The more people who make their experience known, the more regulators might look closer and deem this situation to be predatory.

Also, get on all the retailer sites and give reviews so people know what they're getting into. IMO, that's the entire problem. If this is how Roku & the manufacturers expected it to be, fine. I'm ok with that. Everyone sees things differently. Maybe some kind of inexpensive race-to-the-bottom disposable-tv (the Harbor Freight of TV) has a place. It should just be clear to purchasers that that's what they're getting into. They should know that updates are not tested (for every model of tv the software's on). If an update leaves a tv behind, there's no way to continue using the tv with the last update that worked. (You can only disconnect from the network and use it as a dumb tv.). I'd be happy if I'd known all this up front. You buy a tv and you think it's going to be treated with "due diligence." Not a roll of the dice that can set you back to something worse than when you bought it. Something you can't opt out of.

Also, in your case, you can buy a Fire Stick or Android Box (there are inexpensive models) and stream Netflix that way (through an HDMI port). That would be one way to continue using your tv the way you want to without buying a new one. You'd also have something that would enable you to buy a dumb tv next time, keep your "smartness" externalized and modular (not all your eggs in one basket, like Roku TV is).

"People are often amazed at how much we’ve done with the number of engineers we’ve got." (Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Austin Statesman, Oct 4, 2019). "Amazed" is one way of putting it.
ukfigs
Level 8

Re: TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering

I started this thread nearly 2 years ago and have given up on roku and TCL resolving this issue. I have talked endlessly to roku, TCL, bestbuy, netflix with no resolution, still buffers on a regular basis with no issues on any other app. The netflix version is old compared to later versions on the roku stick+ and the fire stick 4k, and the download speed of the installed netflix app is about half of the speeds on the two sticks, uninstalling and reinstalling just reloads the same version. With respect to using the hdmi port instead of the built in roku capability that is what I use now with a firestick 4k (and the remote works with the TV and my receiver) and it generally works fine but lately when watching a youtube video on the fire stick the TCL occasionally just spontaneously reboots. Also noticed lately the audio/video drifts out of sync which requires stopping and restarting the video.

I do think there are hardware/software issues but no-one seems interested in admitting that and fixing them.

Net result of all this irritation is I have basically stopped using the roku portion of the TV and have been completely soured on buying another TCL product. My next TV will focus on the TV not the embedded "smarts".

Ncsalisbury11
Level 7

Re: TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering

We are having the same problems with both of our NEW roku TVs! Luckily we had an old roku to plug into the hdmi and when we use that one we have zero problems but the bedroom tv is still having issues because we don’t have another streaming device to plug into the hdmi so these roku TVs are absolutely pointless. I get so frustrated with the buffering and error pop ups when I watch tv in the bedroom that I usually just end up watching antenna tv or use my phone. 

Visitor45763
Level 14

Re: TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering


@Ncsalisbury11 wrote: We are having the same problems with both of our NEW roku TVs! 

On 07-18-2019, everyone was told to "reach out" to Netflix. A year and a half later: you buy a tv with "Netflix" plastered all over the box (and the remote). And, it still doesn't work. 

One of these days someone's going to think this looks a lot like bait & switch

This is typical for Roku. They want it both ways. They use things like Netflix (and Airplay) to draw people in. Then, when it doesn't work, "you should reach out to [someone else]." (Or, "I've passed it along.").

If these things are so casual & haphazard, Roku shouldn't be marketing it as a come-on for customers. If they market it, they should take responsibility, pick up the phone, and talk to the developers with whom Roku has a much more established relationship with than you or I.

This reminds me of Roku's loosey-goosey relationship with tv makers. Roku pushes software updates out which break tvs. Nobody knows who (if anyone) is responsible for testing updates before they're pushed. When breakages are reported, Roku continues pushing the update out like it doesn't matter. Roku tells affected customers to talk to the tv maker (when Roku has the relationship with the makers & would seemingly want to get to the bottom of what's going wrong with that relationship).

Roku wants neither the burden of testing updates, nor supporting older versions of Roku (so affected customers can roll back to an older version that worked.). 

The constant theme is: All upside for Roku. All downside for the customer.

"People are often amazed at how much we’ve done with the number of engineers we’ve got." (Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Austin Statesman, Oct 4, 2019). "Amazed" is one way of putting it.
Ncsalisbury11
Level 7

Re: TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering

I would also like to add that it isn’t just Netflix constantly buffering and “claiming” WiFi error, with the latter NEVER being the case every time I check the WiFi status. It is basically every app having these issues including Hulu and Disney plus. I also don’t think it has anything to do with the brand of tv but the roku application built within because one of my TVs is a TCL and the other is a Westinghouse, with both having the same roku issues. Now that I have to buy a streaming device to plug into the bedroom, I will not being going with roku. I even bought a roku se the previous Black Friday (before I had both roku TVs) and I ended up having to return it because the remote (actually any remote because I even linked a universal one to try) had a major delay issues in responding so I would get so frustrated clicking the buttons like a maniac until it finally registered. It took forever to do anything with that **bleep** little roku and it rarely ever just took one click of a button to respond, even when I got up and put it right in front of the darn roku! 

Lesdmac
Level 7

Re: TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering

Yeah i ended up buying a new tv and specifically avoided a Roku tv. Too bad it’s been almost a year for me and Roku hasn’t done anything to fix or compensate people. Sounds like maybe a class action law$uit is probably brewing. 

Visitor45763
Level 14

Re: TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering


@Lesdmac wrote: Sounds like maybe a class action law$uit is probably brewing. 

I'm surprised that hasn't happened yet. A lot of this stuff looks like "bait and switch."

There's an Airplay thread where multiple people have said they bought their Roku TVs specifically for that feature (which doesn't work). It took MONTHS for Roku to move beyond the "thank you for reaching out, I've passed it along" to "can you provide more info?"

It's clear Roku is not serious. Months! Roku treats problem reports like mere suggestions. We're not unhappy customers denied a service we paid for. We're colleagues offering ideas. It's pure arrogance.

Take this thread as an example. You go to the store, see the boxed TV with "Netflix" plastered all over the box. That's obviously printed on the box's real-estate for a reason: to sell it to you. Then you find out it doesn't work. Roku says "we suggest reaching out to the tv maker (dear colleague)." The tv maker says it's the software (which everyone knows). Then Roku suggests you "reach out" to Netflix's app support -- even though Roku has a much more substantial relationship with Netflix, and that relationship is what was billed on the box as "buy me!" (The remote too! Big Netflix button, like "come use our broken stuff?" Was that what they intended prospective customers to gather from that button?).

To me, it looks dishonorable. Collusion tactics. "We didn't put Netflix on the box. Talk to the tv maker." The tv maker says they only put it on the box because Roku told them Netflix was a functioning app. Then Roku says it's not them, it's Netflix (for years -- as tvs with false adverting printed on the box continue to be sold).

Those are just two example. It's like a freight train of stuff like this. I don't see how this hasn't become a major scandal.

"People are often amazed at how much we’ve done with the number of engineers we’ve got." (Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Austin Statesman, Oct 4, 2019). "Amazed" is one way of putting it.
TheGalaxy
Level 9

Re: TCL Roku TV and Netflix Buffering

It’s very frustrating. My TCL roku likes to freeze for awhile and shut itself off EVERYDAY at least once a day, sometimes more. Sometimes I have to yank the power plug out to make the freezing stop and reset itself. This is since the update. I’ve had the TV since last November. Roku says nothing, TCL says nothing. 
I can say for sure I will never buy another TCL tv. And I can also say they have lost two sales to both my brother-in-laws who were really interested in my TV....who I highly recommended to NEVER buy a TCL roku tv.

It’s a shame because the picture quality is just fantastic, but the software is just awful...or maybe they used different hardware during manufacturing, so they can’t fix the software issues across the board?

No idea, and we most likely will never know because TCL and roku don’t seem to care.