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Level 7

Resolved: Roku Ultra Severe Streaming Pixelation

Searched the forum to see if there was a similar problem using both the simple and advanced search. I did not find anything describing the problem I'm having.

Just bought a Roku Ultra and received it yesterday. Set it up with wired Gigabit Ethernet on my home LAN. I do not have a 4k TV. Finds HDMI 1.4 good for 1080p and 88 Mbps bandwidth on my network. Suffers severe streaming movie pixelation from the Roku channel, Vudu and Amazon Prime at about 2-4 seconds after starting the video playing. Tried an aux HDMI port on my Sony home theater, two HDMI ports on the large TV connected to the home theater, three different HDMI cables, and two different Ethernet cables. I tried every permutation and combination of them. No change in behavior. As I've got two other TVs in the house, I moved it to one of them (small one with one HDMI port). Testing of display and network gave same results (it's a true 1080p TV). Tried all the permutations and combinations of cables with the HDMI port on it. Same severe pixelation behavior.

The home theater, a smart TV and three different Blu-ray players can all stream video from Vudu and Amazone Prime. They do so without any problem whatsoever, and they are connected to my home LAN in exactly the same manner using some of the there different HDMI cables I tested with the Roku. Conclusion: it's not my home LAN or its connection to the Internet. It's inconceivable that the combinations of multiple Cat 5e Ethernet cables and HDMI cables tried are all bad, as they work with everything else, with Vudu and Amazon Prime streaming without any problem whatsoever. Indeed, the home theater was streaming a Vudu movie at a bit rate consistently over 25Mbps. Tried setting the Roku display from "automatic" to 720p with no change in behavior.

This video I made using an iPhone shows the behavior which was consistently the same regardless of what I did.


After over two hours of trying all these permutations and combinations of HDMI and Ethernet cables and TVs trying to isolate the failure, there was no change in pixelation behavior. is a defective Roku Ultra. Am I correct in concluding the Roku Ultra I have is defective?


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2 Replies
Level 13

Re: Roku Ultra Severe Streaming Pixelation

To me, yes, it looks like a defective unit.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
Level 7

Re: Roku Ultra Severe Streaming Pixelation

"jeffrok" wrote:
To me, yes, it looks like a defective unit.

Yup . . . defective. Received replacement from seller today. Only swapped out boxes using all the same cables and connections. Works as advertised. Swapped them back out as proof. First one was DOA. I suspect the processor or a chip associated with decoding the stream was incapable of handling even a small bit rate. I doubt it's associated with the Ethernet circuitry as both Roku measured my LAN throughput from the Internet at 88 Mbps. Not familiar enough with the circuitry inside to go any further with the failure mode analysis.That's for the seller and Roku to sort out. DOA Roku goes back to seller tomorrow with his RMA paying for the shipping.

Made another video of the replacement Roku that's working as it should - same movie from the Roku channel. The iPhone had trouble holding focus on a mostly black screen so some of the title cards are fuzzy - that's the iPhone, not the Roku or TV. Image on TV is razor sharp with excellent detail.  Smiley Happy


Thanks for your reply,