Network - Wireless & Wired Connections

Help & troubleshooting for network issues, including connecting your device to your home Wi-Fi network, connecting to public networks, troubleshooting wireless issues & ethernet connections, and optimizing streaming performance.
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mick7
Level 7

Ethernet Cable from TV

Hi Folks, I am having some buffering problems with my brand new Roku Express. This model does Not have a input from ethernet. My Vizio TV does, however. If I connect an internet cable to my TV will this help the Roku from buffering as much? In other words, will I get a more consistent signal? Thanks so much. 

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15 Replies
Basil
Level 10

Re: Ethernet Cable from TV

Maybe. It depends on why you're buffering. If it's because your local network wireless is very crowded, then one less device might help. A better option might to change your local network to a different channel.

Both of those are possible solutions if it's your local network that's the issue. If the issue is upstream, none of that will matter. 

Regarding the TV, why is it even connected to the Internet? You aren't using the smart TV features, are you? If not, you really don't need it connected at all.
Basil
https://www.basilsblog.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Apple TV (5th gen), TiVo

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Roku boxes from every generation.
Apple TV (2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: Ethernet Cable from TV

If you are referring to connecting a LAN cable to the TV in hopes of improving a Roku player that is only connected via HDMI, then no it will have no impact directly for the Roku. The network cable to the TV will only impact any Smart TV functions the TV contains. It will not in any way assist the Roku network connection. Since you'd never be using the TV functions and the Roku functions at the same time, I doubt there's anything with the TV connection that would help the Roku. And as Basil mentions, if you aren't using any Smart TV functions, the only thing a network connection to the TV does is allow firmware updates. 
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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mick7
Level 7

Re: Ethernet Cable from TV

Thank you guys for your input. I had a conversation with my cable company today. I increased my mps to 200 from 60. They tell me that should Definitely make a big change in my streaming of movies and live TV. If, I still have an issue I will buy the Roku Ultra which has the input for the ethernet cable. Doing that, would Ultimately solve my problem. Thanks again, Harold.
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Miami_Son
Level 7

Re: Ethernet Cable from TV

Actually, if the problem is slow internet, the Ultra will not solve your problem. Now, if there is an issue with your wifi signal that is causing the buffering on the Express, then having a Roku Ultra connected directly to your router by ethernet can fix the issue. Bumping up your provider's data stream will likely fix the problem if that is what was causing it.
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: Ethernet Cable from TV

"mick7" wrote:
Thank you guys for your input. I had a conversation with my cable company today. I increased my mps to 200 from 60. They tell me that should Definitely make a big change in my streaming of movies and live TV. If, I still have an issue I will buy the Roku Ultra which has the input for the ethernet cable. Doing that, would Ultimately solve my problem. Thanks again, Harold.

You won't notice any difference at all most likely. Sorry. Most streaming sites never exceed 20 Mbps. Netflix tops out at 16. Unsure about Amazon, but I've heard it caps around 20. The only exception I've seen is YouTube, where I've seen bit rates exceeding 45 Mbps. I've bumped my speed from 20 to 50 and now to 90, and online streaming has shown no difference. Now if you have multiple devices streaming at the same time, then yes the higher speed could help. With 200 you stream multiple 4K HDR videos at once without choking your pipeline. 
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In theory, you can actually get a faster network connection (your internal connection, not your Internet speed) with wireless. All Roku players with an Ethernet jack only support Fast Internet (100 Mbps). It's real world speed limit is between 85-90 Mbps. Your Express supports wireless 802.11N on the 2.4 GHz band, which has (depending on hardware) an upper limit between 140 and 290 Mbps. But it is very dependent on an interference free connection. But if there's interference on your selected channel, that can severely affect your network speed. You might try changing your wireless channel in your router to see if you can get an improvement. 
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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mick7
Level 7

Re: Ethernet Cable from TV

Thanks, guys. The thinking for getting the Roku Ultra was in effect for the ethernet connection. I many times have two Rokus on at the same time, which the tech folks from my cable service tells me Would help with the buffering issue. They also did ( of course) confirm the using an ethernet cable to my router would most definitely solve that problem. I have as of today brought my cable boxes and wires back to my cable company. In effect saving me approx. $50.00 a month in fees. I will check out the router thing involving my two internet speeds, the 2.4 and the 5 MHz speed. Thanks again, Harold. 
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: Ethernet Cable from TV

"mick7" wrote:
Thanks, guys. The thinking for getting the Roku Ultra was in effect for the ethernet connection. I many times have two Rokus on at the same time, which the tech folks from my cable service tells me Would help with the buffering issue. They also did ( of course) confirm the using an ethernet cable to my router would most definitely solve that problem. I have as of today brought my cable boxes and wires back to my cable company. In effect saving me approx. $50.00 a month in fees. I will check out the router thing involving my two internet speeds, the 2.4 and the 5 MHz speed. Thanks again, Harold. 

2.4 and 5 GHz are not speeds, they are different frequencies that have different characteristics. Using 802.11N, both frequency bands are capable of the same speeds. However, 5 GHz usually has less interference, so real world might have better speeds. Also, 802.11AC is the fastest version of Wi-Fi available, and again you will probably see the best performance using 5 GHz. 
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Also, your Express doesn't support 802.11AC or the 5 GHz band. You need at least a Premiere (last generation), Stick/Stick + or Ultra for AC and/or 5 GHz support. You can see the differences in each model here.
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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mick7
Level 7

Re: Ethernet Cable from TV

Thanks, ATC for clearing that up for me. I will attempt to switch channel of my Netgear router to 5GHZ. If THAT doesn't solve my problem, I will be buying the Roku Ultra. Then get an ethernet cable and hard wire my Roku. My Netgear Nighthawk route is a story in itself. I'm....working on it though.  Smiley Happy . Thanks, Harold. 
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: Ethernet Cable from TV

"mick7" wrote:
Thanks, ATC for clearing that up for me. I will attempt to switch channel of my Netgear router to 5GHZ. If THAT doesn't solve my problem, I will be buying the Roku Ultra. Then get an ethernet cable and hard wire my Roku. My Netgear Nighthawk route is a story in itself. I'm....working on it though.  Smiley Happy . Thanks, Harold. 

Further clarification. Both 2.4 and 5 GHz use channels, and you don't change a channel to move to 5 GHz. Routers that support 5 GHz have two separate radios so both 2.4 and 5 GHz are functional at the same time. The have completely independent settings. Also, remember that that your Express doesn't support 5 GHz, so your best option is to try different channels on the 2.4 GHz side. 
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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