I bought five Roku sticks thinking they would be the perfect solution for me to cut the cord (because I can get Amazon and Google Play). Boy was I wrong. I started using them and things would sometimes be okay and other times the video wouldn't stream. I suspected the Wifi signal was bad so I upgraded my router ... three times. I finally put in a full fledged Ubiquiti Unifi system so I could monitor my Internet and figure out what was going on.
That's when I noticed it. The Unifi software can show "neighboring access points" and there were five of these listed: Direct-roku-xxx-xxxxxx. Not only that, but they were on the same wifi channels as my wireless access points! Immediately I'm thinking WTF is going on.
A little bit of Google searching later I learned the following:
1. Roku sticks (and possibly other Rokus) communicate with the remotes using Wifi direct. They create a WiFi network that the remote uses to communicate with the Roku.
2. The Roku sticks only have one WiFi radio. Why does this matter? Because it means the new network created by the Roku and its remote MUST use the same channel as my WiFi access point. So, the Roku effectively creates a full power WiFi access point on the exact same channel that your WiFi uses.
Things work sort of okay as long as nothing else uses the network and only one Roku is in use. But God help us if all five or even two or three of the Rokus are being used at the same time. The networks they create to communicate with the remotes makes the WiFi network virtually unusable.
So my question is ... what are my options? Is there any way to stop this? I already have a sophisticated, high power network so I can't see how I can do anything there. There is no way to change the channel used by the Roku and its remote because the Roku only has a single WiFi radio so it has to use the same one for the remote that it uses for the WiFi.
I guess one option is to switch to Rokus connected via Ethernet (thereby freeing up the one WiFi radio to use whatever channel it wants) but if I'm going to buy new hardware, then I'll almost certainly go with the Amazon Fire Stick given all these problems with the Roku.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
I doubt wifi-direct is the problem as it never actually goes through your router and I'm pretty skeptical that use of remotes could cause that much interference, since the problem gets worse the more Rokus are in use, it's most likely the streaming itself.
You might give this a try.
"dblagent007" wrote:"ghb51" wrote:
You might give this a try.
I appreciate the response. I changed that setting but I've since learned that it only works if the Roku is connected via Ethernet. This is because the Roku only has one WiFi radio so if it is connected to the network via WiFi, then it MUST use the same channel to connect to the remote. The Roku sticks don't have WiFi so the solution in the link doesn't work.
Hey, I have a similar setup to you and I have found my Roku devices to be somewhat flaky when used with Unifi gear for some reason, and this is usually dependent on firmware version of the AP's. Which AP unit(s) are you using?
In my testing, I've found that my Roku 3 units seem to be much more solid when connecting to my AP-PRO (generation 1) than with my AC-Lite unit. I have not gone in-depth with the testing but do know that when I force them to the AP-PRO everything seems to clear up.