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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JSchnee21
Level 7

Ultra Networking Performance

Hi Everyone,

First time poster, long time lurker.  I have 4 Rokus in total.  Three Roku 3's and a new Roku Ultra.  Currently my Ultra is running production release 7.2.2.  All 4 devices are hardwired to the same gigabit switch which in turn gets 50Mbit FIOS (that 50Mbit up and down).

Using the hidden SpeedTest app (similar to Ooka Speedtest).  I typically get ~40Mbit-60Mbit download speeds on all of my Roku 3's depending on the time of day and sever selected.  But on the Roku Ultra, over both hardwire and 5Gbit Wifi (WAP is in adjacent room so signal is approx -30 Db) the best the Roku Ultra can do is 14-18Mbit.  When I hook up a PC to the Ultra's network cable I get the full 50-60Mbit (Verizon tends to over provision).

Additionally, the Roku Ultra seems to buffer / drop streaming resolution quite a bit more than the 3's.  This is exacerbated whenever I try to do 4k (obviously) and especially 4k HDR.  But overall the network performance of my Ultra seems to suck using both Ethernet and Wifi.  In everyone other way -- interface speed, picture quality (when its not sucking) is better than the 3.  I had the ultra hooked up to my 1080p plasma before my 4k arrived, and I was amazed at how much better the picture looked coming from the Ultra at 1080p than from the 3.

Anyway, for those of you that have an Ultra could you try the SpeedTest channel and compare to one of your other Roku models?  Just trying to figure out if I got a dud.  Or if the OS build isn't fully optimized for the new chipset/etc.

Are there any other speedtest apps or hidden menu tests I should run to benchmark the Ultra's network performance?  Maybe the speedtest in the Vudu app (Netflix app might have one as well -- or just connectivity).  I'm having a lot of issues holding onto a 4K stream in the Netflix app.  Amazon seems to be a bit better.  Hoping when OS 7.5 comes out things will improve.

Thanks!
Jonathan

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5 Replies
atc98092
Level 13

Re: Ultra Networking Performance

I find the speedtest channel can vary wildly from real world use. On my Stick, it might show 25 Mbps (40 Mbps DSL), but watching the realtime graph in my wireless access point I can see 60-70 Mbps video streaming from my server. So don't fret too much, unless you discover issues during actual usage. 
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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Nebo1ss
Level 7

Re: Ultra Networking Performance

I have a 1 Gig fibre internet connection. My ultra is normally connected by Ethernet and i get a speed of just below the 100 Meg capability of the ethernet adapter. I thought I might improve things if I use the WIFI ac since I felt the speed was being throttled by the ethernet and ac is capable of much higher speeds. I was very surprised to find that the WIFI ac was significantly below the Ethernet speed. I know my WIFI is capable of running at much higher speeds because my Laptop in the same room get speeds of 250 to 300 Meg.

`The WIFI on the ULTRA is certainly not meeting specs.

Its not really a problem for me because there is nothing I am doing on the ROKU that needs more that I am getting on the Ethernet.

I am using a Private channel app to measure speeds.
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JSchnee21
Level 7

Re: Ultra Networking Performance

FYI.  4k (non-HDR) streaming in Netflix seems to be somewhat improved with the 7.5.1-4088 release (and the corresponding Netflix App update).  FYI, if you got into the config options within the Netflix App (scroll up and select the gear), there is a network benchmark test which is conducted under network testing.  Netflix claims I'm getting approx 45-46mbit on my 50mbit connection.  So it seems like the private SpeedTest App is just borked on the Ultra -- still only getting 16-18Mbits.

Got my first HDCP error error, yesterday, following the 7.5.1-4088 upgrade  with Netflix 4k "HDR?" (Fuller House).  I've never had an issue before.  We'll see if it recurs.  I never had any issues under 7.2.2. 

IMHO Amazon 4K and 4K HDR (ex Grand Tour) seems to be much better quality than anything I'm getting through Netflix.  YouTube 4k can also be very good.  I've tried all of the 4k content on Netflix and none of it seems to be of very good quality.  It either never adapts to full res, or is poor quality when it does, or has artificial grain added for some inane stylistic reason, or is just too dark.   I'll have to try the built-in Samsung Netflix App to see how it compares.

In the mean time I've turned off HDR.  It seems to cause more harm than good at least on my "pseudo HDR" set -- Samsung KU6300.  This set doesn't have a wide color gamut so I likely cannot see any difference between 8-bit and 10-bit color anything.  I was just hoping for better gradations of color (aka less banding) which seems much better in either case than on my older (2007) Panasonic Plasma.

I had hoped Roku would have had more of the bugs worked out by now.  The Roku 4 was such a fiasco, I naively assumed the Premier/Ultra line would have been better vetted prior to launch/by now.  
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: Ultra Networking Performance

"Nebo1ss" wrote:
I have a 1 Gig fibre internet connection. My ultra is normally connected by Ethernet and i get a speed of just below the 100 Meg capability of the ethernet adapter. I thought I might improve things if I use the WIFI ac since I felt the speed was being throttled by the ethernet and ac is capable of much higher speeds. I was very surprised to find that the WIFI ac was significantly below the Ethernet speed. I know my WIFI is capable of running at much higher speeds because my Laptop in the same room get speeds of 250 to 300 Meg.

`The WIFI on the ULTRA is certainly not meeting specs.

Its not really a problem for me because there is nothing I am doing on the ROKU that needs more that I am getting on the Ethernet.

I am using a Private channel app to measure speeds.

Are you using the Speedtest channel? It is not very accurate and varies wildly between tests. I've seen it report 12 Mbps on my wired DSL connection, while the Netflix speed test within their help menu will show pretty much my max speed. I place little faith in the speedtest channel, unfortunately. 
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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dj57auc
Level 7

Re: Ultra Networking Performance

ROKU ULTRA peak speeds: tests done with a high bitrate video file played over PLEX from a local linux server (everything gigabit)- speeds observed on the server.
eth port : 96mbps = 12MB/s
wifi ac: 132mbps = 16,5MB/s
the test video file was a stupid high bitrate file: 123.8 mbps direct stream and I got buffering on both eth and wifi ( so wifi is not capable of stable throughput ) and lan port should be enough and more stable to be used for proper encoded 4K files ( < 60mbps = 7,5MB/s ) like a 2160p.Blu-ray.REMUX.HEVC.Atmos.TrueHD.7.1
you won't get anything near that from Netflix or whatever service you use so check your internet connection...
if you want more speed from the roku you should try a usb gigabit adapter but from my tests, > 120mpbs bitrate files don't play perfect even on USB SSD.
one byte to rule them all
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