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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PSUHammer
Level 7

Wifi bandwidth issues on 5GHz band

Is there a way to test wifi bandwidth to get specific throughput rates instead of the generic "excellent"?
I am getting buffering trying to stream UHD material that is pegging 90mbps+ in throughput.

The fact that Roku does not include a full GB NIC on their devices is asinine.

Some further testing has shown that there may be a serious issue with the TCL r617 wireless adapter.  I am unable to get consistent 50mbps streaming over the 5Ghz SSID.  the 2.4GHz SSID is better and I can get closer to 100mbps, but it is not consistent.

If I use my cell phone (Galaxy S8+) and stand next to the TV, I can test both network bands.  My phone, in comparison, can pull 275mbps over the 5GHz SSID and around 170mbps over the 2.4GHz band.

Could this be driver related for the wireless radio?  Is this a Roku firmware problem or is this more to do with TCL?

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4 Replies
atc98092
Level 13

Re: Wifi bandwidth issues on 5GHz band

I understand their logic for not offering Gigabit network connections, although I still want one. Roku is primarily designed for online streaming playback, and no online site comes anywhere close to maxing out a Fast Ethernet connection. It's only us home media streamers that can exceed 100 Mbps, and even that is only with the recent release of UHD Blu Ray discs. Even the most high bitrate 1080 Blu Rays never exceed about 70 Mbps peak, with the average bitrate around 40. I don't know what the cost difference might be per unit for Roku, but for the vast majority of their customers it's a non-issue. However, with more people setting up their own Plex servers, or other home based systems, perhaps Roku will recognize that and offer a Gigabit connection on at least their high end player.
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No, there's no way to determine your actual thoughtput via a wireless connection with your Roku. Even when the Speedtest channel still existed, I never found it to be an accurate measurement of my network speed. I have noticed that if I switch my Sharp Roku TV from wired to wireless, my UHD rips will buffer more on wireless, so I'm obviously not getting a higher thoughtput over my 802.11ac router. However, my router was released before the .11ac format was completely approved, so it's possible my hardware isn't fully compliant. But since my Internet connection is under 100 Mbps, I can't confirm my actual WiFi speed is any better than my wired speeds with other devices. 
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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PSUHammer
Level 7

Re: Wifi bandwidth issues on 5GHz band

My issue with the 10/100 NIC is that 1000 NICs have been the norm for years, now. So much so that manufacturing cost is negligable and almost all consumer grade commodity devices are full "gig"

You are right that they cater to Internet streaming, but my Plex server is really gimped with a 10/100 NIC.

I suspect the wireless radio is also having problems as the TV gets way worse throughput than my phone.
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PSUHammer
Level 7

Re: Wifi bandwidth issues on 5GHz band

So, after much deliberation and troubleshooting, I have finally resolved my issue with streaming UHD content from my local Plex server to the Roku TV.  I just bought an Nvidia Shield which has a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port.  Problem solved.

Also, the Shield's wireless radio is way more powerful than the Roku TV.  I am getting throughput over 150mbps.  The Roku can't get over 70mbps for me.
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PSUHammer
Level 7

Re: Wifi bandwidth issues on 5GHz band

So, my TCL TV just updated to v9.0.  This has added the bitrate line to the network status page.  I tested all three of my network options.  Here is what the Roku finds:

1)  Ethernet = 95 Mbps (no surprise)
2)  Wifi 5GHz band = 46 Mbps (crappy with 802.11ac)
2)  Wifi 2.4 GHz band = 76 Mbps (fine for N)

Mind you, the Orbi base router is literally 8 inches from the TV and my phone pulls 270 Mbps on the 5GHz band.
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