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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Level 7

excessive buffering and blurry video

I have a Roku Express and often have fuzzy reception.  I ran speed tests at the Roku device at the TV and got about 18mps.  At the modem, about 30 feet away, through cement walls, I got about 30--32 mbs. Does this scenario--with the distance from the modem--sound like it is causing the poor reception?  Does anyone know if a product upgrade would solve the problem and which Roku device I should upgrade to?

Thanks,

Bob H.

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7 Replies
Level 10

Re: excessive buffering and blurry video

What are you trying to stream?  That's more than adequate for HD. 

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Level 7

Re: excessive buffering and blurry video

YouTube TV

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Level 21

Re: excessive buffering and blurry video


@Bobzilla1 wrote:

I have a Roku Express and often have fuzzy reception.  I ran speed tests at the Roku device at the TV and got about 18mps.  At the modem, about 30 feet away, through cement walls, I got about 30--32 mbs. Does this scenario--with the distance from the modem--sound like it is causing the poor reception?  Does anyone know if a product upgrade would solve the problem and which Roku device I should upgrade to?


Yes, buffering and a low resolution image are usually related to limited bandwidth. Unfortunately, the Express doesn't have the greatest WiFi radio. You might try moving the Express around a bit to experiment. The radio wavelength at WiFi frequencies is measured in inches, so sometimes it doesn't take a major change to improve the signal. 

However,  even 18 Mbps should be adequate for online streaming. Is YouTube TV the only one giving you a problem, or are any other channels also buffering/low resolution? I've never used YouTube TV, so if it's only their channel perhaps there's a setting within the app that can help. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Level 7

Re: excessive buffering and blurry video

Hey, thanks for the reply!  I can't get the Roku Express any closer to the modem, not even inches.  Do you have a recommendation on a different Roku device that has better/stronger WiFi, or at least tell me the specs to look for in a device--Roku or otherwise?  I don't have any problem spending money on hardware, and I'm not running anything else on the stick (like Alexa), just steaming YouTube TV on my television.  Netflix and Amazon Prime seem to work fine.  Not sure I'd even know what to look for in the YouTube TV settings to make a change.

Thanks, again, Bob H.

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Level 21

Re: excessive buffering and blurry video


@Bobzilla1 wrote:

Hey, thanks for the reply!  I can't get the Roku Express any closer to the modem, not even inches.  Do you have a recommendation on a different Roku device that has better/stronger WiFi, or at least tell me the specs to look for in a device--Roku or otherwise?  I don't have any problem spending money on hardware, and I'm not running anything else on the stick (like Alexa), just steaming YouTube TV on my television.  Netflix and Amazon Prime seem to work fine.  Not sure I'd even know what to look for in the YouTube TV settings to make a change.

Thanks, again, Bob H.


The Roku Streaming Stick+ is supposed to have the best WiFi receiver, as the power cable is actually the antenna. The newest Ultra is also supposed to have improved WiFi. But my older Premiere seems to work just fine as well. However, I have multiple wireless access points in my house, so I have a good signal everywhere. One advantage of the Ultra of course is being able to use a wired network connection. My 4640 and my Sharp Roku TV are both wired, while my Premiere, Ultra 4670 and Insignia Roku TV are all connected wirelessly. 

Since your other channels are working fine, I'm suspicious of the YouTube TV app itself. Perhaps it doesn't like something with the Express. 

I have nothing bad to say about other brands of streaming players. If you don't mind the user interface looking like you're using the Prime Video channel as your home screen, the Fire TV products are nice. I'm partial to the Nvidia Shield, as it has a Gigabit network connection and plays all my local ripped media, along with my recorded OTA broadcasts with no problems and offers support for all captions and audio codecs. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Level 10

Re: excessive buffering and blurry video

Yeah, if other channels play fine, I doubt it has anything to do with Wi-Fi reception. As well as some app issue, there could be issues on their end or in the internet in-between. The youtube app (not youtube TV) has a feature that I think is called "stats for nerds" or some such.  It overlays the playing video with a bunch of info including a graphic that shows network accesses.  On my Express it will show no activity for ~10 seconds and then a brief "blip" of network showing that the communications speed is not an issue at all. Maybe youtube TV has something like that too?  If they have a support forum, perhaps you should look there.

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Level 7

Re: excessive buffering and blurry video

Thanks for all the tech advice.  I'll follow up on it!

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