Playback Issues - Audio/Video & Power

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kathi17
Level 8

Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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I've been searching for weeks, but can find no answers. We originally had a non smart TV, and a smart Bluray player. We watched lots of channels pretty flawlessly through the Bluray player, but you couldn't add new channels to it, so we bought a Roku Streaming Stick +.

With the streaming stick, everything was constantly buffering, making it completely useless, including the same channels we constantly watch flawlessly on the Bluray player. I tried evreything to make it work, including both 2.4 and 5 ghz (I think it's called) connections. We have perfect WFI signal, and turn off all devices, such as smart phones that use WIFI when we watch TV because we only have access to slow DSL speeds. (We are in an area where we don't have a choice of speeds).

Yesterday, we bought a new Roku TV, hoping that it was just a problem with the streaming stick, but it is still impossible to watch anything on Roku with the new TV. We have absolutely no problems when we choose the Bluray player from the Roku menu and watch the same channels through that.

Is there some type of setting on Roku that I am missing? I have been trying to find answers for months, and tried everything with the stick, then stayed up most of the night trying to find answers about the TV set, but nothing works. I really want to watch my new BritBox subscription, but can't add it to the Bluray player, because that device can't be added to.

Does anyone have any ideas why the Bluray device works flawlessly, but Roku devices are unusable on slower DSL?

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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@kathi17 

You didnt mention it, but how are the Blu Ray player and Roku TV connecting to your modem/router/gateway?   Wired or wireless?  If wireless: 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz?

Since you mention "slow DSL", it sounds like RE-xDSL (Reach Extended DSL).

When you run the Roku speedtest (Settings/Network/Check connection) on the SS+ or RTV, what internet download speed(s) does it report?

If you run a Ookla/speedtest.net speed test using your PC/phone app, what does it report for the download speed?

What download/upload speeds are you paying for/guaranteed from your ISP?

In addition to what @DBDukes  suggested, as far as why the Blu Ray players apps work better - you didnt mention the specific apps, but generally speaking older versions of apps are quality/bitrate limited relative to newer apps (lower resolutions require slower speeds).

In other words, the newer apps on your Rokus are trying to download better audio/video quality/resolutions, which require more bandwidth (speed), and your xDSL connection isnt able to keep up.

You may need to manually adjust/limit your quality settings in services/apps like NetFlix/Disney+ etc.

With more information we may be able to give you better insight.

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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1Mbps is very low - thats probably below most services minimum download speed (NF has a 3Mbps minimum for SD).

You should definitely go into your different services data settings (if available)

NetFlix:  go to Netflix.com Account/Profile settings/Playback settings/Data usage=Low.

Disney+: Open the app Settings/App Settings=Save data

Apple TV:  Open the app Settings/Limit Playback to SD=On

For those apps/services without speed settings/otherwise:

Limit Roku resolution to 720p:   Settings/Display type=720p

 

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DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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@kathi17 

Hopefully, one of the network gurus around here will weigh in. I'm wondering if the Blu-Ray device is using a different DNS setting than Roku uses.

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert
Note: I am not a Roku employee.

If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."

StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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@kathi17 

You didnt mention it, but how are the Blu Ray player and Roku TV connecting to your modem/router/gateway?   Wired or wireless?  If wireless: 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz?

Since you mention "slow DSL", it sounds like RE-xDSL (Reach Extended DSL).

When you run the Roku speedtest (Settings/Network/Check connection) on the SS+ or RTV, what internet download speed(s) does it report?

If you run a Ookla/speedtest.net speed test using your PC/phone app, what does it report for the download speed?

What download/upload speeds are you paying for/guaranteed from your ISP?

In addition to what @DBDukes  suggested, as far as why the Blu Ray players apps work better - you didnt mention the specific apps, but generally speaking older versions of apps are quality/bitrate limited relative to newer apps (lower resolutions require slower speeds).

In other words, the newer apps on your Rokus are trying to download better audio/video quality/resolutions, which require more bandwidth (speed), and your xDSL connection isnt able to keep up.

You may need to manually adjust/limit your quality settings in services/apps like NetFlix/Disney+ etc.

With more information we may be able to give you better insight.

kathi17
Level 8

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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Both are connected wirelessly, and I've tried both 5 and 2.4 with the same results.

I am only getting 0.67 for download speed, but since it works with the Bluray player, I was hoping it would also work with Roku. On the Bluray, I normally use it with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, Tubi, IMDB, and a few others, and have no problems with any of them. I was feeling so lucky because I could pretty much watch anything I wanted even at those speeds.

When we first got DSL, it was through Verizon, and was about 1 MB for download speed. That was as fast as we could get here at the time. Verizon sold out to Fairpoint, and our speeds kept dropping. Fairpoint sold out to Consolidated, and it has gotten even worse. They say they can't guarantee it will get any better. We are on a side road, and there are no other real options here. We are also in a cellular dead zone, with no signals from any tower because of a couple of hills right behind our house.

I never realized that you could adjust the settings within the apps themselves. I will try that. Of course Roku updated everything when I set the TV up, which is a good thing for most users, but not so good for people with antiquated DSL service. We have had the Buray player for a couple of years, so the apps are probably older versions as well.

Thank you for your tips, I'll fire up the TV and check the settings within the apps! I don't expect miracles, I thought it was a miracle that I could watch TV when we got the Bluray player, so I expected that the Roku would work too, but I could never figure out a way to adjust the settings for video quality. At least you gave me some new ideas besides what I have already tried.

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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1Mbps is very low - thats probably below most services minimum download speed (NF has a 3Mbps minimum for SD).

You should definitely go into your different services data settings (if available)

NetFlix:  go to Netflix.com Account/Profile settings/Playback settings/Data usage=Low.

Disney+: Open the app Settings/App Settings=Save data

Apple TV:  Open the app Settings/Limit Playback to SD=On

For those apps/services without speed settings/otherwise:

Limit Roku resolution to 720p:   Settings/Display type=720p

 

kathi17
Level 8

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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Thank you so much! I managed to get some settings in some of the apps changed, and I actually watched half an hour on Netflix, (didn't like the show, so I turned it off), then tried Amazon Prime, and watched a whole movie! There are some apps I haven't found settings for, but will try their websites again, (as you mentioned in your second post), and look for ways to change them there. I knew I wouldn't be able to watch everything, because I know my speeds are so slow, but I am watching so many things now that it seems like a miracle to have TV again for the first time since broadcast TV went off the air. (The same hills that stop cell phone signals stop antennas from working on the road where I live.)

Anyway, all the trouble shooting tips I had found for all those months mostly had to do with the wireless signal, (mine is excellent), and settings in the router, resetting things, etc. I tried those all anyway, but I knew in my heart that it was my internet speeds. I just couldn't find a way to change the speeds on Roku. I had no idea that they were set individually in the apps, until you mentioned it. I also didn't know that the old apps were working, but the new updated ones on Roku made a difference. I just figured they were all the same, so I figured it was a Roku settings thing. You showed me the difference. :-)

As I said, I know there will still be things I can't stream until our area moves into this century, but at least I now know how to fix a lot of things!

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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@kathi17 

You're welcome - glad its working/working better for you and thank you for posting back so others can see.

In general check each app/service for bandwidth/resolution settings (some have them, some dont),  otherwise limit your streaming device's output resolution to limit bandwidth usage (it can be used with any device/scenario for that matter).

kathi17
Level 8

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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The only thing I can't figure out how to do is limit my Roku TV's output resolution to limit bandwidth usage. That was the first thing I tried to do, but can find no way to do it. It's not in the settings menu, and I haven't been able to find it under my Roku account on the internet. (It's a TCL TV). With the Roku stick, I could select 720, but I can find no setting on the TV.

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Can stream through DVD player, but anything I try to watch with ROKU buffers constantly

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Yes, thats one of the major drawbacks for using a TV's internal apps (RokuOS or otherwise) - you cant troubleshoot or limit/change their behavior by adjusting the display/output settings of the device.

(Would be nice if they all included such settings somewhere....)