Playback Issues - Audio/Video & Power

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denver5357
Level 7

Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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A Roku remote I set up last fall that came with a Roku wireless corded unit (not a stick) worked fine for a few months, then in January 2021 stopped changing channels within any service provider, stopped selecting apps within the Roku environment, stopped doing anything except turning the TV on, and changing its volume, and turning the TV off. The Roku curser would not move or respond. I changed batteries, reset, etc., no difference. So I left it alone and used the Smart TV feature for 6 weeks or so, and then one day the same Roku remote started working again. Then, a month later, it stopped. Then maybe 6 weeks later, it worked. Then it stopped again after a month.

So I bought a second, identical Roku, and replaced the Roku wireless units/extension cord behind the TV with the new one. I kept the power cord from the first one, as it was bundled with other cords. I set up that new Roku, started using it and it worked for .... 2 weeks. Then it, too, stopped doing anything except turning the TV on and off, and changing volume.

So two separate Roku units, bought months apart, behaving the same way on our TV. What's the issue?

Next I am going to use the old Roku unit and remote with a different TV, and see if it quits as well. Also, should Roku units be hot to the touch (the ones plugged into the TV's HTML that go wireless, not the sticks)? My second one is very hot. Thanks.

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makaiguy
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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I suppose you may have a Remote, or maybe the Roku itself, that is starting to fail.  The 3810 was first released in 2017, so it could be up to 4 years old by now.

For what it's worth, I've had several different Roku models over the last 10 years.  Since my Roku 3 in 2013, they have all connected via WiFi-direct remotes and I can only recall one time that I had to re-pair any of them due to a loss of pairing that was not caused by me doing a Factory Reset that wiped out the pairing info.

There was a Roku operating software update several weeks ago that caused a lot of Roku remotes to come un-paired.  Mine were not affected and one of them is on a 3810 Streaming Stick+ like yours.  I haven't a clue why some were affected and others were not.

Remember, these things are just little special purpose computers. Like their big brothers sometimes clearing things out by restarting them is all it needs.

Restart via Settings > System > System restart (Or for Roku TV: Settings > System > Power > System restart)

If a restart doesn't do it, try pulling the power plug to the device for a minute or so then plugging it back in.  If you're going to pull the plug anyway when initiating the re-pairing you can skip the menu-based restart, as pulling the plug will clear memory also.

Roku Community Streaming Expert
I am not a Roku employee, only a user like you.  Please, no support questions via private message -- post them publicly to the Community where others may benefit as well.
If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer by clicking " Accept as Solution.".

Streaming Stick 4K+ 3821 | Streaming Stick+ 3810 | TCL Roku TV 43S245/C107X

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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First, what are the model numbers of your Roku players? Depending on the model, the remote uses either Infrared (IR) or WiFi Direct to communicate with the Roku. If it's an IR remote, it can be interfered with by bright light. Also, IR requires direct line of sight between the remote and the Roku. If something is blocking the IR signal, it won't work. It's probably still controlling your TV because the remote can see the TV clearly. 

But to go any further we need to know the Roku model number(s). 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
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I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
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denver5357
Level 7

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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Thanks for your response. There is no bright light, nor blockage of the path, to the TV. This happens at night as well as during the day. Also, given that the Roku unit plugs directly into the HDMI port on the TV, and on virtually all TVs the HDMI port is on the back of the TV, there is always going to be a TV between the Roku unit and the remote. Which, BTW, worked fine, until it stopped working. So clearly it does work despite the HDMI connection, and therefore the Roku unit, being behind the TV (where it has to be). 

The serial number of the first Roku that stopped working is 213054748688, model 3810X

The serial number of the second Roku that stopped working is 265099395982, model 3810X

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makaiguy
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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Model 3810 (the X is irrelevant) is a Roku Streaming Stick+.  Only the Streaming Stick products have a male HDMI plug built in which plugs directly into a female HDMI jack on your tv, and thus are used behind the tv. (All other Roku streamer models connect to the tv via a standard HDMI cable that plugs into the tv and the Roku, so the Roku may be placed anywhere the cable reaches, not necessarily behind the tv.)

All current stick products are supplied with point-anywhere remotes that connect to the Roku via WiFi-direct radio frequencies (RF) and thus do not use direct line-of-sight infrared (IR) remotes.

RF remotes must be paired to the individual units they control.  If something causes this pairing to be lost, it will result in the symptoms you describe.  To restore remote operation, re-pair the remote to the Roku.

Video from Roku re how to pair point-anywhere (RF) remotes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK3T6eXqPU8

Reiterating something that is implied in the video:  After the Roku has been powered up for a while it may stop being responsive to the pairing request from the remote.  In this case, all you need to do is pull the Roku's power plug for a few seconds and plug it back in.  When it has started back up you should be able to initiate the pairing.

Roku Community Streaming Expert
I am not a Roku employee, only a user like you.  Please, no support questions via private message -- post them publicly to the Community where others may benefit as well.
If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer by clicking " Accept as Solution.".

Streaming Stick 4K+ 3821 | Streaming Stick+ 3810 | TCL Roku TV 43S245/C107X
denver5357
Level 7

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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Thank you for that info. So we know infrared isn't the issue.

I will certainly try your remedies, thought I have already tried 3 times to remove remote batteries, and repair remotes. I haven't unplugged the RoKu itself. Sometimes it has worked, sometimes not, but when it has worked, it hasn't worked for very long (days, or a week or so). At least not after the very first pairing.

So my question is, why would Roku create a product that needs repairing constantly to the remote? What causes the issue, and why is it allowed to exist?

Will update after I unplug the units and test that step.

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makaiguy
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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I suppose you may have a Remote, or maybe the Roku itself, that is starting to fail.  The 3810 was first released in 2017, so it could be up to 4 years old by now.

For what it's worth, I've had several different Roku models over the last 10 years.  Since my Roku 3 in 2013, they have all connected via WiFi-direct remotes and I can only recall one time that I had to re-pair any of them due to a loss of pairing that was not caused by me doing a Factory Reset that wiped out the pairing info.

There was a Roku operating software update several weeks ago that caused a lot of Roku remotes to come un-paired.  Mine were not affected and one of them is on a 3810 Streaming Stick+ like yours.  I haven't a clue why some were affected and others were not.

Remember, these things are just little special purpose computers. Like their big brothers sometimes clearing things out by restarting them is all it needs.

Restart via Settings > System > System restart (Or for Roku TV: Settings > System > Power > System restart)

If a restart doesn't do it, try pulling the power plug to the device for a minute or so then plugging it back in.  If you're going to pull the plug anyway when initiating the re-pairing you can skip the menu-based restart, as pulling the plug will clear memory also.

Roku Community Streaming Expert
I am not a Roku employee, only a user like you.  Please, no support questions via private message -- post them publicly to the Community where others may benefit as well.
If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer by clicking " Accept as Solution.".

Streaming Stick 4K+ 3821 | Streaming Stick+ 3810 | TCL Roku TV 43S245/C107X
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denver5357
Level 7

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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Thanks again for your insights and help. I really appreciate it.

I bought each of these Roku's within the past year, so while they may have been made earlier, I haven't had them long. And the first one started having issues about 5 months after I set it up. The second one had issues within a week. 

I did unplug one of them and then plugged it back in. You are correct, it *did* repair. Now I guess I have to wait until it suddenly unpairs again. I wish Roku didn't have such an unpairing-prone product.

Thanks again. 

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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@denver5357 

Another possible explanation for the intermittency is that your modem/router/gateway is shifting the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz SSID's channels around to avoid interference, which causes the WiFi Direct AP that the Roku's use to "follow" the main AP potentially into incompatible/high interference channels (especially in 5Ghz).

Try this:

1)  Go into to your modem/router/gateway's configuration pages (usually https://192.168.0.1 or similar)

2)  Make sure both 2.4 and 5Ghz are enabled with different SSIDs (same password is fine)

3)  Manually configure the 2.4Ghz channel to 1, 6 or 11 with 20Mhz bandwidth.

4)  Manually configure the 5Ghz channel to 36 or 149 with 20Mhz bandwidth.

5)  Save all settings, reboot all devices (modem/router/gateway+Rokus/etc)

Monitor the Roku remote's connectivity over the next few weeks.

I also suggest getting the free HDMI extender Roku offers for you two sticks - they help reduce heat buildup/increase heat dissipation and reduce WiFi interference from the TV:

https://my.roku.com/hdmi#!

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denver5357
Level 7

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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Thanks for that. I tried to order the free extender, but the online order form won't go past my info I entered. It doesn't say why. It just won't move forward. The info, including the serial number, is all correct. 

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Multiple Rokus won't change channel

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@denver5357 

Common problem with their HDMI extender order page (make sure you enter 0 (zero) instead of the letter O) - send a message to @RokuDanny-R  or @RokuKariza-D  or @RokuMary-F  and they should be able to help you further.

Otherwise, try the channel changing suggestions.

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