Roku Device Features, Settings & Updates

Help configuring Roku device settings, using Roku OS features such as screen mirroring, adjusting display type and audio settings, using Guest Mode, and assistance with software updates.
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alisengizmo
Level 7

Overheating

I just got DirectTVNow and have a abrand new $49.99 ROKU in the green box and it keeps overheating !  can this harm my Smart TV ?  Can I return this ?  
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35 Replies
Basil
Level 10

Re: Overheating

Define "overheating." 

The device may run hotter than you might expect, but not hotter than designed. If that's the case, it's not overheating.

So, what do you mean by "overheating?" Provide specifics as to how you came to that conclusion.
Basil
https://www.basilsblog.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Apple TV (5th gen), TiVo

Previous:
Roku boxes from every generation.
Apple TV (2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)
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fluke
Level 10

Re: Overheating

As stated by Basil, what exactly you mean by "overheating" matters.

It looks like DirecTV is distributing the Roku Model 3800 Streaming stick.  As far as I know, this uses a quad-core processor that can consume over 2 watts of power.  It is normal for it to get hot to the touch.  That is not the same as overheating were a product may become unstable or glitchy because the temperate exceeds the design specifications for the processor.

Any HDMI product, including a cable, can damage your smart tv if produced incorrectly.  In the case of Roku, they are properly licensed adopter of the HDMI Foundation standards which is designed to avoid such problems coming up.  You can check their status here:

https://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/enf ... _tool.aspx

For that reason and the lack of evidence having been presented so far that any Roku product has damaged devices in the past, I believe it is unlikely your Smart TV is  any peril due to the Roku.

As to being able to return the Roku, it seems like that would be up to DirecTV.  Given it is a bundled "free" perk for signing up for service, my gut tells me they will likely just exchange it for another Roku streaming stick.  However, to be fair, I have never dealt with DirecTV personally and have a bias against their parent company.  You should probably contact DirecTV to find out what type of resolution they would actually be willing to offer if you are still uncomfortable.

Also, if you are really worried about it getting hot to the touch, I would recommend avoiding any stick-like media player.  DirecTVNOW also supports Chromecast and Amazon Firestick so they may recommend using one of those instead.  However, I find those can also get hot to the touch.  My recommendation based on your concerns (if you still have them) would be getting a Roku Ultra which has a much larger surface to spread the heat produced by the processor and feels cool to the touch while operating.
fallen04
Level 7

Re: Overheating

I have almost the same problem, except that the tv displays "my device is overheating". I have an extender, it isn't close to heat, is attached to an HDMI adapter. I unplug from electrical connection and it seems to work for a couple of hours. My tv is very old but working well. It is a 40" HP plasma tv. Thanks for ur help
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Re: Overheating

I have the Roku 3800X that I bought from Amazon about 3 months ago. For the first time, today a message came up on the screen that said my Roku device was overheating! What does this mean? Is it defective? My device is plugged into a Sanyo Smart TV and and electrical power supply. I unplugged it to allow it to cool off, but am very concerned. What should I do?
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bozzy
Level 9

Re: Overheating

"TexasTigerlady" wrote:
I have the Roku 3800X that I bought from Amazon about 3 months ago.  For the first time, today a message came up on the screen that said my Roku device was overheating!  What does this mean?  Is it defective?  My device is plugged into a Sanyo Smart TV and and electrical power supply.  I unplugged it to allow it to cool off, but am very concerned.  What should I do?

Try using an extender. If it is plugged in directly to the HDMI port, it can get hot. You shouldn't ever see that message if you use an extender. If you do, it is likely an issue with the Roku.
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Re: Overheating

"fallen04" wrote:
I have almost the same problem, except that the tv displays "my device is overheating". I have an extender, it isn't close to heat, is attached to an HDMI adapter. I unplug from electrical connection and it seems to work for a couple of hours. My tv is very old but working well. It is a 40" HP plasma tv. Thanks for ur help

A message on-screen stating the device was overheating is precisely what I encountered for the first time last night on a Roku 3800X.  The message included instructions to refer to this URL about the problem:  http://go.roku.com/tempcheck.  This particular streaming stick is only a few months old and the LED TV it's attached to is even newer.

I have several generations of Roku devices, from 2nd. generation (2XS) through 6th. generation (3800Xs), and most of these exhibited problems that appeared to be thermally-induced whether or not they were stick-type or tabletop devices:  i.e., the devices would frequently seize up, become unresponsive to their remote controls (physical remote or software remote/app), wouldn't respond to network pings, and would spontaneously reboot themselves.  SOCs similar to the Roku's (ARM-based) have hardware watchdog timers that can be enabled and programmed to take a variety of actions based on different conditions, including internal temperature readings, so that faults resulting from heat can trigger reboots automatically.  The fact that such problems vanished on the troubled devices I had by running a small fan or attaching small heat sinks (to tabletop Rokus) is a strong indication of a thermal problem.

Elsewhere in this thread it was said that warm/hot temperatures don't necessarily indicate a problem with these Roku devices.  That's true provided a device is running within its thermal design specifications, which for some ARM-based SOCs built for industrial use can be reasonably high, but I doubt anyone outside of Roku knows what the acceptable thermal operating range is because I haven't seen such information published anywhere.  However, a reading of my 3800x cited above taken with an infrared thermometer a few minutes after disconnecting it from the TV produced a reading of 127 degrees Fahrenheit.  Note that's a temperature from the surface of the device's case, not from somewhere on the bare SOC which must have been higher, and the reading was taken a few minutes after being disconnected from power as I it took time to find the thermometer.

All this aside, it seems Roku acknowledges this as what must be a thermal problem and must be trying to address it in good faith because visiting the link above takes you to an offer for a free HDMI extender.  The purpose of the extender, as others here have suggested, is to allow stick-type devices to dangle a distance away from other heat sources such as the back of a television where you'd normally plug them into an HDMI port.  The result should be something similar to Google's Chromecast devices which were designed with a captive HDMI cable from which they dangle freely away from the back of a heat-emitting TV with the possible additional benefit of gaining somewhat better air circulation as a result.

I hope the extender helps because I still think that Roku, short of this thermal problem, has the best overall approach to this type of device, seems to introduce incremental improvements more frequently, and unifies searches across content providers better than the alternatives.
atc98092
Level 15

Re: Overheating

The HDMI extender isn't really for heat related issues, but might certainly help. It's primary purpose is to move the Stick away from any potential WiFi interference that might cause either remote or network connection issues. Even today's flat screen monitors have low level RF emissions that can interfere with the WiFi radio reception in the Stick. But I agree that Rokus in general and the Stick in particular can run quite warm. 
Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), 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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Re: Overheating

"atc98092" wrote:
The HDMI extender isn't really for heat related issues, but might certainly help. It's primary purpose is to move the Stick away from any potential WiFi interference that might cause either remote or network connection issues. Even today's flat screen monitors have low level RF emissions that can interfere with the WiFi radio reception in the Stick. But I agree that Rokus in general and the Stick in particular can run quite warm. 

That's an interesting notion but, if that were the case, then I'm left wondering why Roku is giving these away to address heat related problems.  If you go the link displayed in the overheating message displayed on-screen by the R3800X (https://go.roku.com/tempcheck), you can get a free HDMI extender, offered as a remedy by Roku specifically for overheating, by filling out an application.  My HDMI extender shipped today, so they're at least processing these promptly.

For the record, I haven't noticed any problem with network connectivity with this particular setup.  Heat has been an altogether different matter.  Reading elsewhere on this form I've seen some exceptionally high temperatures for this device reported.  According to what this device reports on its "secret screen" interface, its operating temperature hovers around 100 degrees Celsius which is far higher than I'd have imagined.  Just testing it now, it reports 66C right after booting.
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atc98092
Level 15

Re: Overheating

I had never seen that page before, and yes that is interesting. Any time a Roku rep here on the forum referenced the HDMI extender it was to improve network connectivity. So it can probably accomplish both. Moving the Stick away from the TV would certainly enable better ambient cooling. 
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I have an extension cable packed in my suitcase, since I only use my stick when I travel. By getting the Stick out from behind the TV I can usually connect to the hotel wireless better. But yeah, it does get warm. Smiley Happy
Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), 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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