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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phlexx1
Level 7

Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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I'm new to using the Roku product. I had cable before in a different location I now have fiber and my internet speed is rated at 600 Mbps and I've connected an Ethernet cable through the network box to the family room and directly to the TV so I'm not using Wifi although I originally was using Wifi and thought that was the issue. I use Hulu Live beta for the channels I watched on cable like ESPN and MSNBC and these and many other channels are constantly buffering every 45 to 60 seconds. I was unable to watch the Superbowl without this issue so hoping there has been some resolution since it appears to be common problem although most post refer to slow internet connections and bit rate issues.
Thanks in advance for any solid help with this.
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ngarven2008_
Level 7

Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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I want to buy a Roku product but our problem has been Xfinity charging mountains of money if we go over our monthly limit.  We tried Amazon Fire but the bandwidth usage went way out of control.   I want a product where we can reduce the quality, say to SD, so that we won't end up with surcharges. Right now we are using a Sony blu-ray player and fixed the speed on Netflix and that has helped but we want Hulu Live TV.

So, on current 2018 Rokus can you adjust the device to protect from over usage of bandwidth.

Would love to hear from a Roku tech/engineer.
Thanks.
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Basil
Level 10

Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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I'm not a tech/engineer, so I'm not who you're looking to hear from. But, there are some things I would like to suggest you look at.

Do you leave your Fire TV running? That is, when you're done watching something, do you hit the Hone button or so you simply turn off the TV. If you said "simply turn off the TV" then, well, you're doing it wrong. When you're done streaming, hit the Home button. This is true for Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or anything.

Next, keep in mind that some apps allow you to set the playback rate for the account. Netflix, for instance, allows you to pick the quality for each of the profiles you have. This setting works for all devices. It's tied to the profile. Not all services offer such functionality, though. Hulu doesn't, for instance.

One other thing: For the Fire TV, go to Settings > Preferences > Data Monitoring, and turn it on. You'll then be able to set a playback quality. You can also set max bandwidth for the device.

I mentioned the other things ahead of the Fire TV settings suggestion because those will help regardless of device, and may be behaviors or settings you'll want to adjust.
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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ngarven2008_
Level 7

Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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Thank you Basil.   I sold my Fire TV sticks, actually for more than I paid.   Roku does seem to be the most versatile.   I just need to convince my son for us to try it.  He misses sports.
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T_J
Level 8

Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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I do not work for ROKU; just a Roku user since 2009. (still have a 2008 Roku N1000)
Could try Sling TV 7-day free trial on their website (stream on PC, tablet, phone, no Roku needed);
BEFORE viewing anything, go to your device(s) Sling TV APP Settings/connection speed, select 1.2 or 2.8 Mbps (post #2).
Should be able to SEE if programs are HD or SD. If everything appears to be HD or 4K, STOP TESTING & go to next step
login to your Sling TV account on Sling TV website and CANCEL free trial ASAP or on day 6.
at the end of the month with the 7-day free trial, check your data usage.
Blue allows maybe 3 simultaneous streams (FS1,2, NBCSN, etc.), while Orange (ESPN 1,2,3, etc.) only allows 1.

A 7-day free trial won't cost you anything if have a PC, tablet, or phone to use for testing; & don't watch HD/4K all week, exceeding your monthly data limit.

I think the default Settings/Connection Speed for Sling TV app is AUTO (MAX), which caused Sling TV to buffer constantly on my 1.3 Mbps DSL and not work (I select 1.2Mbps in settings). I cancel Sling TV subscriptions several times per year; due to I have Netflix all year (too much to watch). I watch Sling TV & Netflix with Premiere+, Roku 2 (4210), and Windows 10 PC.
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Jacqueline
Level 7

Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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I just started using Hulu Live TV on my Roku 3, and it buffers.  Before Hulu Live, nothing I streamed on Roku 3 buffered, so it's not my internet service, cables or connections.  I stream Netflix fine.  Is there a better Roku that doesn't buffer Hulu Live TV, or is it that Hulu is still in Beta? 
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Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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I found your hidden bitrate screen and I tried all options, with no success getting Hulu to stream through my Roku 3500 stick. Ever since they reformatted the hulu app, a month or so ago, I've had non-stop buffering problems.

Today I may have come across part of the problem, and I wrote to Roku customer service about it. At least for the Roku 3500, hulu says it requires the 4135 firmware. Well even after manually updating my Roku system, I am stuck on 4128 firmware. Hopefully they can make that firmware available to those of us that need it. But really, I can't stand the new layout. It doesn't matter what device I stream hulu on, it is not efficient with the current menu layout. But that's for me to take up with Hulu, not Roku. I'll keep you updated if I figure out something more to fix this!
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Txtvmom
Level 7

Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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Dear Ronmio,
I had to take the time to log in and thank you for restarting this topic. We were having a terrible time watching a ball game, and I tried your trick with the secret menu. It worked like a charm. I couldn’t tell the resolution difference. Just 5 hits of the home key, 3 back <<< and two forward >>. I changed it from automatic to 7.5. After that it buffered only once—during a commercial.

It took me a couple of tries, but the menu appeared and the sequence worked. Thanks so much!!
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Cloper3106
Level 7

Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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I have been playing with setting my Mbps manually and have notice best picture I get is at the lowest setting of .3 Mbps. How is this possible? For more info I have a Hisense Roku 4K UHD tv.
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Oggieone
Level 7

Re: Reducing buffering by changing your Roku's bitrate

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I'm having a heckava time with many of the networks channels like TBA buffering all the time ..then a commercial comes on perfect... what is the deal I did try and change the bit. But I'm see no change. Netflix stream perfect..
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