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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kesemb
Level 7

Secret wireless screen show only one antenna

So, for some time my Roku Express give lesser video quality results then before.

I've tried to look at the secret wireless screen, and I noticed it shows 2 antenna, but one of them is at 0...

Is it something I need to worry about? Is my Roku Express done? Is it something on my router, maybe?

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8 Replies
DBDukes
Level 10

Re: Secret wireless screen show only one antenna

"kesemb" wrote:
So, for some time my Roku Express give lesser video quality results then before.

I've tried to look at the secret wireless screen, and I noticed it shows 2 antenna, but one of them is at 0...

Is it something I need to worry about? Is my Roku Express done? Is it something on my router, maybe?

Roku Express is 2.4 GHz only. The screen show no second antenna because there is no 5 GHz antenna.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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davekm
Level 7

Re: Secret wireless screen show only one antenna

"DBDukes" wrote:
Roku Express is 2.4 GHz only. The screen show no second antenna because there is no 5 GHz antenna.

No. There are many single band wifi devices that have two antennas. See Diversity Antennas.  The reason that the roku express and express plus only have one antenna is either roku was too cheap to put a second one in or the device is too small for a diversity antenna to be effective.
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DBDukes
Level 10

Re: Secret wireless screen show only one antenna

"davekm" wrote:
"DBDukes" wrote:
Roku Express is 2.4 GHz only. The screen show no second antenna because there is no 5 GHz antenna.

No. There are many single band wifi devices that have two antennas. See Diversity Antennas.  The reason that the roku express and express plus only have one antenna is either roku was too cheap to put a second one in or the device is too small for a diversity antenna to be effective.

The Roku devices that show two antenna are the ones that support 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. You're confusing what other companies do with what Roku does. What they do doesn't matter. So, your "no" is wrong. 
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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davekm
Level 7

Re: Secret wireless screen show only one antenna

I would speculate that all the single band rokus these days are either cheap, small or both. Any decent wifi device that can accommodate two antennas will have two antennas whether it is single or dual band. It can significantly improve the quality of the wifi connection. The only reasons to leave it out of a design are the two that I stated; saving money or the device is so small there is not enough spacial diversity for it to work. To prove this, here is a link  to a picture of the logic board of a roku XD. An older, larger, relatively more expensive, single band roku model. I have underlined the ANTEN1 and ANTEN2 labels on the board. The first antenna is above ANTEN1 and the second is to the right of ANTEN2. So I am not confusing what other companies do with what roku does. Roku itself uses diversity antennas on a single band device when design criteria dictates.
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DBDukes
Level 10

Re: Secret wireless screen show only one antenna

"davekm" wrote:
I would speculate that all the single band rokus these days are either cheap, small or both. Any decent wifi device that can accommodate two antennas will have two antennas whether it is single or dual band. It can significantly improve the quality of the wifi connection. The only reasons to leave it out of a design are the two that I stated; saving money or the device is so small there is not enough spacial diversity for it to work. To prove this, here is a link  to a picture of the logic board of a roku XD. An older, larger, relatively more expensive, single band roku model. I have underlined the ANTEN1 and ANTEN2 labels on the board. The first antenna is above ANTEN1 and the second is to the right of ANTEN2. So I am not confusing what other companies do with what roku does. Roku itself uses diversity antennas on a single band device when design criteria dictates.

The Roku XD was discontinued in July 2011 and has no bearing on the Roku Express, which is what the OP asked about.

OP asked why the Secret Menu screen showed nothing for the second antenna. And the reason is just as I stated. The Roku Express has a single antenna for 2.4 GHz. If it supported dual band, it would represent the 5 GHz band. Now you somehow think a device discontinued nearly 8 years ago bears on this.

That Secret Screen isn't a Roku Express only screen. It's accessible for any Roku. And, for 2.4 GHz only devices, it will show the same as the Roku Express. The Roku boxes that support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz will show info for both. Yet you say this is wrong, and pull out an 9-year discontinued device as support?

You may not like Roku's choice, but your liking or not liking has no bearing on the facts. That's how facts work.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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davekm
Level 7

Re: Secret wireless screen show only one antenna

"DBDukes" wrote:

That Secret Screen isn't a Roku Express only screen. It's accessible for any Roku. And, for 2.4 GHz only devices, it will show the same as the Roku Express. The Roku boxes that support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz will show info for both. Yet you say this is wrong, and pull out an 9-year discontinued device as support?

You may not like Roku's choice, but your liking or not liking has no bearing on the facts. That's how facts work.

You seem to be confusing cause and effect. Another way to say that is, correlation does not imply causation. Yes, I am assuming you are correct when you say all current single band rokus have one antenna, but they do not have one antenna because they are single band. They have one antenna because roku had to make design compromises to meet cost and/or space requirements. These are the "facts" of design. You can't have everything in one device. If it is powerful and small, its probably not going to be cheap. If its small and cheap, its not going to be powerful, and if its cheap and powerful its not going to be small. Single band 2.4GHz roku device now days are low end(relatively cheap) and fairly small. If the Express had a second antenna kesemb may not be having the problems they are. I have had far more connectivity problems with my Express plus than I had with the very old single band XD w/ diversity antenna at the same location. Plain and simple; two antennas are better than one even for a single band. Its also more expensive and/or takes up more room.

A possible free solution for kesemb would be changing the position and orientation of the roku. Move the roku, wait a little while and watch the SNR on the Wireless Secret Screen. Find the position with the greatest SNR value. I was able to increase the signal a couple dB this way, but never tested to see if that was enough to fix my intermittent buffering problem since I already had a much newer access point I could switch from broadcasting on the 5GHz band to the 2.4GHz band.

Another problem unrelated to the number of antennas could be if kesemb has another roku on the 2.4GHz band. The WiFi direct used by roku can kill your WiFi performance. This can be turned off if the roku uses an IR remote and you don't want to use screen mirroring. To turn it off go to Settings --> System--> Advanced system settings --> Device connect, and then disable device connect. THIS WILL KILL REMOTES THAT DON'T USE IR and screen mirroring. If your not sure don't do it. (Had to do this on my Express plus since it was killing my only other 2.4GHz device) On some rokus where you can't turn off device connect, you can reduce the transmit power. Go to Wireless Secret Screen --> Power, if it is there. Then you can adjust the transmit power for the roku.(I was able to reduce mine on my roku3 to low and still have things work like I want on the 5GHz band while reducing interference. Also worked on the roku3 connected at 2.4GHz. Takes experimenting. May not be available on single band devices)

This is my last post on this subject unless kesemb chimes in. If anyone wants to know more, please do research on diversity antennas.
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DBDukes
Level 10

Re: Secret wireless screen show only one antenna

"davekm" wrote:
"DBDukes" wrote:

That Secret Screen isn't a Roku Express only screen. It's accessible for any Roku. And, for 2.4 GHz only devices, it will show the same as the Roku Express. The Roku boxes that support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz will show info for both. Yet you say this is wrong, and pull out an 9-year discontinued device as support?

You may not like Roku's choice, but your liking or not liking has no bearing on the facts. That's how facts work.

You seem to be confusing cause and effect. Another way to say that is, correlation does not imply causation. Yes, I am assuming you are correct when you say all current single band rokus have one antenna, but they do not have one antenna because they are single band. They have one antenna because roku had to make design compromises to meet cost and/or space requirements. These are the "facts" of design. You can't have everything in one device. If it is powerful and small, its probably not going to be cheap. If its small and cheap, its not going to be powerful, and if its cheap and powerful its not going to be small. Single band 2.4GHz roku device now days are low end(relatively cheap) and fairly small. If the Express had a second antenna kesemb may not be having the problems they are. I have had far more connectivity problems with my Express plus than I had with the very old single band XD w/ diversity antenna at the same location. Plain and simple; two antennas are better than one even for a single band. Its also more expensive and/or takes up more room....

I'm not saying they could or couldn't. I'm saying they don't. I'm not saying it wouldn't be better to have two. I'm saying they don't.

So, why does it only show one? Because there's only one: the 2.4 GHz antenna.

When would a second one show? When there is a second one. And that one would be a 5 GHz one. Because that's how Roku does it.

He asked why, I said why. You said they could do different. That's not what what he asked. I'm not saying that part of what you said is wrong, I'm saying he asked why, I said what, and you said "no." But what I said is why. The why behind the why wasn't the question.

It's not bad information that you provided (apart from the very first word), but it doesn't negate the truth of what I said in regards to how Roku does it. You're the one that said "no" to what I said, but what I said is correct. Your confusing Roku's decision with what you want. Facts don't care what you want. They don't care what I want. They don't care what anyone wants. They're facts.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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Basil
Level 10

Re: Secret wireless screen show only one antenna

"kesemb" wrote:
So, for some time my Roku Express give lesser video quality results then before.

I've tried to look at the secret wireless screen, and I noticed it shows 2 antenna, but one of them is at 0...

Is it something I need to worry about? Is my Roku Express done? Is it something on my router, maybe?

Let me try to answer.

Roku devices that are 2.4 GHz will only show one antenna. There is no second antenna on those devices. The only Roku devices in the current lineup that have two antennae are the dual band devices. They'll show one for 2.4 GHz and one for 5 GHz.
Basil
https://www.basilsblog.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Apple TV (5th gen), TiVo

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