Solving playback issues

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Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

Hi Community Users,

Thank you for posting here in Roku Community!

Does the issue only occur on a specific channel or across other channels installed on your Roku device?

If you haven't tried yet, remove the affected channel then re-install it. To ensure the process is successful, restart your device before adding the channel back. We would recommend doing this from the Settings menu by navigating to Settings > System > Power (if you do not see a Power submenu, skip to the next step.) > System restart.
For detailed instructions, refer to this Support link: How do I resolve channel playback issues?

Best Regards,


Anjelie A.
Roku Community Moderator
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Roku Guru

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

Let me say it as if I was saying it to chatgpt because this is starting to sound very much like a chatgpt 2.0 conversation:

RokuAnjelie posting the same solution over and over after human beings have already said they tried them and asking the same questions over and over that have been answered countless times during this very conversation, is not only NOT helpfull, it is actually hurtful. Humans do not like to be condencended to with repeative non-helpful responses.

But since you have become repetative, so will I.

It is the hulu app that the problem is wioth specifically, HENCE the subject "Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra" (do see why the above paragraph has become necessary?).

I have uninstalled, rebooted, reinstalled, rebooted, uninstalled, updated, rebooted, reinstalled, rebooted, updated. none of which has fixed the issue..

Hulu has stated "the problem is with roku ad server".

Roku has yet to state where the problem is or address it in a meaningful manor other then to spew and respew basic troubleshooting techniques. WHich we have all tried and has not fixed the issue.

When this issue first started it was only happening on 4K devices, such as the roku ultimate 4 and the roku soundbar. It is now also happening on non 4K devices such as my roku 3 (5000) and my even older roku stick basic both set to 720p connected to 720p tvs.

It only happens when returning to a live channel (many have been listed previously in this conversation so look there for them, I am not in a habit of doing work for free) from an ad break.

It was happening up to about a month ago on other devices such as my amazon stick and an android 4K box I havem, but those guys fixed thier problem, we are still waiting for ROku to fix it here.

So, in summary, yes uninstalled, reinstalled, still no work.
Across all roku devices and to date, ONLY roku devices.
We do not need canned auto responses of basic technical support like your a call center from india or an outdated AI LLM, we all have done those things and it does not fix it.

So please respond with something useful!! We welcome that...
Roku Guru

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

Does anyone else find it ridiculous that Roku forces us to prove we are not a "robot" (not a script running on a computer but an actual "robot") and then they use bots to answer our messages..

DOes no one else find that rather annoying?
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Roku Guru

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

It does not do it on the pc or my android phone or on my amazon firebox or firestick. It only is doing it on my roku devices, all of them.. from the roku 3 to soundbar...
Binge Watcher

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

Well said, mitchstein!

Let me share with you information gleaned from reading the news and Wiki.  And I am certainly open to correction if I have any of this wrong.

Hulu, right now, is owned by Disney and…. Comcast.  Yes, Comcast still owns about 1/3 of Hulu.  Disney wants to buy them out, and they have an agreement to do that in 2024.  Comcast is having second thoughts about the deal, though, and may give Disney a hard time before the deal is completed.

Yes, many of us thought we had escaped the nuthouse that Comcast (or other such services) runs by “cutting the cord” and going to Hulu.  We didn’t.

My bet is that the LIve feed we are trying to watch is directly from Comcast.  And we all know that Comcast could not care less whether we are happy with it, so long as we keep paying for it.

Poor Roku.  Whatever Comcast is doing apparently impacts Roku products the most.  Obviously, since other products DO work with whatever Comcast is doing, we are correct in demanding that Roku fix the problem.  BUT.  Imagine Roku trying to get Comcast to cooperate and work with them.  And with Disney right around the corner, ready to take over, Roku finds itself trying to work with two behemoths of the industry.  I suspect that Roku is between the proverbial rock and hard place.

So there is hope that Disney will take over full control of Hulu within the next 6 months to a year.  They have to get live feed somewhere - they don’t have it - so I would expect they will continue to use Comcast.  But maybe - just maybe - THEY will have the leverage to be able to get Comcast to provide a feed that everyone, including Roku, can process.  It’s the only hope we have.

In the meantime, we have to make a decision.  Should we continue to buy Roku products?  Or should we acknowledge that the Roku products can’t do the job - now, and maybe not in the future - and move on to other products?

Binge Watcher

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

"In the meantime, we have to make a decision.  Should we continue to buy Roku products?  Or should we acknowledge that the Roku products can’t do the job - now, and maybe not in the future - and move on to other products?"

This right here is the real question.  These issues don't occur for me on Google TV/Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, or computer.  It's clearly an issue with the Roku.  If they can't fix it, then investing further in Roku doesn't make sense.

Roku Guru

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

Disney holds the majority stake in Hulu, while Comcast owns a third. Starting in January 2024, Comcast can use its put option to require Disney to buy its stake, or Disney can use its buy option to force Comcast to sell its stake.

Also it is not a hardware issue..

The problem occurs during the ad break on the minor cable and stream only channels.. Not just ones owned by comcast as Byron Allen's comedy+ channel is one of the channels majorly affected by the issue..

So let's be clear...

It is ALL roku devices, it is when hulu live uses Roku's ad server to display ads, at least one ad will have no audio at all for 5-10 seconds and then the audio will come back in. Upon return to normal programing the audio lag will then be 3-5 seconds.. If you press rewind and then play the lag goes away, if you do not and it enters another ROku ad server set of ads you will again encounter 3-5 seconds but never more then 10 seconds of no audio during one or more of the ads, upon returning to normal programing the delay now wil be double what it was, again, unless you press rewind and then play which will put it back into synch..

Originally it was not consistantly happening at every ad break. but now it is..

Byron Allen's comedy+ channel is one, the food channel (guys grocery games is what my wife watches ont here) it happens.. and at least a dozen other minor cable or stream only channels that all utilize the roku ad server on hulu live...

It does not happen on the roku channel at all... or any other app that I use and I use alot of them...
Channel Surfer

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

After several months of dealing with the audio lag on Hulu Live streaming using various Roku devices, I finally determined the source of this frustrating issue. First, I tried all the solutions suggested by the posters on this thread and others. Thank you for all your research but none of the suggestions solved the problem. Yes, by pressing rewind after commercial breaks, the audio gets back in sync. However, I’m not going to pay $90+ per month and do that after every commercial break! So, I decided to try a free YouTube TV trial. Problem solved!!! No more audio lag using YouTube TV! I’ll be canceling my subscription to Hulu. Perhaps this is a compatibility issue with Hulu and Roku. I found it easier to drop Hulu instead of replacing the Roku devices on 5 TVs. The price for Hulu and YouTube TV are about the same. The only difference is ESPN+ is not available on YouTube TV. I’ll have to purchase that app separately but it’s a small inconvenience compared to the audio lag issue. 

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Binge Watcher

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

Unfortunately, I did something similar.  I dropped Hulu Live and went to DirecTV Stream.  It's more expensive, but an overall better product.

Like you, this was a decision based on having multiple Roku's tv's and a desire to not reinvest in other equipment.

I can assure you that my next purchase won't be a Roku TV, however.  

Roku Guru

Re: Audio Lag on Hulu on Streaming Stick + and on Roku Ultra

"my next purchase won't be a Roku TV, however."

Good luck with that... I'll be upfront about it, FIrebox, takes forever to boot up and requires a daily reboot, if I use it in the garage over heats on hot days whereas my roku 3 and 4 utlra do not. Even on my outdoor deck tv it overheats on 90+ days, the Android (panasonic) smart tv, will not boot up the first try, it take 2-3 reboots to get it to work, so the android part is not configured so it can not update and a roku 4 is used (thats the deck TV.

On my living room TV (65" insignia alexa TV) the amazon smart part is completely disabled due to 3x's the last two years of bad forced auto updates. finally just factory reset and disconnected from wifi to remove its abilities (like the android tv) and hooked up a roku 4 ultra to it.

I've played with the best every company (besides apple) offered and Roku is by far superior to them all when it comes to stability, durability as well as what is available for streaming services of quality.

This issue is not so much a Roku issue, it certainly is not a hardware issue. It is a Hulu issue/Roku issue as what ever player the hulu app is using is not capable of switching between the different resolutions and/or codecs used in the commercials.. I have noticed that it seems to be when a "non standard" resolution, like 3023x .............. is used and the program resolution is @ 1080x.......... seems to be when it happens the most. Which is why it only affects the lower end cable live channels.. The player just is not switching and keeping synch..

Frankly I do not think Hulu cares about the issue as it has not cost them subscribers emass becase they have so many.. I can not change my HUlu subscription because for the 90$ I get all the local news, all the local sports and my son gets all the WWE.. If I switch to youtube, its close to 90$ but I only get 30% of the local channels out of philadelphia, I'd need a seperate charge for ESPN+ and then I'd still need the NHL subscription cause it doesn't get all the flyers and I'd also need to subscribe to the WWE network sepertely..

this every app/channel subscription is BS...

I remember when there was only 10 channels on rabbit ears and TV was free, and then along came cable for 30 bucks, you got all the local plus 30 or 40 more channels and no more getting up to adjust antennas..

90$ plus 100$ for internet service plus plus plus for each channel is just nuts... TV is just not worth this much... And eventually the youth will figure it out and all this lunacy will go back to the way it was, free TV or pay for TV with no commercials AT ALL...
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