Wi-Fi & connectivity

Having Roku connectivity problems? Get the help and troubleshooting tips you need for Roku wireless connection issues, ethernet connections, and more.
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
falconscastle1
Channel Surfer

Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

I have used for several years and currently have a Roku SoundBar and a Roku Ultra in our house.  My ISP has gone from a no-cap to a 1.5TB cap per month.  1.5TB seems like a lot, right?  Not so much.

We have almost gone over the last two months.  Our TV watching habits are about 12 hours a day scattered throughout the day running Hulu-TV.  So,  if you do some basic assumptions that most streaming is about 4G/hour,  that would be about 48G per day.  30 days x 48G = 1.44TB.  I set the display type to 720 in the Roku setup screens to try to lesson the usage.  Nope.

I am an IT guy so, I installed a network monitor app(PRTG) on my home network.  It seems that we are running 9G+ per hour if not closer to 12G when we use Roku just watching a single TV.  Much more if we watch both TV's at the same time.  Clearly,  we will never come close to coming under the 1.5TB cap that my ISP provides.

So,  what is the deal with Roku?  Why is it using so much data?  Why is there not a setting to reduce data usage?

BTW - there is no hidden screen using the Home 5X, REW 3X, FF 2X buttons any longer.  and Data Saver setting is just if you forget to return the Roku to the Home screen when you are done watching.

Anyone have any ideas or do I just scrap my Roku products and feel like I have wasted my time. 

9 REPLIES 9
DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

@falconscastle1 

My Roku doesn't use anywhere near that much data, and I'm under a 1.2 TB cap. I've not come close to going over.

Have you checked the amount of data in use overnight (or whenever it's not being used)? During those hours, is it quiet? Or does it appear to be in use then, as well?

To your question, Roku did have some controls for data usage, but somewhere along the way, some apps were no longer affected by the setting. Hulu and Netflix, if memory serves, were among the first to not be impacted by the device setting. I'm uncertain how Roku implemented it, but adaptive streaming seems to not be impacted by it. The apps themselves may be able to control that, not the device. Hulu, for instance, may have a setting in the app. There was one on the Website for the overall account, but Hulu seems to have changed to app for that.

Check your downtime usage and see if it continues to stream when you aren't watching.

One other thing: a while back, Roku devices continued to stream when you turned off the TV. Some still will, if the TV doesn't communicate back to the Roku that it's no longer on. If Roku doesn't know the TV is off -- and that is possible -- if you were streaming when you hit the OFF button, it'll will stream until you reach the Data Saver 4-hour limit. Make sure that's not happening.

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert
Note: I am not a Roku employee.

If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."

falconscastle1
Channel Surfer

Re: Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

as I mentioned,  I have been using a network monitor app - PRTG Network Monitor https://www.paessler.com/prtg - to capture usage.

there is no data transfer when the TV(s) are off - Roku's returned to Home screens.

I also disabled my WiFi to make sure no one had grabbed onto my network.  the Roku Ultra is wired Etherent so I could test with that one.  ridiculously high. 

DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

@falconscastle1 

I understand that you're using a monitor. That's why I'm asking for clarification that during the non-usage time that you checked the logs to see if there was usage anyway.

Oh, and returning to the home screen won't necessarily mean lack of usage, if a screen saver is the culprit. Those run when Roku isn't otherwise streaming. Some can use data. Some can use lots of data. That's why I asked.

If you're assuming that Home Screen means no usage, and you're not checking the logs during that time, you're overlooking a possibility. Your statements didn't clearly state that you were confirming (as opposed to assuming) no data usage during non-streaming times. You know tech guys; we want specifics.

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert
Note: I am not a Roku employee.

If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."

falconscastle1
Channel Surfer

Re: Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

there js no data at all being transferred when the TV is off - roughly from 11pm to 5:30am,  none.

there are graphs as well as textual tables that show no data transferred out in the monitor.

I haven’t figured out how to insert a picture here or I would show that.

OwnerofDevices
Roku Guru

Re: Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

1.5TB does sound high to me, I am familiar with PRTG, but I have never setup a node for network flow. Over the last 30 days according to Windows 11, I have used 48GB of data on my laptop at home. I am assuming that the Windows figure includes both uploads and downloads.

0 Kudos
falconscastle1
Channel Surfer

Re: Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

I am pretty sure that it is a Roku/Hulu-TV thing.  Something to do with Hulu-TV's Roku APP? 

If I run the Hulu-TV app from a PC/browser and choose Data Saver mode in the browser page,  the transfer barely touches 2G/hour.  Since I switched over from Roku to PC last Saturday we've use around 60G of data.

Not sure at this point if it is worth pursuing.  Might just chalk it up to Hulu-TV just doesn't work right with Roku and stick with PC/broswer.

0 Kudos
OwnerofDevices
Roku Guru

Re: Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

Perhaps, you should contact Hulu support and report the issue. There is a chance that Hulu is aware of the problem and Hulu will be able to tell you what the next step is with your problem. 

0 Kudos
Strega
Roku Guru

Re: Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

Did you try other apps than Hulu?  9GB and 12GB/hr sounds like it's sending 4K streams that are being downcoverted in the Roku.  On the other hand, the 2GB on the PC seems low, but you're running different software, possibly even different codecs.

0 Kudos
falconscastle1
Channel Surfer

Re: Excessive Data Usage when watching single TV program on single TV

I was thinking the same thing.  Something to test this weekend.