Hi, I’m Vince Thai, director of customer advocacy. One question we often get from our customers is how to improve the Roku streaming experience. Well for starters, a reliable Internet connection is a must. You’ll also want to keep your router’s firmware and driver up to date to ensure optimal performance. If you’ve checked Internet off your list, below are some additional tips to ensure the best possible experience with your Roku player.

Speed Check
Ensure that your broadband connection is fast enough to enable streaming video. Most content is best enjoyed when you have between 1.5 – 3.0 Mbps Internet connection speed. Several sites can help test your speed – http://speedtest.net/ is a great option to find out what you are really getting.

Reduce traffic
When you’re getting ready to Roku, minimize all activities that may be competing with your shared Internet connection. PC video streaming, online gameplay, Bluetooth headsets, cordless phones, baby monitors, microwaves, and other devices can all reduce bandwidth and cause interferences.

Wired for speed
Wireless is a convenient option when running Ethernet cables from your router to your TV is difficult or impossible.  For optimal quality though, a wired connection from the Roku to your router is recommended.  A good alternative is to use a Powerline adapter to create a fast, reliable connection using your home’s existing electrical wiring. (This option will only work with Roku models that include an ethernet port.)

Here are a few additional articles that might help improve your streaming experience:

-Troubleshooting playback issues (http://support.roku.com/entries/420590-how-can-i-improve-my-streaming-experience)
-Improving server connection (http://support.roku.com/entries/420570-how-do-i-improve-my-roku-player-connection-to-content-servers)

If you’re still not enjoying a great experience after all of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!

This entry was posted in Roku tips. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Anonymous

    I don’t 100% agree with his comments about wireless. His own statement of 1.5-3MB of speed as optimal makes an argument against wireless mute. Even a 802.11g network with low signal will give you about 24mb of bandwidth.

    24mb is much more than the recommended 1.5-3mb of bandwidth to enjoy streaming. It will be a few years here in the US before actual ISP speeds exceed that of the home network capabilities. The bottleneck is the ISP not the wifi router.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=758873914 Greg Trotter

    mkztg1: I don’t think the point about wired vs wireless had anything to do about bandwidth. It’s about reliability. And while modern wifi systems are reliable, it’s just a plain fact that there’s less chance of interference/signal interruption with a wired connection than with a wireless one.

    • Anonymous

      Hmm. The subhead “Wired for speed” indicates he was talking specifically about bandwidth, not reliability. Your point is valid, but reliability is not the issue unless you have a whole bunch of other devices attaching to the same router.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derickwjazz Derick Winterberg

    Both are great points. I could have wired my Roku when it was in the living room with the computer but now that it’s at the other end of the house, it’s not such a practical solution. But I’ve been wireless since I first received my Roku a couple of years ago and have almost never had so much as a buffering issue, let alone any major problems. It’s been one of my most reliable streaming devices I’ve ever had.

    • Anonymous

      [removed]

  • Mini

    Hopefully it will stay reliable. I recently had an issue.. got no help from two customer support
    agents. I finally sorted out on my own.

  • AnnM2012

    LOVE Roku!!! Id there ever going to be a way to watch YouTube on tv with Roku?

    • AnnM2012

      Ooops… meant Is not Id.

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      • AnnM2012

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  • Invalid

    why spend extra $$ on the xd|s if the wifi is shit? thuogh, last i checked my wifi was 150-300mbit and that’s a lot more than 3mbit – or so i thought. as for reliability – if there’s an issue with that – replace the defective router or roku player cos something is broken.

    • Joe94

      To clarify, most household’s Local area Network(read wired or wifi) connection is faster than their Wide area Network (between the router and the Internet Service Provider). For example if you have 802.11n wifi, you may have 150 megabits per second connection between your Roku box and you wireless router, but when the connection has to reach your ISP, the speed must be reduced to a bottleneck of normally 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) to 5 megabits per second. I am just giving general numbers but the idea is the same.

  • Bruce

    I recently started using a Roku player. I like it a lot. Unfortunately there is no way to view closed captions with this device. Is this a feature that might be added in the near future. My hearing impaired wife would be most grateful.

  • Mduggan01

    Last Oct I started using a Roku XD player for its 1080p capability. Having just bought a new HDTV I was looking forward to wirelessly streaming Netflix movies in 1080p. This did not happen. After checking with Netflix, Netflix tells me my internet speed was inadequate for 1080p. So, I have since changed my ISP, upgraded my internet service to 20mbps and installed a new cable modem/router. After part of today working with Roku support to determine why I am still only receiving Netflix movies at 720p, they suggested I talk to Netflix again. I called Netflix to find out what movie (Heroes) I should stream to see it at 1080p. This time Netflix informed me a partnership agreement between Netflix & Roku only allows for 720p. It is impossible, at this time, to stream Netflix movies in 1080p due to this agreement. So, it is out of my control. It brings into question whether I really needed to make any changes at all since I have been streaming Netflix movies at 720p from day one. Technically, I have all the pieces in place for 1080p viewing except for one i.e. this alledged agreement between Netflix & Roku to limit streaming to 720p. This needs to change. Roku has been great, I just want what I thought I bought with the XD box, 1080p.

  • Ramajamas

    I have tried viewing several new channels and “operation not supported at this time”pops up.What gives?

  • Leatha 1960

    Found myself watching GBTV this evening and a horrible buzzing replaced the very clear Audio. I had to turn it off and back on to resume with audio. Kinda sucks for my first experience with Roku.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marriedgeek Ryan Peters

      That horrible noise you were hearing was actually Glenn Beck himself.

  • Hpo

    Why no youtube?

  • Ronaldrgordonsr

    I got four Roku lt boxes all but one is running great. the one that trouble ,run good and lose connection
    This is happen in the even.

  • Roseo1919

    What is a Powerline adapter?

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  • Rfoslid

    Would i be able to watch MLB.com through Roku?

  • Rfoslid

    Would i be able to watch MLB.com through Roku?

  • Vert

    closed captions in brazilian language?? ever?

  • Joe Solis

    Just bought and installed a ROKU2 XD–works perfectly and streaming is excellent. The only thing I miss is closed captioning available through my cable supplier for 99% of movies and shows. My wife and I are over 65 and we both enjoy watching movies with closed captions turned on. It helps when actors mumble their lines or barely open their lips to talk. I was watching an instant video from Amazon and I had the CC option turned on (I have a Sony HDTV) and still no captions. I noticed two comments about closed captioning in several languages–this should be ROKU’s next project. They could capture a much bigger market including the hearing impaired and people whose primary language is other than English.

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  • teresa

    how do you pair roku with a multi-directional ampilfed flate digital antenna?

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  • Edd Morton

    I am in an RV park and have WIFI. Can’t get the ROKU 2 to work. I need a router for it to work! Would this be easily remedied by getting a WIFI extender and running a cable from the extender to a router I have?