How to Troubleshoot a Roku

Written by kay bosworth
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How to Troubleshoot a Roku
Watch you favourite movies and TV shows with streaming video. (Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Roku is a little box that connects a TV to the Internet, streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and Crackle as well as Pandora music, games, news, sports and other sources. Roku boxes work with standard definition or HD television sets. A Roku box streams rather than downloads video, so no computer is necessary. A high-speed Internet connection is required,and a wired or wireless router may also be necessary unless the Roku can be connected directly to the cable or DSL modem. The Roku site offers troubleshooting help if something goes wrong.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Improve the video quality of the TV picture if it is not satisfactory. Try connecting the Roku to the TV using an HDMI or component cable instead of a composite or S-video cable. Shut down other Internet-connected devices such as gaming or other streaming video that can use up too much bandwidth.

  2. 2

    Increase signal strength to improve the picture. The Roku player tests your connection speed and provides the best possible resolution. Test your Internet connection speed using Speedtest.net. Be sure your Internet connection is secured so that neighbours cannot drain your bandwidth. If you use wireless networking, go to the Home screen, then to "Settings>network" to test your signal strength. The strength should be "excellent" or "good" for the best performance.

  3. 3

    Move the Roku player higher or move it away from other sources of interference if the signal strength is only "fair" or "poor." The Roku should not be inside a cabinet, but out in the open. Try changing the direction the box faces, aiming the front toward the router. Avoid putting the Roku box on top of other equipment such as DVRs, cable boxes, or satellite TV receivers that can cause interruptions. Cordless phones and microwave ovens can also cause interference. If the picture is distorted, be sure the colour-coded component cables match the colour-coding on the TV and Roku. Be sure that the TV is set to the proper output, such as Component 1.

  4. 4

    Stop repeated "retrieving" or "loading, please wait" messages by pressing the Home button to exit the channel. Try the channel again. If the messages continue, check your network connection by going to the home screen, then to "Settings>network." If there is no connection, click "repeat guided set-up" and follow the instructions. If these steps don't solve the problem, unplug the power line from the back of the box, wait five seconds, then plug it in again.

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