How to resolve playback issues

Background

Each Roku® streaming channel provides a collection of audio and video made available by the developer of that channel, such as Netflix, or YouTube. Your Roku streaming player or Roku TV™ is designed to play video at the highest possible quality given the type of content, the speed of your internet connection and capabilities of your TV. 

In some cases, video playback problems may be the result of network issues, or they could be caused by issues related to a single channel. This FAQ is written to help if you have any of the following issues with your Roku device:

  • Unable to play a specific video
  • Unable to play any video from a single channel
  • Unable to play videos in any channel
  • Frequent rebuffering (starting and stopping)
  • Poor video quality or video is very slow to start

Steps to identifying and resolving playback issues:

  • If you are unable to play a specific video:

    • Try playing another video from that channel.

    If one video plays within a channel and others do not play, contact customer support for that channel.

    If you are unable to play any video from a single channel:

    • Try playing a video from another channel. For example, try the free News channel on the Roku Home screen
    • If the channel requires a subscription, such as Netflix or Hulu Plus, make sure that you have properly logged-in or linked the channel to that subscription account. In some cases, you may need to link a channel using your credentials from cable or satellite TV account. Follow the on-screen instructions or contact customer support for that channel.  
  • If you are unable to play videos from one channel, but able to play video from other channels, contact customer support for the channel that is having problems.

  • If you are unable to play any video from any channel:

    • Check the internet connection (Settings > Network). Status should say “Connected”
    • If your Roku device is not connected, select Set up new wireless connection and follow the instructions. If you are having trouble connecting, learn what to do if you cannot connect to your wireless network.
    • Confirm that your internet connection is working by using your computer or a wirelessly connected mobile device to access the internet.
    • Restart the Roku device and your router.
      • To restart your Roku device, go to Settings > System > Power > System restart, or unplug the Roku device from the power source and the plug it back in.
      • To restart your router, check the instructions from your ISP or router vendor. In some cases, you can simply unplug it and plug it back in, and in other cases it may require pressing a reset button on the device.

    Poor video quality or rebuffering

    Your Roku device is designed to play the highest quality than can be delivered to your TV over your internet connection.

    • If you occasionally see poor video quality or rebuffering, this may be due to network congestion.

      • Check whether your internet service provider is currently experiencing issues.
      • Reduce usage of other devices currently accessing the network, such as other streaming players, computers, game consoles, and mobile devices.

      If you experience low-quality video or rebuffering on a regular basis across channels:

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