How do I resolve channel 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 an issue related to a single channel. The steps outlined in this article are written to help if you have experienced 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

Note: If you see a purple screen or an HDCP error, review steps for resolving issues when the proper content protection technology is not detected.

How do I identify and resolve playback issues?

Read through each section below to help indentify and resolve any playback issues.

  • If you are unable to play a specific video:

    • Try playing another video from the same channel.

    If one or more videos within the channel fails to play correctly, but other videos (in the same channel) play without issue, contact customer support for that channel to inquire about a service interruption or a possible outage.

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

    • Try playing a video from another channel. For example, try playing a title from The Roku Channel.
    • If the channel requires a subscription, such as Netflix, make sure that you have properly signed in or linked the channel to that subscription account. In some cases, you may need to link a channel using your credentials from your cable or satellite account. Follow the on-screen instructions or contact customer support for that channel if you need help signing in.
       
  • If you are unable to play videos from one channel, but videos from other channels play fine, contact customer support for the channel having problems.
  • If you are unable to play any video from any channel:

    • Check the status of the connection to your Roku device by visiting Settings > Network > About.
      • The Status will either say “Connected”, or you will see a message that your Roku device is not connected to the internet. If your device is not connected, select Set up connection and follow the on-screen instructions. If you are having trouble, learn what to do if your Roku device cannot connect to your network.
    • After confirming your Roku device is connected, select Check connection to perform a test of your network and internet connection. For help understanding the results and how they can help troubleshoot playback issues, review the detailed article about the connection check.
    • If playback issues continue, restart your Roku device and your router*.
      • To restart your Roku player, go to Settings > System > System restart, or to restart your Roku TV, go to Settings > System > Power > System restart. You can also unplug your Roku device from the power source and plug it back in.
      • To restart your router, check the instructions from your ISP or router manufacturer. 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.
  • If you see 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 (e.g. Comcast, AT&T, or Spectrum) is currently experiencing issues.
      • Reduce usage of other devices currently accessing the network, such as other streaming players, computers, game consoles, and mobile devices.

        • Note: If your Roku device is connected to a cellular network connection, you may see fluctuations in streaming quality. 
    • If you experience low-quality video or rebuffering on a regular basis across multiple channels:

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