Buffering on higher Mbps solved (or at least a work around)

I have been having problems with playback buffering since the 2.2.2 firmware update. Previous to that the 8 Mbps setting worked fine. After opening a ticket Tablo support said the logs look like a network issue. I found that odd since it worked prior to the update and all other devices on the network are working fine. I did some tests and was finally able to pinpoint the source of the issue.

Here’s my setup. Tablo wired into a GB switch inches away from it. Roku 3 wired into the same switch with about an 8’ wire run. ASUS RT-AC87 wireless router also wired into the same GB switch.

Test #1, check the switch throughput.
At the switch I moved the connection for my file server to the same port that the Tablo was using. I then disconnected the cable from my Roku and plugged it into my laptop. I then copied a 1.5GB file from the server to the laptop. The transfer rate was a consistent 108 MBps, which equals 864 Mbps. That should be more than enough to support 10 Mbps. So that rules out an issue with the switch or the ports and the wiring.

Test #2, Roku wireless
Tablo support suggested trying the Roku in wireless. This would make the path Tablo to switch to router, and then via WiFi to Roku. So most of the connection is the same. Interestingly enough the buffering problem went away and I am able to run full 10 Mpbs Tablo record setting. Odd since the Roku 3 only supports N speed WiFi which is much slower than GB wired speed.

There is a flaw in the Roku 3’s wired NIC that cannot handle faster transfer speed (or at least my Roku 3). so if you are having buffering issues and are completely wired, try running your Roku 3 in wireless mode.


Strange. I have two Roku 3 boxes, one wired and one wireless in the room next door. I have my Tablo set to the full 10 Mpbs.

My wired Roku 3 has no issues at all. My wireless Roku 3 will occasionally have a “loading please wait” message for a few seconds, and then resume. I see it once or twice a day.

Just from reading posts both here and the Roku forums, it appears that there is a significant amount of difference in Roku 3 hardware from device to device. It could be a quality control issue, or they might actually have a couple different component versions and or suppliers.

I guess the advice would be if there is buffering issues on a Roku 3, try whatever connection type you are not currently using.

I too have Roku 3 (2015) and have the “Loading… Please wait” issue on wired Gb ethernet during playback. Tried your suggestion to switch to wireless (for Roku) and haven’t seen the issue for the past 30 minutes. Thanks for your suggestion and I’ll keep this work around for now. I hope this is a driver issue that Roku can fix soon. (Curious to know whether the upcoming v7 Roku firmware will fix the ethernet port issue.)

I actually noticed something like this yesterday. Previously I had the issue with my hardwired roku 3 on the 1080P 10Mbps setting and “fixed” it by using the 720P 5 Mbpssetting. This weekend I replaced my hardwired roku 3 with a roku 4 and upped the setting back to the max 1080P 10Mbps setting and the problem was back. I thought for sure the roku 4 would have the processing power to handle it. Instead of running another wire to the old roku 3 I just connected wirelessly. There were still occasional loading, please wait messages but they were much less frequent than I was getting with the hardwired setup. I wanted to watch football so I didn’t experiment much beyond that.

Unlikely. I was on the 7.0 beta for Roku and am running the release candidate and have the buffing on wired.

That’s bad news, but thanks for confirming :smile:

Update: I had a couple minor buffering during playback of a couple shows last night. So having the Roku on WiFi does not completely eliminate the issue, but it makes it a lot more infrequent.

Ultimately I still think that something was introduced in firmware 2.2.2 that the Roku does not like.

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I am on 2.2.6. The buffering issue started the day 2.2.2 was installed and still occurs in 2.2.6.

Now the LPW has started showing up occasionally even in the 5Mbps record setting. I’m going back to wired on the Roku again as I prefer to keep anything wired that can be.