Pictures Vanish During Fast Forward

I am using a Network Connected Table Dual with a Roku Ultra. When fast forwarding in a recorded show (well after the show’s end time), I routinely see the pictures that guide how far to fast forward suddenly go black. Sometimes pictures will come back after a few seconds off additional Fast Forwarding, but not always.

Does everyone see this? Is there a fix for it?



Yes and No.

So unless you hit play and then FF again the thumbnails may eventually reappear further down the recording.

AFAIK this affects the Ultra only (I have an Ultra also), and I thought it was connected to a bug in the Roku player software. Maybe @TabloTV can provide a little more background.

I agree it was very annoying at first, but I’ve gotten used to it and it doesn’t bother me much anymore.

I have multiple tablo units. This occurs on my Ultra 4660, Roku3 (4200), and Roku2 (4210), regardless of tablo unit, station, etc.

What’s more troubling is the increase in the number of recordings that don’t generate thumbnails at all. It could have something to do with the fact that my units are 2-tuners and require a tuner to generate thumbnails. Often both tuners could be busy for 4 or more hours after a recording has ended.

Yep. This is a Roku thing. I’ve had this happen on both my Roku 3 & 4.
To fix it, go into the Roku settings and do a “System Reset”.
This also fixes the YouTube channel whenever it starts acting screwy.

Dr. Jack,

Thank you for your reply. I think I’ll wait and talk to Roku before doing this. It looks to me like such a Reset will cause me to loose all my Steaming Channels and have to put them in again.

You won’t, once you re-link the Roku to your Roku account all the Roku channels get installed.

You won’t even have to re-link to your Roku account.
The System Reset is no different than if you cycled the Roku power or you had a power outage in your home.

If you are talking about a Roku factory reset.

Before you return your Roku streaming player, Roku Streambar™, Roku Streambar Pro, Roku Smart Soundbar, or Roku TV™, we recommend you perform a factory reset which will:

Erase your personal preferences.
Unlink your Roku device from your Roku account.
Reset all settings and return your Roku device to a state ready for initial setup.

I did do a Factory Reset on my Roku Ultra, but at least for older recording it did not help the problem much.
Would you expect this to help with older recordings or only for recordings made after the Reset was done?
This is a late 2017 Roku Ultra. Some users have said that this problem only happens with Ultras. What do you think?

I have done a full Factory Reset on my Roku Ultra, but it has no eliminated the problem of seeing black pictures randomly throughout a Fast Forward for a previously recorded show.

I’m not sure what to think about this.
When this problem came up before in the forums, it was determined that it was caused by the Roku running out of free memory. Some Roku apps consume memory and don’t always free it when the apps are done. I’m guessing that some Roku apps have cached the memory so the next time you use the app, it comes up faster. The System Reset clears the memory and make it available again for all it’s apps.

The Roku System Reset has always worked for me whenever the Tablo thumbnails start disappearing or when the YouTube app starts getting squirrelly. I’m using Roku models 3000 & 4000. The 3000 has a slot for an SD memory card which helped me, but it too on occasion gets full. I don’t know about the Roku Ultra.

Maybe someone else in these forums have some ideas to resolve your problem.

Thank you for the extra info! My Roku Ultra does have a USB port on the side (no SD slot). I’ll have to look at the documentation to know if that can be used to add memory.



I don’t know what model of Roku Ultra you have, but my Roku Ultra model #4660X does have a micro SD port under the HDMI connector and I have a 32 Gb card inserted.

I also have the missing or blank frames even with the extra memory, but I’ve learned to just live with it. I also have a nVidia Shield which never has the blank frames, but I prefer using the Roku Ultra most of the time.

By the way, I had the same blank frame problem on my Roku 4 which is now in the bedroom and is very seldom used, but the problem still exists. It’s obviously a Roku only problem and I have no idea if it is due to the Roku device or the Tablo Roku app.

As I said I have it on all 3 models of my Roku’s both wired and WiFi. Doesn’t matter if it’s ff 1x, ff 2x, or ff 3x.

Never heard of a fix. Tablo uses the devices(roku) video player. So the problem is probably with the Roku video player.

But there is a new RokuOS version being roled out with changes in that area.

Are you talking about Roku OS 10.5? The update broke my Roku Premiere+ Model 4630, it booted to a blank / black screen. I had to factory reset it by holding the reset button on the bottom of it, but there appears to be a new video player in the OS, or it could just be UI changes.

Yes. And while it breaks tablo, the performance improvements could be much faster.

None of my Roku’s, including the Ultra 4660, have the release yet - and I just check for any upgrades for the 4660. I would expect the 4660 will eventually automatically get the upgrade. My older Roku’s usually have a buyin question for upgrade.

But you might have posted the exact build number. On these major upgrades Roku has been known to jam out updated builds as fast as they can to fix problems.

Thanks for the info. I didn’t see that micro SD card slot on my Roku Ultra, but based on what you said, it did no good at getting red of black pictures on Fast Forward, anyway.

Does adding that extra memory to your Roku Ultra do some good in other ways? If so, how much extra memory did you add. Perhaps I’ll try it.

Thanks again,


I added a 32Gb card and my Roku is currently using 6% of the added memory. It’s my understanding that if you have more Roku channels (not TV channels) added than the memory of your Roku can handle it will automatically swap out channels as needed to fit the available memory. This means that an occasionally used channel may take longer to load than usual since your Roku is having to reinstall that channel. As far as I can tell, the added memory does nothing to improve the blank frames problem.

Roku removed the microSD from the newer Ultras.