Roku 3 Gets S-L-O-W

Let me start by saying that my Tablo is working fine, and I’ve isolated this problem to the Roku 3s I’m using.  Every couple of days, any content coming out of my Rokus slows down a bit.  I first noticed this because the audio was slightly distorted, like if you slow down a record just a bit and sounds and voices get a little deeper.  Initially thinking it was the Tablo (4-tuner), I pulled content from Netflix and Amazon and experienced the same thing.  If I pull the plug and reboot the Roku everything returns to normal.  I didn’t notice any dropped frames of video, and since the audio and video were properly synced, I figured that it had to be slowed down too, but was harder to detect.  To verify, I streamed the same OTA content to my PC and Roku/TV simultaneously, and indeed the Roku content is almost a minute behind the PC content.  This problem seems to have developed over the last couple of weeks.  One Roku is in an actively cooled cabinet connected to a Denon receiver via HDMI, the other is open air connected to a TV via HDMI.  Both are connected to my network via Wifi.  So, anyone else experience this, or have any thoughts on it?  The theme song for Thomas and Friends sounds really strange at 7/8 speed, and my toddler seems confused.  :wink:

I have two Roku 3s, and I haven’t encountered the slowdown problem at all.

However, it is normal to have the Roku live TV content to be behind watching it on a PC or tablet.  Though almost a minute seems more than usual (I typically see about 15-30 second difference).

@theKman Can you try running a speedtest on your Roku? It sounds like it may have some network issues - which is odd if everything else on your network is acting normally. It’d be worth check out, though.

Hey, I had this exact problem with my Roku 3 when I got home tonight. I did a Google search, and imagine my surprise when I ended up in the Tablo forum. Unplugging the Roku seemed to fix it, but this is a very strange problem. Brian Williams has a deep voice, but this was ridiculous. 

I ran the speedtest and the results showed proper performance, around 28mbps down and 3.5mbps up.  I continue to experience the same slowdown.  This morning, for instance, after a little over an hour of tv viewing, the programming is about 5 minutes behind.  My router is a Netgear WNDR4300 that is only 1.5 years old.  It has been giving me occasional problems lately with dropping data throughput over Wifi even while maintaining the connection, but it doesn’t happen often.  I’ll try to reach out to Roku support and see if they have any suggestions.  I’m also going to see if it makes a difference whether I’m connected via 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz.  I know the problem exists at 2.4.  @MsMetaP let me know if you find out anything else.

There’s a lot of info about this problem in the Roku forums:

I may contact Amazon since I bought my Roku 3 there. 

When I experienced this problem on my Roku… I simply unplugged the HDMI and plugged it in again. Luckily hasn’t happened again.

Interesting enough I have 2 ROKU 3’s and the one downstairs gets slow AND I get HDMI errors that require a reboot of that Ruku 3 almost daily. The one upstairs has only had one time I have had to reboot and never slows down. 

I just had the audio lag / Picture stutter on my 3 last night.  It happens frequently enough to me that I have memorized the reset from remote button sequence instead of having to unplug and plug back in all the time.

When I experienced this problem on my Roku... I simply unplugged the HDMI and plugged it in again. Luckily hasn't happened again.

Well what do you know, I tried this and haven’t experienced the problem for almost two weeks now.  I’ve had an open case with Roku tech assist and figured I’d post here once they gave me “the fix”.  They never really provided any useful info other than “try another HDMI input on your tv/receiver and wait and see” a couple of times, but they never suggested, and I never thought to re-seat the HDMI cable on the Roku end.  They felt properly seated to begin with, but obviously something was amiss.  I will report back if anything changes, but it appears that this fixed the problem.  Thanks so much for the suggestion @cedarrapidsboy !

So last week after my  post above I looked closer at the Roku 3 downstairs and noticed that even the Netflix app had the old Image for the app. I even went in and did a system check for updates and there was none. And that Roku 3 was very slow, so I decided to reset to factory default. Had to go in and add all my user/passwords back in, but it seems to be a lot faster now. Not sure why this happened only on the one Roku 3, but working good now.

@theKamn, I don’t think it is an electrical cable-seating issue, really. I don’t know the technical terms… but I think HDMI facilitates a handshake between the television and the video device. During this handshake it decides what resolution and other capabilities the display and device support. I believe with the Roku 3 this handshake occasionally gets something wrong. Pulling the HDMI plug and sticking it back in may be forcing the handshake again (and, hopefully correcting the issue until the next time).

My Roku 3 has done the slow-down, low-pitched audio thing twice in about 6 months. The HDMI pull fixed it both times. It is not a problem with the Tablo channel.

@cedarrapidsboy Ah, I see.  Well for about two weeks I hadn’t had the issue recur, but in the last few days I’ve had to power cycle my upstairs Roku once and my living room Roku twice, also re-plugging the HDMI each time, because the same slow down symptoms returned.  I found a good deal on some Twisted Veins HDMI cables on Amazon, so I’m going to swap my existing Amazon Basics cables for those and see if I get any different results, which I will report back.  Do you think there’s a chance that the problem could lie in the cables themselves? 

@cedarrapidsboy @theKman

The other thing that will fix the problem without having to get up off the couch is this

From the Roku remote press
Home x 5
Up x 1
Rewind x 2
Fast Forward x 2

Roku will reboot, and everything will be as normal.  This is an annoying Roku problem I deal with about once or twice a month as well.
Do you think there's a chance that the problem could lie in the cables themselves? 

@theKman, I hope you get better results. I doubt, though, that the cable is the problem. BTW, this just happened again this morning. I just unplugged the cable and plugged back in (I left Tablo channel playing the recording). After a few seconds, the image reappeared on the screen and the sound was back to normal.

And, just to reiterate… this has happened to me watching Stargate SG-1 on Amazon Instant. Tablo is certainly not the cause.

@jbanks25, I could swear I’ve bounced the Roku and the problem did not clear-up. Perhaps I’ll give it a try. The Roku 3 reboots much faster than previous models… but if you can remove your butt from the couch… the cable pull is still faster. :slight_smile:

I too have the same problem. Just posted my own discussion then saw this. Here is my issue.

I have a tablo 2 tuner with the newest update as of 9/25 and use a Roku 3 with the most recent firmware. My issue is that when watching live tv the audio is slow and drawn out. Best example “Luuuuuuke I’m your faaaaather”. I noticed that the audio is fine playing live TV through an iPad 4 on wifi. So I’m at a loss as to why this is happening with the roku app. I was watching NFL football just now and sure enought the audio seemed slow and drawn out. Not to the point you couldn’t understand anything just that every voice sounds very deep and slow. Anyone else experience this? Any tips or recommendations? Could this be HDD related or other?

Yep. Unplugged HDMI cable and it’s back to normal. Very weird. Glad it worked but would like to identify the issue. Looking forward to hearing if the new cables help.

Similar thread…   This must be a roku problem as it doesn’t just happen with the Tablo.