This Is Why Your Roku TV Is So Slow (With Fixes)


Old man annoyed with his TV

As great a device, a Roku streaming stick or Roku TV is, it can get slow from time to time. Sometimes, I press the Netflix button on the remote and it takes a while to load the app. Other times movies take a few seconds to load. A delay of 5 or 6 seconds may not sound much, but it’s very annoying and ruins my viewing experience. That’s why I had to find a fix to this issue. 

Your Roku TV can slow down due to many reasons. It may be due to network congestion, unstable internet connection, a faulty hardware component, or even service outages. These issues can be fixed by expanding or boosting your network, switching the faulty hardware, or by resetting your Roku TV.  

What slows down my RokuTV?

As mentioned above, anything from service outages and an unstable internet connection to faulty hardware and network congestion can slow down your Roku TV. 

To know the fixes, you need to understand these problems with a bit more depth.

Congested Network

If you have a single WiFi router connecting all the devices in your home your Roku TV would be slowed down due to network congestion. A single WiFi router has limited capabilities and needs to switch between all the devices quickly. This becomes a problem when the network is congested with too many devices. 

The problem is further escalated when you get limited bandwidth from your ISP. While a 30Mbps connection is enough to power a single 8K stream, the bandwidth gets divided among all the devices connected to the network and slows down your Roku TV. 

Unstable Internet Connection

As mentioned above, limited bandwidth can ruin your Roku experience when you try to stream UHD content. The experience is similar when you have an unstable internet connection. My old ISP often had internet connection issues. 

So, whenever I fired up a streaming app on my Roku TV the loading time would be over five annoying seconds just to load the interface. The problem became severe when I played a movie. The movie would load up after a few seconds and buffer would be an ever-lasting issue.  

Damaged Hardware 

When you have damaged or faulty hardware you’ll have a hard time with your Roku TV. It may be a faulty Roku time that sends delayed signals to the Roku TV. It can also be a damaged HDMI cable that sends delayed signals from the Roku streaming device to your TV. It may also be due to a faulty router or a faulty Roku Streaming stick. 

If you have faulty hardware, the signal transmission may be delayed. It can also happen when you use old devices. Old hardware almost always has inferior technology than newer devices. That’s why my old second-generation Roku streaming box feels like an ancient piece of tech compared to my TCL TV with Roku built into it. 

Fixing your slow Roku TV

Now that you know about the problems, fixing them is going to be an easy job. I’ve personally tried these troubleshooting methods and was able to see a significant improvement in response speed on my Roku TV. 

Restart your Roku TV

This is the easiest and the first step I take while diagnosing any problem on my Roku TV. Sometimes using the Roku TV for a long duration can create cache problems. Your Roku TV may also be slowed down due to bugs. These software issues usually get fixed with a simple restart of the device. 

To restart your Roku TV:

  • Press the Home button and scroll down the menu to choose Settings
  • Navigate down with the arrow keys and select System.
  • Next, select Power and scroll down to choose System restart
  • After that select Restart and wait for a couple of minutes for the Roku TV to reboot its system. 
  • After the Roku TV restarts, it shouldn’t be lagging anymore. 

Alternatively, you can also unplug the power to your Roku TV and plug it back in to reboot the system or use button shortcuts on the remote. To reboot your Roku TV with button shortcuts press the following buttons in order:

  • Press the Home button five times.
  • Press the up button once.
  • Press the rewind button twice.
  • Press the fast forward button two times. 

Boost your WiFi signal

As mentioned above your Roku TV relies on your home WiFi connection to interact with accessories and the internet connection to stream content. If either of these connections becomes weak or unstable your Roku TV will slow down both in responsiveness and while streaming media. 

Start by checking the WiFi signal and internet connection on another device, your phone, tablet, or computer. If the connection is strong and works seamlessly on other devices, check the connection on your Roku TV. You can find the Check connection option under Network in the Settings menu. After Roku checks your network it will give an excellent, good, fair, or poor rating. 

If the internet or WiFi connection gets a poor rating, your Roku TV may be too far away from your router and your home network may be congested with too many devices. You can fix this issue by upgrading your internet plan and pairing your WiFi router with a WiFi extender

Switch to a wired connection

If your Roku TV has connection issues even after extending the router range, you may as well switch to a wired connection. Even if it comes with cable management problems, you’ll never have any network issues. This is also an inexpensive solution since you can buy a cheap Ethernet cable and connect your Roku TV with the router. This will give you a lag and interference-free reliable connection. 

Switch or upgrade hardware

If you have a very old generation Roku remote or a WiFi router that’s several years old it’s going to slow down your Roku TV and mess up the user experience. Sometimes it may not be a major hardware failure. For instance, if you have old batteries in your Roku remote or an old HDMI cable connecting the Roku device with your TV, you may experience a laggy connection. In such cases, upgrading old and faulty hardware components fixes the problem. 

Conclusion

Roku TV usually delivers a crisp user experience. When it gets slow it’s easy to identify the problem and apply the above-mentioned easy fixes. These methods work for me when I run into a slow Roku TV and they should work for you as well.

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Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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