Another gem from the house of Roku is its Roku TV series, which they have made possible through partnerships with various TV manufacturers, like TCL and Insignia.
I have had my TCL Roku TV for a few years now, and still, the device works like a beast. The picture is vibrant, the sound - audible and crisp, and it has surely exceeded my expectations.
But just recently, I have been wondering "why is my Roku tv so slow?" just when I thought I had finally got a flawless TV.
Annoyed at this inconvenience, I went online to figure out how to make Roku faster. And turns out, the slow interface was due to poor remote connectivity.
I compiled all the solutions I found into this guide so that you can speed up your Roku tv.
If your Roku TV is slow, update to the newest version and restart the device. Check the internet and remote connectivity. Outdated versions and unused apps eat up the memory, slowing down the Roku TV.
Check the Internet Connectivity
Never ignore the possibility of a slow internet connection when you have a problem with your streaming device. There are several ways to fix wifi issues on Roku TV.
An unstable internet will make Roku tv laggy and also render apps/channels longer time to open, deluding you to assume the lag as a hardware issue.
Make sure to check the signal strength and speed of the network.
1. On the Home screen, click and open the Settings icon.
2. Click on Network, and then About. Here, you can see the signal strength and the download speed, along with other network info.
4. Test your connection for more accurate analysis by selecting the Check connection option.
If the feedback for strength and download speed is good or excellent, you're good to go. On the other hand, if it's fair or bad, it means you have an unstable internet connection.
In case of a bad internet connection, try verifying the issue with another device, say your mobile, by testing the network with an internet speed tester software. If the speeds are jumping, try refreshing the router/modem.
Unplug the router/modem and plug it in after a few seconds(approx. 30 seconds). Test the connection again and check for problems.
If you still have problems, try the following.
Switch to a wider Bandwidth for better latency
Network congestion is a major red flag in terms of streaming since this can lead to increased latency.
This means that if the traffic in your network is high, you may experience lagging and buffering issues, mainly due to inadequate bandwidth allocation.
In this case, try switching to a wider bandwidth if your router supports dual-band networks. Almost all Roku TVs support dual-band connections, hence, you can easily connect to a 5 GHz band for better latency.
To change the network on your Roku TV, follow these steps.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open Network.
2. Click on Set up connection and select Wireless.
3. Select the 5 GHz band network and enter the password.
Change the WiFi channel on your router
Sometimes, if your WiFi network is allotted to a channel that may have high latency and interference issues, you may experience a sluggish interface.
To rectify this issue, try changing the channel for your network on your router portal.
To change the wifi channel on your router:
1. Connect the router with your PC via an ethernet or USB cable. Enter the IP address of your router onto the browser.
2. Once the portal screen appears, enter the user ID and password to log in to your account.
3. Check for the Wireless channel menu on the advanced settings options.
4. Make sure the 2.4 GHz band is allocated to either the 1st, 6th, or 11th channel. Select the lowest available channel for the 5 GHz band.
5. Save the changes and log out of the portal. Restart the router/modem, and try connecting Roku TV to the network.
Switch to a wired connection
A wired connection doesn't get affected by the interference and traffic issues as in a wireless connection.
It is recommended to connect via an Ethernet cable if you have a not-so-good internet connection.
To connect via a wired connection:
1. After connecting the Ethernet cable, head over to the Settings menu on RokuTV.
2. Click on Network and select Set new connection.
3. Click on Wired, and the device will automatically set up the connection.
Note: Not all Roku TVs have an Ethernet port. Some TV manufacturers may skim on this part of the hardware.
Update your Roku TV
Running your Roku TV on expired firmware can make the device susceptible to slow interfaces and lagging apps.
Bugs and errors affecting the performance of your system may be removed by completing the remaining updates on your system.
To update your Roku TV to the latest version:
1. On the Settings tab, click and open System.
2. Click on System Update, and then select Check now to manually check for updates.
If there are any updates available after the scan, install them. Restart the device and then check for issues.
Restart your Roku TV
Now, even though this step is easier done than said, there is more than one way in which you can refresh your Roku TV.
A restart/refresh can make all the temporal bugs disappear, along with refreshing the cache memory. More times than you'd guess, an overflowing cache can make the system, especially the apps/channels, slow.
The easiest method is to perform a power cycle test on your Roku device. Simply unplug the TV and plug it back in after a few seconds.
Another way is to restart the device using the interface commands on the Roku TV.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open System.
2. Click on Power, and then System restart.
3. Click on Restart to confirm the process.
Restarting using button pushes on the remote control
Another method to restart the system is to follow a series of button pushes on your remote.
Follow this pattern on the remote to restart the TV if it is unable to execute any commands.
1. Press the Home button five times.
2. Then press the Up button, followed by pressing the rewind button two times.
3. Finally, press the fast forward button two times.
After a few seconds, the display will turn OFF and turn back ON to complete the restart.
Issues with the Remote
An unresponsive remote can make the commands passed on to the TV look slow before execution.
Check if the remote has sufficient power by checking the batteries. If the signal seems to be lagging and incomplete in transmission, you should consider changing them.
You could also try and unpair the remote with the TV and reconnect to refresh the connection. To do so, follow these steps.
- Turn OFF the TV and remove the batteries from the Remote control.
2. After turning the TV back ON, reinsert the batteries and press the pairing button next to the battery compartment. When the LED starts to blink, wait for the onscreen prompts.
3. Follow the onscreen prompts to establish a connection.
If it is a problem with the remote hardware, you may have to replace the remote with a new one. Try verifying the issue by checking the connection with another remote. If there are no problems, your previous remote may be damaged.
You can either go for a Roku proprietary remote or a universal one, like the Harmony remote.
Change the Bit Rate using the Secret Menu
Apps/channels like Netflix and HBO MAX are complete data hogs since they require higher bandwidth for proper operability.
This can be an issue, especially if you have a multitude of devices connected to the same network as the Roku TV.
A probable yet a bit technically demanding solution is to change the bit rate of the device.
This can be helpful for some apps and channels, but most of the streaming giants, like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, etc., have network-based auto adjustments within the channel.
To override the bit rate menu on your Roku TV, follow these steps.
1. On your Roku Remote, press these buttons in tandem- Home button: five times, Fast Forward button: two times, Reverse button: three times.
2. Once these button pushes have been made, the Roku Secret Menu will pop up.
3. Select the Bit Rate Override Menu.
4. Here, you can change the bit rate to your convenience.
Try the 3 Mbps option if the speeds are unstable. Although, the Automatic option may also be helpful.
Remove and Re-add the Channel Causing the Issue
If the problem is with a channel, try removing the app and then re-add it from the channel store.
Sometimes channels can perform sluggishly, mostly due to bugs on the back-end side. Some users face channel issues on Roku TV. Logging out and re-logging in can clear the bug, but not always.
Removing the channel will clear those stagnant bugs and errors. To do so, follow these steps.
1. On the Home Screen, hover over the said channel.
2. Press the * button on the remote to bring up the channel options menu.
3. Select the Remove Channel option from the bottom of the menu.
4. Click on Remove to delete the channel.
After removing the channel, restart the device. Head over to the channel store and search for the channel in the Streaming channels section.
Factory Reset the Roku TV
A reset might be just what the device needs to clear off all the clumped-up cache memories and altered preferences. Resetting will make the device faster than the present condition.
To reset the device, follow these steps on the Roku TV.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open System.
2. Select the Advanced System Settings option.
3. Click on Factory Reset.
4. Enter the special code from the bottom right corner of the screen, then click OK.
Wait for the process to complete. Set up the TV and check if it has become snappy.
You can also reset the device by pressing and holding the reset button on the back of the TV. Some older TVs may have a pinhole button. Use a pointed tool to press such buttons.
Availability of memory is capital when talking about a snappy interface. Make sure to remove any unwanted or unused apps to free up space and cache memory.
Make sure to check for updates on your TV routinely.
If your roku tv is still slow to respond, contact the customer services of Roku or the TV manufacturer for assistance.
Older TVs tend to slow down with time, and so all you can do is replace them.
You could also try and use a standalone Roku device if you miss the Roku experience.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I stream local content from my computer via Watch With Friends?
Watch With Friends currently does not support local media streaming. The best way to do that is to set up a plex account and stream directly via the plex app.
Can we use Watch With Friends even if we are on multiple operating systems?
Watch With Friends is available on ios, android, and your browser as a chrome extension. The extension is available only on chromium-based browsers. Apple’s Safari and other browsers are not supported as of now.
Prime Video’s native watch party is not working on my Roku. What should I do?
Prime Video Watch Party is not natively supported on Roku, but if you have a laptop you can use that and cast the laptop screen directly to your Roku via Chromecast.