Rocky Roku Release
Sometime in the last couple weeks my venerable Roku 2XS downloaded 7.0.9037. For streaming, it was a disaster. I’ve been concerned that the newer firmware releases would slowly degrade the device like iOS upgrades seem to tie shackles to older devices. I’ve been looking at the new Roku 4 for a while, but there are rules in our house about buying things for yourself after Thanksgiving. I noticed one of my streaming channels had problems keeping up with moderate bit-rate material, constantly rebuffering, sometimes dropping audio or letting the video lag behind. Pausing sometimes helped, jumping back sometimes worked, in that ruin the moment sort of way. It turned what should have been a dramatic, emotional scene into an exercise in frustration. This needed to be fixed, or there would be no joy this Christmas. The TV, game system and Roku are all connected via ethernet to a LInksys E3000 router whose sole job is to create a single 5GHz connection to the main router in the basement. This ensures all my devices don’t stomp on each other or suffer interference from others in the neighborhood. The 2.4 channels are pretty cramped around here, but there is very little 5GHz gear broadcasting an SSID. Signal strength was strong on the bridge and the E3000 reported the connection enjoyed the maximum speed possible. I was about ready to blame my ISP when I thought to try some DLNA streaming from a local source to see if that showed similar symptoms. It did, which meant the Roku itself had to be to blame. A manual upgrade check offered to installed 7.0.9044, and that seems to have fixed everything. If your Christmas is getting scrooged by flakey streaming, try running an update first. It seems the elves at Roku have been working hard to save Christmas.