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Roku playback error – How to fix?

Published On: March 16, 2020 Category: Software Issues

Getting a Roku playback error while streaming videos on Roku is not so rare. There are times when videos stopped all of sudden or become blurry. We know how annoying it could be when Roku channel video keeps buffering forever, therefore we have brought up some effective and recommended solutions to fix the issue.

Roku playback error

This write-up is providing quick and proven solutions for common Roku playback issues such as –

  • Roku channel playback error, Roku media player issues (Videos won’t load, slow to open, videos keep buffering/blocking or can’t play video).
  • The video turns blocky or black while using Live TV Pause just after activating the device using
  • why does your TV switch to other connected streaming devices when you try to connect with Roku after Roku Account setup.

So without having to plow through the technical stuff, let’s start fixing  Roku won’t play video issues using the simple, stick and easy to implement solutions.

Roku Channel playback issues – all in one solution

Before we go into solutions, it is important to know that the problem can be particular for a single video or can be universal for every video/channel. Therefore, we have distributed the solutions in 3 main categories for better understanding:

Unable to play a specific video -solutions

If you’re getting the Roku app playback error on a particular video, simply try playing another video on the same channels. If the other videos are working properly except that particular, then you can follow up with your channels provider to confirm there is no service outage.

However, the issue can also occur if your Roku is running low in power. You can Identify the issue by checking for the red light blinking on the device front. So if this is the case, you just need to power up your device and try again after a short wait. If again Roku video play failed, then you may reset your stick.

Unable to play any video from a single channel issue

If you find that none of the videos are running on the same channel try playing video on different channels to ensure that the problem is not on the device side. Let’s understand this with an example…

If you’re unable to play any videos on Netflix, but the videos are running completely fine and seamlessly on Hulu then it clearly shows the issue is with Netflix rather than the Roku box. Thus, If the videos on other channels run successfully without getting any error, you’re required to contact your channels (for which you’re having the issue) provider to get fix the issue.

Note: If you’re having the Roku playback error while trying to access a public channel such as Netflix, first you need to Add Netflix To Roku. For this, you must have a valid subscription. Afterward simply log in to your account using the correct username and password and then try accessing the channel content.

Solutions to fix unable to play any video from any Roku channel issue

Usually, this happens when your internet is not stable or there is a poor signal connection. Or if the Roku can’t find network.

One possible solution for this error is rebooting your box.  If there is a minor issue, it will be correct. Else you can troubleshoot your network connection or can try connecting your Roku device again with your home network.

However,  if you still can’t fix the Channel playback issues on Roku, you can try these advanced solutions :

Try more solutions to fix Roku channel playback error

These solutions are recommended if you continue to experience the Roku playback error on Roku despite the above solutions.

Fully close the Roku device: Start by restarting your Roku device fully, then try opening Roku again. Doing this helps remove common unwanted device issues.

Alternately, you can perform a turn-off device including modem and router for a couple of minutes, and then power back up. Doing this is also helpful if your Roku is freezing up or act sluggish.

Struggling with Roku jerky videos? keep reading…

Perform Manual Roku Device updates: To do this, you need to visit your device setting menu. Follow the sequence- Home>>Settings>>>System>> System Update>>>>Check now.

If there is any update available, your Roku device will automatically download and upload the update software itself.

Don’t be afraid is this won’t help you to fix Roku playback error. You can try out the solutions underlying …

Inspect your Internet connection: Check whether your Roku device is connected to the internet or not. For this, simply go settings>>>Networks>>about. If you can’t connect your Roku device to your home network, learn how to complete an error-free  Roku wireless connection setup.

In case the Roku is not connected to the internet:

  1. Press home using Roku remote and go to settings
  2. Under this menu choose network>>>Set up connection.
  3. Provide your network information such as network name (SSID) and password.

In addition to this, you can also run an internet and connectivity speed test. For this, choose the ‘check connection’ option on the same window. It will state your internet connection as ‘good, fair or excellent.

If the speeds fall short of expected recommendations, you can help improve your device connection speed. In order to speed up your internet quality, you need to remove all those obstructions disturbing the signal path and creating unnecessary wireless interference.

Along with this, make sure you’re router is capable enough to transmit speed not less than 2.4 GHz and updated till the current date. If you still can’t cast videos on Roku TV and having channel playback issue on Roku then try out the next solution.

Remove unwanted channels and data to fix Roku playback error:

Finding the real culprit is not so easy when it comes to resolving Roku channels playback issues. Sometimes the unwanted unnecessary channels added on your Roku device may also cause some serious issues.

Thus, in order to fix Roku playback error, you can try removing some channels to help free up needed space on your device.

To remove a channel from your Roku channel store:

  • Go to Roku home dashboard>>>>choose streaming channels
  • select the channels from the channel list and press OK on Roku remote>>>>now pick ‘remove channel’

After removing channels, you can re-add the channels to start streaming again. Don’t panic if you can’t find channels on Roku channels store to re-add.  simply try searching the channels by actor or show name. It will be displayed.

Now, moving to our next concern, we will discuss some other prominent playback issues that are not so frequent but when they arise they can create big obstacles for Roku streaming.

So let’s continue…

How to fix if the video is blocky or black while using Live TV Pause?

Nothing can be more irritating than watching a choppy, blurry or jerky videos!

But don’t feel bothered anymore as it can be resolved!

When it comes to streaming a digital channel using an aerial or connecting cable TV.  You must have an external USB 2.0  flash drive having a storage capacity of 16GB to record and store videos.

Usually, the error blocky or black video triggers if over-the-air signal quality is poor or the USB drive which you’ve connected with your Roku device have some defects.

To fix the issue:

Check & Improve the signal strength

If your Roku won’t load videos or can’t play videos, despite active internet, then you need to check your signal quality.

To check the quality of the signal, simply tune-up to an over-the-air channel and hit the OK button on Roku remote. You will be presented with the signal bars on your device screen.

If there are not enough bars showing on your device, you can try adjusting the location or position of the aerial if possible, to improve your signal quality and fix blurry Roku playback error.

Try a new  USB drive

If Roku Channel won’t play or showing blurry images, try switching your USB. Not all USB drives are acceptable on Roku. Roku won’t allow USB drive pre-formatted with the exFAT file system or any supported drive having bad blocks.

So you can try a different USB drive to see if it works. Sometime the Roku won’t detect the USB. If this is the case with you – learn what to do if Roku fails to recognize the USB drive.

In case you’re troubling with the Live TV pause buffer. And want to prevent Live TV Pause buffer from being lost when resuming from the screensaver, try the solutions below:

  1. To begin the process, select the home button using Roku remote. If you find that Roku Remote is not working check it has batteries.
  2. Now navigate to Settings > System > now choose Power
  3. From here, check the ‘Power on’ option that must not be set to Live TV or Last used TV input.
  4. After making the required changes now, Go to Roku dashboard and pick Settings again.
  5. Now choose Screensaver >>>> and finally choose the Disable screensaver option.

The next major Roku channels playback issues often many Roku users encounter is that the Roku device keeps switching to a different device each time they try to connect Roku.

So if you’re also having the same issue, see how to fix this:

What to do if my TV switches to a different device each time I try to connect with Roku streaming player?

Usually, this happens when you are using multiple streaming devices at the same time on your TV. Or when you’ve done wrong Roku TV setup. To fix this sort of Roku playback errors, follow the steps below:

Disconnect your HDMI cable temporarily

Simply unplug your HDMI cable on both the ends i.e. your Roku player and your TV. Leave it unplugged for a couple of minutes, and then reconnect it firmly. If you feel the need to change your HDMI cable, replace it with new.

Reboot your Roku player and your TV

The simplest way to do this –  remove your Roku device and your TV from the power cord. And plug them back after a few minutes. If you continue to see the same Roku behavior, here is what you can do to eliminate the issue.

Update the TV firmware

Yes! This might be the main culprit if your Roku is unable to play video. To update your TV firmware first you need to connect your TV with the internet.

Doing any changes to your TV setting is only recommended if you’re confident enough. Otherwise, you can contact TV support/ manufacturer.

Disable the 1-touch play settings on Roku device

For this, follow this sequence-

  1. Navigate to Roku settings >>> pick System>>>>Select ‘Control other devices’
  2. Finally select and uncheck the box before ‘1-touch play’.

Alternatively, you can disable the CEC settings on your TV.  Further, if you’re using the AVR, try connecting your Roku directly to TV input instead of using an HDMI cable.