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Roku keeps buffering

I apologize if I'm posting a duplicate, but I've been doing some reading, and haven't been able to address this problem. I read about folks having trouble recently with the firmware update to the Roku 2, but I am using a Roku XDS.

Whenever I try to watch a movie, I'm getting a tremendous number of "receiving" messages and pauses in the movie. Eventually switched back to the DVD to finish the movie last time.

I am watching DVD's that I converted using MakeMKV. They are about 4GB. After the problem happened, I noticed that my CPU was running at close to 100% while it was transcoding, and since my PC is a few years old, I figured maybe I didn't have enough juice. But I read about direct streaming as well, so I downloaded Handbrake, and converted one of the files over to M4v. I used the "High Profile" and the only change I made in addition was to set the Framerate to 29.97 per a message I read earlier today. THat left me with about a 2.3GB file.

I am using a wired connection, so I don't think network is my issue. Netflix and things like that work just fine.

It actually seemed to be worse with the M4V file, but I did check the PC and cpu was around 20%, which seemed to indicated it wasn't encoding, just copying/streaming.

I think I have the latest firmware for the my Roku (1011?)

Any ideas. I've tried changing quality up to 8m and down to 2. I have two more Rokus on their way because I'm hoping to make this my home solution, but right now it's pretty much unusable.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Best regards,


  • stormeriderstormerider Posts: 759Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    CPU power is definitely a factor; if you were running out of CPU (or just plain bogging down too much) it would cause a lot of rebuffering. I have seen this occur before and was resolved with powercycling the unit. I definitely have noticed odd behavior after a firmware upgrade that was resolved by powercycling the unit.

    I personally just transcode all the files I have, I don't bother futzing with Handbrake. Maybe one of the other users on the forum can post the profile they use in handbrake, or try searching for info on what people use for settings? (I think I've seen some comments about it in the past but I can't remember details-- it didn't stick in my mind since it's not something I've done. Personally if I were going to go that route, I would set something up with scripting on my Linux box with ffmpeg, which I might do if I decide to stick some content on my NAS in the future, since it definitely doesn't have the horsepower to handle transcoding on the fly.)

    You might be able to get some info about Handbrake settings from the other Plex forums, but that might not be helpful given the limited codec support the Roku has.

    If you don't mind mucking around with a command prompt, you can try the info in this thread: http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/31528-encoding-once-for-live-transcode-free-files/ You can get ffmpeg for Windows here: http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/

    Hope some of this info helps, and sorry for the delay in responding. Please let me know if there's anything further I can do to help out.
    Former member of the Plex for Roku development team

    Units Owned: Roku 1 XD, Roku 2 XS

  • tennesseejbtennesseejb Posts: 4Members

    Hope some of this info helps, and sorry for the delay in responding. Please let me know if there's anything further I can do to help out.

    Hey Alan,

    Thanks, I'll give some of these items a a try. Ideally, I like the idea of just backing up the files full quality and letting Plex transcode. May be a good justification for an upgrade. Part of the appeal here is the simplicity. It's an interesting point you raise though re: the NAS, as I hadn't considered transcoding as I considered the future which may include a NAS. Will have to keep that in mind as I look to upgrade in the future.

    I actually built a small windows based client a few days ago which works fantastic. In doing so though, I moved the Roku back down to the bedroom and this morning my daughter wanted to watch something (It's amazing how quickly a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old figure out which apps they need to get the shows they want to watch!)... so I booted up the Roku again and it worked without issue... Now that I have the Windows box working well, I'll probably circle back and play with the Roku some more. From a cost perspective, it's the perfect solution.

    Will let you and the rest know if I figure anything else out.

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