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April 20th 2012 2:36 pm

Tips for Roku wifi connection issues?

I recently bought a Roku 2 XS for bedroom viewing of netflix, amazon instant and pandora. I live in a townhouse with thick walls and 2 sets of stairs. My router is on the main floor and though I realized that the connection would be slower upstairs than the main floor, watching netflix has become impossible when someone is watching on the tv in the living room. I have a solid router, surround sound sets for both tvs and have tried moving around the Roku with no improvement. Tips and advice are welcome.

I'm thinking of turning off the surround sound in the bedroom or buying a set of powerline ethernet adaptors. Does anyone have experience with these types of products? I'm also thinking of trading in the Roku 2 and getting either another PS3 or Apple TV. How is Apple TV/PS3 at streaming at lower wifi connectivity?
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nitehawk's pick

First thing to try are the router's settings:
  • Ensure the transmit power is at 100%
  • Set Mode to 300 Mbps
  • Set a 2.4GHz network to channel 9
  • Set a 5GHz network to channel 153

Second you could get a Wi-Fi Range Extender (a.k.a. wireless repeater) and place it on the middle floor or at least past one or two heavy walls. They cost from $40 to a little over $100. Be sure to read up on it carefully to make sure it is fully compatible with your Wi-Fi signal and security encryption choice.

Third option would be to replace the antenna on the router. Stock antennas throw the signal out in all directions. If you are close to an outside wall half your signal is going outside. Using a high-gain directional antenna would allow you to point all your power into the home.

Fourth is to give up on Wi-Fi and use the Ethernet port the Roku 2 XS has and run a line to the bedroom.

PS. The TV should not cause an issue, but other wireless devices may. Cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, garage doors, and other devices can interfeir with your signal. Maybe the person watching TV is sitting down with a cordless phone? If so you can buy a 5.8 GHz cordless phone that would not cause interference.
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nitehawk's pick

I have a very similar setup with thick concrete walls, router on 1st floor and Roku 2 XS in the bedroom on the 2nd floor. I tried using the Trendnet TPL-401e Powerline adapters and the performance was more reliable but under 3 Mb/s. Powerline adapter reviews, as I'm sure you're read up on, are all over the place and dependent on many factors. Moving the adapters down the wall to the next duplex outlet saw major drops in performance, very finicky.

My solution was to run ethernet though the stairwell to a Hawking HWREN1 wireless extender. With enough bandwidth to spare phones, tablets and the Roku all perform great. While probably not the solution for everyone, just moving the wireless extender close to the stairs with a directional antenna may provide the extra signal you need.
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I had the same problem and I ended up replacing my router to get a little better reception in my bedroom. i live in an old adobe house and the router was at the opposite end of the house. I replaced my router with a wireless N Linksys router and I found that my Roku has been working great ever since I replaced the router.

Here is the router I got.­/gp­/product­/B004T9RR6I­?ie­=UTF8­&t...
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don't get a new router

I bought a wifi extender that had an ethernet port. Now I have 4 bars wifi on the extender in the front of the house and the roku always has a good connection because it's wired to the extender.
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