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Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time


Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

We have TV streaming with a Roku stick.  We had internet service with AT&T and had began to notice that when streaming on our TV, and using our mobile devices at the same time, that we would experience some buffering.  Not surprising, since the highest speed we could get with AT&T was 5MBps.  So, we went with Hughesnet, figuring that 25MBps would be fine.  Well, it hasn't worked right since we changed.  We've only had Hughes for two weeks and have determined that something is just not right with the Hughesnet service.  Sometimes we can stream, other times we cannot.  Yesterday is a perfect example: For the entire day and night, our Roku said that we had a great wirless signal, but the router did not have a connection to the internet.  Our router did have an internet connection because I could connect with my computer.  But, I'm assuming the speed was not good enough for TV streaming.  We could not even sign into our Hulu account.  We called Hulu and they ran several checks and told us that our latency was too high.  This morning, we are able to stream, but that may not last for long.  We have rebooted everything, we have replaced the Roku stick, basically done everything we can think of.  I have ran the "" test several times.  It usually shows that my download speed is pretty good but my latency averages well over 600ms, and sometimes up to 700ms.  Last night, I ran several tests using "" (I know you all don't use that) on a computer that is wired-in with LAN cable, so not using wi-fi.  My ping rate averaged better than 700ms.  My download speed was usually pretty good, but my upload speed was zero.  Once, the test wouldn't run and said "Latency Test Error" and several times it wouldn't run and displayed "Socket Error."  I am not a computer/networking expert.  But, I do know that my 5MBps AT&T service worked MUCH better than what I have been experiencing the past two weeks with the much faster Hughesnet.   I'm trying to share the test here that I just ran, but not sure if I'm doing it right (I have much more history): <a href="">davidandjudy's Speed Test Results</a><iframe loading="lazy" src="" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" height="380" width="100%"></iframe>


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Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

Well, my Hughesnet service has been working much, much better for the past 48 hours or so.  I can stream video again, although I do have a few interruptions during peak hours, but I can live with that.


If I fixed the problem, it is because I completely stumbled into it.  Not sure anyone else in a hundred years would have this issue, but here goes:  I am a photographer.  I have a desktop computer that I use only for editing and storing photos.  I have it connected with a Cat-5 cable to my router, but rarely (if ever) do I access the internet with it.  I only have it on my LAN so I can pull photos from it to my laptop to share, print, etc..  Since that computer is not wirless, and I don't use it for internet access, I thought there could be no way that it could be causing any issue.


The Hughesnet router sits within about 3' of that desktop computer.  While attempting to reboot my router/confirm the password, or something I accidentally knocked the router off the desk.  No, I did not throw it, although I wanted to!  Well, my wife was trying to watch Hulu with little success at this same time.  A couple of minutes later, I heard her yell, "Whatever you did fixed it!  I can watch TV now (previously the screen was showing "network error")!  I jokingly told her that the only thing I did was knock the router off the desk and possibly showed it who was boss.   Fully expecting to lose the TV signal again any minute, I didn't think much of it.  To my surprise we were able to stream TV with no problem for the next couple of hours...something that only rarely happened in the past few days. 


I could not believe my luck...just a good old-fashioned smack and the router was working!  Several hours later, we were streaming TV right in the middle of the peak period with very few buffering interruptions.  I was also online with my laptop taking care of some photography business.  I tried to send a client a photo (which resides in a shared folder on my desktop) and suddenly I couldn't access my desktop.  What could have happened?  I investigate and noticed the network cable that should have been plugged into my desktop was not plugged in any more.  The lock on it was broken.  Seems when the router fell, the weight of it pulled directly on that network cable and yanked it out of my desktop.  At the time, I could not figure why this would have caused my problem to be magically resolved, but I wasn't about to plug it back in...not just yet anyway.


I began thinking, and I remembered that there has been some kind of problem with that desktop computer installing Windows Updates.  It will appear to automatically download the update, shutdown in order to install, but for some reason the update never actually installs.  I wondered if somehow it wasn't downloading the update file in its entirety, or there was some kind of a glitch with it, the update couldn't install and as a result the computer kept trying to download the update files?  I know that update packages are huge downloads, and if it were locked into some kind of cycle where it was constantly trying to download the update that it would use up a lot of my data.  And, worse yet, I would be oblivious that it was doing so. 


Now, this might all be coincidence and I might still have some problem with my Hughesnet service.  But, I left the network cable unplugged on that computer for 36 hours or so and we had good service the entire time.  Then, I turned off the "automatic download of updates" on the computer yesterday and reconnected the network cable.  So far, so good.  We have had the best experience for the past 48 hours or so that we have had since having Hughesnet installed.  So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

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Distinguished Professor III

Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

>> Not surprising, since the highest speed we could get with AT&T was 5MBps.


That's actually fine for streaming. What you were experiencing was likely congestion (edit: it may also have been throttling from AT&T -- sometimes they do throttle speed if too many people are accessing the system -- Verizon does this as well), that is, too many people attempting to use the system at the same time.

>> So, we went with Hughesnet, figuring that 25MBps would be fine.


The HN system is designed to provide up to 25Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. However, as explained in the subscriber agreement, this cannot be guaranteed as it depends on many external factors, many of which are on the side of the user. The factors affecting speed are listed in the subscriber agreement, which is available online.


>> Sometimes we can stream, other times we cannot.


That's normal. When there's a lot of traffic on your beam, for example, you will likely not be able to stream well or at all.

>>We called Hulu and they ran several checks and told us that our latency was too high.


Latency is high with satellite connections because of the laws of physics. So your latency will usually hover betwen 600 and 700 ms. What was more likely happening was, again, congestion.

>> Last night, I ran several tests using ""


Pretty useless for satellite; stick to, especially if you would like speed issues addressed here.


>> But, I do know that my 5MBps AT&T service worked MUCH better than what I have been experiencing the past two weeks with the much faster Hughesnet.


Yes, because terrestial connections have MUCH lower latency, because the signal doesn't have to travel thousands of miles into space and back.

Your URL for results is:


The speeds look fine and they are appropriate for streaming, provided there aren't too many people on your beam trying to use the system. Congestion is most likely the issue you are experiencing, and during prime time, this is pretty much to be expected.


Additionally, and this is just my experience, and your mileage may vary, using 3rd party products (such as Roku or FireStick) actually slows down streaming.  I gave up on those and now I stream using a laptop connected to the TV via an HDMI cable. This improved streaming quite a bit (but it's still iffy during high traffic times). 


Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

I appreciate your fast reply. 


Where is this "subscriber agreement" you speak of?  I searched but cannot find it.


By "beam" I assume that you mean the beam from the satellite, and that has nothing to do with the users or the devices in my home?  I have disconnected every device I have (including my phones), except for my television, and I have no other routers other than the Hughesnet router.  So, the issue should not be traffic on my end, but I guess you mean traffic on the satellite beam?


So, in effect, you are saying that if there is congestion on my "beam" that I will not be able to watch television?  And, that I cannot control how many people are on my "beam?"  So, in a nutshell, I cannot expect to watch television from say 4 pm - 10 pm most days, other days I can't watch it at all, and there is nothing I can do about it?  


I appreciate your suggestion about using a laptop and connecting thru an HDMI cable.  I have actually resorted to that a couple of times, and it works better, but like you is iffy.  But, when I spoke to the sales rep about possibly purchasing your service, she asked what I would use it for.  I explained that I used Roku to stream Hulu and Netflix and her reply was that she used it for that purpose as well and it worked great!  


Not happy.


Distinguished Professor III

Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

Here's the subscriber agreement:


A spot beam ("beam") is a satellite signal that covers only a specific region.  The people in your region all share one of these beams.  Keeping in mind that satellite internet is limited in overall amount of broadband, and that this broadband is shared among the beams, when more people in a region served by a particular beam are all partaking of the broadband, each person will receive only a portion of that broadband.  More people = less broadband for each = congestion/traffic


You can definitely stream using Roku. You can stream using pretty much anything; but again, you have to keep in mind you're using a technology that has limits and that is shared. High traffic times means we all have more difficulty streaming.   And  yes, 4-10 pm is prime time.  Worse during the weekends/holidays when more people are home.   


You can do very little about other people in your beam all using the system.  How you manage this issue is up to you.  I personally use PlayOn Cloud to record stuff I want to watch. I then download the shows during Bonus Bytes (which is 2am-8am), and then watch them whenever I want with no buffering issues. 


Users and devices on your home network also affect your ability to stream, for the same reason: the amount of data you have is only so much, and the more people and devices are sharing it, the more congested the system gets (which impacts streaming and makes your data be consumed faster). 


Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

Well, again, thanks for your reply. 


This is the only thing I can find in the user agreement about it:  "HughesNet service is available in the contiguous U.S., Alaska and Puerto Rico. Stated speeds and uninterrupted use of service are not guaranteed. Actual speeds will likely be lower than the maximum speeds during peak hours."


That makes sense.  I can accept that.  I can accept having a movie stop and buffer sometimes, knowing that it is much more likely to do that at peak times, or if I am using several devices at my location.  That seems to be what the statement in the user agreement is referring to.


What doesn't make sense is how that on several days, complete waking hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., my Roku has stated that there is no connection, zero megabytes available, and there is not enough signal to even sign in to Hulu.  Yesterday was one of those days...I could not watch live television at all...all day or evening.


I am not one of those people who demand full-speed all of the time.  But, if the sales rep had explained to me that at least every third day or so that I would have zero-streaming ability, for most if not the entire day and evening, then I would not have signed up for this service.  


I shouldn't complain to you.  You didn't sell it to me.  But, you seem to be confirming that what I have experienced the past two weeks is what I can expect for the next two years...little to no live television, particularly in the evenings. 

Distinguished Professor III

Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

This bit is on the website:

**The HughesNet Gen5 service plans are designed to deliver download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, but individual customers may experience different speeds at different times of the day. Speeds and uninterrupted use are not guaranteed and may vary based on a variety of factors including: the configuration of your computer, the number of concurrent users, network or Internet congestion, the capabilities and content of the websites you are accessing, network management practices as deemed necessary, and other factors. When you connect to the HughesNet service using Wi-Fi, your experience will vary based on your proximity to the Wi-Fi source and the strength of the signal.


Before your Roku went rogue regarding the connection, was it working properly?


When you go to this page:!/home/status , what is the state code?   


I think that it bears investigating, and you may hear more from other subscribers on this site, and next week from the HN reps on this site. 



Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

I was thinking wi-fi issue myself when we first got hooked up to Hughes.  I kept the wireless router that I have been using simply because I wanted to new service to be seamless, and no need to change any settings on our devices and our Roku.  So, naturally, when the issue started immediately after getting Hughesnet, I wanted to remove as many variables as possible.  So, I removed my wireless router from the system and now am using only the supplied, Hughesnet router.  


The connection test that you can run thru Roku shows that the wi-fi  signal strenth is "good," but for internet download speed it displays "Poor (0 Mbps)."  At least that is what it said all day and evening yesterday (I took a photo of the screen).  Today, it shows wi-fi signal strength "good" and internet download speed displays "Good (3 Mbps)."  We have been able to stream all day today with hardly any interruptions.  With my laptop sitting next to the television (and Roku stick) I get a very good wi-fi signal.  So, I'm pretty sure that it is not a wi-fi issue, although I am far from an expert.


 If the Roku test displayed "Poor (1 Mbps) or something like that, I would just chalk it up to congestion, like you said.  But, for it to say "0 Mbps" for an entire day just doesn't seem right to me.  And, yesterday is not the first time it has done that, but it is the first time that I have had the time to dig into it and see if I could find anything wrong.


Oh, and I checked the status of router like you asked and I have no error message.  I have all green checkmarks where they are supposed to be, I think.


Thanks again for your help.


Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

Oh, and concerning whether the Roku worked before we got Hughesnet, the answer would be "yes."  We've only been streaming TV for about six months with it.  The only problems we had were the occassional buffering issues that I would expect.  But, when that happened it would be for a short time and was a minor annyoyance.  But, we thought if we got Hughesnet (the only choices we have here are AT&T or satellite) that it would be better.  And, we have two televisions with Roku sticks, and we hardly ever watch the second one.  Thinking that the stick might be bad on the TV we usually watch, we swapped the sticks around and that didn't help any.


To better illustrate maybe, when we got a Hulu subscription we had to sign in to our account initially, and never had to do it again.  Now, we may have to sign in several times per day and sometimes it won't even complete the sign in before it kicks us out with a "network error" message.  Never had that problem with it before.


Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

This may be the code you were asking about on the router.  Of course, it is working now, but this is the current diagnostic code: "Diagnostic Code: 0000-0000-0000-0005"

Distinguished Professor III

Re: Can't stream video thru Roku most of the time

That diagnostic code is normal.  When you click System Status, the state code should be 0.0.0 -- fully operational.


What I meant when asking whether Roku worked before was whether it ever worked well with your Hughesnet subscription.   


davidandjudy wrote:

This may be the code you were asking about on the router.  Of course, it is working now, but this is the current diagnostic code: "Diagnostic Code: 0000-0000-0000-0005"