Wednesday, October 5

Roku outage shows the dangers of overly connected smart TVs

Did your Roku stop working like it was supposed to on Wednesday night? Well, you weren’t the only one, thanks to a serious outage in the company’s services that rendered Roku devices and Roku TVs virtually useless.

Users took to social media and the Roku subreddit to report their issues. Meanwhile fall detector shows that the problems began around 7:30 p.m. ET and lasted about four hours.

(Image credit: Dowm Detector)

Meanwhile, Rock admitted the problem around 8:30 pm ET. “Roku is aware of an issue reported by users who are unable to access some Roku services,” it said on its community forum. “If you are trying to activate your device, please try again later.”

The company later announced at 1 a.m. ET that it believed the situation was resolved. However, there was no confirmation of what caused the outage and why it affected Roku devices the way it did.

Obviously, the situation is worse for people with a Roku TV. Not being able to use your streaming device is very annoying, but not nearly as annoying as your TV not starting due to issues beyond your control.

Some users even reported being unable to use any TV inputs, including cable boxes and DVD players, even though they have absolutely nothing to do with Roku.

Dear @Roku, when will this outage be fixed? I did a reboot on my TV not realizing it was a Roku outage that caused it to freeze. Now I can’t reconfigure my TV to access my Blu-Ray player. Any. Until I can access my Roku account… tonight at home is magnificent…January 20, 2022

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Some Services = All Services. I can’t even see my own cable provider or any input to the tv.January 20, 2022

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If a streaming device experiences connection issues, you can always do something else, like play video games or watch traditional TV. If all of your TV fails, you’re basically out on the creek without a paddle.

Fortunately, some people found alternative solutions, including switching the TV to “store mode” or unplugging the Ethernet cable to disconnect the unit from the Roku servers. Unfortunately, the latter would only work if you had a cable TV connection in the first place.

Here’s hoping, for the sake of Roku TV owners everywhere, that the company realizes this is a problem and fixes it. That doesn’t stop more interruptions from affecting the actual look of the stream, but when you’re consuming internet-dependent content, there’s not much you can do about it.

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