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Roku Playback Error – What to Do

Roku Playback Error - What to Do

Roku products are at the top of the streaming food chain, side-by-side with the ever-popular Amazon Fire TV and Firestick. They bring a wide variety of streaming possibilities to the table. However, errors can occur on Roku products, just like every other device out there.

Playback errors are the most frustrating issues with Roku devices. They don’t happen too often, but when they do, they can ruin your viewing experience. There can be many reasons why you’re receiving this error, so here’s more about it.

Why Did It Happen?

As already mentioned, there can be a wide variety of underlying causes that would result in a playback error. Moreover, it’s not as if every time an error occurs, there’s “Playback error” spelled out for you. While the error may manifest itself literally spelled out, it can appear in the form of a crash, an unwanted device restart, etc.

roku playback

As a rule of thumb, however, the playback errors occur on account of a network issue, which probably isn’t on your Roku to blame. On the other hand, it can be a direct result of a corrupt registry within the device’s operating system. It may also be something completely else, like a faulty device, a faulty device part, or a Roku server error.

Troubleshooting 101

If you’ve ever talked to a tech support official, you know that they are very likely to prompt you to restart the program or the device. This is far from merely “playing it by the book.” In fact, in many cases, a simple restart can solve a slew of common problems. Performing a reboot is something that rarely crosses our minds, even if it’s very obvious.

So, start by restarting your Roku device. Wait for it to start up and connect to your network. If the playback error is still popping up, turn off the TV, unplug it from its power source, and wait. You may jump the gun and try to turn off the Roku device too, but if you do this and the issue is fixed, you won’t know what caused it. After waiting for a few minutes, reconnect the TV, turn it on, and check to see if the playback error still occurs.

If the error is fixed, chances are that it’s your TV that’s causing the issue. If not, restart your router by completely unplugging every cable from it and wait for a few minutes. Once it has cooled off, turn it back on. If this solved the playback error issue, you’ll know that the router is to blame. If not, well, then things are a bit more complicated.

Reconnect and Restart on the Device

Although a hard reset is likely to slap your Roku device into obedience, maybe you should try performing a virtual network reconnection and reset. To try and fix the potential network issue, go to Settings on the Home menu. Then, navigate to System and click it. On the list of System preferences and settings, find Advanced System Settings and select this. Scroll down until you see Network Connection Reset. Click this option and wait until your connection is reset. Then, connect to your network again.


Use another device (such as your phone) to see whether the network connection is good. If that device is experiencing the network issues, well, you know where to look.

If that doesn’t work, you should try restarting the device from the Home menu. Again, navigate to the Settings option, found on the Home menu. Then, again, go to System, but this time scroll down until you see the System Restart entry. Select this option and the system will restart. You’re going to see the Roku logo on the screen and the device will reboot shortly.

Content Error

If you are receiving something of a content error, most frequently in the form of “your device is not currently supported,” and you used to have access to the particular channel that‘s now displaying this error, the problem is, most likely, with the channel in question.

To be sure that the problem isn’t on your end, try accessing another channel or two. If the error message pops up again, you should contact Roku technical support and have them help you out. If other channels work normally, the good news is that the error isn’t on your end. The bad news, though, is that you won’t be able to access the particular channel until the channel provider takes care of the issue.

Other Issues

If your playback won’t start and you’ve tried every single one of the mentioned solutions, you shouldn’t move on to experiment more. Instead of digging deeper into the problem, simply contact Roku’s technical support and let the professionals solve this issue for you. If the issue is unsolvable, you’ll likely get a new Roku device.

In any case, before doing anything else, simply try restarting the content that you’re currently streaming, at least a couple of times, just to make sure that it isn’t some temporary error or glitch. If the problem persists, move to other solutions.

Roku Playback Errors

As you can see, there are many potential causes that would result in your Roku device serving you up with a “playback error” notification. Start at a basic level, by restarting the content and then restart the app, the TV, and the router. If nothing works, talk to Roku’s customer support team.

What errors have you experienced on your Roku device? Have you solved all of them? How? Feel free to join in with your own Roku stories and don’t refrain from throwing in a question or a tip. Everything Roku-related is welcome in the comments section below.

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Nov 8, 2019

1964 Articles Published