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RokuGuide Channel Description: Roku recommends that you have an Internet connection with a minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps for standard definition content content and 3.0 Mbps for HD. Actual connection speeds are often lower than the advertised speed you're paying for, so it's a good idea to check your actual speed using a free testing service like Speakeasy or Speedtest.

If you're experiencing poor video quality or frequent pauses to rebuffer on your Roku across all channels, the first thing to check is your Internet connection speed. In addition to Roku's own recommendations above, Netflix offers the following requirements and recommendations:

  • 0.5 Megabits per second - Required broadband connection speed
  • 1.5 Megabits per second - Recommended broadband connection speed
  • 3.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for DVD quality
  • 5.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for HD quality
  • 7.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for Super HD quality
  • 12 Megabits per second - Recommended for 3D quality

If Speakeasy or Speedtest shows an adequate download speed from your computer, then you'll want to check the connection speed for your Roku device. Many people have their WiFi-connected Roku located far from their router. WiFi speeds to your Roku can be slowed by distance from the router, physical obstacles between the router and the Roku, and interference from other electronic devices.

The Speed Test channel offers an easy way to check the Internet download speed of the Roku device using the speedtest.net service. When you load the Speed Test channel, the app will scan through speedtest.net servers to find those closest to you. Select one and start the test. The test will perform six downloads of increasing sizes and will report back the speed of each download.

Web versions of speed tests usually report a single download speed - this is typically an average of multiple downloads. The Speed Test channel provides raw results instead of a single number, so you will need to interpret the results yourself. To do this, just look at the rightmost value in each line displayed when the test is complete. These values, presented in megabits per second (Mbits/sec), are the download speeds achieved by your Roku for the six test downloads.

Compare these values to the minimum speeds listed above. If you think your Roku's speed is too low, first try moving your Roku to a different location and look for sources of electronic interference. For more help in diagnosing slow WiFi speeds, ITworld offers 10 reasons your Wi-Fi speed stinks (and what you can do about it). For more help, contact Roku Support.

Wondering about the rest of those numbers that Speed Test provides with your test results? The top line shows your latency, or delay, which is the amount of time it takes for a packet of data to travel between two points. Latencies of less than 100 milliseconds (ms) are reported to be typical for DSL or cable Internet connections. In each of the next six lines of data, the first value (bytes) is the size of the test download, the second value (ms) is the time in milliseconds that it took to dowload that test file, the third value (kbytes/sec) is the download rate in kilobytes per second for the test file, and the last value is - as discussed above - the download rate expressed in the most-commonly used units for Internet speeds.

One last piece of advice: don't rely on results from only one server. In my own tests, the second listed server consistently returned faster speeds that the first listed server. If your first test is bad, perform additional tests on other servers and at different times. Outside of your control are temporary network problems like congestion from large amounts of traffic. And if you have good speeds but experience problems with only one Roku channel, it's likely that the source of the problem arises from the problems on the channel provider's end of the data stream.

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Speed Test Website