Jump to content
AurGlass

Roku 7.7 software issues

Recommended Posts

AurGlass

Hi!  I didn't see a topic about the recent Roku firmware update, so I thought I would start one.  The latest update from 7.6 to 7.7 (essentially a forced upgrade since the ability to downgrade to 7.6 was removed) seems to be causing problems for many people across many Roku devices, particularly those running 'local streaming' channels, though others like Plex, Netflix and YouTube have been affected too.  URL: https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=104029

 

My own experience:

 

Roku 3 devices: 2.  Both show same problems.  Emby server is local only (no Emby connect) and is set up manually.

 

Software versions:  Roku - 7.7.0 build 4117, Emby - 3.0 build 41, Emby beta - 3.0 build 46

 

On previous firmware (7.6):  The Emby app worked well, as did the beta. 

 

About 3 weeks ago, one of my Roku devices upgraded to 7.7 when I triggered an update check manually, and the Emby app stopped working correctly.  When I downgraded it to the 7.6 firmware, everything worked again as before.  After last weeks automatic update to 7.7 (with no ability to rollback), Emby app on both devices no longer works.

 

Symptoms:

 

- App loads fine, displays server connect screen with user profiles/icons.

- Selecting any user goes to a loading screen with nothing but the text header at top and the circling progress dots in the middle.  There it stays.

- Connection screen remains indefinitely.  Hours if I leave and come back later.

- Single back button press on Roku remote has no effect.  2 presses shows a "Can't go back to Home screen without connecting to server" dialog and an ok to exit or cancel.  'Ok' exits to the main Roku menu, 'cancel' goes back to the endless connecting screen.

- Reloading the emby app yields same results.

- Rebooting the roku has no affect.

- Emby server debug logs show connection request for selected user, return of authentication token to Roku, then nothing.  If I wait long enough the login attempt on the server times out, though the Roku still sits at the connecting screen.

 

Deleting the local server entry and manually recreating it (or deleting the Emby app which erases the settings and requires a manual setup) has this effect:

 

Login page with user profiles is no longer presented.  After manually configuring the server name or IP address and port and hitting the 'Connect' button, it goes right to the endless connecting screen.  Nothing of note in the server logs other than the connection request/response from the Roku.  Then nothing.

 

I can't provide any logs from the Roku app because I'd need to be able to get to the Emby settings to create/send a log, and that requires the ability to log in.

 

The Emby server itself is working normally.  The Web interface works fine.  I have DLNA enabled and can connect and play media from all my DLNA capable devices, including both Rokus using the official Roku Media Player app.

 

All indications are that there is some problem with the Roku firmware and/or the Emby app.  I'm guessing strongly that it's the former, though since early issues people were having with Netflix were corrected by an app update, so it's possible the app needs updating to fix whatever Roku changed/screwed up in the new firmware. 

 

In either case, I thought I'd report it here so the Emby devs are aware of the problem.

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jdiesel

Y

 

Thanks for the info. It might be best for us to give it a little more time. People are also reporting they can't login to netflix. I can't imagine Roku will force netflix to update their app.

 

I saw this:

https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=104029&start=240#p566902

 

Also aren't they issuing downgrades? 

 

Yes you can request a downgrade to 7.6

 

https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=104029&start=195#p566768

 

I have requested a downgrade on all but one of my Rokus. The downgrade hasn't been applied yet but I plan on reporting back once it is in place to confirm if it solved my issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AurGlass

Thanks for the info. It might be best for us to give it a little more time. People are also reporting they can't login to netflix. I can't imagine Roku will force netflix to update their app.

 

I saw this:

https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=104029&start=240#p566902

 

Also aren't they issuing downgrades? 

 

No problem.  I figured it was better to report rather than wait and hope someone else did.  Netflix and other mainstream apps seem less affected, if for no other reason than they update a lot anyway and have copious resources, developers and (most importantly) negotiating power to either fix things fast or access to source code to properly debug before the rollout.

Also, the problems seem to vary from person to person and device to device, so nothing obvious that can be nailed down.  It makes me wonder what the hell Roku did to cause all this random chaos.

 

Y

 

 

Yes you can request a downgrade to 7.6

 

https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=104029&start=195#p566768

 

I have requested a downgrade on all but one of my Rokus. The downgrade hasn't been applied yet but I plan on reporting back once it is in place to confirm if it solved my issues.

 

As a developer who has lost many hours of sleep preparing for and carrying off rollouts (and rolling back a few that failed), I have nearly zero tolerance for forced upgrades with no option to rollback other than asking nicely and hoping.  Forced upgrades without the instant ability to rollback are unforgivable. 

 

The only reason this can be done at all is because the Roku is a mass-market consumer 'entertainment' device, so customer problems can be dismissed as "inconvenience".  As my wife pointed out in a Scaramucci-like rant after this ruined her Saturday evening, why does anyone have to jump through hoops to fix something broken through no action of their own?  As a hardcore nerdling, I of course knew of the Roku secret screens to rollback updates, but as my wife so eloquently put it, "How the *expletive* does someone like my mother-in-law even know that this is a possiblity, let alone have the ability to do it?"  I won't repeat what she said when I pointed out I could send an email to an address I found on a forum and wait a few days to see if the magic screen would let me downgrade again.  :-)

 

So what I did instead of getting on bended knees to the corporate masters is to fire up my browser and order a LIbreELEC/Kodi capable device that I will have full control over.  Emby for Kodi should be a fine replacement for the Roku, which can go back to being the 'Netflix' box. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ebr

Yeah, this is definitely a firmware bug.  I encountered it as soon as my dev device upgraded.  It is a nasty one that I cannot even debug because the system just hangs.  Hopefully, they will get an update out quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AurGlass

Yeah, this is definitely a firmware bug.  I encountered it as soon as my dev device upgraded.  It is a nasty one that I cannot even debug because the system just hangs.  Hopefully, they will get an update out quickly.

 

Hope springs eternal, though I won't hold my breath. This situation is interesting because it's been known since the early availability of the firmware update that there are major issues.  The (relatively) large number of people who know of the 'secret' rollback process (not needed for a properly stable consumer product), including myself, suggests that the firmware update caused more widespread problems than vocal and motivated customers have reported.  Then there's the fact that the Roku devs have stated that the firmware update is mandated for 'reasons' and widespread rollback is not an option, hence the very selective "email us to allow rollback for your device(s) only".  Roku *really* wants this update to happen, and they are willing to endure the pain, otherwise they would have pushed an update fairly quickly that fixes the problems they clearly are aware of.

 

My suspicion is that this might be related to some sort of anti-piracy initiative or some sort of major security exploit they don't want to disclose.  I can't rule out sheer organizational dysfunction, of course, but this kind of customer alienating foot-shooting usually doesn't happen without reason.

 

Interesting times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jdiesel

It sounds like while the update broke things for many users it also fixed things for others, a rollback might also revert these fixes so there is some rational by not doing a full rollback. Either way Roku firmware has been a mess this last year and has seriously made me consider supporting them any further. I liked the devices for there simplicity but lately they have been giving me all kinds of headaches. 

 

Like you said I wouldn't be surprised that it is related to cracking down on piracy as Roku have been the media a lot lately and I think they have even gone as far as disabling private channels completely in some countries. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Luke

It's happening on all platforms. The Windows UWP platform has had it's share of problems, and so have others. In many ways it is users who are to blame with all of the when can i have this, when can i have that, your competitor has feature X when will you have it, etc. The entire industry is moving at a pace that I think is slightly beyond it's comfort level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jdiesel

Yes and the high turnaround for new technology and standards in the last few years doesn't help either. HDMI 2.0a, 2.0b, 2.1, HDCP, HDR formats. I think a lot of the recent Roku issues stem from HDMI compatibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AurGlass

It's happening on all platforms. The Windows UWP platform has had it's share of problems, and so have others. In many ways it is users who are to blame with all of the when can i have this, when can i have that, your competitor has feature X when will you have it, etc. The entire industry is moving at a pace that I think is slightly beyond it's comfort level.

 

So nothing is new under the sun.  The MBAs and marketing executives don't listen to the engineers and paint themselves into a corner for the sake of next quarter's bottom line, because they will surely solve the next problem by then.  Wash, rinse and repeat.  I've sat in too many meetings watching this drama play itself out.  It is what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
drjonz

Been waiting for days for my downgrade.  Not sure it's coming.  Until it is, Roku is junk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jdiesel

Yeah they really dropped the ball here. As much as I liked the Roku's for there simplicity I think I will be replacing them with Xiaomi Mi Boxes or FireTV's. 

Edited by Jdiesel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waldonnis

I'm thinking the 4GB issue may be back again.  I've been seeing some fallback transcodes on both Roku 3s when playing some of my larger files, so I tried my old "barely over 4GB" video that I created the last time this happened and it predictably crashed right at the beginning.  I'm too irritated to do more tests right now to confirm it, but probably will later.

 

You'd think that 4-5 firmware updates in the past month would've actually fixed something rather than bringing a bug back that was fixed months ago...and after making us wait over 3 months for that fix to begin with.  Wonder how long it'll take this time.  There just aren't any words...

 

Yep, confirmed in the Roku forums.  Wondering if RokuDale is getting tired of this bug yet.  I know I certainly am..

Edited by Waldonnis
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gilgamesh_48

Roku used to have a group of really great programmers. I was in the beta for several years (from the N1000 Netflix player to about a year ago) and it was quite rare for there to actually be any major bugs that needed reporting. That is except for the Roku 2XS that had/has a flaw that causes some units to regularly reboot when playing local content. I believe that is actually a hardware bug that no amount of programming can fix.

 

Some time after the introduction of the Roku 3 the programming quality seems to have dropped. I think one of two things, maybe some of each, happened.

 

1. The "Peter Principal" has asserted itself.

2. Roku was unwilling/unable to pay the best enough and they moved on.

 

Roku was always the device I could absolutely count on but now they are about as likely to fail at a critical point as anything else. I keep a bevy of different devices ready and current so that if one stops working well I can switch to another.

 

Roku has disappointed me but so has virtually everything else at one time or another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waldonnis

I think the reason is probably simpler than either 1 or 2 - the source code and OS have grown enormously more complex since those days and is harder to maintain, especially if they don't have a larger and/or well-organised staff programmers.  Add in their native SDK maintenance/support and backchannel support for large streaming providers, it can be a nightmare to manage.  That being said, that would all be on them, and they should improve their QA and automated source checks (if it's done) if we're seeing bugs of this magnitude on a regular basis (which we are).  This 4GB bug is very likely an integer overflow issue, something which we had automated checks for over two decades ago when I was still writing firmware and drivers.  Overflows like that are easy mistakes to make, but twice in a year causing the same behaviour is ridiculous...unless they just pushed a fix to their release branch without merging it back into the dev branch(es), which would be equally if not more "wtf" than the error getting through the first time.

 

I'm really curious what their QA is like.  If they're not adding regression tests to their QA procedures when they commit code to fix a reported bug, then they need to really look at improving their testing and release process.  It was part of my job that I absolutely despised, but it made sure we didn't repeat the same mistakes long after the original fix was committed and it worked quite well.  Then again, it seems to be more and more common these days for companies to scale back QA in favour of more rapid release schedules and hotfix delivery schemes (look no further than gaming companies and Microsoft for great examples of that).  It just drives programmers harder, leading to more mistakes, imo.  Also, sadly, there are still some companies that look harder at how many lines you wrote over quality/efficiency of the work when it comes to performance evaluations.

 

Meh, sorry for the rant.  I shouldn't speculate and I'm sure their folks work very hard, but something's clearly wrong with their QA and release processes at this point.  I really hope they remedy it soon because I happen to think their products are a pretty good value and are easy enough for most anyone to "just use" (limiting for power users, but fantastic for non-techies).  It would be a shame for them to lose their market position because they couldn't get their crap together on the software side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Happy2Play

Any one know the updates in 7.7 build 4144? 

 

 

I will test the 4GB bug tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gilgamesh_48

Just in the FWIT category: Roku's firmware Ver 7.7.9 Build 4139, which is available for most recent Roku models by request, seems to fix most of the problem that earlier builds introduced. At least it seems to have fixed the problems I had on my Ultra.

 

As of right now my Roku appears to more stable than I am. Of course that is not a big step but it is an improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ebr

Just in the FWIT category: Roku's firmware Ver 7.7.9 Build 4139, which is available for most recent Roku models by request, 

 

7.7.9?  My device only sees 7.7.0 4144

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jdiesel

7.7.9?  My device only sees 7.7.0 4144

You must request the update on the Roku forums. They are issuing it to all users publicly who are having issues.

 

@@ebr are you a member of the Beta testing program?

Edited by Jdiesel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gilgamesh_48

7.7.9?  My device only sees 7.7.0 4144

 

Typo! Sorry. 

 

Should be Ver 7.7.0 Build 4139

 

However you have to request it from Roku.

 

BTW: Just lie to Roku and say you use Plex!

==============

RokuShawnS Roku Engineering

Send me an email ssmith@.com with the following information:

 

  • Name
  • Serial Number (Settings > System > About)
  • Roku Model# (same place as above)
  • Email address

I'll get you on the new patch that fixes the plex issue.

 

*Edit 2* Please include the word "Plex" somewhere in the body of the email so I can more easily filter

==============

Edited by Gilgamesh_48

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ebr

Okay, well 4144 is available publicly now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gilgamesh_48

Okay, well 4144 is available publicly now.

 

Wow. I did not expect Roku to make it available this quickly I figured that, based on previous behavior, it would be at least two more weeks. Maybe the uproar scared them. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AurGlass

1. I haven't seen this update yet, so not publicly available to the "ordinary consumer".  Roku still broken.

2. What uproar?  A few people posting on forums with no media coverage isn't uproar.

3.  Forced firmware updates on hardware I own but don't control is not acceptable.  Roku is on the short list of companies I plan to never do business with again.  They probably don't care, but I do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Happy2Play

1. I haven't seen this update yet, so not publicly available to the "ordinary consumer".  Roku still broken.

 

 

Roku has always done a staggered update so you will get it soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AurGlass

Roku has always done a staggered update so you will get it soon.

We'll see.  :-)

Will still never forget this, even if they fix it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...