A number of Roku customers are experiencing problems with their Roku TVs following the Roku OS 10.5 update. According to reports published to Roku's own customer forums and other sites, like Reddit, impacted Roku TV owners say many of their streaming apps -- like HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+ and others, no longer work while others have more intermittent issues, like Netflix. [Update: Roku has rolled back the software update. See below]
Some are also experiencing problems with their screens being frozen and their Roku remote no longer functioning, they said, but it's unclear for now if these are a related or separate issue.
Roku says it's aware of the problem and working to resolve it.
While the 10.5 update began rolling out in October, Roku tends to update its streaming players first followed by its Roku TV devices. That means many of the impacted customers only recently received the update, as they own a Roku TV, leading to the flood of consumer complaints when the update resulted in favorite streaming apps not working. In addition, the issues impact Roku Ultra devices, as well.
Though the issue began to blow up on the Roku forums last week, some users said they've been dealing with a non-functional TV for multiple weeks, leading them to purchase a Chromecast or Fire TV stick instead.
In an 18-page thread on Roku's community forums, users reported issues with Westinghouse, TCL, Sharp and Hisense TVs, among other devices. There are many other threads as well, with dozens of responses. Customers with both hardwired and wireless network connections are impacted, according to consumer complaints. A few users said rebooting their TV or router worked, but others said they tried that, as well as a factory reset, without any resolution.
Roku has been aware of the problem for some time, as a Roku forum moderator has been writing back to forum posters since at least last week, asking for information about their devices like the serial number, Roku device model, device ID and software OS version.
With no official fix yet available, Roku has been forced to roll back the update for some of its users by downgrading their devices to software version 10.0.0. But this option hasn't been automatically deployed to all customers. Instead, forum members said a Roku representative had privately messaged them with instructions after they shared their device information.
And, as of last week, users were being asked to private message a Roku employee with their device information to receive the downgrade, indicating the fix is being handled on a one-off basis for the time being. This process is frustrating some Roku customers who think a broader rollback should be underway at this point.
The issues arrive at a time when many U.S. consumers will be taking time off from work over the Thanksgiving holidays -- meaning they have a lot more time for watching TV. Tuning into NFL football, for example, is part of the Thanksgiving tradition, but livestreaming apps like Sling TV and Hulu are among those impacted by the software issues.
A representative for Roku was reached for comment this afternoon but didn't yet have a statement available.
Later in the day, Roku shared the following comment with TechCrunch:
A small portion of users that have certain older Roku TV models or older Roku Ultra players are experiencing issues with the latest firmware update, OS 10.5. We are actively investigating and working to resolve this as quickly as possible, and will provide our customers with real-time updates [on our website at support.roku.com/contactus and on twitter at @RokuSupport.
Update, 11/23/21, 12 PM ET: Following the publication of this story, Roku officially announced to users it was aware of the issues and offered detailed instructions on how to access a software rollback it had now released. Those instructions are here.
Unrelated, Roku said it and other streaming platforms are seeing some issues with YouTube TV which it's also working to resolve.