TV Answer Man, my Roku TV is several years old and it’s starting to have trouble connecting to our WiFi network. It never had this problem before so do you think it’s the TV? Is it too old? — John, Reno, Nevada.
John, before you blame your aging Roku TV, new and old devices often encounter issues connecting to home WiFi networks. This includes Smart TVs, mobile phones and tablets, and computers. The problem is usually easily fixable. In fact, Roku’s web site offers some ways to diagnose the issue and, hopefully, fix it. (Note: These tips apply to Roku set-tops as well as Roku TVs.)
1. Make sure you are selecting the right wireless network name.
As you know, your home is likely surrounded by WiFi networks installed in your neighbors’ homes. Your Roku device might be trying to connect to one of those for a variety of reasons, including a stronger signal. When trying to connect to your WiFi network, go to your Settings and manually choose your WiFi name and then click Connect. If you don’t see your WiFi name listed, re-set your Roku device and your router. And by re-set, I mean take all the plugs out of the boxes and the wall outlet. Then, after 30 seconds or so, plug everything back in. Sometimes your devices will experience a technical glitch that a re-set will fix immediately.
2. Re-enter the WiFi credentials.
Again, it’s possible that there’s a glitch in your system causing the WiFi issue. Deleting and re-entering the WiFi’s name and password can sometimes re-set the connection process.
3. Make sure your router is working properly.
Check the WiFi connection on a different device, such as your computer or mobile phone. If it’s working, the problem lies with the Roku connection. If not, it’s a router issue and you’ll need to re-set it. If that doesn’t fix it, call your Internet provider.
4. Improve the wireless signal strength.
How far away is your Roku TV from your router? Is there a wall or piece of furniture blocking the signal’s path between the two?
Moving the router closer to your TV can dramatically improved the signal strength.
5. Reset everything.
I’m repeating part of answer number one, but I can’t underemphasize how often a simple re-set can fix a sudden technical issue, such as a poor connection.
If none of the five tips work for you, the problem could indeed be the TV. Depending upon its age, and price tag, it may not be worth bringing it to a repair shop, particularly during an international pandemic. But if the problem persists, it might be your last option.
John, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann