Roku experienced a significant service disruption on Wednesday evening, which resulted in some of the company’s streaming devices and even Roku TVs getting stuck on the loading screen or going through a reboot loop and becoming effectively useless. Roku TV sets from TCL, Hisense, and other manufacturers were affected.
Users took to social media and Roku’s subreddit to report problems with their Roku hardware, and Down Detector showed a spike for Roku’s services. The company’s support account acknowledged the ongoing issues at around 8:30PM ET.
“Roku is aware of an issue reported by users who are unable to access some Roku services,” the company said. “If you are trying to activate your device, please try again later. Our priority is to get this resolved as soon as possible, and we ask that you bear with us as we manage this issue.” By late Wednesday night, the company’s services appeared to be operational again for those who had experienced the downtime.
My #tcl #roku this stuck in a booting loop. Already tried all the steps and nothing. I have a 2+ minute video of me just sitting there of it doing nothing but showing that screen. pic.twitter.com/hq4QhiIuCd— Ace (@acekatt) January 20, 2022
In a damning indictment of smart TVs, some customers had trouble using devices connected to the HDMI ports of their Roku TV, such as cable boxes or gaming consoles, during the service outage since the TVs were unable to activate after a factory reset. Thankfully users found workarounds for that dilemma.
Some Services = All Services. Can't even watch my own cable provider or any input to the tv— Jeff T (@JeffTur66397772) January 20, 2022
This is crazy. I can’t even use my DVD player. So much for modern technology. I think I need to go find my old tube TV with a cord— Banana the Black Cat (@BlackcatBananna) January 20, 2022
The Verge has reached out to Roku for more information on what went wrong. Not all customers were impacted by the service problems.