Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Roku has a “Contra Code” Secret Screen for Wifi Antenna Settings

UPDATE (5-31-16): Gardner Lonsberry has created an info. graphic containing TONS more secret screens for Roku.  Scroll to the bottom to get the skinny.

Remember the Konami code that got you 30 lives in Contra (and other stuff in other games)?  Well there’s a similar trick for your Hulu Stick to get you to a “secret screen” with settings for the Wifi Antennas and a couple of other things.  It might not be as exciting, but it could be more useful (depending upon your priorities).

Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A

From the Home screen press…

  • Home x5 (press home button five times)
  • FF (not the pad arrow)
  • Down (on the arrow pad)
  • RW (not the pad arrow)
  • Down (on the arrow pad)
  • FF (not the pad arrow)

I was having a lot of frustration with the Roku in our kitchen dropping signal.  This is particularly aggravating, because when it happens the show you are watching disappears, then you have to wait a while for the Roku to reboot and get through the incredibly annoying “dancing Roku” screen, then you  have to navigate back to the content you were watching.  This is not fun when you’re just trying to watch something while quickly making a sandwich and getting back to work.

So after messing with the location of my router and trying to optimize it’s settings and power output, I went looking for tips on how to optimize signal reception for the Roku.  The Roku site basically blames your router and tells you to make sure it’s not by a window, in a sealed lead box (along with your kryptonite stash), or in your basement, but they don’t give you anything REALLY useful like the information here.

platform-secret-screen

The secret screen is labeled “Platform Secret Screen” and the first screen shows you how your Roku us currently functioning (temperature, IP address, SSID, Channel, N, RSSI, SNR, remote MAC address, remote battery level, etc.).  There are also options for System Operations Menu, Disable Travel Connect, WiFi Remote Menu, and WiFi secret screen.  Unfortunately none of these let you change the four dedicated content provider buttons at the bottom of the remote, but the WiFi Secret Screen is extremely useful.

wi-fi-secret-screen

On the WiFi Secret Screen there is a signal level meter for combined signal strength, antenna 1, antenna 2, and also a meter for glitch/sec.  This allows you to move around your Roku to optimize your reception.

This page also has Resets, Interference, Radios, and Power, so you can optimize your settings.

interference-mitigation

system-operations-menu

wifi-power-level

wifi-radio-controls

wi-fi-remote-menu

Setting my radios at TX 1 RX 1 kept my signal strength consistently at 22/23 (other settings were around 16-18 and fluctuated a lot more).  After trying different interference settings, I found “reduce non-WLAN interference” to be my best option.

Obviously your settings will depend upon your specific situation.

p.s.  If after getting things where you want them with your wifi reception you want to check the signal speed of what’s coming into your Roku, Vudu (a free channel with purchasing options for content) has a speed test under “info and settings.”

Props:

When searching for a solution to my Roku drop-out woes, I found most of this information on Richard Loyd’s YouTube channel here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1GZO8e_KJo

The updated secret screen shown above is actually a lot more robust (there are more options, settings, and measurements) than the one Richard posted in his video from August 24, 2014.  This leads me to believe that Roku will be supporting and updating this feature into the future.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seems to help with tv interference/picture blocking etc ..thank you!! :D