Simple Trick to Stop Roku Resets, Lockups and Freezes

Simple Trick to Stop Roku Resets, Lockups and Freezes

Stop Roku Lockups Cold by Dissipating Heat

If you ever placed your hand on top of a Roku that has been on or in standby mode for a while, you will notice it gets quite hot.

Stop Roku Resets and Lockups

Heat is the enemy of electronics. It can cause all kinds of strange and erratic behavior in sensitive microprocessors and other electronic components. Resets, Lockups and Freezes can many times be attributed to too much heat.

Current Roku models are much smaller compared to models from a just few years ago. This means heat has even less room to dissipate. Since a Roku is never really completely powered down, internal temperature stay warm and once you start streaming a few hours of 1080p videos,  the temps can really start climbing.

While modern electronics are designed to run at temperatures we mortals would be complaining bitterly at.  Electronics still last longer and run better when they are kept cool.

Shove your favorite Roku player inside a cabinet or hang it from the back of a TV up higher near the ceiling and the heat will start building up even more.

One thing any gamer that has ever overclocked a computer central processor or graphics card learns early on is if you push it too fast, or provide inadequate cooling and you soon will start experiencing glitches and lockups.

A Roku media streamer contains many of the same electronic components found in a computer. In fact, it really is  a small computer that was designed to stream HD media. It does its job very well most of the time. One thing a Roku does not have is a massive cooling fan or giant heatsink to help dissipate heat.

If your Roku is out in the open sitting on top of a table or TV stand and not near the ceiling, chance are you should be fine. You may never experience any overheating related issues.

If this is not the case, here are some simple inexpensive tips to help your Roku stay cool and focused.

Place Your Roku on Top of a Large Heatsink 

Heatsinks can be found for next to nothing. Go to any computer store where they repair or upgrade computers. Since heatsinks are made from aluminum and copper, often times they will have a bucket full they recycle for extra cash. You can pick one up for just a couple dollars or they may even give you one free.

Heatsinks are nice because they provide passive cooling. You don't need to run a fan which costs extra money for electricity, is noisy plus creates an additional heat load.

Below is a heatsink from an old computer CPU that we were able to get free. 

Heatsinks can Prevent Roku Freeze, Lockups and Resets

This massive block of machined aluminum is ready for some serious passive cooling

Stop Roku Resets and Freezes.
The bigger the heatsink the better it will keep your Roku cool
Simply place your Roku on top of the heatsink and be sure it has good contact with the base. You want it to sit firmly on top of the heatsink without air gaps. Sometimes the wires on the back can put a strain on your Roku pulling it up which will make your heatsink less efficient.

We did not have the instruments to scientifically measure the before and after temps. Although, after only a few hours using the feel test, if felt considerably cooler than before we placed our Roku Ultra on top of a heatsink.

Since our Roku lives inside a cabinet without much air circulation, a heatsink provides cheap insurance against premature failure and heat related issues.

This same trick can be applied to any other media streamer that runs a little too warm.

Heatsinks Do's and Don'ts 

  • Keep your heatsink clean. Dust buildup reduces efficiency and heat transfer.
  • Do not use thermal paste for maximum heat transfer. It's really not needed in this application.
  • Don't leave an air gap between your media streamer and the heatsink.
  • Don't get a tiny heatsink and expect it to do much cooling. Larger heatsinks work a lot better!

  • Heatsinks come in all shapes and sizes, some have copper plates, copper heat pipes and other fancy options to provide even more efficient cooling.

    To view some great heatsinks available on eBay that are cheap and will work well... click here
    And if it comes with a fan, this can easily be removed and used on another project.

    Active Cooling with a Laptop Pad

    If your Roku or other media streamer runs too hot, a laptop cooler is another great option. This can be very useful if you have multiple streamers set closely together. 

    The HAVIT® HV-F2056 is a very popular model on Amazon that has three quiet fans and an On/Off switch. It uses power from a USB port, so if your TV has one your all set. If not, you will need this small AC to USB Power Supply to provide power to the cooler.

    Laptop coolers do an excellent job of keeping your Roku or other media streamers cool. 

    The downside to using active cooling is the additional noise and electricity needed for the fans. They will run constantly unless you remember to turn it on and off. This can quickly become a chore and make you wish you opted to use passive heatsink cooling instead.

    For more tips and tricks to prevent Roku freezes, lockups and resets please... click here!

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