iPlayer fault blights Roku users

iPlayer with stripes on Roku.
Roku users are increasingly angry over ongoing delays to fix a fault with the streaming device's iPlayer app.

Users of the more recent Roku 1, 2 and 3 devices began to complain about black or grey bars obscuring part of the video on the BBC's catch-up and on-demand service back in April. While a fix applied at the beginning of August fixed the fault on the Roku 3, Roku 1 and 2 users are now entering a fifth month without any indication of a resolution.

And some Roku 3 users have encountered further problems with the app, including the device locking up when attempting to access a programme via the iPlayer search function.

The delay in getting the problem solved has been further exasperated, with users complaining from a lack of communication from either the BBC or Roku.

The BBC acknowledged earlier this year that there was a problem with the Roku 3, but not with the Roku 1 and 2 media players. Users have told a516digital that they have been bounced backwards and forwards between the BBC and Roku, with neither parties admitting liability for the fault.

Roku says it logs user's complaints, but is not able to comment about the iPlayer issue. There are several pages of complaints on Roku's customer support forums, providing users with very little information.

The fault sometimes allows the top and bottom of the previously navigated iPlayer menu screen to appear at either end of the video being shown. The new NOW TV box, which is based on the Roku 3, which was fixed at the beginning of August, is not affected, neither are older Roku boxes. Only the BBC iPlayer app is affected.

The Roku issue highlights an increasing trend of poor after-sales support for devices that support streaming services. Some users have found that their relatively new smart TVs no longer support popular streaming services, something The Register has recently reported on. 

As far as BBC services go, in the past 12 months some users have lost access to the iPlayer on their TVs and internet radio users have lost access to BBC radio services as the BBC rapidly switches off technology barely a few years old in favour of new formats and cost savings. Roku 1 and 2 users will hope their devices don't join the pile of obsolete technojunk any time soon. Both media streaming devices are still on sale at leading retailers.

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