It’s frustrating to watch baseball and get constant interruptions from black screens that say “loading, please wait.” Here are six ways to fix problems with MLB.tv loading please wait on Roku.
A lot of Roku issues go away after you reboot. So even though it sounds like a cop-out, try turning your Roku off and back on.
Make sure your Internet connection is fast enough
If you want to stream at 720p minimum, make sure your Internet connection is at least 3.5 megabits downstream. Use Speedtest.net to test your speed. If your speed is slower than you’re used to, contact your ISP to have them figure out why. I have some more thorough recommendations on how to size your Internet connection if you need them.
I watched the 2014 World Series on a 3-megabit connection. It worked, but it buffered more than I would have liked and I was at the mercy of what my kids were doing online.
A comment from a reader made me investigate the possibility of heat being an issue, because I was buffering in spite of having gigabit Internet. But I was only buffering in the late innings. If you have a fast Internet connection and your Roku starts sputtering after 4-5 innings like the Kansas City Royals 2014-2015 starting rotation, it may very well be a heat issue. Here’s how I fixed my heat issue cheaply.
After slapping a couple of heatsinks on my Roku, it buffered much less frequently, didn’t start until much later in the game, and the recovery time was faster.
Switch to a wired connection
If your Roku has a wired connection, wired connections give better, more reliable connections than wireless. Not all Rokus have one, but if yours does, use it. Frequently, MLB.tv issues are due to local network issues, not upstream issues.
A wired connection also helps with a heat issue. Wired network connections are more efficient than wireless, so they generate less heat inside the unit.
Switch to 5 GHz wireless
If you can’t switch to a wired connection, moving to the less crowded 5 GHz space can help, by giving better bandwidth and less interference. Wired connections are better, but if your Roku doesn’t have one, moving to 5 GHz is the next best thing. I notice a big difference with video streaming at 5 GHz.
5 GHz connections are faster too, but it’s generally being on the less crowded band with less interference that makes the difference.
Switch to a lower resolution
In a pinch, switching to a lower resolution can help, especially when MLB’s network is busy. Even if it doesn’t completely eliminate the messages, it will reduce their duration. MLB.tv has a better network than most other sports, but it’s not as robust as Netflix. It definitely buffers more than Netflix does.
Upgrade your router
If you have a really old router, it may be slowing you down and you may need a new router. Switching to a new, AC-capable router can really speed up your Internet connection and improve your wireless range and reliability. If your Internet connection has an upstream speed faster than 50 megabits, it’s entirely possible your old router is holding you back. I recommend the Asus RT-AC66U, for what it’s worth.
Upgrade your Roku
Last and least, MLB.tv is more demanding on your device than other streaming services. If you have an older Roku unit, upgrading to a newer dual-core or quad-core standalone unit or dual-core or quad-core streaming stick can help with dealing with those demands.
I prefer the standalone units over streaming sticks because you can do more to cool off a standalone unit than a streaming stick.