Roku Having Trouble Streaming 30 Rock (Updated)

UPDATE: A Roku spokesman says the company has fixed the 30 Rock streaming issue.

A Roku user complained last week that he had trouble streaming 30 Rock. He was told by a customer service rep that Roku restricts the amount of content that an be streamed through the device, a Roku spokesman disputed the viewer’s complaint, saying there is no such limit.

Other viewers are reporting problems viewing 30 Rock on Roku Forums.

A Roku rep told me “We are seeing some issues with two of the four seasons of 30 Rock, as noted by customers on our forums at the link you sent. We have escalated the issue and are working with Netflix to resolve it.”

If you stream Netflix through a Roku box, is 30 Rock — or any other shows or films — giving you trouble?

Roku Forums [Roku]
(Thanks, Josh!)

Previously: Roku Rep Tells Me There Are Secret Limits To Netflix Streaming (Updated)


Edit Your Comment

  1. thompson says:

    This is why, Phil, you should wait to hear back from a company’s representative before posting inflammatory and now provably-incorrect stories instead of just running with any story that lands in the mailbox.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      What a moronic thing to say. Consumerist – all the staff of Consumerist – post personal accounts as they happen. They make it a point not to report these anecdotal stories as fact, ever, and Phil never did so here. In fact, they do this often without hearing back from a company represwntative. Every staff member does it. You have absolutely no reason to blame Phil here except to be a complete asshole.

      Pointless and meaningless Phil bashing.

      • thompson says:

        Seriously? I think there is a reason why there are no Meg-bashers or Ben-bashers. They don’t post the ridiculous stories that Phil does, the stories that even 5 minutes of googling usually reveal to be completely off-base. Some, like the Toyota story from a couple days ago ( are just completely nonsensical with 99% of the commenters wondering why in the world it ever got posted.

        The problem with Phil’s posts is that he’s “wetting the powder” that the Consumerist has. Better to keep your powder dry for when you actually have consumer problems to rectify or evil corporations (e.g., Bank of America’s foreclosure-roulette).

        • Mom says:

          If it’s so bad, you don’t have to read it, I suppose.

        • coren says:

          Not that I think by any means she’s a bad writer, but Meg has probably posted 10 stories in the past month. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Phil post 10 a day. More stories increases his visibility and the likelihood he’ll be criticized. Meg also tends to report stuff directly from the news.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Thompson is the same person who whines about the Human-Interest journalists in the media because it has nothing to do with the state of the economy and is thus worthless garbage.

            • thompson says:

              Nice attempt at a straw-man, but no—I greatly enjoy human-interest pieces, and I think the NYT has done some great ones over the past year. In fact, there was a really interesting one about Disney’s underground bunker of awesomeness ( just a couple days ago. Good read, I’d recommend it!

              My point isn’t that the Consumerist should ONLY do the indepth investigative reports like the Cash4Gold piece, obviously that would result in an article every 3 weeks and nothing in between. My point is that, more than the other authors’, Phil tends to be much more likely to post “Bad Consumer” articles that remove some of the moral weight and shaming-value that this site has developed over the years. It’s AWESOME that one lowly blog can get big corporations to take it seriously, that’s something that should be savored and used to empower consumers who have been screwed over by The Man. But when there are numerous posts about a consumer doing something silly/stupid and then complaining about it, this site loses its credibility. That’s the source of my criticism.

              I almost had to write into the Consumerist myself over a student loan issue that I managed to get resolved after fighting for 2 months with Citibank. I’d hope that, when I had a problem, I could get the Consumerist to write it up and hopefully shine some light on it for me and other similarly situated consumers. But they can’t do that if no one takes them seriously.

              • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                Did it ever occur to you that Phil has been assigned by his managing editor what stories he should do? Or that he’s been assigned to find e-mails to that deal with certain topics and/or situations?

                Because, ya, Phil tends to do similarly fomulated themes. A lot of it is tipster-generated content (meaning actual readers). But most likely because SOMEONE has to do them. So it seems you just don’t like stories derived from real people.

                • GregoryMoose says:

                  Do you have any proof of what you’re saying? Because if not, I don’t think that that speculation is in any way relevant to the debate.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          The hivemind which supposedly 99% thought Phil shouldn’t have reported the article you mentioned (really, 99%?) but the vast majority seem to think you’re in the wrong here. I say “vast majority” rather than making up statistic because, well, I’m a person. Not a tool.

          Justin sayin’

        • FrugalFreak says:

          true! To be taken serious you have to present yourself as serious.

    • Opdelt says:

      Oh, how lovely… more Phil bashing.

    • DoktorGoku says:

      “Allow me to go onto your site and tell you how to write articles.”

      • thompson says:

        Seeing as the website invites feedback on every story through the commenting system, I’d say that commenting on the article is expected.

      • Chaosium says:

        Phil does have a history of not researching before posting.

        Why Roku and no other player would have a problem is questionable. Why Netflix doesn’t have a problem makes it questionable. Why other Roku users don’t have this problem is questionable. Why nobody else has had this problem with 30 rock is questionable.

        This story is a no-go. You’d make a terrible scientist, Phil. One anecdote doesn’t mean that there’s a problem.

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          But other users do have the problem. That’s the whole point of this story.

    • CreekDog says:

      Yes, I can’t view all the seasons of 30 Rock and this has been the case for a couple weeks now.

      The previous post on this suggested there was a limit on how much 30 Rock you could watch, but I rarely watch it more than once or twice a week. The other problem with the limit argument is that I can watch certain seasons but not others.

      So the problem seems to be real.

  2. Opdelt says:

    T ll ths wh r rlntlssl bshng Phl n vr F^&KNG str h psts… Ds yr lf sck tht mch tht y fl cmplld t pss nd mn lk n rrtnl chld? f y r tht dsppntd wth Cnsmrst, snd thm lttr nd sk fr yr mn bck… h wt, t’s nn-prft st wth n sbscrptn rqrd? n whch cs, g fnd rplcmnt st tht dsn’t bmbrd y wth ds fr brkn dck mds. Gd lck!

    • coren says:

      Well golly gee, I didn’t realize that the options here were either suck it up or leave

      • Opdelt says:

        What other options did you think you have?

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        He did say write a letter.

        Seriously, the passive-aggressive couch-jockey complains on the blog. Someone who actually cares would contact the lead journalist for Consumerist, which would be Meg.

        People who always complain about Phil’s articles do so because they don’t actually have anything to say, but they HAVE to say something.

        • coren says:

          More accurately, they said write a letter and ask for your money back (the way I read it, that’s what said letter would be about), but then they go on to point out the site is free, so nuts to that.

          What’s to say I, or others complaining, haven’t written that letter, though? Nothing prevents me from having done so and still complaining here (full disclosure: I have not written such a letter). Also, posting here ends up being more visible – I write a letter, no one else can chime in and agree/disagree with me.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Being a complainer on the post just makes people ignore you. If you think complaining about Phil on the blog makes things change…. well, you’re still complaining about a Phil article, aren’t you? He’s still here.

            Writing a letter to the managing editor actually evokes change, which isn’t what complainers actually want. They want to complain, and they have chosen Phil articles. Why would a complainer want to remove their source of complaining?

            • thompson says:

              Actually I’ve written to the Consumerist by email a couple of times about particularly egregious posts from Phil, I never got a response to either email. I’d love to have genuine change, I’ve been reading Consumerist (and

            • coren says:

              I don’t want to complain, but when articles frequently leave out information, are poorly edited, draw the wrong conclusions, are frequently biased (and not just in the consumer’s favor as one might expect from such a site) then there is osmething worth complaining about.

              • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                And yet, none of things you mentioned are exclusive to Phil.

                • coren says:

                  Exclusive to, no. Primarily perpetuated by Phil (Aaaahhh, alliteration!), yes.

                  • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                    Not really. Humans like to see patterns that don’t exist. You believe Phil is the worst editor on Consumerist, so when you see mistakes Phil makes, you use that to reinforce your belief. But when other editors make those mistakes, you pass them off and forget them because it’s not Phil.

                    • coren says:

                      What you say about patterns may be true, that doesn’t mean that what I’m seeing still isn’t happening. Also, no one else gets the same level of complaints (or much of any). Why are no pattern seers complaining about Chris and Laura?

                    • Whtthfgg says:

                      Loias just likes to argue and stir things up. You can see it over and over in the comments. Anywho, everythig you have said so far is correct

        • ryder02191 says:

          In all fairness, a vast majority of published stories surround around passive-aggressive couch jockeys. The “I’m too afraid to actually contact the company to get a resolution, so I’m just going to sit back and tattle to Consumerist” attitude is overwhelming. To call that behavior out with regards to Phil specifically seems rather ironic, especially considering the nature of so many complaints on this site.

  3. Rathina says:

    Periodically 30 rock would give me trouble when streaming through my Laptop. I would get video…and background sound, but all of the voices were missing. It happened on 2 or 3 episodes…and I think it was between Season 2 & 3…when I called Netflix about it they told me there was nothing they could do….this was probably about a year ago?

  4. JoshF says:

    Not to mention moronic OP bashing! I mean, really, here’s the situation:

    1. I suddenly couldn’t get 30 Rock, Season 3 on my ROKU box. I could get it on my laptop directly from Netflix, though.

    2. I chatted with customer service; they told me there’s a limit on what they can show–in writing yet–and I sent that chat to Phil. He published my chat, though he unfortunately edited out my original question, making many people imagine I was being personally limited.

    Anyway, Phil reported it. What’s wrong with that? He should have waited to “hear back from a company’s representative”? When he did that last week, they gave him the wrong answer–denying the problem, and saying it was a connection problem. Now at least they acknowledge the problem.

    3. NO ONE has been able to get some of the popular shows for some time. So I think either there is something in their license with Netflix that has run out (and it would be mighty suspicious if tomorrow on 1/1/2011 it all suddenly worked again), or they have a bug, as they are now saying (before they said that it was a problem with my ROKU box).

    So give them the benefit of the doubt, and suppose it really is a problem with 30 Rock (and My Name is Earl, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, at least). That really raises questions:

    – If it’s been true for weeks–based on complaints on their forum–why do they make customers jump through all kinds of hoops when they contact ROKU. When anyone could see that you just can’t get those shows. They didn’t know that? I find it very difficult to believe.

    And is that any way to treat your customers?

    – If it’s been true for weeks, it isn’t really credible that Seasons 2 and 4 work fine. Sure, it’s possible some obscure bug makes 2 seasons fail. But having two working fine would seem likely to lead to an easy fix.

    In any case, the only thing that’s “provably-incorrect” is ROKU’s response (the first time they responded). It’s all too bad, the ROKU is a great concept and a great box. I wish they would match it with their customer service (and not just in this instance).

  5. ryder02191 says:

    So we previously had a story about a single person having streaming issues. Now we have another story about a whopping four people having streaming issues. What happened to discussing problems that actually addressed more than 0.0000000000001% of people? What happened to meaningful journalistic reports like this: ? I though this site hit rock bottom months ago, but apparently I was wrong.

    • coren says:

      I count at least 10 people on the Roku forums reporting the same problem since monday. That, to me, says this isn’t just whatever minuscule percent of people you suggested.

      • ryder02191 says:

        Fine, 100*10/1000000 ( = 0.001%.You’re still an idiot if you think that’s not a minuscule and insignificant number.

        • coren says:

          Oh, I wasn’t aware that every person who had those issues came on the roku forum and reported them. Or that every roku owner was trying to watch the specific shows that are impacted by whatever is going on – leaving only those 10 or so to experience the problem (in other words, if you don’t know that it’s a problem, you’re not gonna complain – doesn’t mean that the problem isn’t there)

        • JoshF says:

          If Roku has 1,000,000 boxes, that’s evidently 1,000,000 boxes that can’t be used to see some of the most popular shows. That would 100%. When people complain, Roku tells them it’s a connection issue. Some people actually complain on-line, but not too many, as I’m sure you know.

    • Opdelt says:

      Are you serious? If those people are having issues, it stands to reason others are or will soon be having the same issue.

      Using your logic, when Toyota’s were accelerating people to their fiery deaths, it wouldn’t be a big deal because what a few cars out of a million?

      • ryder02191 says:

        In your completely unrelated Toyota case, it was a few cases out tens of millions. Add all the falsified claims, and no, it was not an issue in the slightest. Rather, it was overwhelmingly a case of people suffering from their own ineptitude, but just so happen to be very vocal about it.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      One complaint on a blog generally equals a much larger number of real people. You forget all the people who complaing through various other mediums such as Phone, e-mails, etc. In addition, all the people that have the issue and do nothing, which is always significantly higher than the ones that do complain. Lastly, there’s the non-tech savvy people who have the problem and don’t even realize it.

      1 complaint on a blog could easily mean 500 people are having the same problem. Even more. But maybe less, it always depends.

      But 4 blogs of the same complaint make one thing – it’s not an isolated issue.

  6. JoshF says:

    btw – Phil said that I was told that ROKU restricts the amount of content that can be streamed through the device.

    That’s not what the CSR said. He said ROKU itself is limited, in so many words. Not that everything a CSR says is true (duh), but that’s what he said. Look:

    Kevin: Just now I inquired. Roku has limited access on certain titles.
    Kevin: It may not play titles that can be played on computer through netflix.

  7. JoshF says:

    So, ryder02191, you say, “a single person having streaming issues”. You’re really missing the point here. NO ONE can get these shows. It isn’t 1 person, or 4 people, or 0.0000000000001% of the population. It is that some of the most popular shows cannot be watched on a ROKU, although they work fine directly from Netflix, and ROKU wouldn’t acknowledge it. They are finally blaming “some issues”. It’s too bad.

    • ryder02191 says:

      Learn how to position your mouse over and click the reply button, and then perhaps I’ll actually care what you have to say.

  8. JAlfaro87 says:

    Dear Thompson,


    • thompson says:

      My comment was critical, but didn’t call anyone names or use (or imply) foul language. I fail to see how your response is appropriate.

      • JAlfaro87 says:

        I feel the the acronym S.T.F.U. leaves lots of room for interpretation. I leave that interpretation open to you. Given your initial response to Phil and his article, it’s easy to see why you interpreted it the way you did. =)

        • JAlfaro87 says:

          Acronyms are like rocks. You throw a rock into a pack of dogs and the one that yelps is the one you hit.

          • coren says:

            Um. STFU has one very common interpretation. I’ve never once seen it used except to tell the person you’re posting it at to shut the f up. It’s not like he had to try real hard to come up with that interpretation – in fact you’d have to work at finding another one (and most people would still think you were telling him to shut the f up). Hiding behind the supposed vagueness of your acronym isn’t working.

            • JAlfaro87 says:

              Bahaha No one is hiding anything.
              However, I do take pleasure in putting STFU instead of “shut up”. It draws the ignorance. For instance, that comment was directed to Thompson, albeit with an underlying bit of humor of getting a response from him and look at what else, STFU, drug into the conversation, you.
              I just find it absolutely humorous that instead of taking time to comment on the article, Thompson decides to come in here and comment on the author. Likewise, here am I commenting on Thompson rather than commenting on the argument. FAIL!!! ;)

              • jason in boston says:

                STFU means one thing and one thing only. It really isn’t open to interpretation.

                • JAlfaro87 says:

                  Southern Tenant Farmers Union? I think they held claim to the acronym long before Urban Slang… :)

                  • coren says:

                    Sure, then instead of being rude and vulgar you’re just being nonsensical and causing a multiple comment argument for no reason (well, ok, you’re still doing both of those things but more of the nonsenscial)

              • coren says:

                STFU didn’t do it, the comment that it was open to interpretation did. because that’s wrong. And I can’t stand it when people are wrong on the internet ;)

              • FrugalFreak says:

                One of these days peer bullying in an effort from an individual to boost low self-Esteem will cease in USA. interpret that!

          • thompson says:

            I have no idea what that means, but I doubt you seriously think that “STFU” didn’t actually mean “Shut the [profane word describing coitus] Up”.

  9. JoshF says:

    In a response to my 2:25PM post above, Ryder wrote “Learn how to position your mouse over and click the reply button, and then perhaps I’ll actually care what you have to say.”

    I do actually know how to click on reply, believe it or not. But the consumerist insists on using the really lame format of a big red plus to let you see responses to comments. That’s well-known to be a crappy system–what’s wrong with it is that 95% of the readers won’t click the +, and thus far too much weight is given to the comment being replied to. That’s why reddit, digg, and most forums don’t do it that way–they indent, as the consumerist does, but they default to displaying the reply.

    When the original comment is as ill-informed as Ryder’s was, describing the problem as “streaming issues” (it would be as trivial as he regards it if it were that), it needs to be responded to in a way that has weight equal to the ill-informed comment. So I don’t go along with the reply thing, and wish nobody did, unless they want to hide their response.

    As far as bemoaning the loss of true journalism, I genuinely sympathize, I’ve felt that way about lots of similar things myself. But, really, in the face of the real problems of the world today, all the complaints here are pretty whiny. At least this one is a company with a buzillion boxes out there acting in a way that seems to cost their customers tons of time, and it seems fitting to me.

    • thompson says:

      We seem to disagree elsewhere, but I’ll give you this much: the commenting system does leave a lot to be desired with regard to usability / displayability.

      • Opdelt says:

        Then quit complaining and develop a bigger and better replacement for Consumerist!

        • thompson says:

          Alas, the life of a law student leaves little time for such endeavors. Though I am enjoying my few days of rest during winter break ;)

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Seems to leave enough time to whine about everything instead of doing something about it.

            • thompson says:

              I’m on winter break, I have an inordinate amount of free time for now. And in response to your comment in another story that was, it seems, vaguely directed at me and others complaining in this post, I don’t think everything Phil writes is “complete crap” as you put it. But I do think that he is, more than the other authors, guilty of “bad consumer” posts. In fact, he sometimes has great posts. I tend to avoid the use of superlatives for this very reason.

        • coren says:

          Shall I post that to every story?

          Quit complaining about Best Buy and make a better retail store!
          Quit complaining about receipt checking and design a receiptless checkout system!
          Quit complaining about being overcharged and make your own at home!

          Telling people to go make their own x or to go fix x instead of complaining is largely useless, particularly if they want something to improve. him making another consumer blog doesn’t make anything that is wrong here get better.

      • Opdelt says:

        Better yet… Give me your address. I’ll come visit, and point out all the things I find wrong with your house.

        For example, I’ll argue about how you chose a bad color scheme for your living room, and piss and moan about how my color scheme idea is so much better.

        Maybe I can complain about how un-user friendly your front entry door is, and demand you replace it until I am satisfied.

        Perhaps you are using 60 watt incandescent light bulbs in your light fixtures, when I feel you should be using 20 watt CFLs.

        But then I’d only be as rational and prudent as you… no thanks. So it boils down to who has the final say. You, the homeowner -or- Me, the visitor?

        • thompson says:

          I’ll go ahead interpret that comment non-threateningly, instead of the alternative that involved you threatening to come to my place of residence in retaliation for my comments on a blog.

          But regardless, I don’t think your analogy is appropriate. If I asked you to come over and comment on my house, and you were critical of my door and decor, then I would have asked for it. The Consumerist has a comment system and encourages comments. You’ll note that I’ve never resorted to ad hominem attacks or name calling or the use of foul language. I’m critical of Phil’s choices regarding posts, not Phil himself, nor have I called him, you, or anyone else any sort of name.

          • JAlfaro87 says:

            your skills of interpretation are improving. lol

          • Opdelt says:

            If you were to interpret that as a threat, then you are going into the wrong line of work. I’d prefer my legal counsel be able to understand what a threat really is.

    • minjche says:

      Just for the sake of organization, if you’d like to reply to a comment, it’s best to click the “reply” button in the bottom right corner of that comment.

      • minjche says:

        Finally got around to reading your comment beyond the first few words and I’m enjoying the irony that you purposefully ignored the conventional method of threaded commenting to make your comment more visible, but the result for me was that you look like you don’t understand the commenting system so I just ignored your comment.

        • JoshF says:

          That *is* ironic. Well, it’s an imperfect world. But I do think that almost no one hits the +, nor hits the expand all button (over and over). It’s a crappy commenting system.

          • SJActress says:

            You think this based on what, exactly? What YOU are likely to do/not do? Or have you actual evidence to back this up?

        • JoshF says:

          Also – I’m sure I am as guilty as you of this kind of thinking – but even people who don’t understand the commenting system, or are not as agile with social computing as you and I, might have something worthwhile to say. You think? It isn’t intuitive to me either, but it’s probably true.

  10. CappyCobra says:

    Jeez peoples. If you don’t like his stories, just install the Philter

  11. davidsco says:

    I’d count that as a good thing. 30 Suck blows. Least funny show on TV. I’d rather have my eye plucked out of the socket than watch Tina Unfunny Fae and that annoying Tracy Untalented Morgan

  12. yessongs says:

    who cares about 30 Rock? When they start messing up streaming a good show let me know.

  13. kimmie says:

    Didn’t Consumerist run this a few weeks ago?

    • coren says:

      Yes, but that story was misreported by Phil (as seen by posts on the previous page by the tipster) and then had an update to confirm what the tipster said (and report opposite of what Phil attributed to the tipster). This is..I guess just more of the same for those saying “well gosh it’s just him, who cares”.

  14. NOXIUS says:

    I have problems all the time, not just with 30 Rock. I love Roku but lately it has been acting up. Not sure if should complain to WOW, Netflix, or Roku?

  15. dgeiser13 says:

    To get back to the topic of the post Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip also has the same issues on Roku. It says Content Unavailable when you try to stream it via Roku but has no issues streaming from the Netflix website. I don’t think of it as a Netflix Website vs Roku issue. My guess is that whoever they licensed Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip requested that it not be available for streaming via Roku and that Netflix has that level of control over it.

  16. kathygnome says:

    The Guild Season 3 had issues for a long time. It looked like a bad conversion, jittery, stuttering. Other people reported no problems. The best guess (and it was a guess) that I saw was that one particular CDM node had a bad copy of it. Eventually it got fixed.

  17. mbd says:

    Unrelated to this thread, I complained to Netflix last week about being unable to stream season 1 of 30 Rock and was told that it is “a programming problem” that they are working on. When I asked for a credit on bill, they refused but offered to send me the discs above and beyond the 2 discs that I can normally have out at one time.

    As too Phill Villarreal, he seems to write like he is blogging for the National Enquirer rather than a division of Consumer Reports. I first noticed this in the fall of 2009 when he posted a thread about the NY Yankees violating medical privacy laws. Buried in his long winded post was the actual story, that unshredded medical information was found on the streets after the NY Yankees ticker tape parade. Clearly not the fault of the Yankees, and it was unprofessional of him to imply so in the headline. Ever since then, his repeated poor blogging has jumped out at me. In this thread however, he is absolutely correct. Netflix’s inability to provide all their streaming content via Roku, the box that Netflix recommends, is a valid consumerist story.

    I don’t care if the problem is Roku’s or Netflix, it is ultimately Netflix’s problem.

  18. ckspores says:

    As of this morning, 30 Rock season 4 (which I had been previously trying to watch on Roku for about a week) was working again.

    I was just too lazy to complain.