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  1. #1
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    How to find WiFi signal strength

    BACKGROUND INFO: I'm not using WiFi since my Vista PC is connected to my wireless router via an Ethernet cable. My PC is so old (2008?) that I don 't believe it came with a wireless card (how could I tell?).

    MY QUESTION: Is it possible to use this PC to find out the signal strength that my Roku3 device (in an adjacent room) is receiving from the router?

    FOLLOWUP QUESTION: Also, if I was to run an Ethernet cable from the router directly into the Roku3 (or use a power-line adapter) should I expect the signal strength to dramatically improve? The reason I ask is because for some (not all) of my Roku3 channels the broadcast gets periodically interrupted with an annoying "LOADING, PLEASE WAIT" message that I'd like to eliminate (or minimize).

    Thanks,
    Dan

  2. #2
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    You can't measure what the Roku receives except via the Roku - every wireless receiver will be different due to position, aerial design, interference etc.
    Connecting via a cable will guarantee a consistent connection that should be faster than wireless.
    Can you move the Roku next to the router to test wireless, then use a cable to confirm?
    Have you asked on the Roku site?

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    You can't measure what the Roku receives except via the Roku - every wireless receiver will be different due to position, aerial design, interference etc.
    Connecting via a cable will guarantee a consistent connection that should be faster than wireless.
    Can you move the Roku next to the router to test wireless, then use a cable to confirm?
    Have you asked on the Roku site?

    cheers, Paul
    Paul,
    Your reply makes sense - I was hoping that I could get a 'feel' about how strong my signal is from some 'meter-like' tool built into Windows. But since I don't believe my Vista PC has a wireless card then I cannot expect it to measure a wireless signal.

    My Roku3 has to plugged into my HDMI tv port so I think it would be more practical to get a long Ethernet cable than a long HDMI cable.

    Roku support was not as helpful as you have been - thanks!
    Dan

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    Yep, a long HDMI cable is 5 times the cost of a cat5e cable and you can't get more than about 10m.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Yep, a long HDMI cable is 5 times the cost of a cat5e cable and you can't get more than about 10m.

    cheers, Paul
    Paul,

    I'd be willing to pay the price if it would resolve the annoying 'loading' interruptions but there are no guarantees.
    Thanks again for your input.

    Dan

  6. #6
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    To check if your Vista pc has wireless you can go into Device Manager and expand Network adapters or open a command prompt and enter ipconfig /all

    If you Google max length for hdmi cable you will see an abundance of links for you to peruse over.

    If you don't have Wifi in the Vista pc and you know someone with a laptop, perhaps you could get them to bring it around and site it near the Roku and compare when near the router.

    The command netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid will only display the signal strength between the laptop and the router but could identify if you need to set the router to a different channel.

    If you have an Android, this program can give you similar info http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5936-inssider.html
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2015-03-28 at 15:25.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    To check if your Vista pc has wireless you can go into Device Manager and expand Network adapters or open a command prompt and enter ipconfig /all

    If you Google max length for hdmi cable you will see an abundance of links for you to peruse over.

    If you don't have Wifi in the Vista pc and you know someone with a laptop, perhaps you could get them to bring it around and site it near the Roku and compare when near the router.

    The command netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid will only display the signal strength between the laptop and the router but could identify if you need to set the router to a different channel.

    If you have an Android, this program can give you similar info http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5936-inssider.html
    Sudo15,
    What a great reply!
    Thanks for the command tips and the Android link.
    When I ran the 'netsh' command, Vista replied with "wlansvc is not running" which I interpreted as my PC not running WiFi (which I expected).
    Dan

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    As long as it helped

    Some router's channel mode are default set to Auto rather than a specific channel and can auto change which will disrupt the signal - so it's worth checking that setting and change to the best channel by whichever means you use to determine the signal strength at the Roku's location, but wiring is always the best option when practical.

    The router auto switching would only affect wireless connected devices and not when wired so it may be worth doing a speed test to see if you have sufficient bandwidth when you get that buffering.

    www.speedtest.net
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2015-03-29 at 10:41.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    As long as it helped

    Some router's channel mode are default set to Auto rather than a specific channel and can auto change which will disrupt the signal - so it's worth checking that setting and change to the best channel by whichever means you use to determine the signal strength at the Roku's location, but wiring is always the best option when practical.

    The router auto switching would only affect wireless connected devices and not when wired so it may be worth doing a speed test to see if you have sufficient bandwidth when you get that buffering.

    www.speedtest.net
    I just wish I could tell if I could actually do anything to control the streaming. Since I rarely have this problem with Netflix or most other Roku channels, I can't help but wonder if the problem lies with their server sending the stream; i.e., maybe their server is just slow and no matter what I do on the client side won't help?
    Thanks,
    Dan

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    I Googled roku3 - loading, please wait and you aren't alone with this problem.

    While I didn't read all of them, these two may be of some help but 4 in http://www.ehow.com/how_8505755_troubleshoot-roku.html seems similar to rebooting a router, whereas this one seems to have a more practical workaround (not the dung beetle ) http://auxiliarymemory.com/2014/07/2...t-rokus-fault/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    I Googled roku3 - loading, please wait and you aren't alone with this problem.

    While I didn't read all of them, these two may be of some help but 4 in http://www.ehow.com/how_8505755_troubleshoot-roku.html seems similar to rebooting a router, whereas this one seems to have a more practical workaround (not the dung beetle ) http://auxiliarymemory.com/2014/07/2...t-rokus-fault/
    Good to know I'm not all alone (misery does indeed like company!). Some interesting ideas in here and now I'll have to roll up my sleeves and sort through them. The link about streaming from my PC is what I believe I'm already doing since I'm using PLEX (recommended by Roku) on my PC as a media server (which results in the 'loading' message interruptions). So either my PC is too slow or the source server I'm receiving the stream from is a lot slower than the Netflix servers ?!

    Thanks for the Google suggestion!
    Dan

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    You could try testing with MediaMonkey free version - to confirm it's not Plex.

    cheers, Paul

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    Paul,
    I went to mediamonkey.com but didn't get the feeling they offered server software like PLEX does.
    Is that what the " Share over UPnP / DLNA " is supposed to do?
    Thanks,
    Dan

  14. #14
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    Sure is. Tools > Options > Library > Media Sharing.
    It's not the most intuitive, but it should do for a test.

    cheers, Paul

  15. #15
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    Try "Wifi Analyzer" for Android phone.

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