Roku 5.5 Update Brings Faster Loading Netflix 6/24

Dave Zatz —  June 21, 2014 — 8 Comments

roku55-update

At a press event earlier this week, Tom’s Guide learned that Roku will be rolling out software updates beginning June 24th. And the key improvement appears to be support for a faster-loading Netflix channel. The firmware and Netflix updates are earmarked for the Roku 3 and Streaming Stick, with vague references to potential support of other models down the line. While we’re obviously not opposed to a speed increase, I’d say the Roku 3 already provides the fastest Netflix STB experience and is my go-to streamer. For reference, my Roku 3 currently runs version 5.4 build 3340, with the demo-ed model sitting at 5.5 319 – we’ll keep our ears to the ground regarding any additional changes.

8 responses to Roku 5.5 Update Brings Faster Loading Netflix 6/24

  1. Yeah, netflix loads in under 10 seconds on my roku3. It’s not a problem now. Faster is better, though, I guess.

  2. Just installed 5.5 B319. Wow! Netflix app start-up takes 2 seconds on a Roku 3 (down from 8 or 9, IIRC). The first time it started to “Who’s watching?” and subsequent times it skipped that. I can’t wait to hear how fast it starts on the HDMI Streaming Stick.

    I’m getting stream starts in 3 seconds but that was always pretty fast. There doesn’t seem to have been any affect on the start-up times of Amazon, Hulu Plus, etc, but I wasn’t expecting any. I wonder if there were any other visible changes?

  3. BTW, the splash screen is now black with the “new” Netflix logo in huge red letters.

  4. When I exit to the top menu and restart it, it brings me back to wherever it was that I left off; seems possible that it’s really starting it up during boot and just bringing it’s UI up when you “start” it from the top menu. Kind of like M-GO.

  5. Thanks for the heads up! I just manually updated myself. Upon first launch I had the old red splash screen and it took forever. I exited back out and came in a few more times and now it’s the new splash and super sprightly indeed. Not that I had any problems with the prior speed. The persistence you observed is interesting.

  6. I’m trying to find someone who got the upgrade on the HDMI stick; to my mind, while the new nearly instant start-up of the Roku 3 is very cool, it’s much more important for the HDMI stick, given its former ~30 second start-up. If they’ve gotten that down to 6 seconds or less and hopefully improved the response to playback commands (PAUSE, REW, FF, LEFT, RIGHT, etc) it should green light the “upgrade” of the other 2nd and 3rd gen Roku products to the new Netflix UI, giving them Profiles (I quote “upgrade” because many people aren’t going to like the new UI even with an equally fast start-up as the old Netflix channel).

  7. Someone reported on the HDMI Sticks performance with the new Netflix version, here in the Roku forums: “Get this, its just a fast as the ROKU 3. 2-3 second start up time vs 26-30.” Very cool.

  8. Heard back from Roku. The main thrust of this update is the fast-loading Netflix and some RSS functionality, I’m not yet clear on.

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