Roku 4 being recalled, possibly due to missing CPU thermal pad


A new round of emails are going out to some Roku 4 owners, occording to Cord Cutters News, informing them that their streaming box is being recalled due to “a manufacturing glitch.” Recently after the device was released, customers began receiving similar emails, so this appears to be a continuation of the same initial recall. Roku is not divulging any information about the specific reason for the recall, but it’s likely due to some units leaving the factory without a CPU thermal pad installed. The thermal pad is what ensures the heatsink, a metallic block that extracts heat, comes in contact with the CPU. Without a thermal pad, the Roku 4 may not dissipate heat efficiently, resulting in the device’s fan working overtime. A member of the AVS Forum opened up their Roku 4 to confirm there was no thermal pad installed, while the pictures from an Amazon reviewer, who did the same, show thermal pads installed on the CPU. The owner of the Roku 4 without a thermal pad reports his device’s idle temperature was 77°C with the fan running at 85% speed. After installing his own thermal pad, idle temperatures dropped down to 50°C, resulting in the Roku 4’s fan turning off completely. If you have a loud Roku 4, check your email for a recall notice. If you don’t mind voiding your warranty, and want to take matters into your own hand, you can crack open your Roku 4 yourself to see if yours has a thermal pad or not.


  1. Mark says:

    I personally wouldn’t “crack open” anything because they may choose to void your warranty or exchange of the unit. If I was the company I would.

  2. Tech3475 says:

    Surprised they didnt just use thermal paste on the heatsink like intel.

    Reminds me of my old socket 7 hsf which had a pad on it.

    • xnamkcor says:

      Telling a robot or person to throw down a premade pad an much easier that programming or teaching someone to use paste.

  3. Len Mullen says:

    The Roku 4 may be this company’s last product. The engineering problems are bigger than a missing thermal pad. If you review the tear down of the streamer, you will notice that the heat sink is attached to the top cover of the case rather than the processor or the PCB. Thermal pads and paste are designed to overcome surface irregularities not gaps. As the plastic case heats up — which it does — it is deformed and the heat sink moves away from the processor. The R4 has a fan too. The fan and the vents are on the bottom. Heat rises, so the fan has to work really hard to get the hot air out through those vents. Of course the vents could be obstructed by a soft surface or accumulation of dust.

    Roku has a bad habbit of shoehorning code for its flagship device onto legacy devices. Owners of the former prom queen Roku 2 XS have dealt with this since 2013. Now owners of the Roku 3 are joining Roku 2 XS owners in the red-headed-step-child seats.

    The media and Valued Community Members love this streamer, but it has been a nightmare for most of the rest of us. Just gave away my last Roku. Hope they work out the bugs on the legacy products and freeze updates, but the Roku 4 is simply a terrible piece of engineering and should be put out of its misery.

    Kind of reminds me of the dual tuner Simple TV DVR — remember Real Simple Software? I didn’t think so.

    • xnamkcor says:

      What Samsung stops proving software for its older phones it gets chastised.

      Sounds like the same of doom and gloom that happens every generation.

  4. Chad says:

    Mine is absolutely scorching HOT. Guessing it’s missing. There is an option in the software to set it to run cooler, which I’ve enabled. But it’s still so hot to the touch I could cook eggs on it.

  5. Dave the Mainiac says:

    I bought one a few months ago and had terrible lip sync issues (the audio was about a second ahead of the video). It looked like a bad martial arts movie from the 70’s. I tried it on 2 different systems and got the same results. Roku themselves were no help so I sent it back to Amazon for a refund and bought another Roku 3. It sounds like they really rushed the 4 to keep up with the Fire TV 2 and Apple TV 4, but now are paying for it.

  6. iFrog says:

    I purchased a Roku 4 last week to have a device with an optical audio output so I can use my older, but still great and reliable sound bar. I wasn’t aware of all the issues the R 4 had util i started reading up on it. I’ve always had little glitches with Roku units off and on but they’ve always gotten resolved.

    The problem I’ve found with streaming in general is, there isn’t any one perfect device, and setting up a home theater PC be it using a mac or Linux is reliable because of DRM and web services using flash which doesn’t play nice with external displays except on windows, which doesn’t leave very many options to those who don’t want a windows environment

    With this said, Roku has given me the most content for the money, and overall the most reliable option I’ve found for my needs..

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