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.

    • technos says:

      Thermal paste can be subject to something called “thermal pumping” where the heat/cold cycle extrudes the paste out and eventually cause failure with chips. And why if you did not use the thermal pad sent with AMD cpus back in the day when they ran extremely hot you would be voiding the warranty. Thermal pads due to their adhesive nature stay in place. I am not dissing thermal paste for all applications, just there are reasons why a manufacture might want to use that over 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.

    • AndrewLB says:

      “ The Roku 4 may be this company’s last product “

      I love it when people make such sweeping statements as if everyone who bought a Roku committed the same user errors which resulted in your Roku problems, completely ignoring the fact that probably 99% of users have theirs work just fine.
      I just wish I could have seen this gem back when it was posted so I could have had a laugh back then. It reminds me of those AMD fanboys proclaiming how intel is done for after they release a processor on par or slightly faster for the first time since the Athlon. One product with a few issues does not mean you gotta close up shop.

  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..

  7. Shelby Robinson says:

    I purchased the ROKU4 in September 2016 as an early shopping for Christmas gifts from HSN television. Have there been corrections or were they set up for HSN sale to get rid of products with problems?

  8. Shelby Robinson says:

    I purchased the ROKU4 in September 2016 as an early shopping for Christmas gifts from HSN television. Have there been corrections or were they set up for HSN sale to get rid of products with problems? I did not receive a recall notice after purchasing..

  9. Stephany Carey says:

    I got a Roku 4K and had it hooked up but there pops up a msg that the device is overheating and to move it to a cooler location. It is sitting on top of the console with nothing interfering or around it to keeep this msg from popping up. I got a new reciever and now I just had a new one installed and the message keeps coming up about every 3-4 minutes so I have to turn off the tv to keep something from burning up. Is this on te recall list? It is an S-Series/55US57

  10. Stephany Carey says:

    I got a roku 4K and there was a msg that kept popping up saying the device is overheating..Cable copany came and checked the connections and installed a new reciever..He no sooner left til that message popped back up about every 3-4 minutes. I hadda turn the TV off to keep from damaging anything. Is this one of the ones that are being recalled? I havean S-series/55US57

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