November 10, 2010
Netflix Roku Player - Bad Power Supply
Recently my Roku player died. The front LED did not light up. The device did not output anything to my TV, via any of the video outputs, component or HDMI. I had one of the original launch period Roku players, so I got about 2+ years of use out of it. I considered that good enough, and got ready to purchase a new one.
However, before doing so, I did some searching on the internet. It seems that the power supply brick (AD/DC adapter) dying is a somewhat common occurrence. With this in mind, I looked on the label of the power supply, and noted that it puts out 5V. I plugged it in to the wall outlet and tested it with a multi-meter, which read that it did indeed supply 5V. So it seemed the power supply was not the issue. However (and this is the fun part), I opened the Roku box up, and plugged in the power supply to the main circuit board. If I measured the voltage with the powers supply connected and under load, the voltage dropped to near zero. So it was in-fact a bad power supply.
Next I had a power supply for an Arduino Duemilanove which just happened to be 5V and 1.5A, although the plugs weren't the same size. I clipped off the plug of both power supplies and wired up the working 5V supply to the correct size plug to go into the Roku box. Guess what, the Roku box suddenly worked.
Interestingly, the failures must be common enough that Roku sells new power supplies (better ones) on their website.