To Boldly No: Star Trek Discovery is Crashing Roku

Photo: Courtesy CBS

Photo: Courtesy CBS

Star Trek: Discovery is one of the most exciting new shows right now, but if you own a Roku box, you'll have to curb your enthusiasm. The CBS All Access app for Roku has a severe crashing problem that makes viewing the show — and any other content on the app — nearly impossible.

The new Star Trek show made its debut on the CBS TV network, but all episodes after the pilot are exclusive to CBS All Access, the company's paid streaming service. Consumers pay $5.99 per month to watch with commercials, or $9.99 per month for an ad-free experience.

Trying to watch Discovery on a Roku box is like taking the Kobayashi Maru test without cheating. On my Roku HD, the app closed itself every three to five minutes, returning me to the Roku home screen. I was then able to relaunch the app, which takes longer to load than a trip to the Delta quadrant, and go through a painfully slow buffering process in order to start watching again.

However, several times, even after I restarted the app and tried to pick up where I left off, my episode began several minutes ahead of where I was when it crashed. That's not the kind of time warp you want to see on Star Trek.

In short, the CBS All Access Roku app was unusable for me and I'm not alone. The Roku support forum is filled with hundreds of complaints from users who have many different Roku models. The complaints stretch back all the way to April, but there are several reports from the past two days.

“We are aware of the issue with CBS All Access," Roku Senior Communications Manager Abby  Reyes said in a statement. "We are currently working with the content publisher to address the issue.”

Roku did not provide a complete list of affected Roku models, but did say that it has only received bug reports for "early" generation models. The forums have complaints from users of the Roku HD, Roku 2, Roku 2 XS, Roku 2 XD, Roku Stick, TCL Roku TV and Roku LT.

The company did not give an ETA for a fix. However, given that there are bug reports going back six months, it could take a while for CBS and Roku to resolve the issues.

If you have a Roku box and want to watch CBS All Access, you'll probably want to use a different device instead. CBS All Access is also available on Apple TV, Android, Android TV, Chromecast, iOS, Fire TV, PlayStation, Windows 10 and Xbox. We haven't tested it on all of those platforms, but All Access worked flawlessly for us on a PC, a PS4 and an Android tablet.

Avram Piltch is Tom's Hardware's editor-in-chief. When he's not playing with the latest gadgets at work or putting on VR helmets at trade shows, you'll find him rooting his phone, taking apart his PC or coding plugins. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram developed many real-world benchmarks, including our laptop battery test.