How to Disable Are You Still Watching on Roku
Cable and terrestrial TV is for chumps. Don’t get us wrong, they produce a lot of great content, and getting uninterrupted service without reminding you that you are still watching is nice. But when it comes to it, paying for a streaming service makes life a lot easier.
Roku were one of the pioneers of set top boxes that enabled streaming TV and movies over the internet directly to your TV. First released in 2008, their range of boxes now allow you to view hundreds of free channels, without having to pay for anything other the initial purchase of the box.
Yes, I’m Still Alive. Haven’t You Heard of Binging?
One potentially annoying feature of Roku is how it will eventually ask you if you’re still watching it. This can be handy for saving on your data plan, or if you’ve fallen asleep in front of the TV. But, when you’re halfway through season five of Archer or doing a Marvel movie marathon, it’s just intrusive and annoying.
Unfortunately, for most services like Netflix, this is an inbuilt feature that you can only get around if you’re streaming via a web browser. Otherwise, for the most part, you just have to accept the fact that Netflix is silently judging you, your Cheeto-smeared face, and the popcorn that you haven’t yet realized is in your hair.
Turning off Roku’s Bandwidth Saver Feature
Roku recently added a feature to their set top boxes that they’ve called Bandwidth Saver. This name isn’t particularly accurate, as it’s really your data plan that it’s saving rather than bandwidth, unless you happen to be sharing your network with lots of other people. After four hours of continuous viewing, it will pop up on the screen asking if you are still there and watching. If you don’t respond, it will automatically shut off the Roku box.
The easiest way to avoid this is simply to use the remote at some point during those four hours. However, there are plenty of situations where this is not necessarily feasible. If the Roku box is being used by someone who has a physical disability, or if it is on to keep a dementia sufferer entertained for extended periods of time, then they might not be able to press the button in time to prevent the automatic shutdown.
Since the update that enabled this feature, this feature seems to be activated by default for most users. Fortunately, stopping the “Are you still watching” popup from happening is actually pretty simple. Here’s what you need to do to turn this feature off:
- Press the Home button on your Roku remote (shaped like a house).
- Scroll to Settings.
- Press the OK button.
- Scroll to Network.
- Press the OK button.
- Scroll to Bandwidth Saver.
- Press the OK button to uncheck the box.
Now You Can Keep Binging in Peace
No judgement, we all love to binge a good series or set of movies now and then. Getting rid of that intrusive pop up will mean that you can now stream on, you crazy diamond. Just keep in mind that this, unfortunately, won’t disable any of the similar functions that are built into any of the streaming services that you’ve subscribed to.
If you’ve managed to find a way around things like Netflix’s version of this feature, we’d love to hear about how you managed it in the comments section below. After all, watching the extended cut of Lord of the Rings from start to finish takes a LOT longer than four hours.