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Charleso
Occasional Poster

NowTV box broadcasting as wireless AP?

So this evening I was checking what wireless channels were in use using inSSIDer as our wireless performance has dropped and I suspected the new neighbours were running more wireless kit.

 

There were 3 very strong Access Point signals - clearly in my house - which is odd as I only have 2 APs.

 

The 2 I expected had my SSID on, the other was blank.

 

Looking up the MAC address of the mystery AP revealed it was a Roku MAC address (OUI D0:4D:2C), and unplugging my Black NOW TV box made the mystery AP vanish.

 

So it looks like my NOW TV box runs as an access point?!

 

The question is why - and more importantly why do I have an access point I have no control over breaching my network security?

 

 

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Andy Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: NowTV box broadcasting as wireless AP?

@Charleso Welcome to the forum. The WiFi-Direct network is broadcast as part of the Hotel and Dorm Connect feature which allows the NOW TV box to connect to wireless networks that require http authentication, such as hotels, spy tudent accommodation etc. 

 

You wont need this feature if connecting to your home network so if you wish you can turn off the WiFi-Direct network by going to Settings > System > Advanced System Settings > Device Connect.

5 Replies
Charleso
Occasional Poster

Re: NowTV box broadcasting as wireless AP?

So more investigation searching on the fact the box is built around a Roku 3 reveals this is a known issue as a "real" Roku 3 uses WiFi Direct for it's remote control.

 

For example here on the Roku forums.

 

Also from those threads it seems that Roku see no need to let Roku users turn this AP off - very ironic in a NOW TV box which I don't think can use WiFi Direct anyway. At least Roku uses a named SSID so it doesn't look like a rogue device.

 

But the thread above does confirm what I see - that the mystery AP starts up on one of my own APs channels - and that I am not alone in finding this disrupts my WiFi performance.

 

Again from the thread above if you move the box back to wired the mystery AP "sticks" to the last wireless channel so I did this:

  1. Move both my APs to the channel I don't normally use, 6 in my case
  2. Switch the NOW TV box to wireless
  3. See the mystery AP start up on channel 6
  4. Switch the NOW TV box to wired
  5. Move my APs back to the normal 1, 11
  6. Bingo, mystery AP still on 6, WiFi stability improved an 1 and 11

 

Still not very happy that I have what looks like a rogue AP that I can't control as an "added benefit" of being a NOW TV user and that I had to go through that mad channel dance to stop it interfering.

 

Andy Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: NowTV box broadcasting as wireless AP?

@Charleso Welcome to the forum. The WiFi-Direct network is broadcast as part of the Hotel and Dorm Connect feature which allows the NOW TV box to connect to wireless networks that require http authentication, such as hotels, spy tudent accommodation etc. 

 

You wont need this feature if connecting to your home network so if you wish you can turn off the WiFi-Direct network by going to Settings > System > Advanced System Settings > Device Connect.

redcup1999
Occasional Poster

Re: NowTV box broadcasting as wireless AP?

Thanks for this thread - it has solved a mystery for me - I have now been able to disable this functionality on my NowTV box and restore stability to my WiFi network.

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KJKJKJ
First Poster

Re: NowTV box broadcasting as wireless AP?

Thanks for fixing this. A WiFi analyzer on my phone showed our two boxes swamping eveything else for a moment and then going away. 

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JonnyTuna
Occasional Poster

Re: NowTV box broadcasting as wireless AP?

THANK YOU - I also was having WiFi issues and tracked it down to the NowTV box but didn't know why it had a hidden network being broadcast!.  (I used WiFi Explorer Lite for Mac OSX to search wifi spectrum)