I recently discovered that the Roku mobile app has a “private listening” function. Turn it on, and your TV speakers turn off and instead sound is piped through your phone’s headphones. It’s a great way to watch TV at night without worrying about waking anyone else up.
Unfortunately, I’m having a specific problem with it. Every time the Dexcom app updates with a new BG reading (which happens silently in the background with no notification or alert and does not disturb any other app I’ve ever used) private listening is disconnected. The headphones turn off and the TV speakers come back on. Since this happens every 5 minutes, it’s not exactly convenient for TV watching.
It’s weird because the Roku app uses the phone’s wi-fi and I’m using wired headphones (I insist on having a headphone jack for my phone), so the Dexcom’s Bluetooth connection shouldn’t be interacting with the Roku app at all.
I’ve been exchanging emails with Roku support for the last week and it’s getting me nowhere. They have no suggestions and instead keep asking for little bits of information that should not, as far as I can tell, be relevant. I’m pretty sure it’s just a glitch in their code that needs patching, but they don’t seem to be considering that possibility. Which is a shame because otherwise I’ve been pretty happy with my Roku TV.
If I turn Bluetooth off for a while, I can watch TV with private listening on the whole time and never have a problem. I just have to turn Bluetooth back on from time to time so the transmitter can relay the BG readings I missed. (My Tandem pump is the primary Dexcom receiver anyway.) Not ideal, but it kind of works for now.
Anyway… Roku tech support is trying to see if the issue persists on another phone and I couldn’t pair another one with my Dexcom even if I had one handy. So I’m wondering… Anyone else here have a Dexcom and a Roku? Can you try it out and see what happens?
Paul-Gabriel @WearsHats, keep in mind that Dexcom phone app uses both BLE and wifi communications. BLE information from sensor transmission plus wifi to add your data to your Dexcom cloud account
Good point. The transmitter uses Bluetooth to sync to the phone, and the phone uses WiFi to sync to the cloud. But that shouldn’t affect it, either. My email and weather apps also run in the background and periodically check things via WiFi, and that doesn’t cause any problems for the Roku.
I tried this for you with:
Roku Ultra (model 4802, wired ethernet 100Mb)
iPhone 14 (iOS 16.3.1)
Roku App v22.214.171.124
Dexcom G6 (app v1.10.1
When listening to the Roku playing Hulu via Private Listening turned in the Roku app I didn’t experience any issues with audio. I tested having the Dexcom app on the phone screen when the Dexcom update occurred. I tested having the phone in low power mode and not in low power mode and I was unable to recreate the issue.
Are you literally staring at the Dexcom G6 app and seeing the number update when the audio drops and returns to the TV?
Thanks for checking. But no, I’m not looking at the Dexcom app. Whether I have the Roku app open or the phone screen off, the sound drops every 5 minutes.
It took me a while to remember that Dexcom updates every 5 minutes. Then I tried turning Bluetooth off and the problem went away. Further testing showed that the timing matches. If I turn Bluetooth off, the Dexcom reading on my phone goes blank. When I turn Bluetooth back on, the reading remains blank until the next sensor update. If I keep the Roku app open, private listening disconnects within 5 minutes and as soon as it does, that’s when the Dexcom reading comes back.
Roku device is a TCL Roku TV model number C105X
Software version: 126.96.36.19932
TV is connected via cat5 ethernet cable to my router
Samsung Galaxy S10e
Roku app version 188.8.131.522787
The Dexcom app is running in the background, but I do have it displaying in my notification bar. That is, there’s a permanent Dexcom icon in the status bar (the top line of the phone screen, where you see the clock, battery percentage, Wi-Fi and cell network connections, etc.), and if I swipe down to look at my notification list, there’s a line where Dexcom shows my current SG, which I can expand to show the graph of the last 3 hours. My weather app does the same thing, showing current temperature in the status bar, and a line with more details if I swipe down to look at notifications. It updates (via Wi-Fi) every 30 minutes.
Wired networking FTW. High five! Nice work figuring out disabling Bluetooth changes the behavior.
My guess what is happening is that the Roku Private Listening stream doesn’t have an audio buffer, or it is small, because Roku is trying to maintain synchronization with the video. I don’t know that for sure but it sounds reasonable.
Where my guess goes wild is that when the Dexcom transmitter wakes up and connects to send data your phone is doing something that affects its wifi connection for just long enough for the Roku app in the TV to give up sending the audio to your phone. I can only justify this by saying the wifi and bluetooth in your phone are tightly integrated.
The fix for this would be either a firmware or Android update for your phone. I don’t know anything about the pros and cons of trying this on an Android phone so I’m not recommending updating.
My phone’s software is as up to date as possible without jailbreaking. The Dexcom app doesn’t interfere with any other app I’ve ever used. Seems like Roku should be able to patch it on their end. But I need to be able to replicate the problem in order for their tech support to move forward. Still hoping someone here can do that. But I guess the conjunction of Dexcom, Roku, and Android is rare.
I have an iPhone. I don’t know if this will help but when it’s acting “buggy,” resetting my network settings seems to clear any glitches, even if they don’t seem to have to do with what I consider “the network.”
I appreciate the suggestion. Unfortunately, rebooting my phone had no effect on the problem. Nor did going leaving the apartment and connecting to other WiFI networks while I was out.
I’m not sure rebooting is the same as resetting network settings. In case what I’m doing is different, here are my steps
Thanks! It’s really helpful!