[Solved] CBS All Access streaming problems

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
Affiliate Disclosure

  • CBS All Access is an American streaming service that comes with both original and CBS-specific content and also live TV streaming.
  • Many US users seem to face some issues with CBS All Access, most of them regarding compatibility, freezing and buffering.
  • Check out our CBS All Access Errors section if you need more quick fixes for this service.
  • Visit our Fix Hub page to learn about troubleshooting common issues all by yourself.
Streaming problems with CBS All Access
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CBS All Access is yet another American streaming service that offers a broad variety of content. This service comes with original content, but also has CBS-specific content (from its own library) and one that’s recently aired on CBS.

As you might expect, it’s one of those services that’s meant to stay within US borders. As a result, if you attempt to access CBS All Access from abroad, you might experience some difficulties.

Some of you might be familiar with VPNs and understand that they’re pretty much awesome when it comes to circumventing geoblocking.

But sometimes even VPNs can’t pull it off flawlessly, as geo-restricted services have grown steadily more competent when it comes to detecting and successfully blocking VPN access attempts.

However, not all of the CBS All Access issues are related to accessing it from outside the USA. Many US users seem to face some challenges regarding compatibility, freezing, and buffering.

That’s why we put together this comprehensive CBS All Access troubleshooting guide, so you can easily identify and solve any service-related issues.

CBS All Access troubleshooting guide

CBS All Access buffering problems

Buffering is one of the most annoying problems you might face when using streaming services. The good news is that you can access the service, to begin with.

Buffering is simply a hiccup in delivering your content efficiently, so let’s see how we can tackle this challenge.

  • Reinstall the CBS All Access app on your device
  • Reload the CBS All Access page in your browser
  • Reboot your device
  • Restart your router and/or modem
  • Try using a wired connection instead of wireless, if possible (Wi-Fi packet loss occurs frequently)
  • Connect straight to your modem or home line (bypass your router)
  • Try using mobile data if possible to rule out any Internet issues
  • Upgrade your Internet plan for more bandwidth
  • Use a VPN if the buffering seems to occur at peak hours
  • Fix any faulty component on your network (cables, outdated drivers)

If CBS All Access starts buffering during certain hours, it’s most likely due to network congestion.

You might be experiencing some packet loss because the servers slowly start to get overcrowded and they can’t deliver your content as effectively back to you.

You can troubleshoot your end of the connection to see if there’s anything you can do to improve it. For instance, replace your CAT 5 Ethernet cables with CAT 6 ones, update your router’s firmware or update your network adapter drivers.

To circumvent network congestion, you might want to try using a VPN for a change. Private Internet Access, for instance, is one of the most stable and efficient all-round VPNs on the market that can get rid of this issue in no time.

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However, before you invest in a VPN such as PIA, make sure that the issue occurs due to network congestion (ISP-related).

If your CBS All Access is buffering because of faulty network configuration on your side or poor streaming servers (CBS’ fault), using a VPN won’t help much.

CBS All Access not working on Roku

It seems that a lot of users enjoy this streaming service on Roku. However, quite a lot of them complain about compatibility issues.

CBS All Access appears to have some trouble running on Roku devices, or Roku devices might be unable to fully process the CBS All Access app. Regardless of who can’t handle who, the customers are the ones who have to suffer through it.

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Most of the users complain that they can’t view shows in the app library, but they can watch live TV without a hiccup. Others complain that they can’t even launch the app without being thrown back to Roku‘s home page.

Although it appears that there’s no magical fix for this situation, here are some potential solutions:

  • Restart your Roku device
  • Try using a wired connection instead of wireless
  • Restart your router and/or modem
  • Contact CBS and see if there’s something wrong on their side
  • Make sure you’re using the latest CBS All Access app version
  • Update your Roku device’s firmware to its latest version

These are standard troubleshooting steps, so you might’ve already performed them. However, here’s a couple of more specific fixes for this error that some users swear by:

Resetting the channel on Roku

  1. Press * on your Roku remote
  2. Choose Remove channel
  3. Go to Settings
  4. Navigate to the System category
  5. Choose the System restart option
  6. Wait for the device to reboot
  7. Add the CBS All Access channel back
  8. Check if the issue still persists

Clear your Continue watching queue

It appears that some Roku devices might not be exactly fit to handle new, high-resolution shows. As a result, the app might throw you back into Roku‘s homepage whenever you try to load one of these shows.

However, what’s even more interesting is that some users reported issues with the Continue watching queue. While new shows refused to load, the user could easily load shows in the queue.

As there seems to be no way of clearing your Continue watching queue manually, you might consider finishing shows in your queue before starting to watch new ones.

This device doesn’t support a subscription to CBS All Access

Another common issue is when devices that could run CBS All Access flawlessly are suddenly not compatible anymore. Just a little heads-up: this problem doesn’t happen overnight.

It’s usually triggered by CBS All Access app updates. Besides app optimization and performance improvements, these updates also cater to including more and more devices.

However, as newer devices (TVs, consoles) make their way on the market, older ones become obsolete and less-likely to be supported by newer versions of the app.

Therefore, if your device (Roku, TV) suddenly stopped working with CBS All Access, there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it other than upgrade it.

If you’re not ready to ditch your TV, you might consider purchasing an external streaming device such as a Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick, or Google Chromecast.

CBS All Access freezing

Many users complain that the CBS All Access app will sometimes freeze. Not buffer or playing audio/video only, but downright displaying a freezeframe of an ad instead of the content you’re supposed to watch.

Additionally, this issue doesn’t only occur whenever you’re trying to load a new show or episode. If you have the basic plan, you’ll also see commercials every once in a while, and CBS All Access will also sometimes freeze after a commercial break.

We’ve noticed that it happens mostly on Fire TV, and fortunately, there’s a quick (although not very convenient) fix: restarting the Amazon Fire stick or Fire TV.

After performing a reset/restart, the problem will most likely go away for a while. Next time it occurs, just remember about this quick fix. It might save you a lot of time and hassle.

Most CBS All Access issues can be fixed

Although CBS All Access is not exactly new on the market, it still has some quite debilitating issues in store for its users. The good news is that most of these issues can be solved.

On the downside, if the problem is caused by an obsolete device or a CBS server, you might want to consider switching to another service. If you don’t have patience and/or the money to upgrade your receiving device, that is.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can watch CBS All Access on various devices, including but not limited to Windows PCs, iOS devices, Chromecast, Roku TV, Google Home, Fire TV, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Apple TV.

  • You can watch up to two (2) simultaneous CBS All Access streams. However, both of the streams will be limited to 720p.

  • If you’re using a Windows PC, just access the website as you would do with any other streaming service. For any other device, look for dedicated apps.

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Cbs all access does Not support dolby surround on firestick, roku or samsung smart tv
Cbs shOuld update their apps for customers streaming on these devices

I think this is a given that the problem started at Cbs. no one complained about this till late last fall then suddenly several people had exactly the same issue with buffering. some sort of change or update at cbs was done that set this off and needs to be identified and fixed at the source.

I love CBS All ACcess , but all of a sudden i cannot waTch All Rise, the screen goes Black, but i can watch any other show except All Rise.

I seem to keep getting a fatal error message saying that I have too many streams open for my account and to close one’s not in use. I never previously had a problem watching CBS content on my iPhone at $5.95 per month and can’t find the problem.

Same old, tired reinstall/restart nonsense – useless. Never a mention of the possibility the fault could be with CBS.

The above is not a solution. When the app craps out, and fails to return properly to the show following dynamic commercials, (and they are dynamic, having watched the same commercial slot numerous times, only to watch different commercials fail, trying to get past it, and to have to repeat the problem 20 minutes later with the next set of commercials). It isn’t network problem, it isn’t a reboot solution, it isn’t a ‘reinstall fixes it” approach.

They need to fix the app, or lose revenue.

This is definitely a CBS ALL ACCESS problem as I don’t have any problems streaming anything else…
Plus I pay extra every month so my wife can watch a soap opera…CBS needs to fix their problem or maybe we should start a “cival suit” against CBS as they are charging for as product and not delivering it

I aGREE WITH YOU, BUT I DONT THINK cbs CARES AS LONG AS THEY HAVE REVENUE COMING IN AND NOBODY HAS FILED A LAWSUITE. i THINK THEIR DAYS ARE NUMBERED AND THERE WILL BE SOMETHING ELSE COMING AROUND THE STREAMING BEND THAT WILL MAKE THEM GO AWAY LIKE aol.

Yes, it is a CBS problem. I stream with both AppleTV and with Amazon Firestick. With AppleTV, the video quits after a short period of time (5-10 minutes). With Amazon Firestick, after a few minutes the video starts to buffer and stutter badly. Both problems started a few months ago and have been bugging me ever since. I have updated the software of the AppleTV and followed the “clear the cache/clear data” advice on the CBS app on the Firestick. But only a brief respite until the problem returns. Very frustrating! If CBS All Access were not my only local TV access I would cancel my subscription. The live feed wiorks great on both AppleTV and Firestick. It is only the streaming of previous programs where these problems occur.

This is NOT a problem with my network, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon, Netflix all work fine CBS all access as a issue with their streaming video service. I have the exact same issues with CBS All access at three different locations. CBSneeds to fix this and stop pretending it’s a network issue

I have been without access to CBSallaccess—-any show on the entire site. The media player just sits and spins constantly buffering and doing nothing else. I have blown away all of the cookies, etc and even whitelighted any and all sites that begin with “cbs.” I do not know what to do and nobody seems to be able to help me.

NONE of the above recommendations helped. Watched CBS All access for a year on my computer-connected TV & suddenly, 6 days ago when I select a video/show all I get is buffering. Ditto w/my laptop. Weirdly, I can watch it on my tablet, but who want to watch a 7″ video? Especially sitting in front of a 65″ TV? Emailing CBS yielded a polite automatic “sorry you’re having trouble” response & nothing more. New router & cleaned catche & cookies: nada. If this doesn’t resolve in the next 2 weeks, my question is: do I want to pay for a streaming service that only works on a 7″ screen? Probably not… (It’s times like these that I miss begn able ot tlk ot a human being; even if they are in india.)

first. I resent that I have to fix this problem at all. I’m the damned customer. CBS should be fixing their problem. Netflix did and so did Disney+ both of which run perfectly on my system(so we know it’s no me kids). That all having been said. This is the kind of advice I’d get from customer service, turn it off. re-set it, up date it. I expect more from “Experts” like you.

I agree. I just signed up to watch The Stand and I keep getting lag. Netflix, Disney, Prime and Crave all stream smoothly on my Fire TV. Looks like I won’t be re-upping after my 30 day free trial.

CBS app constantly shuts off. Every two minutes. I have the commercial free app. And pay $9.99/mo. It is very aggravating. I have deleted and reloaded the app as well as cancelled the app and resubscribed. The problem still exists.