Channel Issues & Questions

Help & troubleshooting for channels on your Roku device, including adding/removing channels, logging in to, authenticating, or activating a channel, channel-specific playback issues, assistance contacting channel publishers to report issues, and adjusting channel-specific settings.
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wintergarden
Level 7

FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

The Netflix UI is entirely unusable if you choose to turn on the match refresh rate setting (which many of us have pined for for years). However, the automatic Netflix trailers trigger the refresh rate switch and a switch back to 60hz when you move to another item in the user interface when you're choosing something to watch. It's an imbecilic implementation of refresh rate matching. Please use some leverage seeing as how Roku shares offices with Netflix to allow a version of the Netflix app without those horrid trailers or at least the option to turn them off.

And, regarding refresh rates:

1 - Bias 25p content to output at 50hz  - This one change can make this one little box play virtually all the content in the world judder-free. Most 1080p TVs DO NOT support 25p at 25hz and the current implementation has them playing at 60hz when the TV reports it can't support 25p at 25hz. On that note, as well, please have someone on your team actually watch something like BBC content on a 60/120hz screen. It's as if the Netflix engineers choose the worst possible judder/cadence for 25p content on 60/120hz TVs. Watch 5 minutes of a Black Mirror episode on a 60/120hz TV without refresh rate matching to understand this.

2 - Play 30p content at 60hz. In this case, most TVs do support 30hz, but it's a needless refresh rate switch when play back at the native 60p of the Roku box would cause no judder. All you when you switch to 30hz is potentially induce headaches from the novel refresh rate pattern and also cause a needless black/purple flash to switch to the refresh rate

3 - These refresh rate problems could easily be solved by giving us a refresh rate screen test at various rates. It's already an "advanced" user option. A screen test to see whether our TVs can display 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p and 60p content would let the system know which refresh rates to default to given a particular piece of content.
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21 Replies
jeffrok
Level 12

Re: FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

Ok, you should report this to Netflix. This isn't Netflix.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
https://youtu.be/d1CSEeqWl10
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Friskyville
Level 7

Re: FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

I just spoke to Netflix about this issue. They claim they provide a functional spec to Roku, but Roku actually develops the Netflix channel for the device. Additionally, the auto adjust refresh rate feature was a new feature developed by Roku. This needs to be fixed by Roku developers. It is an interaction with a new feature that was developed by Roku.
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Elijah_Baley
Level 8

Re: FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

"Friskyville" wrote:
I just spoke to Netflix about this issue. They claim they provide a functional spec to Roku, but Roku actually develops the Netflix channel for the device. Additionally, the auto adjust refresh rate feature was a new feature developed by Roku. This needs to be fixed by Roku developers. It is an interaction with a new feature that was developed by Roku.

Netflix is not telling you the truth. Or at least their rep (probably a minimum wage flunky) does not know what he/she is talking about. 
Although Roku was/is heavily involved in advising and helping Netflix it is Netflix or their contractors that write the app to be placed on the Roku. As long as they get your money Netflix does not care at all about the user experience.
Two Roku Ultras, three Roku 3s and a Roku 1
"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." Mark Twain
Van Roy's Law: An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.
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Friskyville
Level 7

Re: FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

"Elijah_Baley" wrote:
"Friskyville" wrote:
I just spoke to Netflix about this issue. They claim they provide a functional spec to Roku, but Roku actually develops the Netflix channel for the device. Additionally, the auto adjust refresh rate feature was a new feature developed by Roku. This needs to be fixed by Roku developers. It is an interaction with a new feature that was developed by Roku.

Netflix is not telling you the truth. Or at least their rep (probably a minimum wage flunky) does not know what he/she is talking about. 
Although Roku was/is heavily involved in advising and helping Netflix it is Netflix or their contractors that write the app to be placed on the Roku. As long as they get your money Netflix does not care at all about the user experience.

I did not speak with a minimum wage flunky. I escalated up the chain to management. I need to hear directly from Roku on this, not another forum user. I am a software engineer and know how the software development process works. In this case, Roku introduced a new feature which introduced a backwards compatibility with the Auto Adjust Refresh Rate feature. This feature broke the Netflix channel and should have been tested against it before shipping the feature. The developers of the Netflix channel should have been made aware of this issue ahead of time so that it could be fixed before hand. From the behavior, it is obvious no interactive test with the Netflix channel was performed by Roku.
In this case, the mitigation might need to come on the Roku side itself. For one, there needs to be some debouncing built into the refresh rate change API. The way the feature is written now, it can change the refresh rate multiple times per second while scrolling through the Netflix menu. This must be rate limited. That can be done on the Roku side. It should also have some context awareness for preview videos playing behind menu. That may need some work on the Netflix channel side, but likely needs an API update on the Roku side as well.
The Netflix manager told me that their process for app development on vendor devices such as Samsung, Apple and Roku is to provide a functional spec with requirements for the app and it's look and feel. The vendors then work to implement that spec on their devices. I understand most channels for Roku are developed by 3rd parties, but that may not be the case for Netflix given that it even has it's own button the remote. It is handled specially. It is one of the most used channels on the device. Roku needs to at least test against it, and have a mechanism for marking it incompatible with the Auto Adjust Refresh Rate feature.
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mike_s
Level 8

Re: FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

"wintergarden" wrote:
2 - Play 30p content at 60hz. In this case, most TVs do support 30hz, but it's a needless refresh rate switch when play back at the native 60p of the Roku box would cause no judder. All you when you switch to 30hz is potentially induce headaches from the novel refresh rate pattern and also cause a needless black/purple flash to switch to the refresh rate

I disagree. Content should always be played at its native rate, if available. Let the display device decide how best to deal with it.
But you're right on the first point - Netflix should never change modes while in the menus, only when the user actually starts to play content.

Regarding who's responsible for the UI - I think that's answered by the Netflix app itself - Settings/Get Help/Contact us -> "Visit https://help.netflix.com/contactus or (netflix phone number). Also, under Device is shown the UI Build (UI-release-20180124_6742_4-gibbon-sapphire-darwinql). The UI Build on my TiVo is UI-release-20180124_6742_4-gibbon-sapphire-darwinql. If Roku made the Netflix app for their platform, what are the odds? (answer: they didn't)
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twiceover
Level 11

Re: FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

Just an FYI, you won't get the answer you are looking for here.
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mike_s
Level 8

Re: FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

Oh, also this, from a Netflix blog a few years back:
My team builds Netflix UIs for the devices in your living room: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Roku 3, and recent Smart TVs and Blu-ray players...
 
So, a few years ago we broke our device client code into two parts: an SDK that runs on the metal, and a UI written in JavaScript. The SDK provides a rendering engine, JavaScript runtime, networking, security, video playback, and other platform hooks. Depending on the device, SDK updates range from quarterly to annually to never. The UI, in contrast, can be updated at any time and is downloaded (or retrieved from disk cache) when the user fires up Netflix.
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Friskyville
Level 7

Re: FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

"mike.s" wrote:
Oh, also this, from a Netflix blog a few years back:
My team builds Netflix UIs for the devices in your living room: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Roku 3, and recent Smart TVs and Blu-ray players...
 
So, a few years ago we broke our device client code into two parts: an SDK that runs on the metal, and a UI written in JavaScript. The SDK provides a rendering engine, JavaScript runtime, networking, security, video playback, and other platform hooks. Depending on the device, SDK updates range from quarterly to annually to never. The UI, in contrast, can be updated at any time and is downloaded (or retrieved from disk cache) when the user fires up Netflix.


That's just a UI which is part of the functional behavior. That doesn't really contradict what Netflix told me. It could be they're developing the UI, passing that on to Roku, and Roku is integrating it with their backend for their channel.
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mike_s
Level 8

Re: FIX NETFLIX!!! FIX REFRESH RATE!!!!

Whoosh. Roku only exposes an API which allows the UI to change modes. It's the Netflix UI which decides when to change modes. I doubt you're really "a software engineering" [sic].

It's Netflix's app, it's Netflix's issue.
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