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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Level 10

Re: Youtube aspect ratio issue on Roku Express+

I hope YouTube accepted our complaints. If they did, they should fix the issue, hopefully.

~Jordan

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Level 12

Re: Youtube aspect ratio issue on Roku Express+

@Michelle3 

 

I have an old Roku HD model 2500X player. It also has an issue with youtube when playing 4:3 videos. It is not the same pillar box issue as the Express+ though.

 

On the Roku HD the 4:3 videos are being slightly letterboxed (black bars at the top and bottom of the screen) instead of the sides. It is also letterboxing the youtube app menu as well, so you never get a full 4:3 image. I don't know what is up with youtube but it appears that any Roku hooked up with composite video on a 4:3 setting will not give you a correct image. You can only get 4:3 video to display correctly if you are hooked up with an HDMI connection and are on a 16:9 setting. Which is pathetic!

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Level 9

Re: Youtube aspect ratio issue on Roku Express+

I would like to point out to those in this conversation that for the Roku Express+ device, the 4:3  aspect ratio problems are NOT confined to youtube content.

As I posted here some 2 years or so ago, when I view, on my old 4:3 aspect ratio CRT TV, old 4:3 aspect ratio films from the Kanopy channel, the display aspect ratio is correctly adhered to but the display in "window-boxed" i.e. black areas Right, Left, Top and Bottom. In other words, the display is reduced in size.

Perhaps if someone is making a formal complaint to Roku they will include this erroneous behaviour.

Thanks!

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Level 12

Re: Youtube aspect ratio issue on Roku Express+

@FeelingDaft 

 

What you are describing is not the same issue that we are talking about. We are discussing videos where the original source being streamed is 4:3 and it is not being displayed properly because it is being treating like a widescreen video with sidebars.

 

What you are talking about in window boxing is different. Window boxing occurs when the original source of the video was in 4:3 but it has been encoded into a new 16:9 frame. The video you are streaming is actually 16:9 with the 4:3 video inside of that frame. This makes no difference when viewing on a widescreen TV because the 4:3 video in the frame will have sidebars.

 

But on a CRT television, since the video is 16:9 you'll get black bars at the top and bottom of the screen like you would any widescreen video, but then you'll also see the side bars too. Resulting in black bars on all for sides of the image and a small square picture in the middle of the screen.

 

So basically the problem is that the black side bars have been made into a part of the video, instead of only appearing because there is no video present in that area. So this is not an issue of Roku not displaying the video properly, in this case the issue is because of the video not being encoded properly by whatever channel you are streaming it from.

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Level 8

Re: Youtube aspect ratio issue on Roku Express+

What the YouTube app is doing is painting pillarbox bars over 4:3 videos. These pillarbox bars are meant for 16:9 screens (maybe to hide artifacts? they seem kinda useless...) but get carried over to 4:3 screens, thereby blocking some of the original 4:3 video on a 4:3 screen.

Videos with "windowboxing" have the pillarbox baked in to make them 16:9. So the device is unfortunately working as intended by adding the letterbox. Would be worthwhile to make a separate thread for this issue... it would be nice to have some sort of global "zoom" feature that would fill the screen, so that any 4:3 video could be blown up to fill a 16:9 screen, and conversely any 16:9 video could be blown up to fill a 4:3 screen... 

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Level 10

Re: Youtube aspect ratio issue on Roku Express+


@misterjosel wrote:

What the YouTube app is doing is painting pillarbox bars over 4:3 videos. These pillarbox bars are meant for 16:9 screens (maybe to hide artifacts? they seem kinda useless...) but get carried over to 4:3 screens, thereby blocking some of the original 4:3 video on a 4:3 screen.

Videos with "windowboxing" have the pillarbox baked in to make them 16:9. So the device is unfortunately working as intended by adding the letterbox. Would be worthwhile to make a separate thread for this issue... it would be nice to have some sort of global "zoom" feature that would fill the screen, so that any 4:3 video could be blown up to fill a 16:9 screen, and conversely any 16:9 video could be blown up to fill a 4:3 screen... 


I hope that the YouTube Roku app would fill 4:3 videos to “4:3 standard” aspect ratio.

~Jordan

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Level 9

Re: Youtube aspect ratio issue on Roku Express+

@Emissary35 

Thanks very much for the information. It makes sense but of course leaves me as a user still frustrated. I watch only one Roku channel, Kanopy. So, according to the information you provided, Kanopy have assumed users of their content are using 16:9 aspect ratio TVs.

In the future I now will have to try to discover if ALL Roku channels make the same, unjustified, assumption. I would have thought it was not a huge technical or financial challenge for channel providers to have provided a user aspect ratio choice option.

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Level 9

Re: Youtube aspect ratio issue on Roku Express+

@misterjosel 

Many thanks for your valuable information. FYI, I did start a separate thread about two years ago but it did not see any material progress.

I do agree that your proposal for a hypothetical "zoom" feature is an excellent one!

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Level 12

Re: Youtube aspect ratio issue on Roku Express+

@FeelingDaft 

 

No, all Roku channels don't automatically encode 4:3 video inside 16:9 frames by default. I have watched shows on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu and others in the past that are 4:3 originally and display properly filling the screen on a CRT 4:3 TV screen. However there have been the occasional videos that did not fill the screen because the 4:3 was window boxed. It's the studios who encode the digital files and license them to streaming services and sometimes it isn't done correctly. I also believe 4:3 window boxing occurs on TV shows remastered and put on blu ray disc so this problem is not limited to streaming only.

 

But the bottom line is that (unfortunately) nobody really cares about the 4:3 window boxing issue because it only affects people watching on older CRT televisions and almost everyone now are watching on widescreen TVs. So complaints on issues like this which only affect a small minority of viewers is not made a priority and will probably go ignored.

 

If studios just encoded videos properly in their original aspect ratios this would never happen.

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Level 10

Roku doesn’t care about YouTube aspect ratio issue

Why did Roku not communicate the issue that I had with YouTube for 4:3 videos when set to 4:3 standard? That is literally ridiculous thanks to YouTube for their useless app. I can’t display 4:3 YouTube videos properly, because they falsely act like the signal is 16:9 by containing the following issues:

1. Squishing (at left and right sides, in vertical)

2. Pillarbox bars (also at left and right sides, also in vertical)

This issue only occurs when connected via RCA.

Some Roku worker needs to make a solution to this issue. I have contacted YouTube’s complaint page about this issue, too.

Thanks for any responses!

~Jordan

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