Playback Issues - Audio/Video & Power

Help with audio & video playback issues, TV display type recognition & compatibility, HDCP messages, troubleshooting playback errors, advertisements, and resolving power issues.
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
tharaka3000
Level 8

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

It looks like Apple TV supports this as well as it is clearly documented. 
https://developer.dolby.com/blog/dolby-audio-support-on-apple-tv/#:~:text=Apple%20TV%20includes%20a%...).

0 Kudos
StreamerUser
Level 17

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

@tharaka3000 wrote:

I think there's a fundamental issue here. These TV sticks / boxes should actually support older audio output formats like DD. This is because such devices would most likely be used with older TVs that don't support DD+. In newer TV (say models after 2017), most of streaming Apps / cast / Android are inbuilt; hence, it's less likely one would us a TV stick with a newer TV.
The Netflix in PS3 or older BD players can give the DD 5.1 although those devices are not having DD+ audio output. I'm still not sure Netflix Apps on such devices are somehow DD compatible or devices are converting DD+ to DD at the audio output over optical / HDMI (I've tested both working directly to sound system or via TV). If the latter is possible, I believe TV Stick / box makers should be able to do this with a firmware patch.


"Should" is utterly subjective, and of course many do, and many dont. 

In terms of Roku streamers, only the 4640 (2016 Ultra) and the 4800 (2020 Ultra) support Dolby decoding (and thus transcoding/converting from DD+ to DD).

PSs and XBoxs have Dolby decoders and thus transcode audio to DD (if configured as such).

You'll notice that all of the mentioned Dolby-decoding-capable devices are more expensive devices - and that factors heavily into decisions to include licensed IP (such as for a Dolby decoding license).

And while it is certainly possible that Dolby decoding capability could be added via a firmware update to most such devices, the issue is more financial.

As has been remarked on over the years with Roku (and other) devices:  if Roku had a "Dolby decoder" upgrade option for $5-20 per device, many would opt for it. 

Alas, this is not a route Roku has taken, so we are left to those they have:  if you want Dolby decoding (with a Roku streamer), you need either a 4640 or a 4800.

 

 

StreamerUser
Level 17

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

@yawitz wrote:

Speaking as someone who understands all of the technical arguments being made here, I assume that most buyers of the top-rated Roku stick that have older gear won't understand the underlying limitations, and will just end up having a poor experience. They won't know, or care about, the business decisions being made that led to that outcome, they will just think the product doesn't work as advertised.

I bought mine to use in a system with an older AV Receiver, and encountered the problem. After reading this thread, I ended up returning it (to be replaced with an Apple TV). Is it that unreasonable to expect Roku to document the limitation themselves so buyers can make an informed purchase decision (rather than rely on forums like this to explain it)?


Thats the marketplace at work - though you could have obtained the 2020 Ultra (4800) and gotten the functionality as well.

As far as accurate up-to-date technical/functionality documenting goes, the entire CE & content industry fails in this regard (Roku included), and has for decades now.

E.g.: You obviously werent aware of the DD versus DD+ limitations of your other devices or of the streaming services themselves (neither your device manufacturers nor the streaming services you use has easily accessible explicitly documented information about it), otherwise you would verified the need for DD+>DD transcoding capability to begin with, and upon researching the issue, would have purchased a 4800 or a competitor's product with Dolby decoding.

That being said, generally speaking, companies aren't known for documenting what their products CANT do, but what they CAN.

So while its a legit criticism of Roku, its not even remotely exclusive in the least bit (puns intended), and one should direct the blame/responsibility at all parties (including ourselves, who often dont want to expend the time/energy educating ourselves about technical standards/issues, even if we are so inclined).

And the fact that buying (and returning) choices abound makes it easy for consumers to ultimately find a product/service that works for them.

If Roku's (or any other company's) documentation limitation becomes significant enough, it could potentially harm their marketplace performance, though of all the failed CE products and services over the decades, I know of none attributed to "they just didnt document the technical/functional details of their product/service in detail enough for consumers" (developer documentation is another issue entirely).

Ultimately consumers have to accept responsibility for their purchasing decisions, well documented &  researched or not.

 

0 Kudos
StreamerUser
Level 17

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

@tharaka3000 wrote:

It looks like Apple TV supports this as well as it is clearly documented. 
https://developer.dolby.com/blog/dolby-audio-support-on-apple-tv/#:~:text=Apple%20TV%20includes%20a%...).


Apple TV doesn't support passthrough - all audio output is transcoded.

0 Kudos
tharaka3000
Level 8

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

Alas, this is not a route Roku has taken, so we are left to those they have:  if you want Dolby decoding (with a Roku streamer), you need either a 4640 or a 4800.


Has anyone tested 2020 Ultra in a similar setup that require DD? I've checked the spec and found that it also has passthrough "Dolby Audio™ and DTS pass through via HDMI®"
https://www.roku.com/products/compare 

0 Kudos
StreamerUser
Level 17

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

https://community.roku.com/t5/Playback-Issues-Audio-Video-Power/Dolby-Digital-Issues-Configuration-R...

"The 4800 does transcode to DD if thats the highest detected or otherwise manually configured for DD (I tested it with multiple DD-only devices, and it worked in all scenarios).

It will actually transcode everything to the highest-detected Dolby level on "Auto-detect" (Settings/Audio/HDMI=Auto detect) or (with the latest 4200 build) whatever you manually configure it for (PCM, DD, DD+, DD/DTS, DD+/DTS).

Note that the highest Dolby levels (DTHD, MAT 2.0) are not manually selectable (though it will transcode to them if detected on "Auto detect"), so manual transcode configuration is limited to DD+/DD only (in terms of Dolby).

If you don't want anything transcoded/want passthrough only, it must be set to "Auto passthrough" (Settings/Audio/HDMI=Auto passthrough)."

 

Heyitsrick
Level 12

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

@tharaka3000 wrote:

It looks like Apple TV supports this as well as it is clearly documented. 
https://developer.dolby.com/blog/dolby-audio-support-on-apple-tv/#:~:text=Apple%20TV%20includes%20a%...).


Side note: thanks for reminding me of the "Link to Text" Chrome extension that highlights text and creates the corresponding URL.

0 Kudos
yawitz
Level 9

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

@tharaka3000 wrote:

@tharaka3000 wrote:

After reading this thread, I ended up returning it (to be replaced with an Apple TV). 

please let us know if Apple TV worked in the setup require DD signal rather than DD+


Just to address this specific question, I swapped the Apple TV at the same point in the chain as the Streaming Stick +, and I got surround sound from the streaming services that did not do so with the stick (presumably because those services delivered DD+, which my received did not support). I never tried the Ruku Ultra, so can't speak to that device.

0 Kudos
yawitz
Level 9

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

@StreamerUser wrote:

@yawitz wrote:

Speaking as someone who understands all of the technical arguments being made here, I assume that most buyers of the top-rated Roku stick that have older gear won't understand the underlying limitations, and will just end up having a poor experience. They won't know, or care about, the business decisions being made that led to that outcome, they will just think the product doesn't work as advertised.

I bought mine to use in a system with an older AV Receiver, and encountered the problem. After reading this thread, I ended up returning it (to be replaced with an Apple TV). Is it that unreasonable to expect Roku to document the limitation themselves so buyers can make an informed purchase decision (rather than rely on forums like this to explain it)?


Thats the marketplace at work - though you could have obtained the 2020 Ultra (4800) and gotten the functionality as well.

As far as accurate up-to-date technical/functionality documenting goes, the entire CE & content industry fails in this regard (Roku included), and has for decades now.

E.g.: You obviously werent aware of the DD versus DD+ limitations of your other devices or of the streaming services themselves (neither your device manufacturers nor the streaming services you use has easily accessible explicitly documented information about it), otherwise you would verified the need for DD+>DD transcoding capability to begin with, and upon researching the issue, would have purchased a 4800 or a competitor's product with Dolby decoding.

That being said, generally speaking, companies aren't known for documenting what their products CANT do, but what they CAN.

So while its a legit criticism of Roku, its not even remotely exclusive in the least bit (puns intended), and one should direct the blame/responsibility at all parties (including ourselves, who often dont want to expend the time/energy educating ourselves about technical standards/issues, even if we are so inclined).

And the fact that buying (and returning) choices abound makes it easy for consumers to ultimately find a product/service that works for them.

If Roku's (or any other company's) documentation limitation becomes significant enough, it could potentially harm their marketplace performance, though of all the failed CE products and services over the decades, I know of none attributed to "they just didnt document the technical/functional details of their product/service in detail enough for consumers" (developer documentation is another issue entirely).

Ultimately consumers have to accept responsibility for their purchasing decisions, well documented &  researched or not.

 


To be clear, I'm not saying that I expected manufacturers to be transparent about their product's limitations (they usually are not). I am saying that it's not reasonable to expect consumers to research the technical details of mass-market devices such as the Roku sticks before making a purchase (especially given the way they're advertised, and often reviewed, as a top-rated and dead-simple solution to adding streaming services to your TV).

The end result is that some will purchase this device and have a bad customer experience; to them, it simply "doesn't work," perhaps leading to multiple returns to the seller until they give up (and switch to a competitor's product). Over time, if this is a company's normal approach, it can hurt the brand. Roku can rely on their market dominance and ignore what may be a marginal segment of their business (considering it a defensible a business decision). Other manufactures clearly decided that segment was important enough to support the functionality in question (in their similarly-priced products). Time will tell if this matters...

Heyitsrick
Level 12

Re: Update 9.2 broke dolby digital

Jump to solution

@yawitz wrote:

@StreamerUser wrote:

@yawitz wrote:

Speaking as someone who understands all of the technical arguments being made here, I assume that most buyers of the top-rated Roku stick that have older gear won't understand the underlying limitations, and will just end up having a poor experience. They won't know, or care about, the business decisions being made that led to that outcome, they will just think the product doesn't work as advertised.

I bought mine to use in a system with an older AV Receiver, and encountered the problem. After reading this thread, I ended up returning it (to be replaced with an Apple TV). Is it that unreasonable to expect Roku to document the limitation themselves so buyers can make an informed purchase decision (rather than rely on forums like this to explain it)?


Thats the marketplace at work - though you could have obtained the 2020 Ultra (4800) and gotten the functionality as well.

As far as accurate up-to-date technical/functionality documenting goes, the entire CE & content industry fails in this regard (Roku included), and has for decades now.

E.g.: You obviously werent aware of the DD versus DD+ limitations of your other devices or of the streaming services themselves (neither your device manufacturers nor the streaming services you use has easily accessible explicitly documented information about it), otherwise you would verified the need for DD+>DD transcoding capability to begin with, and upon researching the issue, would have purchased a 4800 or a competitor's product with Dolby decoding.

That being said, generally speaking, companies aren't known for documenting what their products CANT do, but what they CAN.

So while its a legit criticism of Roku, its not even remotely exclusive in the least bit (puns intended), and one should direct the blame/responsibility at all parties (including ourselves, who often dont want to expend the time/energy educating ourselves about technical standards/issues, even if we are so inclined).

And the fact that buying (and returning) choices abound makes it easy for consumers to ultimately find a product/service that works for them.

If Roku's (or any other company's) documentation limitation becomes significant enough, it could potentially harm their marketplace performance, though of all the failed CE products and services over the decades, I know of none attributed to "they just didnt document the technical/functional details of their product/service in detail enough for consumers" (developer documentation is another issue entirely).

Ultimately consumers have to accept responsibility for their purchasing decisions, well documented &  researched or not.

 


To be clear, I'm not saying that I expected manufacturers to be transparent about their product's limitations (they usually are not). I am saying that it's not reasonable to expect consumers to research the technical details of mass-market devices such as the Roku sticks before making a purchase (especially given the way they're advertised, and often reviewed, as a top-rated and dead-simple solution to adding streaming services to your TV).

The end result is that some will purchase this device and have a bad customer experience; to them, it simply "doesn't work," perhaps leading to multiple returns to the seller until they give up (and switch to a competitor's product). Over time, if this is a company's normal approach, it can hurt the brand. Roku can rely on their market dominance and ignore what may be a marginal segment of their business (considering it a defensible a business decision). Other manufactures clearly decided that segment was important enough to support the functionality in question (in their similarly-priced products). Time will tell if this matters...


The 2020 Roku Ultra would have given you the capability you were looking for, at about $100 less than an Apple TV 4K. The 2020 Ultra is being sold now for $79 - $79.99. (I own an Apple TV 4K that I got free from a DirectTV promotion a couple of years ago.) So it's not like Roku doesn't offer this decoding/transcoding capability. They do, and much cheaper than the Apple option.

I think that it's fair to say that you didn't do your due diligence when purchasing the Roku device you did. You said earlier that you understand all the technical arguments being made, so these things aren't new to you. You knew you had an older AVR that didn't decode Dolby Digital Plus. I would have been looking for a streaming device that explicitly did that from the outset.  

You also talk about "business decisions", but didn't you make a business decision of your own? Your decision was that you weren't going to upgrade your AVR. Moreover, you expected the middle man - Roku in this case - to make up for your system's deficiencies, and the decision you made not to modernize it. Dolby Digital Plus was introduced in 2005. I did a very quick search and found a Denon AVR from 2009 that supported it. I'm sure earlier models did, as well. So, that's going on 12 years now for that model device.  If you look at Ebay, you can find all manner of pre-owned AVRs that support DD+ for less than you presumably paid for the Apple TV.  

Roku is not perfect by any means. I've done the "SMH" thing with some of their decisions and probably will again. But one thing Roku has always been is a "pass through" audio device.  The far end device being connected to determines whether one will get surround audio (from a surround source) or not.  The 2020 Ultra is different in that regard in that it can be a pass through device, but it can also decode surround formats in the box, itself. 

There's nothing wrong with criticizing Roku or any other streaming box/stick brand for their hardware / design choices. But you really need to examine your own decisions that brought you here: not upgrading your AVR, and not doing the "RTFM" routine on the device you wanted to buy.  If I wanted to buy a new HDTV and I specifically wanted Dolby Vision HDR supported on it, I wouldn't just buy an HDTV without first going over all the specs and the reviews. If I don't do that, and I'm unpleasantly surprised by what I end up with, that's on me - not the TV manufacturer.  

0 Kudos