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.
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Level 7

Hisense Roku 50" TV - Optical Audio Issue

So I've had the Hisense 50" Roku TV for about a year.  I enjoy having the system integrated and like a lot about the TV.  That said, the audio for the TV is pretty much garbage.  I recently upgraded to a Yamaha YAS-209 soundbar and it's an okay improvement (I wished it had more concurrent direct outputs for more devices than the simple HDMI-ARC CEC passthrough).  That said, my 70+ year old father and 90+ year old grandmother that are both hard of hearing still have issues picking out the sounds.  They need headphone access.

I had used a pair of Sennheiser RF-based wireless headphones with chargers on the TV.  They worked well for awhile but recently began having issues.  Whether that's on your end (Line Out issue because of software similar to the optical audio issue I'm having) or just the devices failing I've yet to confirm.  I plan on moving them to another TV in the house to test.

I'm not sure if a recent software update caused problems but I've noticed that the Roku software updates can cause a # of issues.  This is the biggest achilles heel of the TV IMHO, despite the Roku interface being one of the TV's greatest assets.  One of the bigger ones I had was that when I first bought the TV it worked fine with my classic Intellivision II system using an RF to coax adapter.  Recently however though, a software update must've broken it and the system refuses to release itself from resolution (it literally will go back to 1080p or 4k resolution but display the source image from ANY input in a tiny little box just left of center in the middle of the TV, with the visuals being garbled) swapping requiring a full on factory reset to break it out of the resolution-related issues it has.  It's a repeatable issue (I had to factory reset and reinstall applications, re-login numerous times) meaning it's DEFINITELY a Roku software issue.  It's a significant frustration but...  I figure I'm going to look into a component video mod for the Intellivision II eventually.  I'd still love to see Roku fix this issue though.  Currently I have the Intellivision II disconnected.

That said, my bigger issue is that when the Sennheiser headphones quit working...  I decided to replace them with a Bluetooth transmitter and a wireless bluetooth headphone set.  I just hooked the transmitter to the TV today and have run into another crazy/stupid issue with the TV.  If I hook the transmitter to the bluetooth transmitter via optical audio cable, it works fine with any of the applications running from the Roku interface.  YouTube, Plex, etc. are all fine.  The minute I switch to the cable TV output on HDMI 1 (ARC-CEC) the optical audio quits working on output.  I figured out a workaround but it requires pulling the optical audio cable out of the TV and hooking the 3.5" to RCA audio directly to my cable box via the RCA jacks on the back of the unit.  The unfortunate nature of the Bluetooth transmitter is that it also doesn't support concurrent multiple connections so I can't just hook up both.  It's understandable as optical audio out will always draw precedence and shutoff the analog input port on the device.

The entire above solution is HIGHLY inelegant and makes the TV seem like a piece of garbage because of the ridiculous software issues that exist.  As someone that has been a Roku fan for awhile, I'm noticing a lot of software-related issues with the TV that are detracting from the overall experience from what it could be.  You have a great television interface, a lot of the hardware integration is very elegant...  but the quirky issues take a great interface and render the TV annoying and frustrating as a result.  I would like to put in for a bug request for both of the above features and hope for them to be promptly solved.  The resolution issue hooking a legacy game system through the coaxial connection via adapter being the more minor of the two, but still ridiculous nonetheless.  The more major is the fact that optical audio output should maintain consistency regardless of which TV input source you are using to play out of.  I don't care if it's U-Verse TV, a Blu Ray player, XBox 360, or any of the Roku applications from the Roku interface...  audio output should be audio output regardless of where it's being input from.  The fact it's broken is beyond ridiculous.

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Level 7

Re: Hisense Roku 50" TV - Optical Audio Issue

I have exactly the same problem with the same TV.... have a bluetooth transmitter for headphones for my hard of hearing dad.... everything was working FINE until the recent software update.... now I get no sound out of the optical input for the transmitter.... HELP something in the software update messed this up!  plugging in the mini jack mutes all the audio from the TV so that's not an option....

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Re: Hisense Roku 50" TV - Optical Audio Issue

This is still very frustrating.  I made a post and hear 0 feedback from Roku itself which IMHO is pretty sad.

To highlight my issues with the TV again:

The audio outputs from the 50" Roku TV to the Bluetooth transmitter via digital optical audio out *ONLY* on the HDMI 1 for the Cable TV.  This is okay.

BUT...

The audio outputs from the 50" Roku TV to the Bluetooth transmitter via digital optical audio out *DOES NOT* transmit from any of the apps in the Roku interface.  Which clearly points to a software issue since the TV *CAN* transmit audio from the HDMI 1 source but not from the internal Roku interface which LITERALLY manages the HDMI 1 source?!?

The reality is that the TV audio for the digital optical out should maintain consistency on the audio channel.  It shouldn't matter if it's from my cable box into the TV (U-Verse) or whether it's running from the Plex app, YouTube app., etc. from the Roku interface.

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Finally, the issue with the video game system.  Using an Intellivision II using an RF to Coax adapter, the TV will switch the resolution to match the Intellivision full-screen (it's a classic system so the resolution is 160 x 96 - yes...  rather diminutive but it was a system originally created in 1979).  When you shut the system off, the TV releases itself back to 4k but it only displays whatever video from the sources in a small box on-screen, by and large scrambled, within the full 4k screen resolution.  Basically, picture an off-center 160 x 96 pixel box on a completely blank 4k screen with a scrambled cable feed from HDMI 1 (ARC) from our U-Verse cable box inside that 160 x 96 pixel box. 

The TV becomes stuck in this mode (switching to the Roku interface for the apps. releases to 4k, and all screen overlays/menus for settings display in 4K even with the video input displayed being in that 160 x 96 pixels box, but going back to HDMI 1 returns you back to the 4K interface with the 160 x 96 pixel box and scrambled video feed inside of it) and the only way to get it out is to do a factory reset, requiring reinstallation of apps., and of course logging back into every...  single...  app.

It's highly frustrating that I posted this months back and still...  nothing, no feedback, no confirmation it has been read or is being addressed or looked into by Roku.  I mean, what is the purpose of a forum if you can't even respond to a frustrated customer?

I love my various Roku products and have opted to switch literally all of my TV's to having a Roku set top unit hooked up.  I took a chance on the Roku TV itself as I kind of liked the idea of having a singular and simple interface for the TV.  I now regret that decision and wished I'd either purchased another Smart TV brand with a different OS (perhaps Amazon's FireOS or an LG with WebOS) or just another TV with an external Roku.  That said, without any feedback I'm actually considering switching to something other than Roku next time in all capacities (I'm actually an Apple guy and if not for the costs of AppleTV...  I would've went with them first.  I liked the Roku interface a lot and felt it just worked and worked pretty well so I went that direction.  I might just look at switching to all AppleTV going forward, especially since it works with the home ecosystem better for all of the Macs and iPhone's and iPad's we have).

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