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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hsminolta
Level 7

New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

First post but I hope someone can point me in the right direction.

Background info:  I am a longtime Roku user and currently have 2 Roku 3 and and 1 Roku 2.  All have worked nearly perfect for years.  I just purchased a new Roku Ultra and a Roku SE (Walmart version of the Express) to see if the newer models were faster than my 3.  They are...  I use Plex and Netflix only.  No other channels.  I rip all my own dvds with Handbrake to H264 mp4 with 2channel AAC audio only.  No subs or anything else.  No HD, only SD dvd video.  Fully compatible with Roku specs.  All my rips work perfectly with the Roku 3 and Roku 2 and everything else I play them on.  Roku 3 is OS 8.1.0.  New Rokus are both running OS 9.0.0.  Various TVs from old SD tube TV, 720p Samsung and 1080p Sony.

The Problem.  All videos with standard 23.976 and 29.970 frame rates play great on both new devices using both the Plex app and Roku Media Player app.  I have a few TV series which were fully interlaced (not telecined) on the DVD.  I used the Bob deinterlacer setting on Handbrake and doubled the framerate to 59.940 fps for a smoother video and the video looks great and plays smooth on the Roku 3 and even on the Roku 2 on the standard TV as well as everything else (computer, iPhone, iPad, etc.)  The video stutters horribly with the new Roku Utra and SE.  I tried to play them in Plex and they stuttered.  They stutter using Roku Media Player using the Plex Server.  I even played them from a hard drive in the USB port on the Ultra using Roku Media Player app to eliminate Plex and network issues altogether with the same results.  It looks like only half the frames are playing.  This is not a Plex issue or a network issue or a TV issue.  It has to be related to the OS 9.0.0 firmware on the new Rokus as that is the only thing different.  I cannot find any setting to make these videos play smooth like the older Rokus.  Does anyone have a suggestion?
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16 Replies
hsminolta
Level 7

Re: New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

Anyone else have problems playing a previously playable video with the new OS?  All my other Rokus still work fine but I am concerned that they will stop once they get the OS9 upgrade.  I retuned the new Roku SE but will keep the Ultra in case it is a firmware issue.
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azurenepsa
Level 8

Re: New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

Have you tried enabling 'Auto-adjust display refresh rate' in the advanced display settings menu and see how the videos play? Just something to try, if you haven't already.  My Roku Ultra 4640 hasn't received the 9.0 update yet.

I would frequently experience video stuttering in Hulu on my Roku Ultra, and enabling auto-adjust display refresh rate eliminated the stuttering.  But I then realized that I had CineMotion turned on in my Sony 1080p TV's settings.  Turning that off eliminated the stuttering without having to enable auto-adjust display refresh rate.
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hsminolta
Level 7

Re: New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

Thanks for the reply.  Yes, I tried turning on and off the auto framerate with no difference.  The new Roku SE did not even have this feature since it is not 4k.  I tried changing the Roku display settings from 720p and 1080p with no difference.  I do not have a 4k TV so I could not try the higher display settings.  Doesn't the Roku 3 output 30 fps while the Ultra outputs 60 fps?  It seems odd that Roku would change the player specs in the new models.
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azurenepsa
Level 8

Re: New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

I believe the Roku 3 outputs at 60fps, though someone else can chime in if that's incorrect.  Here's a reddit link where Roku users are saying that's the case.  There must be some difference in the firmware between the older and newer models, since you're getting different playback results with the same video file.

Just to see how things played on my Ultra 4640 OS ver. 8.1.0 build 4159-29, I created a 1 min. video clip in Handbrake from a 480i video file of mine.  I deinterlaced the video using the Bob Decomb settings and set the framerate to 59.94 constant.  This video played without any stuttering using Roku Media Player (with auto-adjust refresh rate set at both enabled and disabled).

However, the first time I created the video, I inadvertently set the framerate to 59.94 variable (not constant).  This video did stutter a lot.  So, at least for my 2016 Ultra 4640, it seems that it is unable to handle this variable framerate.  This video did play fine on my PC using VLC player.
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hsminolta
Level 7

Re: New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

Thank you again!  I just re-encoded two 480i clips using Hanbrake 1.1.2 on the mac using the Roku 480p Preset, Bob Deinterlace and set the framerate to 59.94 fps, one clip constant and the other variable.  The constant clip plays fine on both the Ultra and the Roku 3.  The variable clip stutters on the Ultra but plays fine on the Roku 3.  My original clips are all variable since that is the Handbrake default.

So... does this mean it is a hardware issue or a firmware issue?  When my Roku 3 gets the OS 9 update, will I loose the ability to play the 60p video using variable framerate?  Almost all of my videos use the default Handbrake setting which is variable and they all play fine on the Ultra.  So far it is only the 60p videos that stutter.
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azurenepsa
Level 8

Re: New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

"hsminolta" wrote:
So... does this mean it is a hardware issue or a firmware issue?  When my Roku 3 gets the OS 9 update, will I loose the ability to play the 60p video using variable framerate?  Almost all of my videos use the default Handbrake setting which is variable and they all play fine on the Ultra.  So far it is only the 60p videos that stutter.

I would think this is a firmware issue.  Hopefully the Roku 3 and other older Rokus will maintain the ability to properly play these videos with the update to 9.0.  At least with the Ultras, it's looking like they didn't have this ability prior to 9.0 as I'm on 8.1 and can't play them properly.  So OS 9.0 doesn't seem to be what eliminated the ability for them.
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hsminolta
Level 7

Re: New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

Since this is reproducible and an obvious downgrade in usability, is there a way to report it to Roku and see if they can fix it with an OS update or if it is a limitation of the hardware?  I find it odd that both the new Ultra and a new Roku SE (Express) have the same problem.  Maybe they use the same processor or it is in the OS for new devices.  I see many other threads on multiple forums about the Ultra having trouble with 60p videos of various types so maybe this is related?
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azurenepsa
Level 8

Re: New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

"hsminolta" wrote:
Since this is reproducible and an obvious downgrade in usability, is there a way to report it to Roku and see if they can fix it with an OS update or if it is a limitation of the hardware? 

I don't know of a site where you can specifically post bug reports.  I know that Roku rep's who sometimes post on this board will say that bug reports have been filed in response to issues that many users are posting about.

The Roku subreddit might be another thing to try.  It seems like a Roku rep responds to posts more frequently there. You can try contacting customer support, too.

There is also the developer forum on this site, but I've always assumed you had to be a developer to post there.  I suppose for whatever reason the 59.94 variable framerate H.264 MP4's may no longer be supported in newer Rokus (hopefully that isn't the case).

Edit: I realized I saved a Roku SDK Audio and Video Support page I found on the web a while back.  This indicates what formats Rokus support.  It notes what key frame interval videos should have (a key frame is an actual full image frame whereas intermediate frames represent only the image changes relative to the key frames).

It says this about the interval between key frames (segment size) in a video: "The recommended segment size is < 10 seconds for VOD and < 5 seconds for live content, and the segment size should be constant."  I think "the segment size should be constant" probably means that the framerate should be constant.  But I'm not a video expert or a developer so I could be wrong.  I just wanted to add this since it could be the case that Roku doesn't officially support variable framerate videos even though they may work on some Rokus.
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Emissary35
Level 9

Re: New Roku Ultra and SE stutter with 60 fps

"hsminolta" wrote:
Anyone else have problems playing a previously playable video with the new OS?  All my other Rokus still work fine but I am concerned that they will stop once they get the OS9 upgrade.  I retuned the new Roku SE but will keep the Ultra in case it is a firmware issue.

Yes I've had problems playing videos on Plex that are 576p quality. Previously if I disabled direct play they would play smooth but would stutter if direct play was enabled. After the upgrade to OS 9 the videos stutters no matter what setting I changed it to. This is a severe downgrade, I also noticed on Plex whenever I start a video the screen flashes with green lines all over the screen before playback begins which never happens before. I rolled it back to OS 8.1 and everything works fine again, this needs to be fixed because OS 9 the way it is now is unusable for certain videos on Plex with this stuttering problem.
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