Playback Issues - Audio/Video & Power

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sakendrick
Level 8

No Dolby Digital (or DTS)

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I've read some posts about surround sound output from Rokus being deprecated with recent updates, so, I'm 'not sure if that's what I'm experiencing. I feel like I was getting Dolby Digital before, but definitely not now.

- Roku Ultra

- Connected via HDMI into my Vizio E70 

- Optical out of Vizio into Yamaha 5.1 Receiver

Playing Netflix via the Smart TV app (cutting the Roku out of the mix) - I get Dolby Digital. But when playing via the Roku, no true surround sound. Not sure if it's a Roku upgrade issue, or if for some reason this setup isn't supported.

Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks.

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS)

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@sakendrick wrote:

Correct - ARC is not in play here (I corrected my Subject, problem remains the same). Older yamaha AVR with no HDMI ins.. so as stated, HDMI to the TV, optical out of the TV. Several apps work, Netflix not one of them.

Ultra 4660X

Software Version 10.0.0 build 4195-46

I do have the HDMI setting under Audio set to Dolby Digital, DTS. Based on your response, sounds like some apps ignore that setting and only output DD+ which is why it's not coming through to the AVR? I do feel like this is newly occurring.


The 4660 doesnt have a Dolby decoder - it only bitstreams, so something else has to transcode the DD+ to DD for NetFlix/Prime/Disney+ et al (like your TV, maybe).

The audio settings for the bitstream-only models dont do anything except limit app configuration and output - put Settings/Audio/HMDMI="Auto detect" - if it detects DD+/DTS connecting to your TV's HDMI it will allow the DD+ apps to be 5.1 enabled (if Auto only detects DD, or you manually configure it to DD, then the DD+ apps will be PCM 2.0 only)

You'll then be able to see if your TV will transcode DD+ to DD from HDMI to Optical.

View solution in original post

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sakendrick
Level 8

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS)

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So it appears this may be the same issues with Roku breaking certain apps. The Roku Channel, YouTube Movies, and maybe Prime (can't recall) streaming in Dolby Digital... Netflix, Disney+ are not - so nothing wrong with my setup.

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS) Through ARC

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@sakendrick wrote:

I've read some posts about surround sound output from Rokus being deprecated with recent updates, so, I'm 'not sure if that's what I'm experiencing. I feel like I was getting Dolby Digital before, but definitely not now.

- Roku Ultra

- Connected via HDMI into my Vizio E70 (in HDMI with the ARC support)

- Optical out of Vizio into Yamaha 5.1 Receiver

Playing Netflix via the Smart TV app (cutting the Roku out of the mix) - I get Dolby Digital. But when playing via the Roku, no true surround sound. Not sure if it's a Roku upgrade issue, or if for some reason this setup isn't supported.

Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks.


Your post title is entirely misleading and not applicable in your setup - you arent ARC connected, you are Optical connected: ARC isnt in use in your setup (apparently you have your Roku Ultra connected to you ARC port)

If your Yamaha receiver (AVR) supports ARC you should be connecting its ARC port to the TV's ARC port (with a HDMI w/Ethernet cable for best results) and disconnecting the Optical from the TV>AVR.

(if your TV and AVR support ARC, you MUST connect an HDMI cable to each end of the ARC chain with the HDMI(ARC) port of each device to enable/use it).

ARC (DD+/DD/DTS/PCM2.0) supports more/higher rate formats than Optical (DD/DTS/PCM2.0), depending on the connected devices.

Furthermore, I havent seen any posts about "surround sound being deprecated" by Roku (that would be a very weird statement to make), but its not the case regardless.

You didnt mention which model Ultra you have or its current firmware version, which matters (Settings/System/About):  The current 4800 and several years old 4640 can both transcode DD+ to DD, but none of the other Ultra models can.

In case you missed it, Dolby Digital Plus (DD+, EAC3) superceded Dolby Digital (DD, AC3) about 10 years ago.

Most services are using DD+ (EAC3), not DD (AC3), though some use both (DD+ and DD) and some use only DD - it all depends on the service, the device, and the configuration.

NetFlix (Prime/etc) exclusively uses DD+, and with your current setup your TV is transcoding the DD+ from the internal NF app to DD via optical.

The Roku Channel (DD), Paramount+ (DD+/DD), HBO Max (DD+/DD), and Apple TV+ (DD+/DD) all either can (if configured to) or always use DD (The Roku Channel).

Since you arent getting it from your Ultra from all apps, its mostly likely not a 4800/4640 (or its misconfigured) and your TV cannot transcode DD+ from HDMI to Optical (not uncommon, many TV's will transcode DD+ from internal apps but not from HDMI).

You need to:

1) Figure out if your AVR supports ARC.

2) Connect the TV and AVR via ARC if it does.

3) If connecting via ARC, remove Optical connection.

4) Figure out your Ultra model #/firmware version. (Settings/System/About)

5)  Configure your Ultra (if necessary, depending on model #).

6)  Configure your TV if necessary for ARC usage (update firmware to latest as part of this)

Ultimately, if you dont have a 4800 or 4640 another device needs to transcode the DD+ to DD (for NetFlix/Prime/Disney+/etc) if you want 5.1 output - if its your TV, it needs to at least be able to transcode DD+ from HDMI to DD for Optical (it may or may not transcode from HDMI to ARC).

If you do have a 4800/4640, it may need to be reconfigured to get 5.1 output from all supporting apps.

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gk802
Level 10

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS) Through ARC

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If you haven't already done so, see several other threads in this section dealing with DD audio playback (the others reference USB).  Also in the "Roku Device Features, Settings & Updates" section titled "Roku OS 10.0 Update Breaks Surround Sound".  All appear to be the same issue.  

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sakendrick
Level 8

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS)

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Correct - ARC is not in play here (I corrected my Subject, problem remains the same). Older yamaha AVR with no HDMI ins.. so as stated, HDMI to the TV, optical out of the TV. Several apps work, Netflix not one of them.

Ultra 4660X

Software Version 10.0.0 build 4195-46

I do have the HDMI setting under Audio set to Dolby Digital, DTS. Based on your response, sounds like some apps ignore that setting and only output DD+ which is why it's not coming through to the AVR? I do feel like this is newly occurring.

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS)

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@sakendrick wrote:

Correct - ARC is not in play here (I corrected my Subject, problem remains the same). Older yamaha AVR with no HDMI ins.. so as stated, HDMI to the TV, optical out of the TV. Several apps work, Netflix not one of them.

Ultra 4660X

Software Version 10.0.0 build 4195-46

I do have the HDMI setting under Audio set to Dolby Digital, DTS. Based on your response, sounds like some apps ignore that setting and only output DD+ which is why it's not coming through to the AVR? I do feel like this is newly occurring.


The 4660 doesnt have a Dolby decoder - it only bitstreams, so something else has to transcode the DD+ to DD for NetFlix/Prime/Disney+ et al (like your TV, maybe).

The audio settings for the bitstream-only models dont do anything except limit app configuration and output - put Settings/Audio/HMDMI="Auto detect" - if it detects DD+/DTS connecting to your TV's HDMI it will allow the DD+ apps to be 5.1 enabled (if Auto only detects DD, or you manually configure it to DD, then the DD+ apps will be PCM 2.0 only)

You'll then be able to see if your TV will transcode DD+ to DD from HDMI to Optical.

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sakendrick
Level 8

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS)

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That worked -- I could swear I only changed HDMI to DD/DTS as a way to troubleshoot this issue, but regardless, setting to Auto now has either DTS or Dolby Digital coming out of Netflix depending on the show.  Thank you.

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS)

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@sakendrick wrote:

That worked -- I could swear I only changed HDMI to DD/DTS as a way to troubleshoot this issue, but regardless, setting to Auto now has either DTS or Dolby Digital coming out of Netflix depending on the show.  Thank you.


You're welcome.

Should also enable it for Prime and Disney+ and Hulu (any services that are DD+ only).

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS)

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There's one other potential issue, although it doesn't seem to be applicable here. There are some TVs, especially older ones, that will not send 5.1 audio out of the optical connection from externally connected devices. There's no issue using an app built into the TV, but external devices, such as the Roku, the TV will only output stereo. Fortunately, this seems to be a fading problem.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
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I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
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eapfoto
Level 7

Re: No Dolby Digital (or DTS)

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I was having a similar problem. My Roku stick used to output 5.1 surround, and then at some point it stopped, basically when DD+ E-AC3 for for Atmos became the norm. I have a 15 yr old Yamaha receiver that works fine in all other ways (blu ray, etc.), but it couldn't make sense of the DD+ streaming codec. After much research, I almost bought an older 4640 Roku because it was the only one that could transcode DD+ back to DD for older equipment. I also looked at just buying a newer AVR, but the one I would want was $3K, so not in a hurry to do that. And then I finally saw mention of the latest Ultra 4800r 2021 model being backwards compatible with output to DD for older AVRs. And after buying it and setting it up just now, I can confirm that it works! Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, etc., all coming through in 5.1 surround, and lighting up all 5 speaker icons on the front of my Yamaha, so I know it's getting the right signal. The auto setup scan recognized my older 1080p plasma TV resolution, and AVR capabilities, and shows Dolby Digital and DTS as the only formats, none of the newer stuff my gear can't play. Totally worth the $90 update to keep a great system going another few years.  

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