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

No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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I have the above Roku player running Software version 9.2.0 build 4750-46.  The Roku connects to an Onkyo TX-NR828 receiver by HDMI.  Until a recent update, I was able to get surround sound output from the Roku channels (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Tablo, etc.).  Now it only outputs 2.0 channel stereo PCM signal to the Onkyo.  

Audio in Roku is set to Auto and it detects Dolby Digital Plus and DTS.  HDMI is also set to Auto Detect, but it doesn't matter if I set it to any of the other specific settings (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital +, DTS, etc ) it still stereo output only.

On the one hand it's frustrating to not have surround where it's available, but the killer is all of the recordings on the Tablo are in surround, and since the Roku won't pass anything but stereo anymore, I can't watch the recorded TV shows.  

It'd be one thing if this was happening out of the gate but it's a new development that appears to be related to a software update.  In fact, absence of surround seems to have begun when I manually updated the software.  

Is there something I'm missing here or is there a pending software update that'll fix this issue? 

1 Solution

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Level 20

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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While something is playing on the screen, hit the * button, and see if any sound mode has been enabled. Things like Volume Leveling, Night Mode, or something similar. All of those modes switches you to stereo. All listening modes must be off to get multi-channel audio. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.

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47 Replies
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Level 20

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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While something is playing on the screen, hit the * button, and see if any sound mode has been enabled. Things like Volume Leveling, Night Mode, or something similar. All of those modes switches you to stereo. All listening modes must be off to get multi-channel audio. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.

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Level 7

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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It did have night mode on.  Turning that off got the Dolby 5.1 back on for Netflix.  Haven't tried the recorded shows on Tablo again yet, but broadcast TV worked live in surround mode again.  Will confirm that last piece, but I think this solved the problem.  

Thanks

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Level 8

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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I have a Roku Ultra 4660RW Software version 9.2.0 build 4806-46.  I tried turning off night mode, and all the rest, but still have no surround sound from my Onkyo NR-656.  I have it attached to a Samsung 82" Q6.

When I run from the TV online, there is no problem running thru the Onkyo, but nothing but just stereo through the Roku box.  Getting ready to return it if no solution.

Level 8

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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I’m having the same problem as Willix, but with the more recent 4670R. I know for a fact that my receiver accepts DD+ and Netflix is showing output at 5.1, but no surround.

Strangely, I DO get 5.1 surround from movies on the roku channel (batman from 2003, for example) but nothing on Netflix or Hulu, which apparently also offers 5.1. 
Lots of other forums are discussing this

issue and the typical conclusion is that something must be wrong with other components in the setup such as an old receiver that only takes DD and not the Roku, but I find that hard to believe. Roku needs to address this as it seems to be a software issue on their end. 

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Level 8

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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I  wouldn't have believed this, but here is what happened:

After going through an extensive search of all of the results for this issue on all available sources, from Roku to Onkyo to Samsung.  I decided to try one last thing - reconnect my output to the ARC HDMI input terminal on my Samsung 6Q 82" TV.  That would put arc output on the main on the AVR to ARC input on the TV.  However, I never got the chance!  As I said I had no problems with the 5.1 sound when I played it through the Roku channel or Netflix Channel directly on the Samsung Smart TV to the AVR - just when I when through the Roku box to the AVR did sound drop to stereo only.  When I approached the shelf holding my AVR unit and started to turn it around to move the connections, the shelf fell from the clips holding it (into my lap fortunately!).  I put the shelf on a box temporarily while getting some better clips, put the AVY on the top of the box and tightened up all the connections and made sure nothing was loose plug-wise.  To my surprise, when I turned on the unit, my 5,1 sound had returned, and everything was fine with my setup through the Roku box.  My conclusion was that there must have been a bad connections in one of my HDMI plugs that went from Roku box -to-AVR input-to- AVR output-to-TV HDMI input. (2 HDMI 2.2 Cords and four connections total).  I'm not saying this is your problem too, but check the connections and make sure that they are secure if you have tried all of the other things on the forum that they suggest (the volume playback adjustment from the * key on the remote, and all the rest).  I wasted hours and hours only to find that I had the same symptoms and it was all do to a quirky connection issue that only affected the 5.1 and nothing else.  I was fortunate as I have multiple Roku boxes in my home and could have gone further in my testings.  Switching to another box on that TV would have also solved the squirrely connection problem as well, but I would have blamed my specific 4660SX Roku box when there was actually nothing wrong with it.  Good Luck...  

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Level 8

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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Glad you got it to work! I'll try your method as soon as I get home from work today, but i'm starting to get discouraged. I'm pretty sure my connections are all ok as I fiddled with them all day yesterday and I was actually able to get 5.1 though the Roku channel on the roku device itself (not just the smart tv version). So that indicates the Roku is capable of playing some 5.1 content (Roku Channel) but not all of it (Netflix), which means the connections/hardware setup probably isn't my problem and is instead software related. It's possible this is a Netflix specific software bug but who knows. I'm tempted to borrow a friend's Fire TV to test it out and see if Netflix works properly. I love Roku and don't want to switch though! 

 

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Level 19

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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@Chebo  A few considerations that may help here as well: 

1. Not all content within streaming channels will offer 5.1 surround sound audio. You'll want to review the content details page for each title, or reach out to the channel provider directly to inquire further about any specific content available on your Roku device. 

2. If you are using any of the 'Volume mode' features, these will limit your device to Stereo audio. During playback of content in a channel, press the * key on your remote. A menu will open on the lefthand side of the screen. Look for the 'Volume mode' options, and turn this feature off. This should allow surround sound audio to play again, if available on that content. 

Keep us posted if you have any other questions! 

 

Cheers,

Tanner

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Level 8

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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Hi Tanner - thanks for the quick response.

1. I made sure I was selecting 5.1 titles through Netflix to test it out, so I know (or assume) Netflix is broadcasting the proper content for surround. Tried all the most recent Netflix content in both 4k ultra (with 5.1) and HDR to no avail. I've also tried HBO and Hulu (not sure whether those two actually use 5.1 but I tested recent titles from them too just in case).

2. I tried the volume mode thing through the * function and that didn't help either. To make sure I was doing it right, I actually cycled through the "off" "night mode" and "leveling" (or whatever the exact language is) on the Roku Channel to hear the difference along with putting my ear right up to the center speaker. When it was on "off" on the Roku Channel it correctly played 5.1 through the center, but on "night mode" and "leveling" it only played stereo as expected. When I went to the Netflix app and tried the same thing, it made no difference whether I was in "off" "night mode" or "leveling" - everything played in stereo. 

 

I also played a video game through my PS4 last night and made sure there was sound coming from the center channel, so I know other devices are able to send surround to the speakers properly, and suspect (but cannot confirm) that another streaming box like Fire could probably do so as well. I have yet to play content directly from the TV's smart player through ARC to test that but I don't see why it wouldn't given that the PS4 seems to work ok. Has anyone heard any whispering from Roku about software updates? If there's a 9.3 on the horizon it would make me very happy.

It may also be helpful for me to list my setup in case you have heard of any issues with any of the associated components:

Roku Ultra (latest 2019 version 4670R) to Denon AVR-S720W (which accepts Dolby Atmos, DD+, etc) via high speed HDMI cable (Amazon basics). Then, AVR out from receiver via Amazon basics HDMI cable to AVR HDMI input (HDMI 3) on a Sony XBR XBR65X900E. Thanks again for your help everyone!!

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Level 8

Re: No Surround Sound-Roku Ultra 4660X

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Quick correction to the above - i meant to say ARC* out not AVR out.

So my setup is Roku Ultra (latest 2019 version 4670R) to Denon AVR-S720W (which accepts Dolby Atmos, DD+, etc) via high speed HDMI cable (Amazon basics). Then, ARC out from receiver via Amazon basics HDMI cable to ARC HDMI input (HDMI 3) on a Sony XBR XBR65X900E. 

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