ROKU ULTRA GOES TO SNOW, SAMSUNG SOUND BAR, PANASONIC TV
We have the ROKU Ultra, purchased this year (2020). I have it hardwired to an ethernet port on my Verizon FIOS router. Initially the setup was Roku HDMI out to Samsung sound bar in, Samsung HDMI out to Panasonic Viera TV input. (this is a pretty old TV, over 10 yrs)
PROBLEM: After performing fine for a few weeks, the picture would suddenly disappear and nothing but snow appeared on the screen. The audio could still be heard; it was only the picture that went to snow. Not black, as when the TV loses input signal, but white snow.
At first turning the Roku off and on would fix it - for a time. But picture loss started happening so frequently (every few minutes) that watching a program was becoming impossible. Then I tried turning the soundbar off and on, and that brought the picture back too. So to me this meant that maybe it wasn't the Roku Ultra. It had to be something about the signal passing thru the soundbar, and then... ???
SOLUTION: I solved it by changing the configuration. Now I have the Roku feeding directly into the TV's HDMI in. I changed the audio feed to the Samsung soundbar to the TV's optical audio out. I made this change days ago and since then, no issues. Of course I had to change the soundbar's SOURCE to "D.IN", as opposed to HDMI, but the soundbar remembers the source setting. I only had to make the change once.
NOT PERFECT - 2 remotes Using the optical audio feed from the TV into the soundbar means I have to use the Samsung soundbar's remote to change volume/MUTE in addition to the Roku remote for channels. The Roku remote does not control the volume. But I couldn't get that to work when it was hooked up the old way either, so I really don't care. And I did try many codes to make the Roku remote my "one and only" when it was hooked up the 1st way. But I'm glad I didn't spend too much time on it cause ultimately I had to change everything to the way it is now, and I did read somewhere on the internet (so it MUST be true!! ha) that if you use the TV's optical audio out w/a Samsung soundbar, you can't get the Roku remote to control sound.