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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GoodTroll
Level 7

Roku TV Audio Dropouts

I recently purchased a TCL 55P605 Roku TV and was running audio out from the TV to my Denon AVR 1910 receiver.  I set the TV to output in the formats the receiver supports (DD and DTS), but to my dismay, I found that I experienced constant audio dropouts (every minute or so for a few seconds) no matter what content I played back on the TCL.  The audio stayed synced (when it came back on, it did so in the right place).  It happened in every app I tried as well as the built-in TV receiver.  Strangely, some nights everything would work perfectly, but then you'd turn it on the next day and the issue would be back.

I thought it may be a bad cable so I tried replacing that, but had the same issue.  Also tried the other optical audio input on the receiver but had not luck.  The receiver still works fine for all other sources.  I finally figured the TV was defective and took it back.  I decided to try a different TCL Roku TV model that was a much cheaper and figured I would then upgrade to the recently announced TCL 2018 6 series when it comes out.  I brought home the different TV yesterday and found I have the same issue.

So now I know it's either some kind of incompatibility between the Roku TV software or that my optical audio input is going bad on my receiver (doubtful, but possible).  Has anyone else experienced this issue?  I've seen others note issues with Denon receivers but they all seemed to be HDMI issues.  Anyone know of this specific issue?  I don't want to give up on these TCL TVs (I'm very excited for the new one announced the other day) as I really love the Roku software, the screen quality and the price.  But you have to have audio, and I'm not willing to upgrade an otherwise great receiver just to get a specific TV.  I'd rather drop the extra cash on a nicer TV if those are the only two choices.
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34 Replies
gadrago
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Audio Dropouts

Two different series TCL Roku tv sets pretty well rules out the audio dropouts being the fault of the tv set.  I do not experience audio dropouts on a TCL 55P605 connected via either HDMI-ARC or optical to a Yamaha RX-V773 receiver.  It appears that the HDMI inputs on your receiver predate HDMI-ARC, so you can't try that.  Did you try all of the audio output selections  from the TCL tv menu to see if you do NOT experience audio dropouts on some other of them besides the DD, DTS selection (including the 2-channel PCM or stereo selection)?  What does the tv auto-sense from your receiver when it is set to the Auto selection? It might be that forcing the DD, DTS selection creates an incompatibility between the tv and your particular receiver model that other receivers do not encounter. 
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GoodTroll
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Audio Dropouts

I appreciate the feedback.  I agree that it's not the fault of a specific set, but that doesn't preclude an issue with the software (both run Roku 8.0).  While I haven't selected the 2-channel PCM setting, I have used the TV with 2-channel audio and the issue is present.  I guess I could try the actual setting just to see, but that's not a solution.  I wish I could leave it on "auto" but that feature specifically says it only works with HDMI-ARC as it uses CEC to detect supported formats.  It says if it doesn't have an HDMI connection, it defaults to 2-channel PCM.  I guess I'll try the DD+ option in the menu to see if that makes a difference.  My receiver supports DD+ but I've had issues in the past as apparently the DD+ was added to the receiver before the standard was finalized and I've found Netflix especially has issues with DD+.

Even if 2-channel audio worked, that's not a real solution as I didn't spend a few thousand on nice speakers to listen to 2-channel audio.

I did buy a new optical cable today just in case that was the issue (even though I had already tried the two I owned and both had the issue), but the dropouts were present with the new cable as well.  

My final testing will be connecting my PS3 with the optical cable to see if the issue is specifically with my receiver's hardware.  I've used the optical inputs on my receiver in the past without issue, but it's possible they're going bad and they weren't in use immediately prior to buying the new TVs. 

Is there anything non-standard about Roku's implementation of audio?  This doesn't seem like the kind of issue I should have in 2018.  There's no handshake to worry about and this type of connection has been standardized since the 80s.  For the life of me I can't figure out why I'm having an issue.
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gadrago
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Audio Dropouts

I wasn't suggesting to leave it on stereo setting, just to check through all of the tv audio output settings to see if any of them did not produce audio dropouts with your receiver.  As I said, all of the audio output settings work without dropouts from tv to my receiver, suggesting a tv/receiver compatibility issue on your end.  And although it is doubtful that the optical input circuitry in your receiver is at fault, if you found that to be the case, there are inexpensive optical digital to coaxial digital adapters that would allow you to try using one of the coaxial digital inputs on your receiver.  BTW, the manual says that DD+ output passthrough via optical digital is not available from this tv (only from HDMI), so I would expect no sound with that forced output selection from a source like Netflix that is sending DD+.

The Denon is a nice receiver, but lack of ARC support dates it.  Options might be a more expensive tv + existing receiver vs. a TCL tv + new receiver for a working surround sound combination without dropouts.    
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apodtele
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Audio Dropouts

If you are using ARC HDMI or optical, I strongly suggest that you scale back the audio settings:
Press Home on your remote control, scroll down to Settings and select Audio > HDMI (or HDMI and S/PDIF on Roku players with an optical connector). Instead of “Auto detect”, select the option that matches the capabilities of your TV, AVR or sound bar.
Try something less than Dolby D+, DTS or Autodetect slowly until it works for you. Going straight to  PCM Stereo would be an overkill and leave you without surround sound.
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twiceover
Level 11

Re: Roku TV Audio Dropouts

I seem to remember there being an issue with Denon receivers and that there is a firmware update from Denon to address this.  Might want to see if there is a firmware update available for your receiver.

I've been using optical with two different TCL roku TVs to a pioneer receiver without any issues.  I swear I saw a thread about this exact same problem with a Denon receiver and a firmware update for the receiver fixed it.
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GoodTroll
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Audio Dropouts

Thanks for the responses.  I've tried all the audio options in the TV menu now.  It happens no matter what I choose.  Interestingly, it allows me to choose DD+ even though I'm only using the optical connection, but I don't get DD+ signals from Neflix or whatever other app, just DD (or 2-channel PCM).

As for a firmware update, I believe there is a firmware update for my model specifically for the DD+ issue I mentioned above.  Not sure if it would also fix the issue I'm having now. I never was able to get it as it required me to ship the receiver somewhere and it was just too expensive to justify.  I believe they began allowing the user to update firmware on some of the upper tier models that year and that it has slowly moved down the chain a bit as the receivers have gotten more "connected," but I'm stuck with what I have.
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BeerTaxi
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Audio Dropouts

Have the same issue with a 720p plasma Panasonic. Have changed hdmi cables and ports and no better. No selection on the sound menu fixed the problem. Tried another stick which was working fine on bedroom tv and problem still. Stick from Panasonic was tried on bedroom tv and worked fine. Tried an Amazon firestick on the Panasonic and audio was fine!
The Roku stick and the Panasonic worked fine at one time.
All this leads me to believe a software "upgrade" has caused an audio issue with my Panasonic tv and Roku stick
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IAMME3
Level 7

Re: Roku TV Audio Dropouts

I am having the same issue.
Roku TCL 55" TV Model 55US57-W
The TV seemed to work fine, then after a automatic TV system update on July 17, 2018 the audio began dropping out intermittently.
The audio issue is absolutely a problem with the TV and/or update. The antenna connection, the various HDMI connected devices, and the dated DVD player that uses the audio/video connections ALL intermittently drop the audio when connected to this TV. This doesn't happen when each device is routed through another TV with the SAME cables.
Any ideas that haven't already been listed here?
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Re: Roku TV Audio Dropouts

I also have a TCL model 55US57. The audio drops out intermittently and started around the same July timeframe as a previous post. I was wondering if anyone has found a solution yet?
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