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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MikeFromMesa
Level 7

Roku with Sony 4K TV

The 4K TV I had ordered was finally delivered today and I have to say that I am truly surprised at what I found out about the Roku and the TV upscaling. The TV (a Sony) can pretty much host any streaming app that I want because of the Android OS, so I assumed I would remove my Roku and just use the built-in apps. Why bother with both the Roku when I have the installed streaming apps?

Fortunately, before I went through that process, I decided to check to see how the upscaling of the TV compared to the output from the Roku and I have to admit that there is almost no comparison - the Roku is head and shoulders above the Sony upscaling by itself. That is, if I set the Roku to 4K HDR, go to Amazon (or Netflix) and watch I get an incredibly good image. If I use the built-in apps the picture is far less good. It may be that the TV is not set up properly, but I do not think that is the issue. Perhaps someone can correct me if I should not be seeing what I am seeing, but the Roku/Sony combination seems to produce a much better image than just the Sony itself.
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27 Replies
venious
Level 7

Re: Roku with Sony 4K TV

I have a XBR 900E, but due to my Pioneer AVR I decided not to deal with the embedded Android TV due to some added complexities and the slow interface. If Roku and the TV looks and works better for you, then I'd say to stick with it! I didn't get far enough start comparing image or upscaling performance, but I did evaluate a Roku Ultra and Nvidia Shield. The way I use my TV, the Roku has not been stable enough. Between spontaneous reboots, and some interaction problems with powering off the TV only, I haven't been very happy with the setup. I agree though, that the embedded Android TV is bloated, generically developed, and probably not designed for anyone with a high standard of audio visual quality. The embedded version seems to me like a way to get the platform introduced to as many as possible first, and then marketers will come up with a way to lock them in through ignorance or laziness.
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MikeFromMesa
Level 7

Re: Roku with Sony 4K TV

I do not have an AVR (my wife already thinks the TV is too loud) so my setup is very simple. Still, streaming 1080p directly to the built-in apps gives me a very soft and fuzzy image, as though the TV were not upscaling at all. Streaming from the Roku, on the other hand, makes the TV look like a 4K. Our set is an 850E so your image should be better, and the only problem I currently have with the Roku is that my HDMI cables work for 4K UHD but not 4K UHD HDR. I have complained to the vendor and will see if that does anything.

One thing I am going to do is see if there is anyplace on the TV that allows upscaling to be turned on or off. I do not think there is, but the streaming picture is so bad that it looks as though upscaling is turned off somewhere and needs to be turned back on.
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Tajson
Level 8

Re: Roku with Sony 4K TV

"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
my HDMI cables work for 4K UHD but not 4K UHD HDR. I have complained to the vendor and will see if that does anything.

Just throwing it out there, on my 4k tv all the HDMI ports had HDR turned off by default and needed to be turned on for the Roku box and so on.
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MikeFromMesa
Level 7

Re: Roku with Sony 4K TV

"Tajson" wrote:
Just throwing it out there, on my 4k tv all the HDMI ports had HDR turned off by default and needed to be turned on for the Roku box and so on.

It turns out that that was also my problem with this new Sony. The default setting is to have all HDMI ports set to 4K UHD HDR at 30fps only and the Roku was expecting 4K UHD HDR at 60 fps. Without that the Roku would not function properly when the display was set to 4K UHD HDR, but would at 4K UHD. I found the issue discussed on one of the Sony forums and one of the posts explained how to turn the HDR 60 fps setting on. This sort of thing makes me wonder why a company like Sony would set its "Enhanced" HDMI setting off on a high end 4K TV when I would think they should expect that users would want both the 4K UHD and the HDR functionality to work.

One interesting thing is that I sent an email to the company that sold me the HDMI cables (through Amazon) and they responded immediately with an offer to refund my purchase even though the sale was well past the normal 30 day window. I have since responded to them explaining that the problem was not due to the cables, but to the default setting on the TV, but I was particularly impressed by their willingness to stand behind their product. You don't see that much anymore.

As an aside, I have now tried the built-in apps on the Sony and compared them to the output from the Roku and found that I prefer the Roku. My Premiere+ works and that is more than I can say for some of the apps built into the Sony. I spent some time this morning listening to one of the Indiana Jones movies using the Amazon app on the Sony. Listening because the picture would not display. I had the closed caption dialog displaying and I could see the frames if I "fast forwarded", but only a black screen (and sound) when I played it normally. I think I will stay with the Roku. Even the 1080p streams look amazingly good on the 4K TV and the Roku upscaling is so good that I am not sure that there is much real advantage in streaming in 4K rather than using the upscaling.

Sorry if I sound like a shill. I am just very happy with the picture on this new TV.
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venious
Level 7

Re: Roku with Sony 4K TV

"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
"Tajson" wrote:
Just throwing it out there, on my 4k tv all the HDMI ports had HDR turned off by default and needed to be turned on for the Roku box and so on.


Sorry if I sound like a shill. I am just very happy with the picture on this new TV.

Awesome. Can you tell me what happens if you turn your TV power off while streaming something, and then turn it back on after about 15 minutes? My 900E says it can't find a signal any longer on HDMI 2, and then I have to change the TV to HDMI 1 and then back to HDMI 2 in order to get video to return. Maybe it is just a complication with my receiver, but the Nvidia Shield doesn't have this problem in the same scenario.
Regarding Android TV, you may want to reset to defaults as there could be some sort of softening feature enabled and when using HDMI it somehow bypasses those settings.
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MikeFromMesa
Level 7

Re: Roku with Sony 4K TV

"venious" wrote:

Awesome. Can you tell me what happens if you turn your TV power off while streaming something, and then turn it back on after about 15 minutes? My 900E says it can't find a signal any longer on HDMI 2, and then I have to change the TV to HDMI 1 and then back to HDMI 2 in order to get video to return. Maybe it is just a complication with my receiver, but the Nvidia Shield doesn't have this problem in the same scenario.
Regarding Android TV, you may want to reset to defaults as there could be some sort of softening feature enabled and when using HDMI it somehow bypasses those settings.

Do I understand you correctly in thinking that you are streaming to your Roku on HDMI2 and want me to turn the TV, but not the Roku, off for 15 minutes before checking again to see if the streaming is continuing?

> you may want to reset to defaults

Do you mean to check to see if that is the reason that streaming to the TV itself generates "soft" images?
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venious
Level 7

Re: Roku with Sony 4K TV

"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
venious:
Awesome. Can you tell me what happens if you turn your TV power off while streaming something, and then turn it back on after about 15 minutes? My 900E says it can't find a signal any longer on HDMI 2, and then I have to change the TV to HDMI 1 and then back to HDMI 2 in order to get video to return. Maybe it is just a complication with my receiver, but the Nvidia Shield doesn't have this problem in the same scenario.
Regarding Android TV, you may want to reset to defaults as there could be some sort of softening feature enabled and when using HDMI it somehow bypasses those settings.
Do I understand you correctly in thinking that you are streaming to your Roku on HDMI2 and want me to turn the TV, but not the Roku, off for 15 minutes before checking again to see if the streaming is continuing?

> you may want to reset to defaults

Do you mean to check to see if that is the reason that streaming to the TV itself generates "soft" images?

Not to see if it is still streaming, but to see if the TV will find a signal on HDMI 2 after 15 minutes. Mine doesn't without me switching the TV off to HDMI 1, and back to HDMI 2.
Regarding the TV reset to defaults to see if maybe a TV settings that you tweaked (Clarity: sharpness, Reality Creation, Random noise reduction, Digital noise reduction, Smooth Gradiation, etc) that could be generating the soft images when using Android TV OS & Apps.
Meanwhile, I'm hacking on my TV and Roku again, wondering why when I originally try to set my display type it told me 30FPS and then coming back to the settings later it now shows me 60FPS. HDMI 1 doesn't even appear to provide anything above 1080p, which is odd to me.
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venious
Level 7

Re: Roku with Sony 4K TV

"venious" wrote:
"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
venious:
Awesome. Can you tell me what happens if you turn your TV power off while streaming something, and then turn it back on after about 15 minutes? My 900E says it can't find a signal any longer on HDMI 2, and then I have to change the TV to HDMI 1 and then back to HDMI 2 in order to get video to return. Maybe it is just a complication with my receiver, but the Nvidia Shield doesn't have this problem in the same scenario.
Regarding Android TV, you may want to reset to defaults as there could be some sort of softening feature enabled and when using HDMI it somehow bypasses those settings.
Do I understand you correctly in thinking that you are streaming to your Roku on HDMI2 and want me to turn the TV, but not the Roku, off for 15 minutes before checking again to see if the streaming is continuing?

> you may want to reset to defaults

Do you mean to check to see if that is the reason that streaming to the TV itself generates "soft" images?

Not to see if it is still streaming, but to see if the TV will find a signal on HDMI 2 after 15 minutes. Mine doesn't without me switching the TV off to HDMI 1, and back to HDMI 2.
Regarding the TV reset to defaults to see if maybe a TV settings that you tweaked (Clarity: sharpness, Reality Creation, Random noise reduction, Digital noise reduction, Smooth Gradiation, etc) that could be generating the soft images when using Android TV OS & Apps.
Meanwhile, I'm hacking on my TV and Roku again, wondering why when I originally try to set my display type it told me 30FPS and then coming back to the settings later it now shows me 60FPS. HDMI 1 doesn't even appear to provide anything above 1080p, which is odd to me.

I just tested this myself by running a direct HDMI cable from the Roku to the 900E. After power off of TV, and powering on 15 minutes later, video signal recovered fine. There must be some sort of confusion with my receiver in the mix. I'm still unsure how the Shield doesn't have this problem though.
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fuzzy
Level 7

Re: Roku with Sony 4K TV

"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
The 4K TV I had ordered was finally delivered today and I have to say that I am truly surprised at what I found out about the Roku and the TV upscaling. The TV (a Sony) can pretty much host any streaming app that I want because of the Android OS, so I assumed I would remove my Roku and just use the built-in apps. Why bother with both the Roku when I have the installed streaming apps?

Fortunately, before I went through that process, I decided to check to see how the upscaling of the TV compared to the output from the Roku and I have to admit that there is almost no comparison - the Roku is head and shoulders above the Sony upscaling by itself. That is, if I set the Roku to 4K HDR, go to Amazon (or Netflix) and watch I get an incredibly good image. If I use the built-in apps the picture is far less good. It may be that the TV is not set up properly, but I do not think that is the issue. Perhaps someone can correct me if I should not be seeing what I am seeing, but the Roku/Sony combination seems to produce a much better image than just the Sony itself.

make sure your sony apps hdr adjustment is same as the roku input as they can be differant
sony xbr65x850c tv, TX-RZ810 ONKYO rec., HDMI to REC., roku ultra and roku3 both wired,technicolor c2000t modem, 20 mbs dsl
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