Playback Issues - Audio/Video & Power

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pdet
Level 7

Ultra (4640X) Cannot Decode 5.1 Audio on HDMI, but OK on Optical

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Hello,

I'm on S/W 9.2.0:4131 for my Roku Ultra (4640 series) , and I cannot get my Onkyo to decode 5.1 audio over the HDMI port. The optical port decodes just fine. I tried "forcing" the audio in the Roku settings, to no avail. I tried several apps (Netflix, and Plex -- both decoded 5.1 using the optical port, but downmixed to 2.0 when using HD

This seems to have been a known bug back in an older version of the software, but per the thread in https://community.roku.com/t5/Playback-Issues-Audio-Video-Power/RESOLVED-No-more-5-1-Sound-Ultra-mod... it's purportedly resolved.

I can't say if my Roku ever successfully output 5.1 on the HDMI since my previous receiver had HDMI pass-thru problems, so I was using the optical cable. I was hopeful that I could use the HDMI inputs for audio and video with my new receiver.

Is this a setup problem?

Thanks

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longstrider
Level 8

Re: Ultra (4640X) Cannot Decode 5.1 Audio on HDMI, but OK on Optical

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If you have volume leveling or night mode turned on, the audio output defaults to 2 channel. That setting can only be found while you are playing something (programs from Netflix, Amazon Prime, external drive  etc.) and pressing the * (asterisk, star - whatever you wish to call it). I had this happen to me and had a hard time figuring out what had gone wrong.  I had turned on volume leveling one night, and didn't use the Rokus (I have 3 4640R units boght when I found out they removed the SPDIF on newer models) for several days afterwards. I thought the September update had taken away my 5.1 , as it had BRICKED one of my units. After disabling the volume leveling, my 2 remaining units returned to sending 5.1 as before. Hope that helps. If not I have no other guesses, as that was the only audio problem I've had.

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longstrider
Level 8

Re: Ultra (4640X) Cannot Decode 5.1 Audio on HDMI, but OK on Optical

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If you have volume leveling or night mode turned on, the audio output defaults to 2 channel. That setting can only be found while you are playing something (programs from Netflix, Amazon Prime, external drive  etc.) and pressing the * (asterisk, star - whatever you wish to call it). I had this happen to me and had a hard time figuring out what had gone wrong.  I had turned on volume leveling one night, and didn't use the Rokus (I have 3 4640R units boght when I found out they removed the SPDIF on newer models) for several days afterwards. I thought the September update had taken away my 5.1 , as it had BRICKED one of my units. After disabling the volume leveling, my 2 remaining units returned to sending 5.1 as before. Hope that helps. If not I have no other guesses, as that was the only audio problem I've had.

longstrider
Level 8

Re: Ultra (4640X) Cannot Decode 5.1 Audio on HDMI, but OK on Optical

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"bought"....not "boght"  Smiley Embarassed

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pdet
Level 7

Re: Ultra (4640X) Cannot Decode 5.1 Audio on HDMI, but OK on Optical

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Thanks @longstrider -- I had read that audio leveling or night mode could be a culprit, but all the posts said to look in options->audio for "night mode". I don't have that in my audio options. However, when I did what you suggested (hit * while streaming) it popped up, and it was indeed set to "leveling". I don't think I would have found that in a million years, so kudos!

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longstrider
Level 8

Re: Ultra (4640X) Cannot Decode 5.1 Audio on HDMI, but OK on Optical

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I'm glad you got it sorted. I hate to see the best Roku builds ever (4640R) go down.  Smiley Wink

jamaroney
Level 8

Re: Ultra (4640X) Cannot Decode 5.1 Audio on HDMI, but OK on Optical

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This posting was a godsend!  Long story short - I used to watch Netflix thru my Sony BluRay because Sony's servers decoded Netflix to regular Dolby Digital 5.1 before it even reached my player (my receiver can't decode DD+ which is what Netflix natively uses).

Just last month or so, Sony's servers stopped decoding Netflix audio, so my BluRay was no longer able to send Netflix in DD 5.1 to my receiver.

So, I just got a used Ultra 4640 because it's the only Roku to offer DD 5.1 decoding. However, I was disappointed to discover that the decoding applies to both HDMI and Toslink outputs simultaneously (you can't choose decoding for just one output). This stinks because my TV can't decode DD in any form. So when I set the Roku output to DD5.1, my receiver decodes it just fine, but many times I watch TV through its built-in speakers, and all I get is silence - to hear it on my TV I have to go back to Roku settings to choose simple Stereo decode.

While it's not a MAJOR deal to go back and forth in the Roku settings to adjust the audio output for either my receiver or TV, I was looking for a setting that would allow both, and changing the audio to "volume leveling" did trick! Now I can listen to Netflix on my TV (stereo) or receiver (DD 5.1).

I never would have thought that the "volume leveling" or "night mode" would have altered the HDMI output only (and change it to 2.0 stereo) - who would? And shame on Roku for not allowing separate audio output qualities for HDMI and Toslink directly.

longstrider
Level 8

Re: Ultra (4640X) Cannot Decode 5.1 Audio on HDMI, but OK on Optical

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You are very welcome. People in other forums have helped me on several occassions, and I am pleased to be able to help someone else ("pay it forward"). :-)

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