Upgraded to ROKU Ultra (4800R) but Streaming Stick+ (2018) Image Quality is Better?
I have a Sony XBR900F. My Roku Streaming Stick+ (2018 HD/4K/HDR) bit the dust so I upgraded to a ROKU Ultra (2020 HD/4K/HDR).
I was immediately presented with the garishly bright, yet washed-out images, of the Dolby Vision (upsampling?) so I applied the following settings described elsewhere in the forum:
Under System>Advanced System Settings>Advanced Display Settings, turn HDR Always On to Off.
On the default Ultra settings, I wasn't seeing the expected auto-switching to Dolby Digital via my optical out to my AVR, so I also adjusted the following: Audio>HDMI, changed from "Auto Detect" to Auto Passthrough.
This resolved my audio issue and the horrid look of Dolby Vision applied to non-native content. Even so, I'm not seeing the image quality I expect from the Ultra. As a result, I posted this topic to ask if anyone else has had the same experience.
In 2018 when I upgraded to 4K/HDR TV (XBR900F and XBR800E), I was besieged by HDCP errors and no amount of upgrading my HDMI cables solved the problem. (I ended up with a whole pile of "premium" cables.) Turns out, even foregoing the HDMI cabling by opting for ROKU Stick+ over other ROKU models sold at that time, did not solve the HDCP errors (going in and out of commercials causes HDCP errors to appear even with no HDMI cable in the mix).
As mentioned, one of my Stick+ died, so I went out and bought the ROKU Ultra 4800R. What I notice is that even after applying the above changes, the picture quality is not as good on the same ARC/enhanced input as it was when I was using the stick. At first I thought I was imagining things so I pulled a still-working ROKU Stick+ off the other TV and put it on the XBR900F and sure enough, the details improved. Using the Ultra/4800R, people's faces (fleshtones) resembled the "watercolor" effect people sometimes complain about when the noise reduction is too aggressive in digital photography. Upon putting the ROKU Stick+ back on the same input, the fidelity of the image improved.
I am guessing that the mere presence of an HDMI cable introduces some image degradation that may be noticeable on 4K HDTVs. Has anybody else had this problem to where they're taking a slight loss in image quality by having any HDMI cable in the mix (even the one ROKU provides)? Alternately, is this a Sony 4K problem (doesn't "play well" with externally connected devices)?