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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Level 7

Yes, It's Another 5.1 Sound Issue

Is it possible to have a discussion about why Roku Premier (probably other versions too) and Now TV Smart Boxes will not send 5.1 sound when connected thus:

Roku/Now TV ---> HDMI ---> TV (LG 55EG910V) ---> TOSLINK ---> AV Receiver (Yamaha RX-V650)

I have no issues with Shield TV Pro, Sky Q and a LG DVD - All work quite happily and pass sound correctly. All work in all three available HDMI ports. All work with any one of 5 HDMI cables. However, the Roku Premier / Now TV Smart Box will not pass 5.1 sound via any of those possible connections. Stereo is as good as it gets.

Take something like Netflix or Disney+. They all pass 5.1 sound via relevant apps on the devices listed above, but not via the Roku Premier or Now TV Smart Box. The Now TV app itself will pass 5.1 sound via the onboard LG TV app, but not via the Roku Premier nor Now TV Smart Box.

I have scoured the Roku and Now TV forums and attempted to apply all of the suggested settings, but none appear to work.

The symptoms would appear to suggest a firmware issue with the Roku Premier/Now TV Smart Box?

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Level 12

Re: Yes, It's Another 5.1 Sound Issue



The streaming services (NetFlix, Disney, etc) are using DD+.

Roku players (aside from the 4640 Ultra) can not/do not decode DD+ (so they cannot transcode it to DD) - they pass it through (for another device to decode/transcode). 

Some TVs (newer model years) can decode/transcode DD+, some cannot. Some can do it for internal apps (but not from HDMI ports), some cannot.  Some can do it for ARC/Optical output, some cannot.  Some will do it it for ARC, but not for Optical.  And so on...

From your description, your LG TV cannot decode/transcode DD+ from HDMI inputs for ARC/Optical output though it likely does from internal apps (I have some earlier model year LGs that behave the same).

Any device with a DD+ decoder can do this (transcode DD+ to DD - mandatory Dolby requirement), any device without cannot.  However, there is no requirement that they transcode any/all DD+ content from any/every input/source to DD for any/every output - and this is the situation with your TV.

So, at a quick glance it appears some of your devices (Nvidia Shield Pro, Sky Q, LG DVD player) are transcoding the DD+ to DD (because your TV cannot transcode DD+ to DD from HDMI), while others are not (Roku Premiere/NOW TV). Ergo, the DD streams are being output via Optical, and the DD+ streams are not (standard expected behavior).

Unless and until your Roku/NOW TV devices can decode/transcode DD+ to DD, this will be the result.  And while a firmware update could/would likely in fact provide this DD+ decoding/transcoding functionality, licensing issues most likely preclude it (DD+ decoder has to be licensed from Dolby).

 

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Level 12

Re: Yes, It's Another 5.1 Sound Issue

The underlying problem is that you can't send DD+ over optical.  The TV is supposed to convert to DD 5.1 in this case (and you might look through the TV settings to see if there is a way to enable that).   But, you may also be able to avoid the problem if your TV and receiver support HDMI ARC and the receiver handles DD+.

Or, alternatively, connect the Roku HDMI to the receiver and let it pass the video to the TV.

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Level 7

Re: Yes, It's Another 5.1 Sound Issue


@StreamerUser wrote:


The streaming services (NetFlix, Disney, etc) are using DD+.

 


They may well be capable of this, however, they manage to pass good old 5.1 Dolby Digital via every other device I use to access these services. The issue is with the Roku based boxes.

 

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Level 7

Re: Yes, It's Another 5.1 Sound Issue


@lesmikesell wrote:

 

Or, alternatively, connect the Roku HDMI to the receiver and let it pass the video to the TV.


All of these services manage to pass good old 5.1 Dolby Digital via every other device I use to access these services. The issue is with the Roku based boxes. I shouldn't need to replace otherwise a fully operational TV and AV Receiver because of a software issue on a £40 streaming box.

The both Roku based boxes all correctly identify my audio as Dolby Digital/DTS capable. They just don't pass the correct audio feed. This behavior is maintained if you manually configure the boxes to use only Dolby Digital/DTS. The settings on these boxes are correctly configured, they should not therefore attempt to pass any other sound format.

I appreciate the comments and acknowledge the help and advice that it being offered. However, it would be nice if Roku themselves owned this issue.

 

 

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Level 12

Re: Yes, It's Another 5.1 Sound Issue

It's not so much a 'software' issue as a licensing issue.  Your cheap streaming box is passing through what it gets because you didn't pay for the license for it to decode and modify the format.   Personally, I'd be more forgiving of a cheap streaming box for doing that than your expensive TV which should be handling this on the way to the optical output.  If your TV ran apps, it would have to deal with the same issue.

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Level 12

Re: Yes, It's Another 5.1 Sound Issue

@PeterO wrote:

@StreamerUser wrote:


The streaming services (NetFlix, Disney, etc) are using DD+.

 


They may well be capable of this, however, they manage to pass good old 5.1 Dolby Digital via every other device I use to access these services. The issue is with the Roku based boxes.

 


As I already explained, the streaming services are using DD+ - not "may well be capable", but are. 

Your specific hardware devices (Nvidia Shield, Sky Q) are transcoding the DD+ into DD (they have built-in DD+ decoders (with user-configurable settings) which transcode the DD+ to DD).

Your LG DVD player just passes along the DD5.1  (that's regular DD5.1, not DD+5.1) output from DVDs so no transcoding is necessary.

Your LG's Now TV app uses the built-in DD+ decoder in the TV (which can/does transcode the DD+ into DD for output via ARC/Optical), hence why it is able to output 5.1. 

However, your LG TV (like a couple of LG TV's I also own from around the same timeframe) does not transcode DD+ from the HDMI inputs to optical (newer LG and other brand TV's can/do in fact transcode DD+ into DD from HDMI inputs)

Your Now TV device seems to be similar to the Rokus - its passing along (aka "passthrough") the DD+ stream (for another device such as a TV/AVR to decode/transcode).

Roku player devices (aside from the 4640) do not have built-in DD+ decoders - they dont transcode the DD+ into DD - they pass it (DD+) along (passthrough) for another device (such as a TV/AVR) to decode/transcode if necessary into DD/output.

The Roku is working as intended/designed - it has no DD+ decoder (so no transcoding into DD) and just passes along (aka "passthrough) the DD+. 

As long as you output via Optical from your TV to your AVR, it will be limited to DD - So either the devices need to transcode DD+ to DD, or the TV does (and it only does for internal apps, not HDMI).

You will need to use an HDMI-ARC connection (with DD+ support over ARC by both the TV and AVR) if you want DD+ support (either passthrough and/or TV transcoding from HDMI->ARC (if the TV can do it)) - and from my cursory check of your AVR, it doesnt support either ARC or DD+ (too old), so this isnt an option.

You either have to accept the functional limitations of your Roku (and other devices without a DD+ decoder) or otherwise upgrade/replace your AVR to one that supports ARC and DD+ (at least) if you want full DD+ system configuration compatibility.

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Level 12

Re: Yes, It's Another 5.1 Sound Issue


@PeterO wrote:

@lesmikesell wrote:

 

Or, alternatively, connect the Roku HDMI to the receiver and let it pass the video to the TV.


All of these services manage to pass good old 5.1 Dolby Digital via every other device I use to access these services. The issue is with the Roku based boxes. I shouldn't need to replace otherwise a fully operational TV and AV Receiver because of a software issue on a £40 streaming box.

The both Roku based boxes all correctly identify my audio as Dolby Digital/DTS capable. They just don't pass the correct audio feed. This behavior is maintained if you manually configure the boxes to use only Dolby Digital/DTS. The settings on these boxes are correctly configured, they should not therefore attempt to pass any other sound format.

I appreciate the comments and acknowledge the help and advice that it being offered. However, it would be nice if Roku themselves owned this issue.


The Roku is correctly detecting that your TV as DD/DTS capable (not DD+, which most streaming services use now).

The different services (apps, such as NetFlix) use DD+; however, upon checking the Roku configuration, they limit their output to 2.0 (since they use DD+, not DD). 

You can force NetFlix and other services to output/passthrough a DD+5.1 bitstream by manually configuring the HDMI audio to "DD+, DTS" - but of course that will result in no audio for your configuration (your TV/AVR cant transcode or process DD+).

You are not required to upgrade or replace your AVR - that being said, it has no DD+ or ARC support (so it cannot make usage of those protocols or standards), and you will have to live with the limitations of DD over Optical from your specific TV (no DD+ transcoding from HDMI to Optical).

Its more likely you will upgrade or your replace your AVR before Roku adds a DD+ (or DV) license to any of its existing player models.

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Level 7

Re: Yes, It's Another 5.1 Sound Issue


Its more likely you will upgrade or your replace your AVR before Roku adds a DD+ (or DV) license to any of its existing player models.


Yes, sadly probably correct. 

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