Playback Issues - Audio/Video & Power

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Level 7

YouTube (v1.0.91000130) 720p/1080p Frame Drop on Playback with AVC1 Codec

Hardware:  Roku Streaming Stick+ (3810EU)

Firmware: 9.3.0 (build 4194-50)

Display Settings: 4K 60Hz UHD (Manual), 4:2:2 HDR Sub Pixel Sampling, HDCP 2.2

Display: Sony Bravia KD-43XG8096 (HDMI 2.0b*, HDCP 2.3, HDR10/HLG)

I was wondering if anyone else is seeing significant freezing/stutters in playback with the YouTube app version 1.0.91000130, it manifests as whether the playback resolution is set manually or automatically?

I am certain it is not a network issue for the following reasons.

  • 4K VP9 content plays back fine.
  • 4K HDR(10) content plays back fine in other apps Prime Video/Disney+/Netflix
  • YouTube stats overlay "stats for nerds" shows healthy buffering >20s, plenty of available bandwidth and no buffer starvation.
  • Auto detection of quality picking highest resolution (based on bandwidth) thus picking 1080p if that is the max, 4K if that is the maximum.
  • Manual selection lower resolutions 1080p > 720p does not yield an improvement.
  • Manual selection of 480p or lower does alleviate symptoms.

* It should be noted that the TV only supports 4K HDR @ 60Hz on two of the four HDMI ports, frame-rate is set to auto.

My - minimal - testing shows.

  • vp9 (313) 3840x1920@30 - Works fine
  • avc1.640020 (298) 1280x720@60 - Significant frame drops
  • avc1.64002a (299) 1920x1280@60 - Significant frame drops
  • avc1.4d401f (135) 854x480@30 - Works fine

Heat was ruled out by powering off the Roku and allowing it to cool to room temperature (not that it was particularly hot, just warm) and upon startup content exhibits the same symptoms immediately.

The YouTube app was removed completely, device restarted and then re-installed per the steps elsewhere in the forum, this also made no difference.

Changing HDR sub-sampling from 4:2:2 to 4:2:0 also had no impact, though I do intend to retest with the Roku display settings manually set to 1080p @ 60Hz as I suspect the issue may be in how the device is handling the up-scaling.