Some TVs will not pass 5.1 audio out to external audio devices (such as your Panasonic audio device) from devices that connect externally to the TV. This would include your Roku, as well as your cable box. I haven't had a Panasonic TV for several years, and I think it was older than yours so perhaps not equivalent. But I can't recall any settings in the TV that told it to send the audio out intact. For my set, all my devices connected to an AVR, so I didn't have to send any audio from the TV out other than the TV audio itself.
But if that is the case with your TV, there's unfortunately nothing that can be done short of replacing your audio device with a regular audio-video receiver with HDMI inputs, which would allow connecting all your external devices directly to the AVR and not worry about the audio being sent through the TV.
But we are not doing 5.1 audio.
Could I use an optical cable for anything?
Or could the 4k ultra switch be put into the sound system to connect the sound system to the roku and the tv?
I really don't know what I am talking about so this may make no sense.
Thanks for your prompt and helpful post
ARC is actually preferable over optical, but it won't make any difference if the TV is not passing 5.1 from external devices.
"But we are not doing 5.1 audio" You said you can't get surround sound. 5.1 audio is surround sound.
There might be an HDMI switch that includes an audio extraction function, but odds are it will only output analog stereo sound. You would need at least an optical out on the HDMI switch to get 5.1 audio. After a quick search on Amazon I do see that they are available. Here's one example.
I am sending our dialog to a fried who knows more about av stuff than I do.
Thank you for your help.
Hope to give you an update soon
evening. figured id ask someting here for you gurus. i have a workout room in my basement, I HAD a cable box, and output audio from there using analog white/red cable pair to a old receiver I had. receiver pumped sound to two sets of A and B speakers in basement. anwyay, just bought a roku ultra 4800R, actually 3 of them, (2 for the rest of the house).
anyway, seems to me I now have to get audio from roku to the receiver and out to the speakers. its an old receiver a demon about 12 years old. great sound, no HDMI in.
1. just because some of you have a lot of experience, is there a specific AVR you'd recommend that would have : HDMI inputs for the roku, HDMI output to the tv. would be great if it could support Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth headsets (sometimes I use a skull candy bt headset). i see some unites in the 200 to 500 range minimum. would love to spend towards the low end range. i ran into this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07V9YKCRN/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
or, by default, can I connect a Bluetooth headset directly to the roku? that might work temporarily till I round up a few more bucks for better receiver.? does roku support Bluetooth headset/speakers natively?
@spgoldman1 No, you cannot connect a Bluetooth anything to your Roku Ultra. It doesn't have a BT radio.
If your desire is to stream content from an online source (like Pandora), or from a computer on your home network, there are several ways to get the audio out to a pair of speakers. The simplest (note I didn't say cheapest) would be to pick up an inexpensive AVR. That's simply a receiver with HDMI inputs. Plug the Roku directly into the AVR and it will handle all audio from the Roku.
However, you still have to have a TV connected to see the Roku screen for control. Since you already have a receiver, perhaps instead you could get a new TV that has HDMI inputs. You would take the audio out of the TV and send it to your receiver via optical or analog (the red/white cables). That's assuming of course the TV has an analog output (not all do today) or your receiver has an optical input (maybe, maybe not).
There's a third option, which is using an HDMI converter to convert the audio and video from digital to analog. It's the cheapest way to go, and the analog video output should work on any older TV that has the RCA input jack. Here's one example: https://www.amazon.com/Converter-Amazon-Adapter-Streaming-Supports/dp/B07GRXDZCF/
thanks. i tend to agree that im going to have to spend a few bucks here, so I'm thinking best would be to get a AVR which handles HDMI in, and HDMI out . am I correct that I would connect the roku HDMI out to the avr via HDMI in, , and there must be an HDMI out on avr that goes to the tv.
looks like a low end avr might be 200 to 280. cant see a way of getting it done without necessarily spending a few bucks so maybe that's the best option.
but do I have that right, that its roku out to avr in, and then avr out to tv in, all HDMI??
also, with these avrs, if lets say I have a different input source feeding audio into the avr (ie maybe some other device) and I want the music from the non-roku "other device" to play on the speakers, but I still want to see the tv video, does the avr handle the video passthru to the tv, and the tv might play the audio that was passed long the HDMI from abr to the tv...but the avr plays this other source on the speakers coming off the avr. sorry if this is coming off a bit unknowing about these avrs, but I haven't had the need for them till now.
but do I have that right, that its Roku out to AVR in, and then AVR out to tv in, all HDMI??
Yep, you have it right. Having HDMI for the entire signal chain simplifies everything. Assuming the TV and the AVR both support ARC (Audio Return Channel), then anything you watch from the TV tuner has the sound go back to the AVR via the HDMI cable, nothing additional needed. Also, with CEC you can press a button on the Roku remote, and have the TV and AVR both power on automatically, with the inputs for both devices correctly set. Just be aware that CEC can be cranky, especially between devices from different manufacturers. I've overall had good success with it, but others have nothing but trouble and simply disable it.
Your next question about leaving the TV display on one thing while the AVR is playing the sound from something else. The answer is... maybe. It's going to depend on what the devices are, how they're connected, and what you want to see on the TV display. Say for example you want to leave something on the TV that's being broadcast by a local station (say a sports event) but you want to listen to Pandora streaming on your Roku. That would work by first selecting the Roku, starting Pandora, then changing the TV input (not the AVR input) to the tuner. The Roku audio will continue through the AVR but the TV would show the OTA station. However, if you wanted to play a video from a Blu Ray/DVD player that is connected to the AVR, but have audio again playing from Pandora, that won't work because the video signal is going through the AVR and it will link the video and audio signal to the same input. Anything plugged into the AVR will have its video sent to the TV and the audio to the speaker. You can't pick and choose which goes where, without getting something extremely expensive.
One last thing to consider, and one of the strongest reasons for an AVR: you will have true 5.1 sound if you have a full speaker setup. Two speakers behind you to the sides, two front (left and right), center and subwoofer. The difference compared to two channel stereo for movies can be incredible. Just be aware that speakers can end up costing far more than your AVR or TV. With Radio Shack out of business, you can't pick up an inexpensive bookshelf speaker for $40 or so anymore. 😄
I was getting only stereo from my Roku through my AVR. After trying all of the ROKU setting suggestions, I discovered "Listening Modes" on my AVR.
Listening modes can be selected for each input to the AVR and changed via the remote. Changes are sticky and remain until changed.
I selected my Roku as the input and, using the AVR remote, changed the listening mode to "direct". Dolby was detected!
Listening mode names vary on different AVRs, but most have them. I can use "direct" or "movie" for my Roku to get Dolby.