Roku setup

Help getting started with Roku devices, including setup, connecting your device to your TV, linking a Roku device to your account at my.roku.com/link, adding channels, subscribing to services, and more.
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
PCB
Level 8

Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

Setup: Roku Ultra is connected via HDMI to Sony Bravia XR85, which is then connected to Sony's eARC via HDMI to Arcam AVR 20 Sound System. (Also, have DirecTV Stream and Apple connected to Sony, but disconnecting them doesn't fix the problem, i.e., the issue is w/ Ultra, not other devices.) All HDMI is very High Quality.

The problem: when Roku is connected to the TV, it switches the setting "Bravia Sync Control" to go from greyed out to not greyed out. This causes the Sony Remote to no longer control the Arcam Sound System. I.e., when Ultra connected the Sony/Settings/Channels & Inputs/External Inputs/Bravia Sync Settings/Bravia Sync Control, which must be greyed out and in the "On" position for the remote to control the Arcam Sound System, goes from greyed out to NOT greyed out and the Sony Remote stops controlling Arcam.

3) Questions: 1) Does anyone have a solution for this? 2) Does Roku have a fix for this? Perhaps a firmware update? 3) Does Roku have a better device that doesn't cause the problem?

HDMI-CEC is tricky, but other devices, like Apple and DirecTV Stream, don't cause problems.

0 Kudos
2 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
PCB
Level 8

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

For others researching how to get the highest possible video and audio: if you have a high-end Smart TV with a good processor, then simply use the Apps on the Smart TV to get the highest possible streaming bitrate for video but also for audio. This minimizes connections--pass thoughts or otherwise--other processors, any device inadvertently downgrading the quality, etc. You have to make sure your TV's processor isn't downgrading the stream because it can't handle it. Get sound to the AVR through the TV's eARC return, and you will still have an audio stream that your AVR can manipulate and then send to your speakers. Use CEC to control the volume for the AVR, power, etc. with your TV's remote. 

Unfortunately, this makes Streaming Devices like Roku, AppleTV, etc. mostly obsolete. Roku is still valuable if you want Streaming services for which your TV doesn't have Apps. Also, if you prefer a particular remote, you will lose that as SmartTV Apps work with your TV's remote. (And be aware that the TV remote controlling Smart TV Apps is typically less than ideal.) 

Also, connecting everything through the TV and using that instead of Streaming Devices will minimize the problems that can come from HDMI switching. 

And lastly, while the old way was to send everything to an AVR and then out to the TV and speakers, in today's world of: ever higher bitrates; ever higher-end processors in TVs; the possibility of connections and pass-throughs inadvertently degrading the stream; the problem of running an AVR that sits behind a wall; the incredibly complex remotes of AVR's; and more; the best thing to do is run everything into a high-end TV and then using the AVR only for sending sound to your speakers in whatever you way you want. Soon, we will see very high-end devices replacing AVRs as all they have to do is take one eARC HDMI from the TV, no matter what device is being used to get the image on the TV screen, and then send whatever type of sound you want to your speakers. 

I wish someone had told me this when I was setting up my system; it would have saved me enormous amounts of time and headaches. Hopefully, this will help you. 

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
PCB
Level 8

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

Love the wife comment. As the saying goes I resemble that 😂

For those who are following this thread to try and figure out the best possible way to wire their system for the highest possible video, audio, reliability, and ease of use, you now have everything you need to make a decision about wiring through the AVR, as suggested by atc, or through the TV. The key being that for many years AVR has been the only way to do this, but that it can now be done for some just as well through the TV. And for several reasons outlined in the thread, It is better for me to go through the TV. 

Happy streaming. 

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
13 REPLIES 13
RokuDanny-R
Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

@PCB

Thanks for the post.

Have you tried connecting the Roku device to the sound system directly?

Please keep us posted what you find out.


Thanks,
Danny

Danny R.
Roku Forum Moderator
0 Kudos
PCB
Level 8

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

I do not want to connect HDMI's to the Sound System Arcam for a host of reasons. I know that it is what most people do, but with Smart TVs, there is no reason to do that anymore, and there are some issues like remote controlling an AVR on the other side of a wall, not wanting very high video streams to go through any more connections than necessary, etc., that make it not optimal.

Bottom line, I have hooked up AppleTV and DirecTV Stream with no issues, but both Roku and Portal don't play well with others. They do things like mess up HDMI-CEC settings and connections, and when connected to a Smart TV, they prevent other devices from taking control when you switch remotes--which is something that people increasingly do (and no, I do not want a Universal remote).

Very respectfully, I am not asking for what was suggested. I know all about wiring HDMI equipment. Instead, I am asking: 1) are you aware that your device doesn't work well when other HDMI devices are connected to a Smart TV (and a very high-end one with excellent HDMI management components, etc.?) FYI, Sony, Arcam, and high-end forums identify Roku devices as problematic. And 2) does Roku have any solution now or coming that fixes the issues? Thank you! 

0 Kudos
AK-MN53Sal
Level 7

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

Hi,

I share your concerns, having experienced a similar - but not identical - issue with a very recently installed Ultra. For example, my Samsung Smart TV (4K HD) supports ARC, which is automatically on when CEC is on. When the Ultra was installed, ARC ceased functioning: Sound was sent only to the on-board TV speakers. However, multi-channel sound from programs sourced from my ISP's "Cable Box" is sent via ARC to my AV system. Fortunately, or not, I observed a display from the Ultra that CEC was being disable for the program being broadcasted. This is unacceptable and requires resolution by Roku.

 

0 Kudos
AK-MN53Sal
Level 7

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

Danny,

I don't understand how/why your suggestion to connect Roku device "directly to sound system," given the single HDMI port, would work. How would the TV signals (Audio & Video) be delivered? All that said, Roku can remedy this connection issue by offering an Ultra+ with HDMI for video and either Optical or COAX for multi-channel audio. In my case with Samsung Smart TV, ARC wouldn't matter. Though, CEC may still be problematic.

0 Kudos
atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

@PCB wrote:

I do not want to connect HDMI's to the Sound System Arcam for a host of reasons. I know that it is what most people do, but with Smart TVs, there is no reason to do that anymore, 


Actually, there are a number of reasons why it's better to connect directly to the AVR, and CEC is one of them. I have two different Roku players connected to Yamaha AVRs, and I have no issues using the Roku remote for volume control, or using the TV's remote (Samsung and LG) if I want to use it instead. If you want to play media from a local source (either connected to the Roku via USB or from a DLNA server) you can only get DTS audio as a bitstream if the Roku is connected to the AVR. 

I realize that's not what you wanted to hear, but CEC is hit or miss between devices from different manufacturers, regardless of brand or the way they connect. In my experience, Roku devices work as well if not better than most other brands for CEC functionality, at least within the limits that they have been programmed for.. If you read posts on AVS Forums, you'll see many people with equipment ranging from inexpensive to super high end don't even try using CEC for anything, regardless of brand. 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
0 Kudos
atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

@AK-MN53Sal wrote:

All that said, Roku can remedy this connection issue by offering an Ultra+ with HDMI for video and either Optical or COAX for multi-channel audio. In my case with Samsung Smart TV, ARC wouldn't matter. Though, CEC may still be problematic.


Optical or Coax are far less than desirable for multi-channel audio. Either will only pass basic DD or DTS. You won't get DD+ (with or without Atmos) or DTS-HD. I realize that Roku players don't support bitstreamed lossless audio (TrueHD or DTS-MA), but perhaps they might in the future. Those codecs absolutely require audio over HDMI. 

If Roku ever does offer a new top end player, I would expect it to support lossless audio, along with image based captions and a Gigabit Ethernet connection. There's really no business case to do anything less. Honestly, I don't think they want to go for the high end market. It appears that no one wants to compete with the Nvidia Shield, which pretty much owns that level at the moment. That's why I have a Shield on several of my TVs, along with the Roku players. 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
0 Kudos
AK-MN53Sal
Level 7

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

I absolutely agree that Optical or Coax are far less than desirable for multi-channel audio. Either will only pass basic DD or DTS. You won't get DD+ (with or without Atmos) or DTS-HD. However, I'm sure you agree that DD and/or DTS is far superior to sound from the finest on-board TVs. If not so, then I wasted lots of $$$ implementing an AV system with: separate Pre-Processor/separate Multi-channel amp/Surround speakers/separate self-powered Subwoofer. Owning a Mustang Boss 302 hasn't quelled my dreams and desire to own a Ferrari some day.

0 Kudos
atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

@AK-MN53Sal I completely agree. And that's why my streaming devices all connect directly to an AVR in the systems that have them. Yes, I have several TVs that rely on the TV speakers for audio. But these are not used for "serious" viewing. The two main systems have multi-channel audio (one with Atmos) with supporting AVRs, and all devices connect directly to the AVRs. Nothing connects directly to the TV in those systems. 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
0 Kudos
PCB
Level 8

Re: Roku Ultra causes HDMI-CEC issue

Jump to solution

For others researching how to get the highest possible video and audio: if you have a high-end Smart TV with a good processor, then simply use the Apps on the Smart TV to get the highest possible streaming bitrate for video but also for audio. This minimizes connections--pass thoughts or otherwise--other processors, any device inadvertently downgrading the quality, etc. You have to make sure your TV's processor isn't downgrading the stream because it can't handle it. Get sound to the AVR through the TV's eARC return, and you will still have an audio stream that your AVR can manipulate and then send to your speakers. Use CEC to control the volume for the AVR, power, etc. with your TV's remote. 

Unfortunately, this makes Streaming Devices like Roku, AppleTV, etc. mostly obsolete. Roku is still valuable if you want Streaming services for which your TV doesn't have Apps. Also, if you prefer a particular remote, you will lose that as SmartTV Apps work with your TV's remote. (And be aware that the TV remote controlling Smart TV Apps is typically less than ideal.) 

Also, connecting everything through the TV and using that instead of Streaming Devices will minimize the problems that can come from HDMI switching. 

And lastly, while the old way was to send everything to an AVR and then out to the TV and speakers, in today's world of: ever higher bitrates; ever higher-end processors in TVs; the possibility of connections and pass-throughs inadvertently degrading the stream; the problem of running an AVR that sits behind a wall; the incredibly complex remotes of AVR's; and more; the best thing to do is run everything into a high-end TV and then using the AVR only for sending sound to your speakers in whatever you way you want. Soon, we will see very high-end devices replacing AVRs as all they have to do is take one eARC HDMI from the TV, no matter what device is being used to get the image on the TV screen, and then send whatever type of sound you want to your speakers. 

I wish someone had told me this when I was setting up my system; it would have saved me enormous amounts of time and headaches. Hopefully, this will help you. 

0 Kudos