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Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+

Nextgen OTA TV 4k in the United States uses AC-4 codec from Dolby.  My area recently upgraded its OTA channel line up to start broadcasting in HEVC 4k and I purchased the Silicondust Flex 4k to pickup and decode these channels.  Unfortunately the Roku Streaming Stick+ does not include the AC-4 codec which cost anywhere from .15 to $1.20 depending on the the type of device and volume of sales.  The overhead of decoding AC-4 is minimal.  Most Samsung and Vizio TVs started supporting this standard in 2017.  With that being said, no one in Roku Support can tell me real specs on their devices.  I suspect that the Roku Ultra probably has this codec but there is no way of telling.  Also really disappointing considering I just upgraded the whole house to the Roku Streaming Stick+.  Long time Roku fan, but I guess I can go get a Chromecast Ultra for $50 and it'll decode this audio...   again using the Silicondust HDHomerun application native to the Roku platform to stream HEVC Nextgen 4k OTA and there is no sound.  The HD channels at 1080 work fine.  Any ideas if Roku will firmware update the Streaming Stick+ if I pay them $1.20 to include the AC-4 royalties?  Anyone using the Roku Ultra with this solution to watch 4k OTA with HDHomerun and the Flex 4k?  One last thing... this is the default standard of OTA TV and as of right now... there is only one (and the highest end) Roku device that might support this.  A little disappointing since Roku typically caters to cord cutters and should have seen this one coming.  

Thanks in advance.

9 REPLIES 9
StreamerUser
Roku Guru

Re: Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+

The 2020 Ultra (4800) supports AC4.

Chances of your current SS+ being upgraded to support AC4 decoding/passthrough are close to zero.

I don't own any HDHomeRun equipment, but...

Since the HDHomeRun FLEX 4K is decoding, why cant it it transcode it to EAC3/AC3 when streaming it to other devices?

For that matter, why doesn't their app know the model/platform limitations its running on and inform the server to transcode to EAC3/AC3?

 

_oo_
Reel Rookie

Re: Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+

I also got various Roku devices to replace all the cable boxes that I was getting charged monthly for, and it has been an awesome experience being able to access tons more content in any room without the need for cables running all over the place.  Aside from the soundbar product not feeding audio back into the TV so it can be played simultaneously on other audio devices, I've been really happy with the setup -- until now.

I too got an HDHomeRun FLEX 4K and a new antenna to try and reduce the need for subscriptions to get local channels, unfortunately all the ATSC 3.0 (HEVC) marketing **bleep** from all sides doesn't mention a thing about practically NO SUPPORT for the AC3 audio format.  Picture is great, but I only found 1 way to play content that results in audio, and that is using the HDHomeRun application on my fairly new MacBook Pro.  Playing through the HDHomeRun Roku App (which is really dated) won't even attempt to tune in the HEVC stations because they have virtual channel numbers that don't match anything it knows about (or for whatever reason).  Playing through Plex (browser and Roku) gets the video everywhere,  but it shows no audio is available.

LTFG
Channel Surfer

Re: Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+

ROKU Ultra prior to 4800 will NOT play AC-4 audio even with latest update. I too changed to Chromecast with Google TV as my prime streamer. I have another 4K TV with the ONN streamer and it too works AT A MUCH LOWER PRICE than buying another ROKU Ultra just to get the 4800 series. Very disappointed in Roku. Also, Channels Media server will take the HDHomerun-4K output and display on the Google and Onn devices. Nearly the same interface as Plex which also does not support OTA 4K.

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LTFG
Channel Surfer

Re: Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+

$20 ONN box supports ATSC 3.0 just fine. Now if Plex would step up. Onn also supports Channels DVR, Roku doesn't.

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Itguru
Newbie

Re: Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+

"$20 ONN box supports ATSC 3.0 just fine. Now if Plex would step up. Onn also supports Channels DVR, Roku doesn't."

 

How are you using it for ATSC 3.0? Does Silicon Dust make an Android version of the app?  Did not think they had one.  Just curious

 

 

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LTFG
Channel Surfer

Re: Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+

HDHR app is my second choice. Channels DVR is my first choice set direct play. Only complaint I have with the ONN is it seems unstable when I put on ethernet, granted it is separated from my media server PC by a MOCA system. However, heat may be the reason too. Works great on 5GHZ wifi. Getting a $30 Dynalink in a couple days and will replace ONN to see if Ethernet is stable on it. I have another use for the ONN on the media server ethernet switch. FYI, I use an older Dell Optiplex 7010 I got used on Ebay, i5 third gen, I think, as the media server running the Channels DVR server software as well as the Silicon Dust and Plex server. Added a large HDD to store movies I digitized and my music. I tried EMBY for a bit, but liked the recording/commercial skip ability of Channels better. 

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+


@Itguru wrote:

How are you using it for ATSC 3.0? Does Silicon Dust make an Android version of the app?  Did not think they had one.  Just curious


Yes, they have an Android app. It's actually better than the one for Roku. I have it on my Nvidia Shield players. But since the Shield doesn't support AC-4, apparently SD is using some sort of online decoding for the audio. I get audio from my ATSC 3.0 channels from my Ultra 4800 and my Shields, but only the Ultra is doing the decoding locally. 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

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Itguru
Newbie

Re: Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+

Thanks for sharing.  Trying to find an ONN streamer during the holiday......good luck as I just found out.  I a 4th gen ATV (1080) on the way, so going to see how that works out.  May put the cheaper ONN options on other TV's.

In any case, my TCL Roku TV and latest 4k sticks are still working well.  I just wish they would spend the little extra $$ to incorporate AC4 into their products going forward for those of use that like to be on the bleeding edge of technology.


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LTFG
Channel Surfer

Re: Nextgen OTA TV 4k - HEVC AC-4 - No Sound on Streaming Stick+

I discovered another set of issues when I went ATSC 3.0, my Pioneer SC-1223K won't pass through the latest generations of DRM so I had to go ONN to TV direct and either an HDMI splitter to the BDR input for audio (worked good) or TV optical out to receiver optical input (works too), but limited to 5.1 audio. I'm using the later method now as no OTA is better than 5.1 in my area. Changing out receivers is a no go for now as it is in a cabinet and would be difficult to re wire everything.

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