@Chebo This sounds like it may possibly be an issue with DD+ content in relation to your receiver or setup. (The Roku Channel uses standard Dolby Digital, and Netflix uses Dolby Digital Plus for 5.1.)
- If you have Amazon Prime, Disney+ or Vudu, are you able to play surround sound content from those channels?
- In Settings>Audio, what is currently selected? Try selecting a manual option with Dolby Digital Plus—does this change the behavior in Netflix? If Auto-detect wasn't selected, try this option. Does this resolve the issue?
- Have you used the * option again while in Netflix to enable/disable any Volume modes?
- What is an example movie in Netflix that you try to play when you encounter the issue of no surround audio?
- Have you tried changing the HDMI port that the Roku is connected to on the receiver and the AVR connection port on your TV as well, just to test?
I ran though your suggestions just now and have the following responses to your questions:
- I have Amazon Prime (as well as Hulu and HBO) and can confirm none of these services play 5.1 on my system either. Amazon says it is playing 5.1 content. Hulu also claims to output in 5.1 to the 4670X that I have (https://help.hulu.com/s/article/sound-quality?language=en_US). In settings on the Hulu app it states "Audio Output Mode: 5.1 surround." HBO also claims to output in 5.1 (https://help.hbonow.com/Answer/Detail/241). Also, when I'm in the Roku menu the Denon is showing "Stereo" and shows a logo for "PCM," (which is correct by my understanding) and then when I go in to an app and play 5.1 content on any of the above referenced services, the receiver also properly switches to "DD+ & Dolby S - DIG," which indicates the Denon thinks it is receiving 5.1 but for some reason 5.1 doesn't come out of the speakers.
- In settings> Audio, there is an "Audio Mode" that is set to Auto (the only other option is "Stereo"). Under settings> Audio> HDMI, I have tried manually selecting Dolby Digital Plus, DTS (as well as regular "Dolby Digital Plus") with no changes.
- Used the * option again in Netflix and disabled volume modes (they were already set to off though)
- Netflix content I have tested includes Master of None (Ultra HD 4k 5.1); Black Mirror (HDR 5.1). On Hulu, Handmaid's Tale. On HBO, Barry. On Amazon Prime, Jack Ryan and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
- I moved Roku from the HDMI input on the AVR from "DVD" to "Game" with no improvement, and moved the HDMI from HDMI 3 (ARC) to HDMI 2 with no improvement either.
That's an interesting idea about DD+ content issues and that may be the culprit, but it still seems odd to me that all third party apps on the Roku device (i.e. Netflix, Amazon, HBO, etc.) don't play 5.1 but the Roku Channel still does works. Do all of these services use DD+ only? If so, that makes sense why it's only playing in stereo and points to the receiver/tv/hdmi cables as the problem then.
Another interesting update. I tried playing content through my smart TV (the netflix app) through ARC and it is also playing in stereo only. Could this mean there is something wrong with the Denon receiver?
@Chebo Thanks for the added details and testing. Based on the all the data you provided, it definitely seems to indicate that there is some issue, possibly with configuration, where the Denon receiver isn't handling DD+ signals from both Roku or your Smart TV correctly, and is somehow downgrading to stereo audio. Many channel providers tend to use DD+ for multi-channel surround sound for a variety of reasons. Dolby Atmos audio is also provided via a DD+ container in many cases, which makes this a more useful format standard for many channel providers from that perspective. I might recommend calling Denon support to review the device's configuration and all settings, check for any firmware updates for the receiver, or even possibly try performing a reset of that device. It's hard to say what can cause these issues sometimes, as each device offers a number of settings that may impact intended functionality.
Keep us posted after you've had a chance to work with Denon further and let us know what you discover.
Make sure you have the following options set on the Ruku:
Settings>Audio>Audio Mode = (Auto(DD+, DTS))
Settings>Audio>HDMI = (Auto Detect)
I had the same symptoms as you (also a Denon) until I made these exact settings. I still don't get 5.1 on Hulu, but presumably that is because I have a Roku3 and that model number (4200) is not listed in the Hulu 5.1 support announcement URL you gave above. I note that your model (46*0X) is listed by Hulu.
Please let me know if you get 5.1 to work on your model Roku; if so, I will upgrade to it.
@sgmfish - I did get it to work, but it was for another reason! So you can upgrade to this model if you wish. I'm hearing full 5.1 on the Hulu app now (see below fix). Denon was doing something on its own that prevented DD+ from going through so it was downmixing everything to stereo.
@RokuTannerD Thanks for all your help. It turns out it was the Denon receiver. For anyone with a Denon receiver with this problem, you can fix it by changing the "sound mode" settings from the remote. I pressed the yellow "pure" button on the remote (about midway down on the right hand side) and cycled to the "direct" option. By default it was set to "auto."
I'm not sure what any of that means, but for whatever reason, that solved the problem. My guess is that choosing "direct" allows the source (such as the Roku, smart TV, or whatever box you are using) to send its signal directly through the Denon without the Denon software interfering with it and mucking things up but I suppose it doesn't matter as long as it works now. Still, if anyone has a more technical explanation for why this happened I'd be interested to know.
Be careful. Although the Roku audio option selection confusion messed me up the most, I also went down the Denon "sound mode" buttons situation before that. You may find that your "problem" comes back.
The Denon complexity can lead you astray. There is a whole section in the Denon manual entitled "Sound modes and surround parameters". These colored buttons on the remote are involved in those features. If I were you, I'd stay away from those buttons. One of the biggest gotcha's is that once you have the Denon working the way you like, and you push one of those colored buttons, it can reset the Denon to whatever previous sound mode was specified for that button which can undo whatever you may have found that made things work......and you won't know it (altho the front panel of the Denon will change in subtle ways).
Those colored buttons only affect the output from the Denon; so if a stereo option is set for one of those modes (e.g., "movie"), you will only get stereo even though the input from the Roku is surround. Bottom line is that the sound modes in the Denon have to be right (affects Denon output) AND the Roku options must be set properly (so the input into the Denon is correct) for you to get surround.
P.S. If you haven't gotten the free Denon app for your smart phone, you should. It's better to work with than the Denon remote.
I have a similar issue.
I get DD 5.1 on the Roku channel, but all others and my personal movies only play in stereo. Tried all recommended fixes, nothing changes.
Setup is HDMI from Roku Ultra to TV and Digital audio from TV to receiver.
@RnAInSA Thanks for reaching out. 'The Roku Channel' provides standard Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, whereas many other channels use 'Dolby Digital Plus' audio. You'll need to be using a receiver that is compatible with Dolby Digital Plus in order to receive this audio format from other channels.
If your receiver supports DD+, I'd recommend trying to connect your Roku device directly to the receiver using an HDMI cable, then connect the receiver to an HDMI input port on the TV. This setup may help resolve the issue. Also, a reminder to make sure that you have all available options set to 'Auto/Auto-detect' in Settings>Audio.