As mostly stated in my post:
I’m using original cables
the Roku is plugged into a wall plug , not the usb port on the tv
the light on the Roku is on / it is receiving power
hdmi is plugged in properly
i tried the other hdmi port with the same result
This unit has been sitting in this same spot with the same tv and the same cables and same wall plug for years and worked fine. It stopped working out of nowhere. Just like essentially everyone else on this thread.
it does not work on other tvs either