Given the Roku 2's inability to decode the 5.1 channel DD+ on Netflix''s stream to output as LPCM or something, I can see some excuse for this, since they can't assume that it's connected to a device which can deal with DD+ (and devices which can't probably won't output any sound if 5.1 is selected), but there are definitely ways to deal with that. For one, if the device is connected via HDMI (and it couldn't receive DD+ otherwise) they ought to be able to examine the downstream device's (AVR or TV) E-EDID block to determine if it supports DD+ at boot and store that information where the Netflix player can access it (or the Netflix player could check every time you start it). If not, the "Audio Mode" setting should have an option for it (Stereo, 5.1, 5.1 with DD+ support) and that information should be available to the Netflix player.mkiker2089 wrote:RokuShawnS wrote:mikeyts wrote:The 5.1 sound thing is a serious problem, since if the Netflix UI doesn't offer it, you can't get 5.1 sound (if it doesn't advertise that a title has HD encodings you'll get them anyway). Also, it still makes stereo the default for titles with 5.1 sound, even though I've told it in the device settings to output 5.1 sound.
This is currently by design, regarding defaulting to Stereo in Netflix. 5.1 in Netflix is a separate setting entirely.
C. Shawn Smith
That design needs to be changed however. Why would someone with 5.1 want stereo sound ever? Why would they want to have to chose 5.1 before each show. Netflix needs a global setting for this.
There's a bug in the Netflix UI which causes it to not indicate that some titles have 5.1 sound and/or that they have HD encodings. For at least some of those titles, this is a problem with Netflix's metadata (Red Cliff, Ong Bak 2, Trollhunter, etc)--there's at least one other facility that I know of which can't see that those titles have 5.1 sound, being tvandmoviesnow.com. On the other hand, there are things which can see that those titles have 5.1 sound: the Roku "Netflix Instant Browser" channel, the PS3's Netflix player and my BD player's Netflix player (that I'm aware of).Also I think the point of the above post was that the 5.1 issue is compunded because 5.1 is available but the current UI problems prevent them from turning them on.
For me, 5.1 sound is a bigger factor in making video viewing immersive than high definition; given a choice between high def in stereo and standard def with 5.1 sound, for most titles I'd choose the latter (though I'd greatly prefer to have both). Having to remember to turn it on is a huge annoyance for me--I often start a title and then realize that stereo sound is selected and have to go back to select it and start again. When I'm watching a TV series, I often watch multiple episodes in succession and after every one I have to remember to enable 5.1 sound for the next episode. I thought that this was a bug and was prepared to wait for it to be fixed but now I know that it was by design. When a streamer emerges which has both Netflix with 1080p/5.1/CC and Amazon with HD and 5.1 sound I'm going to buy it and sell my Roku 2 (no offense, Roku). I'm hoping that the new WD TV Live model, which has the requisite full-featured Netflix player and VUDU, will add an Amazon player with 5.1 sound capability; it's gotten some pretty good reviews.