Roku HD Audio Issues

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Roku HD Audio Issues

Postby ace1 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:44 pm

I have a longstanding problem with the sound quality on everything that I watch on Roku. In fact, Roku replaced my first unit for free with a new one many months ago. However, the new is no better than the original.

Here is the issue: All audio is partially distorted. Dialogue in movies is clipped and stutters. The last syllables of words are frequently lost. It is as though the video and audio are running at different speeds. It behaves this way on everything we watch. It tends to make about 20% of dialogue unintelligible. Kind of hard to follow British mystery shows with that kind of a handicap.

My Roku signal strength is always four dots perfect. The video is exquisite. My TV is an HD LCD. I am running the audio through a Vizio Sound Bar via an optical cable. It ain't the Vizio Sound Bar, as I get the same audio problem if I run the audio through the TV speakers. The feed from the Roku to the TV is HDMI. Lastly, I have tried every possible combination of sound output from the Roku settings menu and sound input in my TV's audio source menu selections. Nothing I do changes anything -- no better, no worse, just the same jumbled dialogue and "skipping" sounding music. Obviously, I have tested and re-tested all connections.

Has anyone out there in the vast universe of Roku users ever experienced this problem?? I could find no forum posts that resembled my problem. Am I the only person on the planet who has this issue? Six months months ago, all Roku could do was send me a new unit. Has the knowledge base grown in the past six months? I could really use some help.

Many thanks for your ideas.
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Postby KennyJ » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:06 pm

Can you try it on a different TV?
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Postby kumasuki » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:34 pm

What is the make and model of your HD LCD TV?? If the product manual is available online, I'm willing to look and see if it contains anything relevant to your situation.
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Postby ace1 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:18 am

Thanks Kumasuki.

The TV is a Sceptre X42 HDTV. I bought it in the Spring of 07. The 120 page owner's manual is available here:

[url][http://www.sceptre.com/pub/Manuals/HDTV/X42GV-KOMODO.pdf[/url]

I appreciate your willingness to help.

:D
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Re: Roku HD Audio Issues

Postby kumasuki » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:32 pm

ace1 wrote:I am running the audio through a Vizio Sound Bar via an optical cable. It ain't the Vizio Sound Bar, as I get the same audio problem if I run the audio through the TV speakers. The feed from the Roku to the TV is HDMI.


I went through the manual - some models have audio settings that only pertain to HDMI but not this one. It's strange that this occurs with both the TV and the sound bar (and I'm assuming only with the Roku) - I suspect it is a digital audio issue. The best way to confirm that is to connect the Roku directly to the TV using composite (R/W/Y) and playing some non-HD titles.

The manual does warn not to use both the 'optical audio out' and the 'composite audio out' at the same time - so, make sure you're not doing that. When you 'run the audio through the TV speakers' do you physically disconnect the audio cable from the TV to the sound bar (I'm guesising you're using the optical out) ?? Disconnect it if you're not, to test with the Roku.

There are potentially more factors with feeding the audio from the Roku to the sound bar (depending on how receiver-like the sound bar is) - which is why I'm trying to isolate the issue with the Roku connected directly to the TV. If the issue persists with a plain RCA composite connection it's likely something at fault in the Roku (despite being your second one!).
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Roku HD Audio Issues

Postby ace1 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:09 am

Kumasuki -- You are a Genius! You solved the problem. The composite cables from the Roku to TV eliminated all of the sound distortion. I have now rewired my whole system so I get Roku via composite w/o HD and stereo sound through my Vizio Sound Bar. I get full HD w/5.1 digital surround through the Vizio with my DVD player and digital HD TV. Basically, I have two parallel connection pathways.

Again thank you very much for your willingness to take the time to figure this out.

NOTE to Roku Forummaster. You guys should add this to your knowledge base for responding to service questions. I asked for your help on the issue months ago and all you could do was send me a new unit. You did not seem to have the knowledge and understanding of your own device that Mr. Kumasuki has.
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Re: Roku HD Audio Issues

Postby kumasuki » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:11 am

ace1 wrote: I have now rewired my whole system so I get Roku via composite w/o HD and stereo sound through my Vizio Sound Bar..


Glad you got it working. It's still a bit disatisfying that you're foregoing HD from the Roku (if your bandwidth supports it now or might in the future). The TV you have doesn't provide anaog sound (R/W) inputs in conjuction with the HDMI ports - however, I think you should be able to connect via HDMI from the Roku to the TV AND analog sound from the Roku to the soundbar. Then when you switch to the HDMI on the TV also switch the input to the analog port on the soundbar (if you can't switch inputs on the soundbar, this won't work).

Another approach for HD is to connect the Roku to the TV using component (R/G/B). Your TV does provide the analog sound inputs along side the component video inputs - so with this arrangment all you do is switch to the component input on the TV and the picture will be HD and the sound OK whether from the TV speakers or TV out through the soundbar.
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Re: Roku HD Audio Issues

Postby gspeedtech » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:32 am

I am having audio problems with my Roku box. It was connected HDMI and one day, the audio started cutting out and intermittantly making a weird screeching noise. Tried messing with the connections. Tried all available connections (HDMI, Component, RCA) no difference so I am sure its the box. No problem using the same cables and connections with a DVD player.

Does anyone have any ideas how to fix this? Firmware upgrade, Restore somehow?
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Re: Roku HD Audio Issues

Postby RokuShawnS » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:00 pm

What firmware are you on now? (Player Info > Settings) Should be build 1553.

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