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MetalDave
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:51 am

While I don't want to speculate, I expect licensing to be the least likely roadblock.  I believe the existing product line demonstrates the Roku has a number of ways to address the cost of a license, and there are more viable options they've yet to explore (as some of you already indicated).  There's a reason Roku came out with the Ultra (and others) rather than just pushing a single, unified version of their platform (a la Apple TV or Fire TV). That's also why Roku may be the likeliest to offer a box that addresses this demand of more involved home theater enthusiasts. 

To that end, there are, clearly, costs associated with any of the viable causes I listed (license, hardware, or software/development).  If there's demand (which there appears to be based upon the feature request record), there's a business model to supply that product and account for those costs.  Historically, Roku is a company that recognizes niche opportunities like this. 

Perhaps it's that very marketing data (the info clarifying the demand) that's preventing Roku from responding to threads like this? They may be keeping that info close to the vest.  Again, it's speculation, but the record of silence on this issue may be telling as well.
 
q2klepto
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:52 pm

 Yup even on Boxing Day Sale - i regret getting the Roku Premiere+

No DTS-HD/MA and no Atmos passthrough? You need a license to passthrough the audio for an AVR/DSP to decode? On top of that - i have major sync issues with DTS files and Plex for months...altho i think 7.7 finally fixed this, maybe. 

Never going to recommend a Roku product - actually going to try and list the Premiere+ in the locals and try to get an Nvidia Shield 
 
ibzee
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:15 am

MetalDave wrote:
Hello, Roku team!

I am a mid-to-high end home theater buff.  I take this moniker to mean that I enjoy using products and solutions in my home theater setup that will provide maximum quality without breaking the bank.  To put it another way: will my family see a difference for the investment in the gear?  The intended audience of fellow users will understand this measure of quality versus cost.

To that end, 7.1 lossless audio (including the TrueHD and DTS-MA formats and the burgeoning of ATMOS and other advanced formats) in the home theater is important to me. Even the casual viewer can appreciate the effect of the rear channels and high fidelity in the home theater experience.  as a result, investing in the capability to play these formats has been a worthwhile investment. 

Therefore, I am compelled to ask: why has the Roku platform yet to support the pass through of lossless audio formats via HDMI to the AV receiver?

As I understand it, this has been a top feature request for a few years now.  I would feel better recommending and considering the Roku platform with just a little more understanding of the reasoning behind this feature omission.  Is this a licensing issue (which the passthrough concept would seem to imply a bypass)? Is this a technical issue with the hardware?  Is this a software issue (wherein Roku has yet to dedicate the resources to make this a reality)?

In my mind, it has to be one of those three.  I've seen much speculation from other users throughout the web (so, please, no need to add further conjecture in this thread fellow users).  One the same token, there is a commensurate amount of demand for the feature from customers willing to pay for it (if there is, indeed, additional cost involved). 

As many others have already said, the Roku interface is wonderful and my preferred method to access content.  I believe it is the most universally open and accepted platform. That said, this is a shortcoming that, ultimately, leads customers to invest in another platform to address this long-standing issue.  Like many others, I feel this is a less than desirable option for a variety of reasons.

Roku Team, please give us some insight as to the perceived and actual challenges providing this much requested feature.  Is there a development roadmap where this feature exists?  Is it completely off the table (as recent releases would seem to imply)?

To my fellow users: no need to second the motion. I believe the good folks already know we want this feature.  I'd like to see this thread used for a dialogue from the development team to the user community, so let's give them a chance to respond (before letting this degrade into a tirade of, "me, too.").  Likewise, if someone has already received an official response to this same question, please feel free to share.

Thank you in advance!

- Dave

Hi Dave - based on what i read on roku support website it seems the roku does offer hd/surround audio passthrough. see the link below. what am i missing here? please clarify. thanks
https://support.roku.com/article/208756 ... und-sound- 
 
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atc98092
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:01 pm

Surround sound, yes. But not HD audio. By HD Audio I mean Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. You might have seen Atmos mentioned on that posting, but it refers to the version of Atmos available via Dolby Digital + on some streaming sites. And that is not lossless HD audio.
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
 
Shinola
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Sat May 19, 2018 5:53 pm

I found this forum thread doing a search with the keywords Roku Flac support.  For those unfamiliar with Flac, it stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. Sounds like my kind of codec. So if it's free and there's no greedy licensing issues from companies with more money than God, what's the problem? Is there a problem or has this just not been touched on because it deals with audio only? I realize the OP is interested in the high res lossless in movies such as DTS, and DD.

It would be interesting if someone developed an app that could decode these movie soundtracks surround mode, convert them into .flac files, and have the .flac file play in sync with the movie from whence it came? - That's probably illegal now that I think about it. I guess I'm grasping at straws here.

Can someone confirm whether or not there is.flac file support on any of Roku's devices? I own one and it doesn't even have a usb port though it is wireless and has an Ethernet port.
I believe it has a giant "2" etched into it. I also own, what I'm told is the very first Roku model released and to hold onto it as it may be a collectable one day.

Thanks for the info so far, and in advance for any light that is shed on the.flac support question.

Thank you.

[EDIT] PS I want to be able to play the high res downloads I've purchased such as the newly mixed Beatles Sgt Pepper as well as the entire Led Zeppelin catalogue and some Stones and Todd Rundgren. from a site called HDtracks.com. The difference between a CD and these higher resolution flac files is quite noticeable to me with this type of music. I was stunned at some of the artifacts I've never noticed before on some of my favorite old classic albums.  Now I just want an alternative to running the headphone jack out of my laptop to my stereo as there is loss that occurs with that kind of connection. The car I've got covered - The Alpine CDE-153BT - even though the sampling has to be converted/reduced to 48k, and the bit rate no higher than 2304k it still sounds better than a brand new CD of the same recording.
I edited this in because I never did explain my reason for wanting flac support in the first place.
 
kpfleming
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Sat May 19, 2018 10:39 pm

Unfortunately FLAC doesn't solve the problem; the audio stream being sent out the HDMI port needs to be in a format that the receiving device (TV, AVR, etc.) can understand and decode. It is highly unlikely that any normal devices will understand 6 (or 8) FLAC streams in the signal and decode them into the various surround sound channel required.
 
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atc98092
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Sun May 20, 2018 7:42 am

Actually I've seen some Blu Ray players that supported FLAC, but because most of my players don't I haven't bothered using it. I'd much rather have DTS-MA and TrueHD bitstreamed. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
 
ddevonb
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Sun May 20, 2018 10:37 am

The Plex Server for Roku does handle FLAC lossless audio.
 
kpfleming
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Sun May 20, 2018 12:37 pm

I suppose there's a valid point there; HDMI can carry multiple plain (uncompressed/unencoded) bitstreams at once, so it's possible the Roku could send 6 (or 8) audio streams over the HDMI link, and then the TV/AVR would need to accept them and feed them to the various speakers. This would eliminate any decoder optimizations for room layout/speaker placement, though, since that would all have to be done before the conversion to FLAC.
 
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RokuDale
Roku Engineering
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Sun May 20, 2018 1:08 pm

The current Roku firmware will directly decode multichannel flac, however it will mix it down to stereo 16 bit 48khz before sending it out the digital ports.
 
Miami Son
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Mon May 21, 2018 6:45 am

RokuDale wrote:
The current Roku firmware will directly decode multichannel flac, however it will mix it down to stereo 16 bit 48khz before sending it out the digital ports.

Nice to see a Roku rep finally respond in this thread. I only wish it had been a response to the original question about why no digital audio passthrough on any Roku device. :(
 
chadwick404
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:02 pm

Hmmmm - now, I knew that Rokus didn't do everything - but wasn't aware that they didn't pass through hires, no matter the codec or format.  Very disappointing...so, everything in audio gets down converted to something no better than Cd quality?  Every audio format?  If so, any suggestions for alternative streamers?
 
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dgrace
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:59 am

I was told here once before, when asking about multichannel flac, that the roku will pass through ac3 from video without downsampling, so it will do so in some instances, just not for purely audio codecs. 
"I might be moving to Montana soon..."
FZ
 
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atc98092
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:34 am

chadwick404 wrote:
Hmmmm - now, I knew that Rokus didn't do everything - but wasn't aware that they didn't pass through hires, no matter the codec or format.  Very disappointing...so, everything in audio gets down converted to something no better than Cd quality?  Every audio format?  If so, any suggestions for alternative streamers?

Most lossless codecs are not downconverted. You simply get no audio. This includes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-Master Audio. The audio must be transcoded at the source, or the file must be recoded with a different audio codec. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
 
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RokuTannerD
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Re: The Reason Roku Does Not Support Lossless Audio Playback

Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:03 pm

Some good news to share! In OS 9.0, we've added support for DTS-HD Master 7.1 audio pass through on our current Roku player product lineup (www.roku.com/products). Files with this audio format should now be compatible for pass-through to an A/V receiver that supports decoding of this format. 

Thanks again for the feedback here. I've shared this with our team for future considerations. 

Thanks,
Tanner
Tanner D.
Roku Community Manager

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