Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
sonus
Topic Author
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:11 pm

Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:33 pm

I have a 2 week old  Roku Ultra 4660X (2018) model and I can't for the life of me get it to provide 5.1  audio.  Should I return it? Can I fix it?

I have an Amazon Fire Stick 4k that outputs everything over Dolby Digital, wheras my Ultra hooked up to the same TV and audio receiver only does Stereo-PCM.

My hookup is Roku Ultra>>HDMI>>Sharp Aquos LC--60LE660U/LC>>Optical Audio>>Sony DPRF6500

TV supports surround sound audio, Dolby Digital, DTS
Sony headphones support 7.1 audio and Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic IIx
Tested app sources include Netflx,Hulu, HBO, Google Play
Roku Ultra is running 8.0.1 build 4090-46

My TV is set to output bit stream over the optical audio, and as per earlier my Amazon stick works perfectly over DTS, wherase my Roku Ultra only ever sends PCM both to my TV over HDMI and to my Sony via the TV's passthrough.  I have the Roku set to Dolyby Digital, DTS, and night mode off.  

What gives? Neither the TV nor the headphones register the Roku as a Dolby Digital, DTS source, yet both register the Amazon as multichannel Dolby Digital, DTS so I know at least the TV and the headphones are properly setup.
 
Heyitsrick
Posts: 1238
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:02 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:54 am

Easiest first step would be to swap HDMI ports as a test. Put the Roku in the Amazon's HDMI port on the receiver and vice versa. Set the Roku for Auto in the Audio section and reboot it.
 
chuchanpr
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:19 am

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:32 am

You will not get 5.1 audio on Netflix. Netflix encodes their audio in Dolby Digital Plus (and stereo).
 
Heyitsrick
Posts: 1238
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:02 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:32 am

chuchanpr wrote:
You will not get 5.1 audio on Netflix. Netflix encodes their audio in Dolby Digital Plus (and stereo).

Actually, this is the reason for your issues. The Amazon Firestick 4K will down convert Dolby Digital Plus and output standard Dolby Digital if you have it set for that. The Roku Ultra (latest version) will not do that.  So, you're only going to get 2-channel stereo over optical.  
 
sonus
Topic Author
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:11 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:37 pm

Heyitsrick wrote:
chuchanpr wrote:
You will not get 5.1 audio on Netflix. Netflix encodes their audio in Dolby Digital Plus (and stereo).

Actually, this is the reason for your issues. The Amazon Firestick 4K will down convert Dolby Digital Plus and output standard Dolby Digital if you have it set for that. The Roku Ultra (latest version) will not do that.  So, you're only going to get 2-channel stereo over optical.  


Every app I have tried has this issue, not just Netflix though. Does anybody have ANY cases where Dolby Digital works with the Ultra?
 
dfgsrzwer
Posts: 1429
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:45 pm

There isn't an app that I'm aware of on the Roku that currently uses DD rather than DD+. The last holdout was HBO, and they switched to DD+ last month.

If your receiver supports it, PCM can use Prologic II, which does a good job of converting 2 channel to 5 channel. By the way, you "tested" using Hulu. Hulu is always in PCM...if your receiver ever said otherwise it was because the device sending the info was not sending correct info (probably because it was not autoconverting; eg Xbox does this because it does not autoconvert like Roku does so Hulu will show Dolby Digital if I set the xbox to that). If you listen to the actual output only 2 speakers will have sound even though your receiver says "5.1". Setting something to DD won't change the actual output anymore than setting your resolution to 1080p changes an SD video to HD. To get actual 5.1 you need Prologic II.
 
Blue_avatar
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:46 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:54 pm

Hi all, I’ve got a similar experience that seemed to _just_ happen to my Roku Ultra (2016).   Been enjoying 5.1 sound since I got it, but suddenly I noticed it’s outputting only stereo.   This was experienced on a Netflix movie, so naturally I suspected maybe Netflix did something or I needed to check a setting.   When that didn’t work, I checked Plex ... also stereo.  Now recently Plex made a server update so I’m thinking a similar situation happened there.   Thankfully I have an Xbox One that can also run Netflix and Plex ... and it played the same movies in 5.1.   So this takes me back to the Roku, and likely something changed there.   I checked system update and saw an update was just made on 6/28.   Anyone know what this update contained?   I wrote to Roku but have received no reply.

Thanks for any suggestions!
 
azurenepsa
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:31 pm

The 8.1 update killed the 2016 Ultra's ability to output DD 5.1 over HDMI.  Here's a link to the thread where Roku acknowledges the bug:
https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=116363

In my setup, I'm still able to transcode to DD 5.1 over optical, but I have no such luck over HDMI.
 
Blue_avatar
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:46 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:21 pm

Thanks!  This explains it, as I am using hdmi.   
 
MightyHandy
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:39 pm

Yeah, we are all checking the forums and refreshing our ‘check for update’ every day right now. Ultra transcoding died with 8.1. Worked great before it... which is probably why they advertised it on all of the Ultra marketing materials. Right now... anything Dolby is gonna be stereo (your receiver is probably converting it to PCM). DTS still works though. Dolby is toast.
 
Andyg53
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:18 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:20 pm

I spent 45 minutes chatting with a roku tech earlier today before reading all of this. She tried to tell me that the reason that I stopped getting DD was because of my AVR. After that, I searched and found this thread, which has helped me understand. I have an ultra 4640X hooked up to an AVR that is compatible with DD and not DD+. It’s hooked up via HDMI. I have 3 questions that I hope you knowledgeable users out there can answer.

1. The loss of DD+ to DD transcoding, is that something that roku is trying to fix?
2. Does the optical connection still do the DD+ to DD change?
3. Can I connect the roku to my AVR using both HDMI and optical?

Thanks to all of you.
 
StreamerUserDude
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:16 am

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:25 pm

dfgsrzwer wrote:
There isn't an app that I'm aware of on the Roku that currently uses DD rather than DD+. The last holdout was HBO, and they switched to DD+ last month.

If your receiver supports it, PCM can use Prologic II, which does a good job of converting 2 channel to 5 channel. By the way, you "tested" using Hulu. Hulu is always in PCM...if your receiver ever said otherwise it was because the device sending the info was not sending correct info (probably because it was not autoconverting; eg Xbox does this because it does not autoconvert like Roku does so Hulu will show Dolby Digital if I set the xbox to that). If you listen to the actual output only 2 speakers will have sound even though your receiver says "5.1". Setting something to DD won't change the actual output anymore than setting your resolution to 1080p changes an SD video to HD. To get actual 5.1 you need Prologic II.

Actually Hulu on Xbox One supports 5.1 on their "Originals" as of over a month ago, and 4K (non-HDR) with 5.1 since 2016:
https://help.hulu.com/en-us/surround-sound
https://www.hulu.com/press/4k-ultra-hd- ... g-on-hulu/

Granted, they don't actually go out of their way to advertise this (probably due to both the device and content limitations), but its been there.

Otherwise, you're right that its generally PCM 2.0, though some devices' Hulu apps output DD2.0 (such as with recent LG TVs, etc) and either way it can be be upmixed via DPL or DTSN6 etc.
 
azurenepsa
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:51 pm

Andyg53 wrote:
I spent 45 minutes chatting with a roku tech earlier today before reading all of this. She tried to tell me that the reason that I stopped getting DD was because of my AVR. After that, I searched and found this thread, which has helped me understand. I have an ultra 4640X hooked up to an AVR that is compatible with DD and not DD+. It’s hooked up via HDMI. I have 3 questions that I hope you knowledgeable users out there can answer.

1. The loss of DD+ to DD transcoding, is that something that roku is trying to fix?
2. Does the optical connection still do the DD+ to DD change?
3. Can I connect the roku to my AVR using both HDMI and optical?

Thanks to all of you.

1. I would expect that Roku will fix the DD+ to DD transcoding in the next software update.  Hopefully an update will be issued sooner rather than later.

2. My Roku Ultra can transcode DD+ to DD over optical, but if there's anyone who's unable to do this they could chime in.

3. In my setup, I can connect my Roku Ultra to my AVR using both HDMI and optical.  I can adjust settings on my Yamaha RX-V371 AVR to associate the optical audio input with the HDMI input.  Also, in the Roku menu, I have to go to:  (Settings > Audio > HDMI and S/PDIF) and set it to:  (Dolby D) or (Dolby D, DTS) .  If I don't configure it this way, the Roku will output stereo PCM over the optical output (My AVR is DD+ capable, so if you have an AVR that's only DD capable, you may not have to adjust this setting).

However, it might be easier to just connect the Roku's HDMI output to your TV (and then connect the TV to the AVR via HDMI) depending on what your exact AV setup is.
 
Andyg53
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:18 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:09 pm

Thanks for your input. I think that the first thing I will try is using an optical cable.

Andy
 
azurenepsa
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Broken Roku Ultra? Why does everything downmix to PCM stereo??

Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:56 pm

Andyg53 wrote:
Thanks for your input. I think that the first thing I will try is using an optical cable.

Andy

I should also note that some 2016 Roku Ultra users were experiencing loud screeching noises when using the optical output.  However, a couple users said this was fixed for them in the 8.1 update.  Here is the thread that discusses this with the comments about it maybe being fixed on the last page:  https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=112681

I never experienced these screeching noises in my setup.

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