I really can't stand to muddle through twenty-four pages
of semi-informed bickering and repeat arguments (mostly "blame-the-victim" nonsense) to get some information, but I'm going to squish the "blame-the-victim" arguments flat here and explain why Roku has *absolutely* no conceivable reason to sit around complacent with this firmware bug - because let's call it like it is, it's a bug.
It's really this simple:
a CD-R drive can burn CD-Rs, and that's it (I've only seen these in the 1x-4x range MANY years ago)
a CD-RW drive can burn CD-Rs and CD-RWs.
a DVD-R drive can burn DVD-Rs, CD-RWs, and CD-Rs.
a DVD+-R drive can burn DVD-Rs, DVD+Rs, CD-RWs, and CD-Rs.
a DVD+-RW drive can burn DVD-Rs, DVD-RWs (the biggest "late-comer to the game" EVER), DVD+RWs, CD-RWs, and CD-Rs.
a DVD-RAM drive is a bit of a market oddball, sometimes uber-multi (DVD+-R/W), sometimes DVD-R only, always CD-R and CD-RW.
a BD-RW drive can burn BD-RW, BD-R, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RAM, CD-R, and CD-RW.
What the flower does all this have to do with Roku 1080i?
A composite device can only output SD video at what I understand is 480i.
A 480p component device can output SD video at 480p or 480i - and the only device I know that does this is the Wii.
A 720p device can usually output component video at up to 720p, as well as 480i and 480p.
A 1080i device can output 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i - or in the case of my TV, it can "input" that.
And last but not least...
A 1080p device can output 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p.
Except in the case of Roku. And only Roku.
Now here's the funny thing. My TV is a Sony Grand WEGA 60" LCD rear-projection HDTV from around 2002. It's got 1 HDMI input and I use an automatic 5-port HDMI switch to connect my BD player, TiVo Premiere, living room PC (laptop, desktop, whatever I happen to hook up), and the Roku 2 XS I just bought. The Roku 2 XS, like everything else I own, says it supports 1080p and denies the existence of a "1080i" standard like a forgotten standard. Yes. Everything else I own never acknowledged the existence of 1080i, yet somehow I can always push "display" on my TV remote and see "1080i" for the picture mode.
Including the Roku 2 XS.
..."Wait, what? um... didn't you just... wait, what... what's this bug... uh... WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"
Yes, my Roku 2 XS also ran in 1080i mode for a while. I remember quite clearly, because my TV changes aspect modes when something feeds 480p video to it via HDMI. I watched videos on Vudu in "HDX" mode - 1080p mode - and got all the quality out of it. And I had 1080p mode selected from the start. However, about a week into owning it, suddenly my TV changed. It was a squished box. It was pixelated and ugly all of a sudden, when I rebooted the Roku box after crashing during a video.
It dropped its own 1080i support - which it was doing for a while. When I went to the TV mode menu, it had 1080p selected, but selecting it did nothing. I could switch it to 720p and everything became crisp again - but it was now in 720p mode, not 1080i. I hit "1080p" again, and it blipped back to 480p crunchy mode again. I plugged the Roku box in directly and it did the same thing.
The bug? I think the Roku box software is "falling back" to SD mode when it sees that 1080P
isn't supported. Instead of trying 1080i, it goes all the way back to "absolute unwatchable crap mode". If it would simply tick back a notch to 1080i - a mode that's undeniably supported by the underlying video-output chip that the Roku box uses (probably a common chip that pretty much every video player on the market today uses, guessing by how these devices work on the market). But since the software
is reading that 1080p isn't supported, the software
is telling the chip to fall back to Ghettomode 480p instead of ticking back a notch to the next-highest supported mode. After all, if I wanted a lower quality HD signal, I'd use 720p mode specifically - the option is there in the menu, leave that up to me!
All Roku needs to do is have the "1080p" mode fall back to "1080i" on the graphics controller. That's it. Every chip that supports 1080p also supports 1080i, and it's absurd to think there's some technological limitation that would prevent 1080p video from being converted to 1080i on a commodity chip like that with *no* additional effort. It's a bug, plain and simple, and I wish after 4 years and 24 pages of semi-informed babbling, Roku would simply edit a few lines of code and let us get our 1080i back.
It's a fair guess that poking the "reset" button on the Roku with the HDMI cable plugged in and the TV powered on will get 1080i mode back if I don't touch any of the display settings.