So, many years ago I started with a Roku 1 but because it couldn’t produce a picture in HD, I was forced to buy a Roku 2. That solved the picture problem but as referenced many times by myself and others in this forum, I could never get surround sound. I know, I know, the Roku just passes through whatever signal it gets and my AVR is older and cannot decode DD+; so, I thought I was just screwed. In the intervening years I was gifted an Apple TV, bought a Chromecast, and then couldn’t pass up a Fire Stick for $19. The Apple TV was only device at that time which could produce surround sound using my 2007 HD TV but that unfortunately was inconsistent. Fast forward to today. I just bought a new 4k TV and guess what: I get surround sound (DTS 5.1) ON ALL DEVICES EXCEPT THE ROKU. Go figure. Was this just a poor business decision by Roku, or what? Now, I hardly ever use the Roku except for nowhereman’s channels for nightly news and on a rare occasion local news. So, I’m trying to find a reason not to mothball this Roku. What are you all using the Roku for (not a narrow interest channel but ones that have more universal appeal) that these other devices cannot get?
I definitely feel your pain. The difference between DD and PCM stereo is discernible even to laymenly ears.
Fire TV, Roku, and Apple TV are the three main TV streamers that use flash storage. Of those, Apple TV is the only to push DD.
Xbox One and PS4 also play DD but these are HDD based.
One of the other big problems is that the vast majority of TVs WON'T pass through 5.1 signal through the optical port.
Sony's do. Some Sharp's do. Many off-brand TVs do.
Also most all soundbars DO NOT have DD+ licensing either, but rather plain DD.
Sony is basically the only manufacturer with DD+ licensing on their soundbars.
LG, Samsung, Vizio, Philips, and Sonos do not.
So the Roku execs likely deemed Dolby licensing a superfluous cost given the current market.
Bear in the mind, this issue comprises many manufacturers and licensors with convoluted agendas.