Does Roku output stereo from Amazon/Netflix as stereo or 5.1? - AVS Forum

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willdude's Avatar willdude
08:52 AM Liked: 10
post #1 of 6
11-17-2012 | Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009
I currently use a fat PS3 for Amazon streaming, and it outputs stereo tracks as 5.1 with the unused channels inactive. This makes it so that I can't use ProLogic processing on my receiver to convert the stereo to 5.1. (The Netflix app used to do that, but I haven't had Netflix in a while so apparently that's been fixed?) Anyway, I'm wondering if the Roku does the same thing on these apps, or if it actually outputs stereo content as a stereo signal so that ProLogic can be used.
mrsmith's Avatar mrsmith
11:28 AM Liked: 10
post #2 of 6
11-28-2012 | Posts: 487
Joined: Aug 2003
The Roku2-XS box offers your choice of either stereo or 5.1. Problem is that access to the 5.1 tracks on their 1080p 'HD' offerings requires Dolby Digital Plus - something many high-quality late-model amps do not have(even though they may have 10 other audio codecs). Same thing goes for VuDu's HDX service. A strange conundrum I've complained about to Roku(asking why not a 'translator' to some other audio codec), but no answer except they're sending the question to their techs).
michaeltscott's Avatar michaeltscott
05:50 PM Liked: 784
post #3 of 6
12-01-2012 | Posts: 17,867
Joined: Aug 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsmith View Post

...Dolby Digital Plus - something many high-quality late-model amps do not have(even though they may have 10 other audio codecs).

You know of AVRs which have support for TrueHD but not for DD+? I have to think that's pretty rare. I shopped AVRs a year or so ago and didn't run across any, but I was only interested in Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha and Pioneer. There are, however, plenty of not-so-recent AVRs out there which can only decode basic DD and basic DTS.

I don't think that the Roku's Amazon player gives you a choice of stereo or 5.1--if the title has 5.1 sound and you're connected via HDMI that's what you get. Amazon only outputs basic DD though.
Splicer010's Avatar Splicer010
12:02 AM Liked: 32
post #4 of 6
12-02-2012 | Posts: 7,819
Joined: Jul 2007
mrsmith can't receive DD+ (NOT a "requirement") on his low end Sherwood and instead of blaming Sherwood, it is easier to blame the streaming service(s). eek.gif

michaelscott IS CORRECT in that there are NO AVR's that will decode DD TrueHD and DTS Master Audio and not DD+ or even DTS High Resolution for that matter.

Worse case scenario is that the DD+ streaming from the Roku 2 XS gets down converted automatically in the AVR if the AVR does not have the ability to decode DD+ (as is with the Sherwood AVR in use at mrsmiths). If audio cannot be passed via HDMI as in the Sherwood case, then the end user is forced to use digital coax or TosLink to attain DD or DTS.

mrsmiths Sherwood does not have the ability to handle ANY audio via HDMI...period...
michaeltscott's Avatar michaeltscott
12:22 AM Liked: 784
post #5 of 6
12-02-2012 | Posts: 17,867
Joined: Aug 2001
I bought a new AVR last year because of Netflix's use of DD+ and Roku's inability to transcode it (I'd been thinking about upgrading to a new AVR for a couple of years; the Netflix-DD+-5.1-out-of-Roku thing was just the final push). My previous Onkyo AVR had HDMI switching but no support for DD+, TrueHD, DTS-HD HR or DTS-HD MA; it would receive DD+ from the Roku 2 and output a static noise. The Roku 2 is the only device that I know of which can play 5.1 sound from Netflix but not trancode its DD+ to basic DD; all of the BD players can do that or decode it and output multichannel LPCM and the video game consoles can do the transcode. DD+ is designed to be converted to basic DD via a computationally lightweight process, but to implement that process would require licensing from Dolby; Roku avoids the cost of that license by simply passing DD+ through.

Of course, if you have an older AVR without DD+ support, Netflix's stereo sound usually includes Pro Logic matrixed surround which can sound quite decent.
aaronwt's Avatar aaronwt
11:42 PM Liked: 827
post #6 of 6
12-02-2012 | Posts: 22,018
Joined: Aug 2001
The TiVo Premiere is inconsistent with Netflix. I can play the same title several times and sometimes it will output DD and sometimes it will output DD+. But there is no way of controlling it.
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