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A/V Setup Question Denon + Roku Ultra

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Brewder, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. Brewder

    Brewder Auditioning

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    Hello,

    I have an older Denon AVR-1312 receiver that only supports 1080P over HDMI 1.4a. This is good enough for my cable TV service. The Denon is wired to all of my surround speakers and connected to my 4K Ultra HD Vizio TV.

    I also have a Roku Ultra 4k media streamer. Unfortunately if I plug that into the Denon, it down mixes video from 2160P to 1080P. I don't want that....

    I can run the Roku directly into my Vizio and get 2160p @ 60Hz which is amazing..... The problem is then no sound through my surround speakers. I would have to turn on the TV speakers which are terrible.

    Are there any tricks for me to get audio into the Denon and keep the Roku Ultra wired to the TV? I also want to keep my cable box running through the Denon.

    Could I possibly use a HDMI splitter out of the Roku in some way?

    //Brew
     
  2. Brewder

    Brewder Auditioning

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    I figured it out. I connected the Roku to my TV on a 4K @ 60Hz port... Then I connected the TV to the Denon via the SPDIF optical cable... I then configured the Denon to assign the optical input to the "Game" HDMI input (which has nothing in it).

    So to watch Roku, I set the HDMI input on the Vizio... and set the Denon to "Game".... Whallaa, Bob is your Uncle!

    //Brew
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    But you only get 2.0 audio that way, right?

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Brewder

    Brewder Auditioning

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    Hmm... I'm actually not sure... My current SPDIF cable is about 3ft long so I had to really rig it just to test and prove out my theory. A proper length cable will be delivered in 2 days so I can test a bit more comfortably. I don't know why it would be 2.0 though...

    //Brew
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Because most TVs output 2.0 through optical from sources connected to their hdmi inputs. Just the way it generally works, though there are some rare exceptions.
     
  6. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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  7. Brewder

    Brewder Auditioning

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    I think I'm good. My Vizio M55-C2 says the SPDIF outputs Audio as:

    • PCM Stream (Lossless)
    • Dolby Digital 5.1 Channel
    • DTS 5.1 Channel
    • Digital Connection
    • Audio Signal Only

    So then if I configure my Denon to Decode as Bitstream, I should at least get 5.1 channel sound no?

    I hope to test this out tonight.

    //Brew
     
  8. Brewder

    Brewder Auditioning

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    This looks interesting! Except that for roughly the same cost, I can get another Denon (refurb) receiver that supports 4k Ultra HD natively... AVR-S540BT
     
  9. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    That's for the internal apps and tuners. It most likely does not pass it though from your Roku. Your manual is not clear. The best (only?) info I can find is from RTINGS.

    https://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/inputs/5-1-surround-audio-passthrough
     
  10. Brewder

    Brewder Auditioning

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    Well.. I'm no expert, and now I'm even more confused. :) On my Vizio when I configure the Audio settings. It says to "Select Bitstream if you want more than just 2.0 audio to be output via HDMI ARC AND SPDIF Optical output. Sounds exactly what I want. So then set my Denon optical input for "Auto" mode as I can only select, PCM, DTS, or Auto.

    On the front of my Denon, I see an indicator for Digital but I also see a PCM indicator and I'm not sure why.

    I started playing a movie (Avengers Infinity Wars), and if I set the surround mode to PLII or DTS Neo my living started to shake. But my understanding is those two modes convert 2.0 channel into a surround mode. It sounded great, but I'm not convinced I'm getting 5.1 output from my Roku connected to the TV.

    So, these "virtual" surround modes might be as good as it gets for this setup.

    What about HDMI ARC? My TV and AVR both support it.

    My Denon connects via HDMI to my Vizio on HDMI 1 (4k @ 30Hz). My Roku connects to my Vizio on HDMI 5 (4k @ 60Hz). I know nothing about ARC...so my head hurts thinking about it. Does it imply that my Roku will display video directly on the TV, then the TV will send audio via ARC back to the Denon for processing?
     
  11. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    What app are you using on the ROKU? Does the Vizio have the same app? If it does, compare the 2.

    FWIW - If you are happy with the sound it doesn't matter how it is working. Just enjoy it. :3dglasses:
     
  12. Brewder

    Brewder Auditioning

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    I was just thinking about this as well... I use the Roku because the built-in Vizio were/are are total CRAP... But in all honesty, I haven't tried them in probably over a year. I had all kinds of problems with Plex so I abandoned the built-in apps for Roku which is simply superior. I have a fairly decent Plex system running to consuming that content is a priority in my setup.

    I'll have to test out those build-in apps one more time.

    thanks for all the ideas/suggestions! This has been a great learning experience for me!
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Apps in smart TVs do tend to be crap. Streaming devices are much better, but you need to be able to connect them to the receiver, or you end up with degraded audio.
     
  14. Brewder

    Brewder Auditioning

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    Yeah... the Vizio Plex app is still useless..I think they stopped development. On the Roku, it's fantastic. So for now, I'm a happy camper using PLII is working good enough for me!

    Thanks all.
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    You can always keep an eye open for deals on a 4K receiver. Denon regularly has closeouts, but I'd stay away from the bottom of the line models. Step up a model or two at least.
     
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    BTW, have you checked for a firmware update on the TV? The Plex app might have been improved, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
     
  17. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Vizio's apps are pretty decent on newer model TV's (2017 and newer). I used to use PLEX on my bedroom Vizio all the time (before I moved to Emby). I never use it on my main TV since I have an nVidia Shield which does just about everything perfectly.
     
  18. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    I would look at upgrading the receiver. Amazon still has some Denon AVR-X2400 receivers on clearance (new in box) for under $300.
     
  19. ChrisOC

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    I have a Vizio M55-E0 (2017 model) and I run optical audio out to my receiver, which is also an older Denon model. With a Dolby Digital signal, I get Dolby Digital at the receiver when the TV's audio out is set to Auto, Dolby, or Bitstream.

    My Vizio does not accommodate DTS, but that's only a problem with Blu-rays that only have surround encoded in DTS, so I have a digital audio from the BD player directly to the receiver.
     

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