Question Digital Audio Feed issues on HDMI capable Receiver


Platinum Member
Apr 26, 2003
I have the AVR 254 from Harmon Kardon, and it works fine so far as I know, but there is a behavior that so far, Ive only been able to find one workaround for, and it's ridiculous.

What happens:
When an HDMI source is connected sound plays fine as long as sound actually is playing, so a Blu-ray is playing, or a movie is playing on my Roku. But if the audio stream stops, ie, I hit the home key on my Roku Ultra, the speaker indicators on the front of the unit start flashing, indicating a loss of audio stream, and sound essentially mutes. The problem with this is, for example, the Roku menu sound effects of clicking between options won’t be “enough” audio to restart the stream, and thus, won’t be heard. Even the startup music that plays while the Roku is booting isn’t detected. There’s just silence.

The manual indicates when speaker icons are flashing, the audio stream is paused (like your DVD playback is paused), and the solution literally just says, press play on your DVD. But gives no indication about what to do if no stream is detected when there actually should be audio. I also wonder if the Roku IS sending this information but the stream isn’t long enough for the receiver to activate the speakers again. I don’t feel like there is really anything WRONG with any of my equipment, its just a poor design maybe on HK’s part telling the machine to stop “listening” for audio when the stream drops out.

Is there a way to make a Roku keep the stream “alive” in some way?

The workaround I found was to feed the HDMI from the Roku into the TV, then take the optical output from the TV and feed it into a DAC that converts it to analog. Then I plug the analog into the HK and set the Roku’s “Selection” on the unit to use “Analog 1” input. Then the source never drops out. I hear all of the audio coming from the Roku properly, menu clicks and all.

I listen to Music a lot on Plex and it even loses the stream between every song, meaning you don’t even hear the first 2 seconds of every song that starts playing because of this asshattery. I’m absolutely dumbfounded that they would design it like this and was excited to finally get AWAY from the DAC method and use an HDMI capable unit. It is unusable from a digital sound perspective at this point.

I wonder if anyone on these forums has run into anything similar with ANY equipment, not necessarily a Roku and a HK AVR 254, but with anything that may behave the same way. Any solutions will be appreciated. Thank you!