Google Hub Won't Keep "Now Playing" Screen, Won't Stop Displaying

Roon Core Machine

MacBookPro (headless, only running Core)
Big Sur 11.6
3.5 GHz Dual-Core i7

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Google Wifi

Connected Audio Devices

Google Hub/Chromecast, registered as both audio and display endpoints in Roon client

Number of Tracks in Library

~60k tracks

Description of Issue

Re-posting this b/c the last thread was closed and I have new testing data: Google Hub Display Keeps Flipping to Generic "Playing Roon" Screen?

UPDATED INFO: I’ve noticed that the Google Hub display will no longer briefly change to the artist/track playing screen any more between tracks, it just stays on and sticks to the black “Playing Roon” screen completely after starting up a new stream.

I have also found that clicking “STOP DISPLAY” in Volume → Display doesn’t actually turn off the Hub’s display, the Hub just stays on the same black “Playing Roon” screen even though I’ve asked Roon to stop displaying during playback.

When streaming to any Google Hub device in my house, the screen always displays the generic grey/black “Playing Roon” screen with the Roon logo but no additional details. It does not display the normal display that you would see when pushing a display to a Google TV/Chromecast connected to a TV or the web display.

Strangely, though, when watching the Hub during a track change you can see it switch to the “standard”, good display for a second on the currently ending track, then switch to the new track for just one second and then it’s back to the generic screen. It happens on all of the Hubs in the house. Any other streaming service works as expected when streaming to a Hub.

Here’s a quick video of a track change-over showing the behavior:

Is this a known issue? Is it something in my config? I have the display enabled for the Hubs to start on track playback, and the grey screens will start up right away, but not the richer display; that only pops up for a second when changing tracks.

Is the Hub a supported display endpoint? There was a post in Tinkering about the Nest Hub,Google Nest Hub as a Roon Display Working, might that help?

It is a supported display:

And thanks for the link to the other Google Hub issue, I saw that but I think it’s a different issue. I’m seeing the actual display pop up for a second then go to the Google “Playing Roon” screen, and my Roon client’s are showing that they are displaying to that Google Hub.

Hey @rcrawley,

Thank you for reaching out to us with your question. My apologies for the delayed response and for your wait. We’ve made some recent changes to the support team structure and some reports have experienced a longer response time than usual.

I’m sorry to hear that you were having issues with your Google hub displays. Since some time has passed I wanted to touch base to get your current status. If you’re still experiencing this problem and need assistance please let us know.

Can you confirm that you have the most recent Roon build across your google devices? Build 952

We’ll be watching for your reply and get back in touch as quickly as we can. Thanks! :+1:

What makes you think it is supported as display? it is nowhere listed in the article you linked. AFAIK it never worked as Roon Display so far. Read also:

@BlackJack The current Google Hub devices are Chromecast 2nd gen devices, which is called out as supported family in that linked article. All of the Hubs show up as available Chromecast displays in Roon, just like the Chromecast dongles you would plug into your TV.

Hi @benjamin, thanks for getting back to this. Yes, I can confirm I’m on the latest version of all software in the chain:

Roon Core: 1.8 (952)
Roon Client: MacOS 1.8 (952)
Google Hub: 1.56.290464

I just re-tested and am still seeing the same behavior as captured above in the thread: Display shows up in Roon, it’s selected as the current display, but I’m just seeing the black “Playing Roon” screen. Let me know if you need anything else.

They are Google Nest devices, whose origin is not even in the Alphabet group to which they now belong, while the Google ChromeCast products are genuine Goolge products.
Google Nest (later Home) Hub (2nd Gen) are not the same as the Google ChromeCast devices (Gen1, Gen2 or Ultra) mentioned as supported in the document you linked.

Feel free to add your vote to the feature suggestion I linked above. Hopefully Roon Labs is able to find a way to support those smart displays and also the ChromeCast with Google TV devices in the future. I’m sure, many users would appreciate it.

Not working for Google, Alphabet, or Roon I’m not in a position to agree nor disagree. But a few things help feed the ambiguity of if it’s officially supported or not IMO:

  • My Google Hubs ship with Chromecast 2nd gen (I’m running firmware 1.56, they started shipping Chromecast 2nd in 1.40).

  • It shows up as an available Chromecast end point in any app that support Chromecast – YouTube, Roon, Google Photos – and it’s fully supported by Chromecast audio groups. And as mentioned above, it’s showing up as a Roon Display. If it weren’t supported I would expect it not to be listed, or for them to publish explicit docs in the same way they document that Chromecast can’t be grouped with RAAT end points.

  • Roon’s docs say “…and various other devices with Chromecast built in are compatible Roon Display devices,” of which the Google Nest Hub is one, no different than a Sony TV that ships with Chromecast. You are correct that they don’t say they support Nest Hubs, but they fall into the “…various other devices…” category. That’s a wide swath that they don’t qualify, so no way of knowing if any specific Chromecast device is not supported beyond the two they call out, unfortunately.

Again, not disagreeing with you, just saying that the docs say they support Chromecast devices and Hub is a Chromecast device. If it’s not supported, then I’m all for the feature request (although it’s 3.5 years old now, as someone else pointed out, so I’m not sure any of our votes are affecting that feature request in any meaningful way… :slightly_smiling_face: )

ChromeCast 1st Gen:

ChromeCast 2nd Gen:

ChromeCast Ultra:

Chromecast built-in is a partner program, much like Roon Ready, for TVs and speakers.

PS: AFAIK is this partner program now obsolete for TVs respectively got upgraded to “with Google TV” for current devices. Users may run into issues too when trying to use those as Roon displays (no more the same feature set as with the old “Chromecast built-in”). I hope Roon Labs upgrades its integration to keep up.

Does your Nest Hub look like any of the named supported devices? Can you find it on Google’s partner program pages as a device with “Chromecast built-in”?

While it might show up under Displays in Roon, it is obviously incompatible (right now) and never worked so far:

And that’s it since Nov. '18. So there is still hope … there was no definitive “No” so far.

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