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Apple TV users report long rental wait times, HDMI issues

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
Early adopters of Apple's second-generation Apple TV are reporting issues with streaming HD rentals and problems completing "HDMI handshakes" between the new Apple TV and their HD TVs.

Several discussion threads on Apple's support forums related to issues with HD rentals not loading and HDMI connectivity problems have reached hundreds of posts in length as increasing numbers of Apple TV owners report having trouble with the device.

Some users report that Apple TV displays HD rental wait times of hundreds of minutes, while other video, such as trailers, HD Netflix movies, and YouTube begin playing after just a few minutes. "At one point, the HD movie was going to take over 3,000 minutes to load," wrote one user.

Though a portion of the users have resolved the issue by upgrading to higher bandwidth Internet, others report the problem occurring even with high-speed connections capable of handling HD video.

Another Apple support thread details potential compatibility issues between Apple TV and a number of HD TV sets. Users report frequent "HDMI handshakes" between the TV and Apple TV, with the picture returning with inverted colors. A user-compiled list of TVs affected includes models by Philips and Sony.

The Apple TV 4.1 firmware update, which was released last week alongside iOS 4.2, does not appear to resolve either issue.

Apple unveiled the revamped $99 Apple TV in September with a focus on 'the cloud' and streaming media. With just 8GB of onboard storage, Apple's new set top box serves as a hub for content streamed from the Internet, computers, or iOS devices.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in October that the company had sold 250,000 Apple TVs in "just a short amount of time."
post #2 of 87
In other words, AI is here to escalate the solution by giving the forum users more exposure, right?

Quote:
Several discussion threads on Apple's support forums related to issues with HD rentals not loading and HDMI connectivity problems have reached hundreds of posts in length as increasing numbers of Apple TV owners report having trouble with the device.

Some users report that Apple TV displays HD rental wait times of hundreds of minutes, while other video, such as trailers, HD Netflix movies, and YouTube begin playing after just a few minutes. "At one point, the HD movie was going to take over 3,000 minutes to load," wrote one user.

I'm assuming these people have filed radar issues with their current equipment and broadband configuration status, with any known or unknown performance issues for their backbone?
post #3 of 87
Getting in early here... Apple is D00med!!!
post #4 of 87
Afraid I did none of those things. All I can say is I have 12-14 megabit connection and experience no problems with my 1st gen apple tv starting a hi def rental in about a minute, but rentals on the 2nd gen takes anywhere from 10-30 minutes. While waiting, the ATV is reporting anywhere from 1-4 hours before the program is ready to watch.

I cannot eliminate the possibility that it's my wireless connection at home because I haven't done a full troubleshooting, but can say that I have never experienced any issues with any streaming services in the past, including Apples own 1st gen Apple TV.

I currently use an airport extreme base station with an Airport Express to extend the network. I use various security protocols including MAC address restrictions and wpa2. In other words, nothing particularly unusual. My guess is it's not on my end. I've also considered the possibility that my ISP is throttling my bandwidth but see no evidence of it.

There might be a problem with The ATV. Its definitely giving weird feedback on the delays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

In other words, AI is here to escalate the solution by giving the forum users more exposure, right?



I'm assuming these people have filed radar issues with their current equipment and broadband configuration status, with any known or unknown performance issues for their backbone?
post #5 of 87
Looks like a bit of rain in the Clouds.
post #6 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimguy View Post

There might be a problem with The ATV. Its definitely giving weird feedback on the delays.

I (sort of) agree. I am less than thrilled with the new AppleTV compared to the old. It is slower in its TV/movie downloads, photo/video/music syncing with the iPad and the Mac hangs for what seems like an eternity, photo streams seem to be of poorer quality, and there are a number of other minor annoyances (e.g., still can't get fully right the screen saver setting with photo albums when playing music, unlike with the previous model).

Overall, the only saving grace is the fact that it costs $99.

It's just not ready for prime time yet. As I've said before, 2.5/5.
post #7 of 87
I am also experiencing over an hour wait time to play HD rentals on my 2nd gen A TV. My 1st Gen only took 10 minutes or so before play.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimguy View Post

Afraid I did none of those things. All I can say is I have 12-14 megabit connection and experience no problems with my 1st gen apple tv starting a hi def rental in about a minute, but rentals on the 2nd gen takes anywhere from 10-30 minutes. While waiting, the ATV is reporting anywhere from 1-4 hours before the program is ready to watch.

I cannot eliminate the possibility that it's my wireless connection at home because I haven't done a full troubleshooting, but can say that I have never experienced any issues with any streaming services in the past, including Apples own 1st gen Apple TV.

I currently use an airport extreme base station with an Airport Express to extend the network. I use various security protocols including MAC address restrictions and wpa2. In other words, nothing particularly unusual. My guess is it's not on my end. I've also considered the possibility that my ISP is throttling my bandwidth but see no evidence of it.

There might be a problem with The ATV. Its definitely giving weird feedback on the delays.
post #8 of 87
My Apple TV certainly has potential, but at this point doesn't serve my needs nearly as well as my Roku devices, long downloads times being a serious issue, so it's been shelved for now.

Hopefully a few firmware updates will make it a bit more capable, and a bit less/slow and tied so closely to iTunes.

If Not - it only cost US 100.00, so no big loss anyway.
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post #9 of 87
The ATV performance has been better than I ever expected. I've read some comments here and there about movies taking hours to load and how they stutter or stop, etc., but I haven't had that problem at all. Movies start playing in seconds and I've never had to wait for things to load. I've been able to stop watching something, go onto watch something else, come back to the first program and resume where I left off. I've been able to skip around the chapters of movies as well without any hangups. Maybe I'm lucky (smokin' fast FiOS Internet service that's over 20mbps) but I've been perplexed by these comments about how long it takes to just start watching a movie from other ATV owners.
post #10 of 87
I have fiber optic to the home and the 1st gen was instant. As soon as I clicked on a movie, it started playing. Now it's not instant, more on the order of 5-10 seconds, but it's tolerable.

There's definitely an issue there, but I'm just glad I'm not one of those waiting half an hour or more before a movie starts!

One other issue I have with mine is it continuously loses the connection to my computer. This matters because you still need that link to browse your photo libraries (since they are not stored on the device).

Overall, the interface is so much faster, and Netflix is built in. I'd still give it a 4. Hopefully future updates will improve this cool toy.
post #11 of 87
If i switched input signal from A/V to HDMi, my 1st gen ATV wouldn't connect unless I either switched the TV on/off or rebooted the ATV. Most annoying but I lived with it.

No issue with 2nd gen ATV at all. In fact I've just bought another one.
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post #12 of 87
Except for some minor Netflix stuttering... All is good so far... Fast cable 26mbps

M
post #13 of 87
I bought the 1st gen ATV right when it first came out and although I was careful to keep it fully updated it never worked quite right. It erratically lost connection with my WiFi network and downloading HD movies was often sluggish and wildly variable.

So far my 2nd Gen ATV (on the exact same network setup) has been a dream -- snappier interface, faster movie downloads, nice and consistent operation.... and using AirPlay to stream video from my MacBook Pro and iPad has been fantastic.
post #14 of 87
HDMI-gate. I called it

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #15 of 87
Unfortunately, HDMI is so complicated, and content providers so enamored with HDCP, that connection issues just come with the territory. I remember a Best Buy salesman telling me one year that Samsung's early Blu-Ray players kept getting returned because people had HDMI connection problems with Sony HDTVs, but it worked perfectly with Samsung's TVs. I occasionally have purple screens when connecting my PS3 to my LG. And my HD camcorder's HDMI frequently fails to handshake with my TV. Maybe there's a systemic problem with AppleTV, maybe it's just finicky about certain TV models. Personally, I think HDMI is pretty shitty. Why is DVI way more reliable?

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post #16 of 87
The HDMI issue isn't just a second generation Apple TV problem. I have a first generation ATV and I've had HDMI connection problems with my TV since day one. At first I got around it with the AV cables, but the picture quality sucked. So now I have to reboot the Apple TV every time I want to switch and watch it.
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post #17 of 87
I've experienced the HDMI/HDCP handshake issue on 4 different kind of philips TV types!

And yes, I have also experienced the long waits for rental.

When I plug in a direct ethernet cable, the problem disappears!

So this is a problem about wireless connectivity, which I also have on my macbook 1,83Ghz Core2duo. OSX10.6. The bandwidth seem to be throttled. When i use an other mac or windows laptop, the speeds are sky high.

Come on APPLE, you can do better!!!!
post #18 of 87
No long wait problems for my ATV. 30mg Internet with airport extreme. HD rentals show up in about 15 seconds. airplay from my 3GS works fine(why apple does not do recorded videos, dunno). Are there feature short comings, sure, but generally works as expected.
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post #19 of 87
My ATV2 is working great. I am using FIOS, an Airport Extreme wireless network, and a Panasonic 720p television. I previously used the same setup for the ATV1, expect for a component video connection. The ATV2 quality seems about the same, perhaps slightly worse upscaling on some occasions but better format compatibility. Downloading movies and Netflix connections have been very fast (<10s startup), clear and consistent. Streaming local movie media has also been good. The ATV2s method for caching streamed content seems superior to the ATV1, with easier and more responsive rewinding and fast forwarding. So far, no complaints here.
post #20 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickertb View Post

I've experienced the HDMI/HDCP handshake issue on 4 different kind of philips TV types!

And yes, I have also experienced the long waits for rental.

When I plug in a direct ethernet cable, the problem disappears!

So this is a problem about wireless connectivity, which I also have on my macbook 1,83Ghz Core2duo. OSX10.6. The bandwidth seem to be throttled. When i use an other mac or windows laptop, the speeds are sky high.

Come on APPLE, you can do better!!!!

As more an more devices in our homes and neighbors homes are wireless and 802.11n has remained in a non-final state, my personal experience is that relying on wireless for connectivity of an ATV first or second gen. is a real problem. Time Capsule backups also are much slower than with an Ethernet connection. My connection to the net is only 1.5MB download and as with many in this discussion I experienced the same delays. When I pulled out an old Ethernet cable and ran it across the room ...... the problem was gone. I'd say there are more issues with the implementation of wireless causing these problems than the ATV2 design.
post #21 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Looks like a bit of rain in the Clouds.

Just the usual bullshit from a tiny minority of users who seem to always have trouble with everything they touch. We all know the type, always complaining about their computer locking up, their ice maker crapping out, their Toyota taking off by itself when they actually hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake, and of course their smartphone "death grip." There's one in every family. Now with the internet they can find each other, have a giant circle jerk, and point fingers at Apple, at&t, their neighbors, the Pope, Obama. I have one of 'em where I work. Every morning he comes in to find his work computer hosed in some way and then starts banging the mouse on the desk while cussing up a storm about the "idiots" in IT.
post #22 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


It's just not ready for prime time yet. As I've said before, 2.5/5.



It is just a hobby. Don't worry about it.
post #23 of 87
HDMI handshake? Well, that's the problem. It requires a fist-bump.
post #24 of 87
I'd really recommend against using wireless networking for streaming video applications. The bandwidth is too variable for many streaming systems to cope with. If you can't get an Ethernet cable from your router to the ATV (or any other streaming video device) then look into the Ethernet over power adapters. Although not full fast Ethernet speed, these still run faster than most people's external Internet connection so you won't have a bottleneck for streaming video. Switching to a hardwired connection will often stop video from stuttering every time you or your neighbor answers a cordless phone.
post #25 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Early adopters of Apple's second-generation Apple TV are reporting issues with streaming HD rentals and problems completing "HDMI handshakes" between the new Apple TV and their HD TVs.

Several discussion threads on Apple's support forums related to issues with HD rentals not loading and HDMI connectivity problems have reached hundreds of posts in length as increasing numbers of Apple TV owners report having trouble with the device.

Some users report that Apple TV displays HD rental wait times of hundreds of minutes, while other video, such as trailers, HD Netflix movies, and YouTube begin playing after just a few minutes. "At one point, the HD movie was going to take over 3,000 minutes to load," wrote one user.

Though a portion of the users have resolved the issue by upgrading to higher bandwidth Internet, others report the problem occurring even with high-speed connections capable of handling HD video.

Another Apple support thread details potential compatibility issues between Apple TV and a number of HD TV sets. Users report frequent "HDMI handshakes" between the TV and Apple TV, with the picture returning with inverted colors. A user-compiled list of TVs affected includes models by Philips and Sony.

The Apple TV 4.1 firmware update, which was released last week alongside iOS 4.2, does not appear to resolve either issue.

Apple unveiled the revamped $99 Apple TV in September with a focus on 'the cloud' and streaming media. With just 8GB of onboard storage, Apple's new set top box serves as a hub for content streamed from the Internet, computers, or iOS devices.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in October that the company had sold 250,000 Apple TVs in "just a short amount of time."

eh, i have a Roku and it flakes out if the hdmi cable is over 6 foot (had a 9). if you look hard enough you can find something 'wrong' with everything....
post #26 of 87
My Apple TV1 works faultlessly over wifi with 4-5 second wait over DSL internet connection of 4 to 4.2 Mb/s in Ottawa, Canada.

About to try an Apple TV2 in central Mexico with 2 Mb/s nominal DSL speed, measured from 1.5 Mb/s at quiet times down to 0.5 Mb/s during peak periods. Wish me luck.
post #27 of 87
I have no such experience. Movies are available almost in seconds for me. Perhaps those with delays have slow internet, it has to buffer.

As to HDMI, I actually just installed a switcher for multiple HDMI sources and find that when i switch to the AppleTV it is instant, switching to FiOS TV takes several seconds to establish a signal. I was interested to note this as I assume it shows what a great signal it generates.

Wireless streaming is Flawless on FiOS and Apple Airport Extreme! Anyone with an issue is probably not using .11n or has older .11g device sharing the router or they simply don't have the bandwidth to start with (e.g. low end Comcast with high contention ratios).

I always worry that many of the long threads complaining about anything by Apple are partly (if not mainly) filled with deliberate FUD artists doing anything they can to try to damage an Apple products reputation, remember antennae gate? Absolutely nothing has changed in the iPhone4 except the read out calibration and yet it is a huge success and the FUD has died away and the product is a massive success globally.

When such bad PR starts people start imagining or blaming things that otherwise they might have figured out were issues they could easily fix such as bad cables or not gripping a phone hard in a very weak signal area. That is the whole point of FUD attacks, the feeble minded buy in.
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post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Just the usual bullshit from a tiny minority of users who seem to always have trouble with everything they touch. We all know the type, always complaining about their computer locking up, their ice maker crapping out, their Toyota taking off by itself when they actually hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake, and of course their smartphone "death grip." There's one in every family. Now with the internet they can find each other, have a giant circle jerk, and point fingers at Apple, at&t, their neighbors, the Pope, Obama. I have one of 'em where I work. Every morning he comes in to find his work computer hosed in some way and then starts banging the mouse on the desk while cussing up a storm about the "idiots" in IT.

You sound a bit grumpy this morning. Nevertheless, while I agree some people seem to have a multitude of issues with their electronic devices, I think it is readily apparent the ATV2 has some issues with HDMI (Some Sony and Phillips HDTV's) and extended wait times when streaming rental movies. (You will note that almost all of those without a streaming issue have very high speed internet connections. It should not take a 20MB connection to reasonably stream a movie.).

Hope your day improves.
post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mex4eric View Post

My Apple TV1 works faultlessly over wifi with 4-5 second wait over DSL internet connection of 4 to 4.2 Mb/s in Ottawa, Canada.

About to try an Apple TV2 in central Mexico with 2 Mb/s nominal DSL speed, measured from 1.5 Mb/s at quiet times down to 0.5 Mb/s during peak periods. Wish me luck.

My suggestion for when you get to the slower connection is to simply start it downloading and pause play. Then leave it for about ten minutes or more before watching to allow a really good head start in the d/l. I used to do this with Apple TV mk 1 when on vacation and in slow connection areas. The more you let it get ahead the smoother the watching will be.
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post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

HDMI handshake? Well, that's the problem. It requires a fist-bump.

Fist-bump? Well, that's the problem. It requires a full TSA Pat Down for HDCP to work right!
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post #31 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuffOfInterest View Post

I'd really recommend against using wireless networking for streaming video applications. The bandwidth is too variable for many streaming systems to cope with. If you can't get an Ethernet cable from your router to the ATV (or any other streaming video device) then look into the Ethernet over power adapters. Although not full fast Ethernet speed, these still run faster than most people's external Internet connection so you won't have a bottleneck for streaming video. Switching to a hardwired connection will often stop video from stuttering every time you or your neighbor answers a cordless phone.

I'd suggest you invest in an Apple Airport Extreme, you describe something like I remember a decade ago
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post #32 of 87
Perhaps this is the reason for the new data center which last I heard is due to go on line before the end of the calendar year - could easily be to add more on-demand content bandwidth to support the increasing number of subscription and on-demand type activities.
post #33 of 87
I've had the 1st gen AppleTV... it is actually sluggish as far as moving through the menus, etc etc. It always felt like an inferior device to me.

The new $99 version is a lot better... faster through the UI, I love that it connects through Netflix and the Netflix navigation is same as the rest of the navigation. I watch a lot of Netflix and the load times werent' bad at all.

The pictures could be better quality though. Many of the pictures i took with HD and it looks like it compresses them too much... still, the pictures look good to the average viewer.

The AppleTV is connected via ethernet... not sure if wireless is causing the problem with everyone else. Though I did take my AppleTV to my parent's and sister's house over the holiday week and both had low end HD TVs and their wireless connection was from a neighbors house... so the signal was very low... The AppleTV connected well and was able to play with a few exceptions... but I narrowed that down to my sister turning on the microwave! LOL

Out of five stars, I give it 4
post #34 of 87
My 1st Gen ATV takes some time to load up an HD rental over the last year. We just rented Kick-Ass and it took 20 minutes before we could start playing it.

When we first got the ATV a couple years ago, our first HD rentals only took 30 seconds to get to the point to start watching. My RoadRunner account is pretty constant at 8-10mbps so I don't know if it's that or the iTunes servers. Plus I've had to restart my ATV due to the handshake issue.

I hate HDCP.....
post #35 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Just the usual bullshit from a tiny minority of users who seem to always have trouble with everything they touch. We all know the type, always complaining about their computer locking up, their ice maker crapping out, their Toyota taking off by itself when they actually hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake, and of course their smartphone "death grip." There's one in every family. Now with the internet they can find each other, have a giant circle jerk, and point fingers at Apple, at&t, their neighbors, the Pope, Obama. I have one of 'em where I work. Every morning he comes in to find his work computer hosed in some way and then starts banging the mouse on the desk while cussing up a storm about the "idiots" in IT.

Boy you're some kind of douche bag aren't you? I have over $10k worth of Apple products and this is my first time with issues.

No bullshit about it -- there's a problem.
post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albebaubles View Post

Boy you're some kind of douche bag aren't you? I have over $10k worth of Apple products and this is my first time with issues.

No bullshit about it -- there's a problem.

My old Quadra 840av still works fine, but my last MBP was a total failure. I've noticed that these days things, especially computer equipment, aren't built as tough like they used to be.

By any chance was your AppleTV Hail damaged back in October?
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post #37 of 87
i wonder if the user reporting "3,000 hours" to download a movie checked that their wireless network was still up.


i don't spend $5 to rent movies through my aTV, but everything streams fine from iTunes.
no HDMI issues with an aquos tv, either.
post #38 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

My old Quadra 840av still works fine, but my last MBP was a total failure. I've noticed that these days things, especially computer equipment, aren't built as tough like they used to be.

By any chance was your AppleTV Hail damaged back in October?

I have a Quadra 840 av too but IMHO my MacPro and MacBook Pro are built 1000 times better. I could drop either on the Quadra and it would be annihilated
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post #39 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i wonder if the user reporting "3,000 hours" to download a movie checked that their wireless network was still up.


i don't spend $5 to rent movies through my aTV, but everything streams fine from iTunes.
no HDMI issues with an aquos tv, either.

Actually, I just remembered once seeing that on my old ATV once and fell of the chair laughing. I started over and everything worked fine.

I recall a few OSs ago Disk Repair often said something similar for the first few seconds. I often wondered if they were like easter eggs put in by Apple programmers for a joke. It would not be too hard to program these messages to say "Oops having a connection issue" if ever the time were more than 30 seconds ...
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post #40 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Getting in early here... Apple is D00med!!!

Well, iTunes rentals may be doomed. If it weren't for Netflix on the new ATV I wouldn't have bought and probably many others wouldn't have either.
For $7.99 unlimited monthly rentals, many of which are HD, it simply can't be beat. The 24 hour window/ high cost of an iTunes $5 per rental is not worth it to me.
The Netflix HD rentals stream so smooth and look amazing.

And I can watch them on my iPhone with the Netflix App!!!!
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