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Users report dead Apple TVs after installing software update

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Problems associated with the latest software update for the Apple TV set-top box have resulted in non-functional units for some users.

Details of the issues can be found in a growing thread discovered by AppleInsider at the Apple Support Communities website. There, users of the iOS-based Apple TV models indicate that upgrading the software on their device has rendered it useless.

After running the software update option on the Apple TV, a number of users indicated that the hardware simply displayed a blinking light, while nothing but a black screen is shown on their HDTV. Others found that their Apple TV could no longer connect to their network after updating, rendering the streaming-centric device useless.

Users began posting about issues with the Apple TV software update in late September, but the thread has continued to grow, with posts made as recent as Tuesday.

Apple TV


Manually downgrading the Apple TV software has been discovered to work as a possible fix for those affected by the issue. The process requires installing an IPSW restore file from Apple, plugging the Apple TV into a Mac or PC with a micro USB cable, and force restoring the software through iTunes.

The latest Apple TV software update launched in September labeled as version 5.1. It added support for Shared Photo Streams, and added the ability to send audio content from the Apple TV to AirPlay-enabled speakers and devices, including the AirPort Express.
post #2 of 61
I've had enormous problems with Apple TV since the last update. It's buggy, and crashy and constantly loses track of my computers and has to be rebooted (not to mention the ear and brain searing UI of the latest versions).

I guess I'm supposed to be happy that I don't have this and that it at least it *sorta* works. 1smile.gif
post #3 of 61
Yup. My 3rd generation Apple TV died at the weekend in this way. Can't connect to a wireless network and plugging in the ethernet cable immediately starts the light blinking and the screen goes black.

 

 

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post #4 of 61

Jail Broken AppleTV may break after an update.

post #5 of 61
With consumer electronics increasingly subject to firmware updates, the chances of "bricking" a device seems to grow higher and higher. I updated my Apple TV to 5.1 with success, but I'm guessing there are many reasons why an update can go wrong.

The solution to this is pretty simple: Apple and others need to designed firmware update techniques that are non-destructive if the worse happens. Warnings that "unplugging the device in the middle of an update may make the device inoperable" are not excusable in this day and age. Power-cuts happen, toddlers happen, stupid people happen, and random bugs happen.

A simple on-boot checksumming of the firmware to check it's validly written, and fail-over to a permanent copy of an old version of the OS should be standard these days. I don't understand why "bricking" should be an issue any more, other than cutting corners and cost.
post #6 of 61
this happened to me. it wouldn't detect my wireless network and when plugged directly into my router it would reboot itself after selecting the language.
even an iTunes restore did not fix it. i ended up getting it swapped out at the apple store. the genius said it was the first time he'd ever seen anything like it. when he couldn't fix it, he gave me a replacement.
interestingly, this happened on the 5.0 update but it fixed itself overnight. i wasn't so lucky with the 5.1 update.
post #7 of 61
All I can say is both my version 2 and the version 3 Apple TVs upgraded and ran fine after all updates so far.
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Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #8 of 61
I had the "problem setting date and time" error. Ugh, Apple needs to get on this ASAP
post #9 of 61
What I love in these cases is the number of folks that gripe on the boards on apple.com but when asked haven't taken it in for service

Things break, no matter who made them. It's part of life. The important part is how that break is handling. Apple generally has good service, as long as you follow the rules and don't act like a douche. I can't say the same about all companies
post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Jail Broken AppleTV may break after an update.
Actually depending on what you are using, a Jailbroken ATV will not allow you to upgrade. This is the case for me. I have been problem free and using features Apple should have included with ATV all along since I bought it. The ATV upgrades are usually not game changers, and by the time the jailbreak has caught up with the new update, all the bugs have been worked out by Apple.
post #11 of 61

Had my 3rd gen Apple TV replaced at the Apple Store two weeks ago due to MULTIPLE firmware crashes.

post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

. Warnings that "unplugging the device in the middle of an update may make the device inoperable" are not excusable in this day and age. . . toddlers happen, .

To me this, like backing up your data, falls into taking ownership of your stuff. If they tell you to make sure the power isn't turned off and you know your dog/toddle likes to pull things then don't do it until the kid is asleep and the dog is outside. If you are going to jailbreak, own it and know the issues tht could happen and so on.

Brown outs and bugs happen, can't be helped but certainly kids etc are your responsibility to deal with.
post #13 of 61
I did the update soon after it was available and have had no problems. Wonder what the variable is that causes some to crash?
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post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Jail Broken AppleTV may break after an update.

 

Do you actually have any evidence of this or are you just filling up the air with speculation and accusations?  

post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Do you actually have any evidence of this or are you just filling up the air with speculation and accusations?  

 

 

Are you really going to ask the poster to provide evidence of 1) something that is obvious, and 2) you can find yourself by doing a simple Internet search. Whenever you jailbreak your iOS device, you run the risk of bricking it especially if you update. I have two iPhones in the family, and both are jailbroken. The number one rule of jailbreaking is you don't upgrade until the jailbreaking community gives the OK. 

 

That doesn't mean the people who have bricked devices jailbroke their devices, but it is something to consider. 

post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post


Actually depending on what you are using, a Jailbroken ATV will not allow you to upgrade. This is the case for me. I have been problem free and using features Apple should have included with ATV all along since I bought it. The ATV upgrades are usually not game changers, and by the time the jailbreak has caught up with the new update, all the bugs have been worked out by Apple.

 

 

True, but there is different methods of jailbreaking. I agree though that the Apple TV is woefully inadequate especially in relation to the XBox 360, Roku, and now even the Google TV boxes. The 360 just added web browsing. Roku has a million channels, and it only costs $50. 

 

Apple should have had an Apple TV app store a long time ago. The only explanation would be that maybe Apple has something better in the works. The Apple TV should at least have messages, email, and safari. It seems a no brainer to bring games using an iPad/iPhone as the controller. 

post #17 of 61
We have two Apple TVs - a 2nd and a 3rd generation. Both are running the latest OS, and both work just fine and dandy. Just for the record, I've never "jailbroken" either unit.
post #18 of 61
No problems at all with two 2nd Gen AppleTVs, and the software was updated months ago, when released in September. All 3rd Gen units are still under warranty, but the morons complaining don't know how to take them in for warranty service. But you can't fix stupid.
post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Manually downgrading the Apple TV software has been discovered to work as a possible fix for those affected by the issue. The process requires installing an IPSW restore file from Apple, plugging the Apple TV into a Mac or PC with a micro USB cable, and force restoring the software through iTunes.
 

Ah.. So that's what the USB port is for.

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post #20 of 61
Just keeps on running...
post #21 of 61
No problem with my upgrade back in Sept, except it didn't come up smoothly, and I had to reboot it, as it didn't come up on its own.
post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

 

 

Are you really going to ask the poster to provide evidence of 1) something that is obvious, and 2) you can find yourself by doing a simple Internet search. Whenever you jailbreak your iOS device, you run the risk of bricking it especially if you update. I have two iPhones in the family, and both are jailbroken. The number one rule of jailbreaking is you don't upgrade until the jailbreaking community gives the OK. 

 

That doesn't mean the people who have bricked devices jailbroke their devices, but it is something to consider. 

 

Well that was my whole point.  I don't see how you missed it.  The poster directly implied by the posting that jailbreaking was at the root of the problem.  That's what I was asking for "evidence" of.  

 

It appears that there isn't at all and the statement was made just to gin up the forum.  

post #23 of 61

My Apple TV died not too long ago without an update. It won't connect to my network by ethernet. And when I unplug the ethernet to connect wirelessly, it still thinks the ethernet cord is plugged in so it won't do wireless. I've reset it and restarted it and tried setting the time/date and such. When I took it to the Apple store it worked perfectly.

 

I have no idea what the problem is but it's too old to be replaced under warranty.

post #24 of 61

My aTV 3 has been fine after updating. Same on my father in law's.  Hope they get that one fixed for those affected

post #25 of 61
3 units all updated without a hitch. The unit in my living room gets used for about 5-6 hours per evening for streaming shows and airplay. It's pretty much been bulletproof.
post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Jail Broken AppleTV may break after an update.

 

What does this have to do with the article?

post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


To me this, like backing up your data, falls into taking ownership of your stuff. If they tell you to make sure the power isn't turned off and you know your dog/toddle likes to pull things then don't do it until the kid is asleep and the dog is outside. If you are going to jailbreak, own it and know the issues tht could happen and so on.
Brown outs and bugs happen, can't be helped but certainly kids etc are your responsibility to deal with.

Not sure why people keep bringing up jailbreaking in this thread, the bricking has nothing to do with it. I'll agree, if you jailbreak and brick your device, that is on you.

 

The issue is with the fact that any update with the current system configuration seems to still have a finite chance of bricking a system. The Apple TV is supposed to be a consumer electronics device. If a simple update can break the system, that is a failure of the device in design. My point (which you ignore), is that it's easy to build in protection against the kinds of events that lead to bricking. It's got nothing to do with "ownership of your stuff" because the fact is this update is apparently bricking AppleTVs through no fault of the owner.

post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

All I can say is both my version 2 and the version 3 Apple TVs upgraded and ran fine after all updates so far.

 

Not sure why that was post-worthy. It's clear that some (not all) users are having problems. No one posts a story that says "Hey this product is working, just wanted to let you know."

post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-Daddy View Post

 

Not sure why that was post-worthy. It's clear that some (not all) users are having problems. No one posts a story that says "Hey this product is working, just wanted to let you know."

It's as post worthy as your "correction" i suppose...

post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

With consumer electronics increasingly subject to firmware updates, the chances of "bricking" a device seems to grow higher and higher. I updated my Apple TV to 5.1 with success, but I'm guessing there are many reasons why an update can go wrong.
The solution to this is pretty simple: Apple and others need to designed firmware update techniques that are non-destructive if the worse happens. Warnings that "unplugging the device in the middle of an update may make the device inoperable" are not excusable in this day and age. Power-cuts happen, toddlers happen, stupid people happen, and random bugs happen.
A simple on-boot checksumming of the firmware to check it's validly written, and fail-over to a permanent copy of an old version of the OS should be standard these days. I don't understand why "bricking" should be an issue any more, other than cutting corners and cost.

After multiple updates my 3GS still works great.

Why don't you apply for a job at Apple and teach them what to do.
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

No problems at all with two 2nd Gen AppleTVs, and the software was updated months ago, when released in September. All 3rd Gen units are still under warranty, but the morons complaining don't know how to take them in for warranty service. But you can't fix stupid.

 

Stupid would be sticking up for a company regardless of what problems they create. I love Apple just as much as the next person, but what would Apple have to do for some of you people to actually get pissed? I'm having problems with this TV update and under a tight schedule where I can't just simply drop everything and bring it into the store, so forgive me for being frustrated. 

post #32 of 61

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

What I love in these cases is the number of folks that gripe on the boards on apple.com but when asked haven't taken it in for service
Things break, no matter who made them. It's part of life. The important part is how that break is handling. Apple generally has good service, as long as you follow the rules and don't act like a douche. I can't say the same about all companies

 

Many people do not live close enough to an Apple Store that an in person visit is practical. If you are out of the warranty period, get ready for disappointment when calling.

 

-kpluck

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Do you use MagicJack?

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post #33 of 61
Hmmm. This explains the weirdness I experienced. I thought it bricked since I got a white light, but black screen. After giving it MORE than ample time to complete the process, I ended up unplugging it. At least twice. It finally came to life on the third try, but wouldn't connect to my network...at first...but, several minutes later it decided all was good in the hood. No problems since then.
post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

 

 

True, but there is different methods of jailbreaking. I agree though that the Apple TV is woefully inadequate especially in relation to the XBox 360, Roku, and now even the Google TV boxes. The 360 just added web browsing. Roku has a million channels, and it only costs $50. 

 

Apple should have had an Apple TV app store a long time ago. The only explanation would be that maybe Apple has something better in the works. The Apple TV should at least have messages, email, and safari. It seems a no brainer to bring games using an iPad/iPhone as the controller. 

why in the world do you want all these apps installed on an Apple TV when all you have to do is run them on your iPad and mirror the screen image via ATV instead? any app's UI on the iPad is far far superior to anything you could do with only an STB. you've got it all upside down.

post #35 of 61
Slow news day?
post #36 of 61

Blame Scott.

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post #37 of 61
No problems here with updating my 3rd generation Apple TV and it is working flawlessly. I can't see how so many units would respond differently than others.
post #38 of 61

What is up with Apples quality control center these days? The Macbook Pro and retina update 2.0 made many users laptops inoperable and now this update does the same to Apple TV. 

post #39 of 61

No Issues on my 2 Gen 2 Apple TVs

post #40 of 61
charlituna View Post
What I love in these cases is the number of folks that gripe on the boards on apple.com but when asked haven't taken it in for service
Things break, no matter who made them. It's part of life. The important part is how that break is handling. Apple generally has good service, as long as you follow the rules and don't act like a douche. I can't say the same about all companies

I have to drive for an hour and change to reach my closest Apple store. If this problem was caused by a patch that can be done at home, it's not unreasonable to expect a fix applied the same way.

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