Users report flickering issues with latest Apple TV software update

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
This week's update for the Apple TV set top box has created new issues and problems for some, as numerous users have reported screen flickering with various high-definition TV sets.



A growing thread in Apple's Discussions forums has dozens of posts from users discussing screen flickering issues that arose after the Apple TV 4.2 update released this week. The problems reportedly occur on a variety of TV sets from different manufacturers.



"There is a flicker (screen flash?) at random intervals of about once per second for a few tenths of a second," user RamonOC wrote. "And every 10-15 seconds (random), there is a complete video dropout for about a second or two. The audio is OK during all of this. It seems to affect every type of video including both menus and movies, including Netflix and home sharing."



Owners of TV sets made by Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi, Samsung, and Toshiba have reported similar issues after installing the 4.2 update. The flickering issue has been reported with a variety of configurations, including with a direct HDMI video connection, or with an HDMI to DVI adapter.



Most of the users who have shared their problems in the forum seem to own older TV sets that run at the 1080i resolution. The new $99 Apple TV, released late last year, does not support 1080i, but many TV sets and receivers will accept a 720p input and simply convert it to the compatible 1080i resolution.



Conversion of the Apple TV from 720p to 1080i reportedly worked fine for many users prior to the 4.2 update, which Apple released on Wednesday. The software update expanded support for AirPlay, added access to live streaming games from NBA League Pass and MLB.TV, and brought 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound for streaming Netflix movies and TV shows.



In addition to flickering issues, users said they are unable to change the HDMI output setting on the Apple TV after the 4.2 update was installed. For those users, HDMI output has been set to "Auto," and some have had their output resolution changed to a non-high-definition 480p picture which cannot be changed.



"I contacted Apple Tech Support tonight, and they sent it up to engineering," user kag49601 wrote. "The tech I spoke with had not heard of the problem yet, but after reading this thread, I am surprised by that... Hopefully we will all get another update to this so we can use our apple tv 2's with our older TV's once again."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    No flickering on my 7 year old Samsung DLP.
  • Reply 2 of 63
    aeolianaeolian Posts: 189member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    No flickering on my 7 year old Samsung DLP.



    Now I'm afraid to try it. I'll wait for the next update.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,716member
    Other gripes:



    It doesn't honor user configured song start/stop times in iTunes (set under "Options").



    And the new on-screen "keyboard" interface is terrible!
  • Reply 4 of 63
    No problems here, yet. I have a Sony Bravia that's not even a month old though. Connected with HDMI of course. Airplay is pretty sweet - I streamed PBS, YouTube and a video I shot on the phone with no problems. The resolution was pretty low but hopefully that will get ironed out soon. i see a lot of potential with AirPlay.
  • Reply 5 of 63
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    NO issues here at all. I wonder how many people tried to update by connecting the device to their computers and simply didn't reattach the HD cable firmly/properly...
  • Reply 6 of 63
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estolinski View Post


    No problems here, yet. I have a Sony Bravia that's not even a month old though. Connected with HDMI of course. Airplay is pretty sweet - I streamed PBS, YouTube and a video I shot on the phone with no problems. The resolution was pretty low but hopefully that will get ironed out soon. i see a lot of potential with AirPlay.



    There's no resolution issue to iron out. Your phone video is simply low resolution when broadcast to a large screen...
  • Reply 7 of 63
    I have a two-year-old 63" Samsung Plasma and haven't noticed any issues with flickering.



    Quite annoyingly my Apple TV reset it's connection with my iTunes library while I was watching The Office last night, but I think this is more the fault of my network than a problem with Apple TV.
  • Reply 8 of 63
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,405member
    I'm planning to pick one up tomorrow along with the iPad2. I'm assuming I won't have a problem with my three year old Samsung. The article seems to be saying it's only a problem with sets that can't show 1080p.
  • Reply 9 of 63
    Glad I didn't have the time last night to update my ATV. I will wait until the next update, or when firmware kinks are ironed out.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    I have a 2 year old Sony Bravia 1080p TV and I have had the flickering bug since the 4.1 update. My Apple TV 2 worked fine out of the store but as soon as it did it's first update I have this intermittent problem. I run it through a Sony DB3500 ES - This has recently been upgraded from a DB2400 ES which had the same problem so I know the receiver isn't the issue.



    The original Apple TV (which I still have) never gave me any problems. I have had my Apple TV 2 replaced at the Apple store but the problem still doesn't go away. I've tried new cables and all sorts and the only answer I came to in the end was that the HDMI auto detection was flaky. I want the ability to turn it all off and configure the resolution and HDMI control elements manually. I think that, in trying to make this device simpler, Apple have gone too far with this one and made it unusable on some devices. The latest update now seems to have exacerbated the problem.
  • Reply 11 of 63
    Isn't it 4.3 rather than 4.2 as referenced 4 times in this article?
  • Reply 12 of 63
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Apple seems to have more HDMI trouble than any other manufacturer. Let us hope they never build a television.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,400member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkhm View Post


    There's no resolution issue to iron out. Your phone video is simply low resolution when broadcast to a large screen...



    No..the phone is supposed to produce 720p/30 video. It may be overly compressed and it might not be the greatest sensor in the world, so there's crushed blacks, blooming, etc, causing any number of artifacts, but from a resolution standpoint 720p is the same as what Fox and ABC broadcast at (CBS and NBC broadcast at 1080i). So from a resolution standpoint it should look fine. Not as good as a Blu-ray disc, but fine.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    see flatsee flat Posts: 145member
    Apple TV and new software update: No flickering here at all.

    I used to hate with a passion my old set top box supplied by my supplier (videotron in quebec)

    TV and HD is fine, but their on demand rental systems just sucked big tiime. Awful, slow clunky UI,

    pause and play would take 10 seconds, it would take 30 minutes to choose a movie the interface is so retarted.



    and while I'm at it... Netflix: People saying it's bad because it takes 2 hours to download a 90 minute movie. That is gargabe. On netflix, or Itunes, it takes about 20 seconds for me to be able to press play and start watching a movie.



    Talk to your service provider.



    as for content, I've always rented older movies. So, all I can watch for 7.99 a month is way better than paying 3.99 a pop, or even 99C special on iTunes. If I want a newer release, I can always get it from iTunes.



    I LOVE my apple Tv and am completely satisfied with what I got for 99$
  • Reply 15 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Apple seems to have more HDMI trouble than any other manufacturer. Let us hope they never build a television.



    What will happen is their TV will never suffer issues within the apple ecosystem and simply have apple tv built in.
  • Reply 16 of 63
    jr_bjr_b Posts: 63member
    I had the problem prior to the update.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "I contacted Apple Tech Support tonight, and they sent it up to engineering," user kag49601 wrote. "The tech I spoke with had not heard of the problem yet, but after reading this thread, I am surprised by that..



    I love seeing comments like this on that board. Makes me think yet again that they should dump it. Because statements that it is not read by Apple nor is it a place for official tech support, some folks still act like it is. I stopped counting the number of times i've seen some 'report' a problem and when asked the person said no they did go to an actual genus or at least call AppleCare. Then they wonder why it takes so long to get things fixed. this guy might be the first one to call Apple, instead of just griping on the board.



    Nor do people get that Apple cant possibly test every single possibly before release. So yes sometimes folks like those with older equipment or less common equipment may have trouble. The software is what two days old. Give them an official report asap and they will get a fix out as quick as they can.
  • Reply 18 of 63
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    I must be doing something wrong.



    I never have issues after updates.



    Got 1080p Samsung. 4 years old.
  • Reply 19 of 63
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tiefling View Post


    I have a 2 year old Sony Bravia 1080p TV and I have had the flickering bug since the 4.1 update.



    The fact that this is not a universal problem with this of the prior update makes me wonder if it is your tv that is producing the issue. You ever connect that AppleTV to another television. Did you get the same issues.
  • Reply 20 of 63
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    I have two Apple TVs and can't seem to duplicate the problem on either of my TVs (Samsung or Phillips) -both are 1080p sets.
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