Users report dead Apple TVs after installing software update

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    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. :)
  • Reply 2 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.
  • Reply 3 of 61


    Jail Broken AppleTV may break after an update.

  • Reply 4 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.
  • Reply 5 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.
  • Reply 6 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    All I can say is both my version 2 and the version 3 Apple TVs upgraded and ran fine after all updates so far.
  • Reply 7 of 61
    I had the "problem setting date and time" error. Ugh, Apple needs to get on this ASAP
  • Reply 8 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
  • Reply 9 of 61
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 61


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

  • Reply 11 of 61
    dr_lha wrote: »
    . 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.
  • Reply 12 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?
  • Reply 13 of 61
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    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?  

  • Reply 14 of 61
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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. 

  • Reply 15 of 61
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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. 

  • Reply 16 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.
  • Reply 17 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.
  • Reply 18 of 61
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 61
    Just keeps on running...
  • Reply 20 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.
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