2021 new gen Apple tv 4k Dolby Atmos Problems

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Robert D

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The last post on the linked Apple Support Communities page seems promising. Perhaps Apple is finally noticing that there is a problem with the Atmos in the Gen 2 units. I look forward to any follow-ups.

Netflix Dolby Atmos problems with new Apple TV 4k
Yes, im glad that they posted it right there on the Apple Support page. I probably should have done that myself. I never go on there. If any of you do, please post a link to this thread on there if it is allowed. If its not, you can at least tell them the name of this site and the name of the thread and they can find it on their own.

Apple support is supposed to call me on Monday. I will report back here with the news.
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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I've been using 15.3 for a bit, and while I have had the popping/muting and volume issue happen, I think it seems much less frequent.

I thought at least my volume issue was resolved for awhile, however it did resurface. But, its occurrence led me to start trying something that I wanted to share, and perhaps have anyone else try if they're interested.

Prior to starting to watch any content, I have been restarting the ATV. And by this, I do not mean by using the power button on the remote (which looks to only put the unit to sleep) but going into settings->system->restart. This seems to resolve my volume issue until the next sleep cycle or two, and also the popping issue. I watched a few hours of Atmos/DV content over the weekend without pops/muting. Do note, however, I have a limited sample of data, so this could be simply coincidence. This also correlates to the few times I've felt the issue was resolved shortly after an update, only to have it return later.

Anyway, could be nothing, but thought I'd mention in the event anyone else wants to play around.
 

Robert D

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I've been using 15.3 for a bit, and while I have had the popping/muting and volume issue happen, I think it seems much less frequent.

I thought at least my volume issue was resolved for awhile, however it did resurface. But, its occurrence led me to start trying something that I wanted to share, and perhaps have anyone else try if they're interested.

Prior to starting to watch any content, I have been restarting the ATV. And by this, I do not mean by using the power button on the remote (which looks to only put the unit to sleep) but going into settings->system->restart. This seems to resolve my volume issue until the next sleep cycle or two, and also the popping issue. I watched a few hours of Atmos/DV content over the weekend without pops/muting. Do note, however, I have a limited sample of data, so this could be simply coincidence. This also correlates to the few times I've felt the issue was resolved shortly after an update, only to have it return later.

Anyway, could be nothing, but thought I'd mention in the event anyone else wants to play around.
Thanks. Maybe I will try that the next time I have the sound problem. RIght now I am running 5.11 and I was able to watch all 10 episodes of the new Witcher season with only 2 instances of the sound dropout and pops. I think my older OS 15.11 seems to be working better than the new one 15.3.
 

Robert D

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I just got off the phone with Natasha at Apple support. She said that there is an official case started now with engineering because they have enough cases. Im not sure if that is something new for us or not, not sure if a case has been open long. Maybe having an official case will help. She said they are well aware of the problem now because of the number of people calling in.

I told her how some of you are reporting even more problems with 15.3 now, and it didnt clear up the issue. They want me to update my APTV4k to 15.3 but I said no. I told her how rare the problem is for me now and that I dont want to make it worse. They wanted me to update and then send them another report like I did before. I told her to tell them I dont want to make my device problem worse by updating . She is going to email them and tell them what I said and let them know that, from what I can tell, 15.3 has possibly made the problem happen more frequently. 15.3 definitely didnt fix the issue.

So my case is still open and she is going to call me back in 2 weeks to let me know what has happened. I hope all of you can find time to call in too and report what has happened. If youre running the new 15.3 it would be great to send them the diagnostic file. I would do it myself but I dont want to update to that since it seems even worse.
 

Robert D

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Oh, did anyone go onto the Apple website and add a link on the thread they have on the problem, a link to this thread here?
 

IraG

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I just got off the phone with Natasha at Apple support. She said that there is an official case started now with engineering because they have enough cases. Im not sure if that is something new for us or not, not sure if a case has been open long. Maybe having an official case will help. She said they are well aware of the problem now because of the number of people calling in.

I told her how some of you are reporting even more problems with 15.3 now, and it didnt clear up the issue. They want me to update my APTV4k to 15.3 but I said no. I told her how rare the problem is for me now and that I dont want to make it worse. They wanted me to update and then send them another report like I did before. I told her to tell them I dont want to make my device problem worse by updating . She is going to email them and tell them what I said and let them know that, from what I can tell, 15.3 has possibly made the problem happen more frequently. 15.3 definitely didnt fix the issue.

So my case is still open and she is going to call me back in 2 weeks to let me know what has happened. I hope all of you can find time to call in too and report what has happened. If youre running the new 15.3 it would be great to send them the diagnostic file. I would do it myself but I dont want to update to that since it seems even worse.
If Apple is working the issue now, then you might want to consider joining their beta program so you can provide some meaningful feedback regarding their progress. I already joined the beta program, but I haven't pursued this with Apple after getting a replacement unit, as I assumed it would go nowhere. Perhaps I should reconsider.

If you don't have an alternative streaming option that works properly (how about the apps in your smart TV?), then I can understand not updating from tvOS 15.11. However, based on what I have read, it was 15.x that made the Atmos problem much worse. It sounds like you have it worse on 15.11 than I had it on 14.7.

I haven't posted a link on the Apple support site, as it is probably against their rules -- I already had 2 of my 3 messages edited by the moderator, and I have no idea why. Members there have been pretty active about reporting the problem to Apple. I am looking forward to an update to the post I referenced a few days ago, as it closely mirrored your latest chat with Natasha.
 

Robert D

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If Apple is working the issue now, then you might want to consider joining their beta program so you can provide some meaningful feedback regarding their progress. I already joined the beta program, but I haven't pursued this with Apple after getting a replacement unit, as I assumed it would go nowhere. Perhaps I should reconsider.

If you don't have an alternative streaming option that works properly (how about the apps in your smart TV?), then I can understand not updating from tvOS 15.11. However, based on what I have read, it was 15.x that made the Atmos problem much worse. It sounds like you have it worse on 15.11 than I had it on 14.7.

I haven't posted a link on the Apple support site, as it is probably against their rules -- I already had 2 of my 3 messages edited by the moderator, and I have no idea why. Members there have been pretty active about reporting the problem to Apple. I am looking forward to an update to the post I referenced a few days ago, as it closely mirrored your latest chat with Natasha.
Well, I have a smart tv but really dont want to use that to stream from if I can help it. Ive not tried it and would have to depend on ARC delivering the audio to my receiver, and I really dont trust it. I think im just going to stick with my 15.11 for the forseeable future.

Whatever OS I had way before 15.11 was way worse. The OS directly before 15.11 had zero issues for me. The best OS for me would have been sometime between September 2021 and December 2021. In December 2021 I updated to 15.11 and the problem came right back. The OS I had from March 2021. when it first came out, until September was the worst for me. A 55 minute episode on Netflix or Apple tv + would screw up an average of 3 times or more on average. Sometimes it would happen 5 or 6x in 55 minutes. I think the series See on Apple was the worst for me.

It sounds like they are becoming more aware of the magnitude of the problem since more are complaining to them. Hopefully they figure it out. So for now Im just going to keep using 15.11 unless you all report back that youve gone several weeks or more with no issues on a new update.
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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This is great to hear! I am becoming more hopeful. My experience was 15.1.1 and 15.2 were pretty much the same as the problem was pervasive. So far, 15.3 "seems" better, however, it could also be the different content I am watching (but still Atmos/DV). I did replay "problematic" content on 15.3 and it did seem less frequent, if at all. I am also testing the "restarts" prior to watching content, but I have only a handful of times doing this, but with success. It is quite possible I just haven't watched enough content since starting to do this, and have set my expectations accordingly. Also, to add to the number of variables, I've recently replaced my cable modem (docsis 3.0 -> 3.1) and increased by b/w (500/10 -> 1G/30), but I'm not at all convinced this should have any effect.

On another note, I just saw someone post in a FB Atmos and Vision group another victim of this problem, and I linked our thread. Screenshot for reference:

1643694051595.png
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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Saw that; posted about back on page 7 or so. Pretty sure I linked back to this thread too in case anyone there wanted to contribute over here, as that thread is incredibly long and encompasses all things Apple TV and this issue occasionally gets drowned out by all the other comments/questions. But looks like this issue is becoming prevalent over there too (good!). Thanks for posting.
 

Robert D

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Saw that; posted about back on page 7 or so. Pretty sure I linked back to this thread too in case anyone there wanted to contribute over here, as that thread is incredibly long and encompasses all things Apple TV and this issue occasionally gets drowned out by all the other comments/questions. But looks like this issue is becoming prevalent over there too (good!). Thanks for posting.
Yeah, at this point you can find multiple web pages across the web that have threads on the problem. When searching I again found a few cases that occurred with the 1st gen Apple tv4k, back before the gen 2 came out. Most I saw where dated 2019 and 2020.
 

IraG

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I honestly never heard the problem on my Gen 1 ATV4K. I am not going to state that the Atmos problem doesn't exist on Gen 1 units, but I will say that those Gen 1 reports are very possibly/likely a very different and unrelated issue from the Atmos problem on the Gen 2 units.

Reports are in that the tvOS 15.4 beta 1 did not fix the Atmos problem.
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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but I will say that those Gen 1 reports are very possibly/likely a very different and unrelated issue from the Atmos problem on the Gen 2 units.
I would tend to agree with this. Too often different issues get conflated.
 

Robert D

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I honestly never heard the problem on my Gen 1 ATV4K. I am not going to state that the Atmos problem doesn't exist on Gen 1 units, but I will say that those Gen 1 reports are very possibly/likely a very different and unrelated issue from the Atmos problem on the Gen 2 units.

Reports are in that the tvOS 15.4 beta 1 did not fix the Atmos problem.
Yeah, im thinking that too but we just dont know. The reports back then werent very numerous like they are now, and so Im thinking it probably wasnt the same issue.

The engineers are going to have to look back and see what has changed since the first gen. I think you guys have said that the way the atmos signal is sent out has changed maybe? Different format?
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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I think you guys have said that the way the atmos signal is sent out has changed maybe? Different format?
I believe it is the same between gen 1 an gen 2. ATV receives the streamed signal and decodes it (rather than passing bitstream to let your AVR decode), then re-encodes it as LPCM with Atmos sent via Dolby MAT 2.0. So, your AVR no longer has to decode the 5.1 signal, but does receive the object-based metadata for the AVR to decode for Atmos (since the Apple TV has no knowledge of the configuration/number of Atmos channels in your system). Though, I do not think there is any difference between the two generations, unless maybe the bitrate changed in the new ones? But, I don't think that is the case.

As another test, I was thinking about seeing what would happen if I set my disc player to PCM vs bitstream, and played some Atmos titles (will the AVR even receive Atmos configured like this?). Just to rule out it is not something with the way the AVR is handling Atmos along side PCM (which I doubt). But I think I read this is how XBox'es, etc. work (PCM) and might explain the problems these guys are having with no Apple TV in the system. Could there be some widespread systemic problem with handling of (L)PCM + Atmos?
 

IraG

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I believe it is the same between gen 1 an gen 2. ATV receives the streamed signal and decodes it (rather than passing bitstream to let your AVR decode), then re-encodes it as LPCM with Atmos sent via Dolby MAT 2.0. So, your AVR no longer has to decode the 5.1 signal, but does receive the object-based metadata for the AVR to decode for Atmos (since the Apple TV has no knowledge of the configuration/number of Atmos channels in your system). Though, I do not think there is any difference between the two generations, unless maybe the bitrate changed in the new ones? But, I don't think that is the case.

As another test, I was thinking about seeing what would happen if I set my disc player to PCM vs bitstream, and played some Atmos titles (will the AVR even receive Atmos configured like this?). Just to rule out it is not something with the way the AVR is handling Atmos along side PCM (which I doubt). But I think I read this is how XBox'es, etc. work (PCM) and might explain the problems these guys are having with no Apple TV in the system. Could there be some widespread systemic problem with handling of (L)PCM + Atmos?
That is correct. The Gen 1 and Gen 2 both decode the Atmos audio stream and output LPCM + Dolby MAT 2.0 for the Atmos metadata. There is nothing wrong with this approach, and it works perfectly on the Gen 1 units.

My hypothesis is that the Gen 2 Atmos problem is due to errors in the creation and/or timing of the MAT 2.0 signal. Some Gen 2 units appear to have no Atmos issue, while others have varying degrees of symptoms. I believe this is because some AVRs and Atmos decoders are more effective at correcting and/or masking these errors.

Someone on the Apple support forum just got an HDfury VRROOM, and so far, his Atmos problems appear to be gone. This device acts like an eARC device, but extracts the HDMI audio from the HDMI signal. I believe it also provides error correction, so this would tend to support my hypothesis regarding MAT 2.0 errors. I don’t believe there is any issue with the Gen 2 audio stream decoding or generation of LPCM, as that should also affect other audio formats, since the ATV4K still decodes the audio and outputs LPCM, just without the MAT 2.0 Atmos container.
 
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IraG

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Here is a link to that HDfury VRROOM.

HDfury VRROOM

It is $400 more than a brand new Gen 1 ATV4K, so perhaps not the most cost effective solution to the Gen 2 Atmos problem.
 
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Robert D

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Here is a link to that HDfury VRROOM.

HDfury VRROOM

It is $400 more than a brand new Gen 1 ATV4K, so perhaps not the most cost effective solution to the Gen 2 Atmos problem.
Man, I dont really understand what the main purpose of that is. Why would most people use it? Is it only really for people that are having audio or video problems and want to correct it? It sounds like they are claiming it will somehow improve the signal as well? That is expensive, but if it works miracles I would buy it. Right now I just dont understand how it works and why to use it.

Can you explain? Thanks.
 

Robert D

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Here is a link to that HDfury VRROOM.

HDfury VRROOM

It is $400 more than a brand new Gen 1 ATV4K, so perhaps not the most cost effective solution to the Gen 2 Atmos problem.
Its funny, but if you click on the Getting Started link you can see they have an Apple TV inputting into the box. Coincidence they chose that instead of another source?
 

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Man, I dont really understand what the main purpose of that is. Why would most people use it? Is it only really for people that are having audio or video problems and want to correct it? It sounds like they are claiming it will somehow improve the signal as well? That is expensive, but if it works miracles I would buy it. Right now I just dont understand how it works and why to use it.

Can you explain? Thanks.
Hi,
I'm the guy from the Apple forum and I'm using the setup with the HDFury VRROOM. The HDFury is more than just only extract video and audio. This device is for many usages. You can use it as a switch, a matrix, an EDID customization manager,...

So I'm using it because I use my PC monitor when my wife is blocking the TV :D

My devices:
- OUTPUT: Asus PG32UQX PC Monitor HDR10 with 1400 nits, (Stereo only) and VRR (variable refresh rate, used by my Xbox)
- OUTPUT: JVC XP-EXT1 sound system with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X,...
- INPUT: Apple TV 4K Gen.2
- INPUT: PS5
- INPUT: Xbox Series X

I connected everything with my sound system,
- the first thing I have some problems with sound and video dropouts. Maybe the sound system is too slow, has a bad error correction, and has some handshake problems.
- second thing is that the sound system is not supporting VRR and some other color formats. So I can't use it with my Xbox.

After that, I bought a simple HDMI Splitter (HDMI 2.0) which copied the HDMI signal to two HDMI outputs. And had no video dropouts anymore but still had problems with sound dropouts with Dolby Atmos.

So I now I bought the HDFury Vrroom which is using HDMI 2.1 eArc/Arc and can extract the sound information from the HDMI input and output it to my sound system and my video to my monitor. After just connecting everything the XBox and Apple TV said my setup is only supporting stereo sound. Ok for that reason you can customize you Vrroom via webinterface. You can add to you setting for example Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Vision, HDR10+,... and so on. So Apple TV and the XBox detects that your setup is supporting these settings. So in other words you can manipulate the EDID information that a connected device is returning to a Xbox or Apple TV.
Vrroom is very complex what you can setup. I just read that you're able to convert a Dolby Vision into HDR10 and customize every little thing. Color, nits,... So this is the next thing what I will try as next. My monitor have such a good color range and brightness.

I never had any issues anymore. No video or sound dropout. I think it can handle the Dolby Atmos data better then all other devices.

In addition the Vrroom is automatically switching the inputs where an incoming signal is coming. So you don't need a remote control to switch the source.

If you're interested in it you can take a look at their website and read the manual a bit. For my usage it was not as complicated to setup.

So I hope I could clarify the usage of the Vrroom a bit.
 
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