2021 new gen Apple tv 4k Dolby Atmos Problems

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ttocs

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So, your timing is impeccable! Haha...I planned on calling into Apple support to get an update on my ticket, and more to complain about the ball being dropped (been pinging ticket every few weeks with last response in January). Your post reminded me to make the call.

Got moved up to level 2 supervisor and she was really friendly and eager to help. Talked for about an hour.

Here is what is happening next: I am sending my ATV4k Gen2 unit in for repair. Yep, repair.

I tried to get confirmation whether there is a known issue and if they have work instructions/procedures for resolving this specific issue, but she could not confirm. She said it was a different division/department/etc. I also tried to flesh out whether ALL ATV's in circulation are going to need to have this "repair"; also no confirmation.

I'm not at all confident that there will be anything to repair, but maybe they are remaining tight-lipped about it and there is indeed a fix available.

Anyway, do with this information what you will.
If you send it in for repair, maybe make a tiny mark on it somewhere to see if that one returns or if it's a new unit.
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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If you send it in for repair, maybe make a tiny mark on it somewhere to see if that one returns or if it's a new unit.
Good idea. Imagine the serial would be the same, but will do this anyway. I mean, they've replaced it once already. I asked how a repair would be different from going to buy a new one off the shelf, and she kind of danced around the question. Not sure I'm entirely convinced this will solve anything, and if this is a known resolution, why it took her so long to come up with this answer (and having to speak to colleagues).

I'd be curious to know how many others with open support tickets will also get this remedy, or if this was just some hail mary to appease an already frustrated customer. I do know that if I send it out and am without it for a couple weeks, and it comes back with the same issue, I'll be even more unhappy than I am now.
 

Robert D

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So, your timing is impeccable! Haha...I planned on calling into Apple support to get an update on my ticket, and more to complain about the ball being dropped (been pinging ticket every few weeks with last response in January). Your post reminded me to make the call.

Got moved up to level 2 supervisor and she was really friendly and eager to help. Talked for about an hour.

Here is what is happening next: I am sending my ATV4k Gen2 unit in for repair. Yep, repair.

I tried to get confirmation whether there is a known issue and if they have work instructions/procedures for resolving this specific issue, but she could not confirm. She said it was a different division/department/etc. I also tried to flesh out whether ALL ATV's in circulation are going to need to have this "repair"; also no confirmation.

I'm not at all confident that there will be anything to repair, but maybe they are remaining tight-lipped about it and there is indeed a fix available.

Anyway, do with this information what you will.
Well, at least it keeps the problem on their radar.
 

Robert D

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Good idea. Imagine the serial would be the same, but will do this anyway. I mean, they've replaced it once already. I asked how a repair would be different from going to buy a new one off the shelf, and she kind of danced around the question. Not sure I'm entirely convinced this will solve anything, and if this is a known resolution, why it took her so long to come up with this answer (and having to speak to colleagues).

I'd be curious to know how many others with open support tickets will also get this remedy, or if this was just some hail mary to appease an already frustrated customer. I do know that if I send it out and am without it for a couple weeks, and it comes back with the same issue, I'll be even more unhappy than I am now.
I, like you, am on my 2nd one as well. They swapped mine out last summer.

Is your's running on the latest OS? Is it even worse than the last?
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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I, like you, am on my 2nd one as well. They swapped mine out last summer.

Is your's running on the latest OS? Is it even worse than the last?
Yeah latest non-beta release. Can’t say for sure it’s worse. I noticed my AVR no longer drops the encoding when it occurs. But other weird things are also happening after too many sleep cycles. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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FWIW, I just sent Dolby Labs a message describing the issue, and how I was of the opinion that Apple is tarnishing Dolby's reputation. I'm sure it will go nowhere, but maybe there is the off-chance that it will receive attention and be pushed up the ladder to get Dolby to put pressure on Apple to resolve. Wouldn't be surprised if something about this problem violates their licensing terms in some way. Probably a fruitless effort, but I suspect Apple and Netflix are receiving the brunt of the complaints. Maybe enough people flooding Dolby with messages will get their attention. Perhaps it's time for a "DO NOT BUY DOLBY ATMOS!" campaign lol
 

Robert D

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FWIW, I just sent Dolby Labs a message describing the issue, and how I was of the opinion that Apple is tarnishing Dolby's reputation. I'm sure it will go nowhere, but maybe there is the off-chance that it will receive attention and be pushed up the ladder to get Dolby to put pressure on Apple to resolve. Wouldn't be surprised if something about this problem violates their licensing terms in some way. Probably a fruitless effort, but I suspect Apple and Netflix are receiving the brunt of the complaints. Maybe enough people flooding Dolby with messages will get their attention. Perhaps it's time for a "DO NOT BUY DOLBY ATMOS!" campaign lol
The bug is happening now to us watching For All Mankind on Apple tv service. Maybe I will bite the bullet and try using wifi.
 

JonFo

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The bug is happening now to us watching For All Mankind on Apple tv service. Maybe I will bite the bullet and try using wifi.
Been watching all the latest episodes and it has played back perfectly for me. Wired of course.

Matter of fact, the bug has not occurred in the past month+, and I've seen a fair amount of DV + DA content on Disney+, Netflix and ATV+, so something improved.

They really need to add an audio option to just pass the unmolested Dolby streams to the processor. I don't use the audio feedback or Siri, so no loss there.
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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They really need to add an audio option to just pass the unmolested Dolby streams to the processor. I don't use the audio feedback or Siri, so no loss there.
Rumor is another ATV is to be released. Maybe features will include "working Dolby Atmos". Kidding aside, Apple would be stupid to not include a bitstreaming option that could also fully take advantage of hi-res Apple Music, as well as appease us with TrueHD streams. Mu understanding is the older gen units supported a passthrough option, but then Siri came.

Also, saw in the tvOS 16 SDK there were some networking related changes/known issues listed. Wonder if that explains some peoples experience of having a better result with wifi over wired ethernet.

I will say my ATV with this latest OS feels like it's the least stable it has ever been; not just the Atmos issue, but overall.
 

Robert D

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Been watching all the latest episodes and it has played back perfectly for me. Wired of course.

Matter of fact, the bug has not occurred in the past month+, and I've seen a fair amount of DV + DA content on Disney+, Netflix and ATV+, so something improved.

They really need to add an audio option to just pass the unmolested Dolby streams to the processor. I don't use the audio feedback or Siri, so no loss there.
So are you on the latest OS, or are you one back like me?

You're streaming direct to an AVR or pre-amp, right?

Maybe I will go ahead and run my Apple update.
 

Robert D

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Rumor is another ATV is to be released. Maybe features will include "working Dolby Atmos". Kidding aside, Apple would be stupid to not include a bitstreaming option that could also fully take advantage of hi-res Apple Music, as well as appease us with TrueHD streams. Mu understanding is the older gen units supported a passthrough option, but then Siri came.

Also, saw in the tvOS 16 SDK there were some networking related changes/known issues listed. Wonder if that explains some peoples experience of having a better result with wifi over wired ethernet.

I will say my ATV with this latest OS feels like it's the least stable it has ever been; not just the Atmos issue, but overall.
Doubt I will be buying their new one!
 
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Robert D

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If Apple offers me the opportunity to trade in this defective unit toward the price of the new model I would probably take the gamble. Old one plus $100 for their best model, I'd bite. The one I have has the most memory.
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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So are you on the latest OS, or are you one back like me?

You're streaming direct to an AVR or pre-amp, right?

Maybe I will go ahead and run my Apple update.
Correct: ATV4k --> AVR --> TV

I even tried going into the TV with ATV and then using eARC to AVR, but same problem (and I'd rather not do it this way anyway)
 

Robert D

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Correct: ATV4k --> AVR --> TV

I even tried going into the TV with ATV and then using eARC to AVR, but same problem (and I'd rather not do it this way anyway)
I was asking Jonfo too. I can't remember his setup and what OS he's on. One of us has been using wifi exclusively I think.

I probably need to throw in the towel on using ethernet and try wifi.
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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Decided to send mine in for repair. Bought a replacement to use while mine is being repaired. Came with 15.4.1 so should be affected by "the bug". Set it up today and watched a few minutes of Atmos content but was in a bit of a hurry; no issues yet (as expected). I'll monitor usage over a few sleep cycles and will update the thread with results.

Something different I did notice is that the tolerances on the plastic IR cover on the remote are better. Having handled several Siri remotes, the other ones always had a tiny lip on it I could catch with my nail. Not a big deal, but kind of surprised me when I first noticed it since Apple's tolerances are usually pretty tight. Anyway, probably unrelated, but perhaps an indicator of different manufacturing runs that could include different components? We shall see.
 

JonFo

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I was asking Jonfo too. I can't remember his setup and what OS he's on. One of us has been using wifi exclusively I think.
My rig is
wired Ethernet <--> ATV <-- HDMI --> Receiver <-- Monitor Out HDMI --> LG C9 OLED

Unit is set to always upgrade, so on the latest 15.x version.
 

whathappenedtomymoney

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Decided to send mine in for repair. Bought a replacement to use while mine is being repaired. Came with 15.4.1 so should be affected by "the bug". Set it up today and watched a few minutes of Atmos content but was in a bit of a hurry; no issues yet (as expected). I'll monitor usage over a few sleep cycles and will update the thread with results.

Something different I did notice is that the tolerances on the plastic IR cover on the remote are better. Having handled several Siri remotes, the other ones always had a tiny lip on it I could catch with my nail. Not a big deal, but kind of surprised me when I first noticed it since Apple's tolerances are usually pretty tight. Anyway, probably unrelated, but perhaps an indicator of different manufacturing runs that could include different components? We shall see.
Welp, turned on Netflix and immediately had the issue. So much for the “unit from a new batch” theory. Will update post-repair.
 

JonFo

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Matter of fact, the bug has not occurred in the past month
Of course, no sooner than I write that, the problem pops up tonight while watching the Netflix National Parks series (DV / DA), happened twice in the first few minutes.

A power-cycle of the ATV, and the entire episode played just fine.
 

Robert D

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Of course, no sooner than I write that, the problem pops up tonight while watching the Netflix National Parks series (DV / DA), happened twice in the first few minutes.

A power-cycle of the ATV, and the entire episode played just fine.
Yeah, I powered mine off and then on when watching Peaky Blinders. I was able to finish the show without a hiccup. Peaky Blinders became unwatchable prior to that. The next night it was screwed up again.
 
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