Apple TV looks like VCR quality?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by gregburbidge, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2009
    My new apply tv looks like I'm watching a vcr tape I recorded in the 80's. I can watch a file on my old apple tv and everything looks fine. But when I watch the same file on my new atv it looks terrible. Even the screen saver photos look a lot grainier, and the sides of the images on the screen saver are nowhere close to sharp. It just looks terrible all around. The menu screen looks grainy too. Exact same cable as the old atv. Nothing else has changed.

    Has anyone else had this problem or know what to do? I called apple and they had no idea. They suggested a new cable. But the cable works fine with the other atv.
  2. macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009
    Loma Linda, Ca
    No, yours must be broken or you must be on crack.
  3. macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2010
    San Diego
    Oh that is funny. Yes no issue like that here. Everything loooks perfect. I would contact Apple and let them advise.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008
    Could it be a slow Internet connection, thereby giving a poorer video quality?
  5. macrumors demi-god


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Have you checked your output settings on the :apple:tv to make sure they're correct for the tv (720p, 1080i, 1080p)?

    Also, are you connecting the new and old :apple:tv to the same input on your TV? If not, there may be settings differences for each input. Try the old :apple:tv on the same input with the same cable as the new :apple:tv and see if it looks as "bad".
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    Quality on my Apple TV is great! Much better quality than VCR.

    I have fast internet so it works perfectly at a high quality.

    Determine the cause from your wifi internet or talk to an employee at an Apple Retail Store.
  7. macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2007
    i wouldn't even know what vcr quality looks like. ;)
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2006
    I can't even spell V C R. Mine is great. HD looking video for most stuff. The podcast I have been watching are great quality also.
  9. macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2007
    Colchester, UK.
    Internet data transfer rates would only effect Netflix picture quality.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008

    So the ATV2 buffers to provide HQ video? That is great! I wish Netflix would do that...
  12. macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2009
    CWallace was the only one who gave a useful answer.
    Check your resolution. It may be on 480/576/p/i.
    It has nothing to do with the internet connection since his menu and screensaver are showing the same quality.
  13. macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2010
    How is that possible:eek:
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2007
    No issues here, everything looks great so far.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    I thought I read that you can't select the output resolution on the new AppleTV (like you could with the old). Apparently, it communicates via HDMI with the display device and sets the resolution accordingly.
  16. macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2008
    Wichita KS
    He had a LaserDisc player.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008
    My rich friend had one of those... Now, a classic.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    Sound advice. I also thought that your TV might be smart enough to discern different devices connected and reset picture defaults for the new device. Unlikely that this would have as dramatic an effect as you describe.

    And BTW, digital video signals don't "break". At worst, they freeze occasionally or stop working altogether.
  19. macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2007
    ok, my comment was tic, but it's coming up on 10 years since i've personally used a vhs tape. i barely remember what the video quality looked like to compare what is available now to it.
  20. macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Yes, this has nothing to do with connection speeds if you are having the issue on the menus and screen saver pictures.

    Cable doesn't sound like the issue either, since the digital output should give you a pure version of what the graphics card is spitting out. Especially since the cable worked fine for your previous ATV.

    My guess is there is something internal that is wrong if your menus and pictures are 'grainy' and VCR-esque. What you are describing sounds a bit like video noise? Maybe a subdued form of it?
  21. gregburbidge, Feb 17, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011

    thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2009
    I forgot to follow up on this. Sorry! I took it to my neighbors and it looked awesome. I never could find a way to change the settings on the ATV2. So with both my ATV1 that looked great and the ATV2 that looked terrible I did the only logical thing I could think of -- I bought a new tv.

    The Sony Store had a sale on their display model LEDLCD tv's. $600 for a "46 tv. I believe that included the extended warranty. The ATV2 looks much better on my far larger tv. And when I bought the tv I entered a draw for a sony google tv - and WON! Granted it was a 26" tv, but I sold it on ebay and almost covered the entire cost of the 46" tv I bought.

    Steve Jobs must have been smiling down at me.
  22. macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    Wait, you spent $600 for a $46 TV? I have an old tube TV that I was going to throw away, but I'll sell to you for $300!
  23. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2009
    If you're tube tv has an hdmi input I will totally take it. and maybe pay you $56 instead of $46.

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