May Return Apple TV / May Not ( New PICS - TV Screen Shots )

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by harcosparky, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Apple TV does it even more so.

    I noticed on Apple TV while watching a TV episode the following ....

    1 ) Image was "shrunk" - that is there was a black border all around the video image -ALSO- while playing the beginning credits were chopped at the bottom of the image area - example: the word PRODUCER was displayed on the TV via Apple TV but the producers name did not show up.

    NOTE: this was also noticed on another show and all episodes.

    When I watched that same episode through iTunes on the 24" iMac where only PRODUCER was displayed on the TV, word PRODUCER was display and under that was the producers name.

    Am I the only one experiencing this ????

    ADDITIONAL INFO - this was evident on the TV using both DVI and Component inputs. I am using a Monster Calbe HDMI -> DVI cable
  2. macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I've noticed the same thing; however my TV has a roughly 3% overscan that cuts off the edge of the picture. This is common for CRT and rear projection screens.
    I hope that Take 2 addresses this with some type of screen calibration. My old XBMC setup had a calibration tool that I am missing on the Apple TV.
  3. macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I hadn't noticed on my setup, so I've gone back to look at a couple:

    South Park - Season 10, 1, Make Love, Not Warcraft (4:3)
    No border on :apple:tv (except pillars), and no cropping (checked against iTunes)​

    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Pilot (16:9)
    No border, widescreen to edges on :apple:tv. No cropping (again, same as iTunes)​

    Using component out, 1080i, to Panasonic 50" Plasma.

    Hard to think of what might cause both underscanning AND cropping at the same time. If it was a TV out, from computer, I can see the underscanning caused by having "overscan" disabled. But, no such control on the :apple:tv.
  4. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    May Return Apple TV Tomorrow - Unhappy User

    Well in the past I have posted about TV shows from the ITMS being 'cropped' on when displayed on our Sony 36" Television via both DVI and Component inputs.

    Cropping of ITMS TV shows occurs slightly on the iMac 24" and even more so when played on the TV. SYNC'd or streamed it did not matter. Even tried playing with settings on the ATV

    720 and 1080 setting got the TV show surrounded by a black border.

    480 setting increased the height of the TV show, bot not the width, as if it stretched it.

    Went through menu on TV, but nothing there to adjust for this issue.

    OK so at this point I figure .... well it's only with iTunes TV shows, movies should do better.

    WIDESCREEN MOVIES - played as expected - letterbox , black bar above and below, full width display - as if playing a DVD on the DVD players.

    FULL SCREEN VIDEOS - same issue as with ITMS tv shows. Video cropped, black border all around. When the video is played in " full screen " mode on the iMac it has black bars on the sides, but full height as is to be expected playing a Full Screen Video on a Wide Screen display.

    Going to the Apple Store tomorrow and 'chat' with them.

    I do have one more test to run, that would be to directly connect the iMac into the TV via the mini-DVI port. Not sure what this will show me, but will give me more data.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2007
    Here is the deal. Tv's crop stuff. Especially slightly older rear-projection tvs. I had a sony projection and it cropped a few inches off the edges. I got a brand new sony 60'' kds60a3000 and the same signal from the ATV that was cropped before isn't. Its your tv not your ATV. As for the movies, the black bars are there for a reason. They crop the movies on purpose, its an artistic decision just because you have a 16:9 tv doesn't mean that movies are going to fill it. Hope that helps.
  6. macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Probably would be better to continue this in your original thread:

    [Moderator note: Threads were merged.]

    But, anyway: what TV, in particular, do you have? I'm going to take a wild guess that it's a 4:3 with "widescreen" mode (our WEGA had such a mode)? If so, it might be auto-sensing anamorphic content and reducing its scan to compensate. In other words, it will correctly display a 720x480 widescreen movie with all of the scan lines being used for the 480. If the content from the Apple TV is 4:3, the tv will still see it as anamorphic, and compress the scan. The upshot being: both letterbox (widescreen) and pillars due to the 4:3 content.

    On a true widescreen tv, 4:3 from Apple TV (or other source) will only have vertical pillars. The same effect can be seen on a widescreen tv when viewing a standard definition channel (4:3) playing a letterboxed movie. There will be borders all the way around.

    If this isn't the case, I still can't think of what would be happening in your situation. Hope you can figure it out, as the Apple tv has a lot of possibilities with all the new content coming.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2008
    I just checked Californication and The Sarah Connor Chronicles on my Apple TV and both play full-screen on my 40" Samsung. I think the issue must be with one of your settings.
  8. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    At this point I am guessing it is the TV

    Sony 36" CRT 4:3 with Widescreen Mode

    So I am at this point with three options ....

    1) Accept it as is.
    2) Buy new TV ( yeah the wife would love this idea! )
    3) Return the Apple TV

    Maybe I will experiment with ripping another DVD and changing setting in the program from the default set for Apple TV.

    Thanks for the information ... would be nice if there were some 'tuneable' settings in the Apple TV to compensate, but I guess that would be difficult to accomplish.
  9. macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I guess on the good side, widescreen content does look better because of the enhanced widescreen mode.

    Prices are coming down all the time - maybe there will be a post Super Bowl sale? ;) We broke down last year on Super Bowl weekend (I think I instigated it more than my wife - big surprise).
  10. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    In an 'experiment' we ripped one movie.

    We use the program " Handbrake ", using the Apple TV setting with " Anamorph " turned OFF. The resulting image display was the same.

    The output size is 640X480

    Buying a new TV wasn't in the plan for almost another year. Not so much a cost factor as it is the current unit isn't that old. Maybe about 4 years. In contrast the previous TV was almost 11 yrs old, that one was a Toshiba and actually still in use here, it was relegated to the kids playroom.

    I guess, had I know the Apple TV was gonna act this way on the Sony we may not have bought it.

    I guess this issue would be a little more tolerable if in the process it was not cropping off a portion of the image. You know, if the entire image was there but just shrunk, I could understand that.

    Oh well ! :eek:

    EDIT: This is frustrating, it's like the evil Upgrade Railroad has been fired up. Buy Apple TV -------> Need new TV ------> Buy new TV ------> Need new Home Theatre Audio System .... it just never ends! :D
  11. macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2007
    Texas, USA
    This is the same with all new technologies, not just Apple TV. In your case, you could say:

    Buy Apple TV -------> Need new TV ------>
    Buy HD DVD -------> Need new TV ------>
    Buy Blu-Ray -------> Need new TV ------>
    Buy Cable HD -------> Need new TV ------>

    Notice a pattern? It seems to me that you are blaming Apple for your choice of TV. Seems odd to me.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2006
    Could your TV be set to "zoom"?
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2004
    London, UK
    Note the smiley at the end of his last statement –*he was joking. Lighten up!
  14. macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2007
    Texas, USA
    Thank you for your valid contribution to this thread :D

    Notice my smiley??

  15. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2004
    London, UK
  16. macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    Not wanting to be harsh, but from the Apple TV pages on (bold added for emphasis):

    I think it's pretty clear that you need a widescreen TV and they don't guarantee it'll work with a 4:3 set. Given that, isn't it a bit daft to buy it and then complain it doesn't work with a set it was never designed to work with?
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Yeah that is a vicious cycle and my Girl is really starting to get sick of it. But my cycle worked itself backwards I already had a HD TV 3 to be exact, Sharp, Panasonic, and Samsung. The Sharp BTW has the best options for playing with how the picture is displayed on the screen. The Panasonic is stubborn it will put black bars on everything I hate it. But the sharp you just press the Aspect button, and boom no more black bars.

    Anyways back to the vicious cycle mine started with the iPhone, then it was the iMac, then Airport Extreme, then ATV now a 1TB external HD for the content. I just hope that's it for my sake and my manhood that is at stake here. Because if I tell my girl there is another thing I think my balls are going to get ripped off.
  18. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    ( odd my Apple TV says it supports more formats than this when I go to SETTINGS/TV RESOLUTION --- mine shows it does 480P as well )

    Well let's put it this way .....

    This is from Apples Web Site ...

    According to Sony my set is a " high-definition television "

    I did not read EVERYTHING Apple published on this device.

    I went to an Apple Store to have the device demonstrated, even told the people at the Apple StoreS ( yes I went to 2 different stores ) what my setup consisted of. In one case I visited the same Apple store 3 times and talked to different people.

    Not ONCE was this brought up --- not ONCE.

    I guess it is, according to you and some others *MY* fault for depending somewhat on the Apple salespeople.

    Again of all the HD devices playing Full Screen content, the issue only manifests itself on the Apple TV. :rolleyes:

    Trust me this is not. nor was it ever meant to be a " bash Apple / Apple TV " thread. We found an issue and in an attempt to resolve it with the current setup found that we could not.

    OK we could have returned the unit and said nothing, kept the unit and said nothing but we chose what I think is a better route.

    In trying to resolve this, we went into the 'community' as it were to seek out answers. In doing so we have alerted others to what they may experience as well.

    Thank you for this very informative post. If we decide to look at another TV we will give Sharp a close look, and we will be sure to take our intended use devices with us to the store to test them. It wont be hard to carry in the Apple TV ... maybe I will visit Circuit City this afternoon.
  19. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    DELETED - to be re-edited
  20. macrumors 68000


    Oct 20, 2007
    Sorry to hear of your troubles :(

    I love my AppleTV and have not noticed the exhibited problem.
  21. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I love the Apple TV as well .... we may keep it and tolerate it until our regularly scheduled TV upgrade comes about.

    I just wish it would " play well with others! " :D :D

    it is a great device, and all I did in coming here was try to figure out what was going on, not to be talked down to/attacked .... just to be informed.

    I would like to add that in researching this, I have found others discussing the same issue and have taken the good information from this site and placed it there.
  22. macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    I know we live in a country that loves to assign blame. We believe, as a culture, that blaming someone else will vindicate us. However, blame doesn't fix the problem.

    I can't speak to Apple's problems because I don't know what their side of the story is. But I noticed immediately that you did not specify in your original post what kind of TV you have. I'm not blaming you... I'm just saying that information was missed and therein is the source of your problem.

    Now you have a device and a TV that have compatibility issues. Like you said... do you junk the TV or do you junk the AppleTV. Well, that's a personal decision you're going to have to make. But whatever you do, don't go flaming mad to Apple... if you do return it, politely tell them that it would have been helpful if they had asked you what kind of TV you had because you as a consumer did not know it was a pertinent issue. They do keep track of customer feedback and this way you're being helpful without being vitriolic.

    There's a reason all of Apple's published specs that say this is designed for Widescreen HDTV's.

    In my experience, sales people in any organization do not know all the technical details... and so I just consider it common sense to research any purchase, especially where consumer electronics are concerned.
  23. macrumors 68000


    Oct 20, 2007
    Actually. We live in a country where everyone points the finger at anyone but themselves. I'm not saying that's what the OP is doing, but people would rather blame another party than accept that they may have missunderstood how the device works.. or whatever the circumstances are really.
  24. macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    My Apple TV has had no problems with my almost 4 yr old Samsung HD DLP. Surprising since it has no tuner, etc, it is fairly early gen HDTV. Sorry to hear about your probs.
  25. macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    IMHO the requirement for a widescreen TV should have been pointed out to you by the Apple salespeople - especially if you told them that you currently have a 4:3 set.

    However, to be fair your initial posting in this thread didn't say anything about warning others about the incompatibility between the ATV and 4:3 sets - it implied there was a problem with either the downloaded content or the Apple TV.

    No, but I have to agree with:

    Maybe the stores you frequent have higher standards, but I've so often been told rubbish by sales staff that I think it's a good idea to always try to verify compatibility etc. from other sources pre-purchase.

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