Am I the only one that sees the frame skipping?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by badweasel, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. badweasel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    #1
    The new apple tv is totally frame skipping, dropping frames, stuttering, whatever you want to call it. It's not my network. It not files that are converted/created incorrectly. These are files that played fine on the old Apple TV yesterday and today are skipping on the new Apple TV. It's subtle, but it's there. Every few seconds it skips a frame.. or a frame freezes for an extra frame or two and then it catches up. This is unacceptable for a home theatre product - hobby or not. The old apple tv doesn't do it and neither do other devices like the popcorn hour. If apple's not going to fix it I guess I'll return the units.

    Oh and I've heard this from my friends who just got new apple tv's also. So it's not just me.

    I would think this would be a huge topic of discussion on forums like this and also broken on all the rumor blogs like engadget and giz. I'm a video professional and maybe my 'trained eye' can see it and the average joe can't? Really? It's very annoying. I can't watch tv or movies like that.

    I suspect it has something to do with the fact that files are now streamed over home sharing instead of the way they used to be streamed. Surely they're going to fix this....????
     
  2. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    #2
    No, you're not the only one who sees it and there is a discussion thread about it here and in the Apple support forums:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1025834

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2599423

    For me, I found that the problem was greatly minimized (or even eliminated) by changing my TV's advanced settings to turn off any "extra" 3:2 pull-down settings. I believe that the problem may be largely due to the Apple TV's hard 60Hz output rate. But many of us have also indicated that the problem seems to be more pronounced/frequent *after* the movie has fully loaded to the Apple TV's 8GB storage buffer, and that should not have anything to do with sync rates. Hopefully things will improve in a future firmware update. In the mean time, like I said, turn off any advanced TV settings related to 3:2 pull-down and see if that improves things for you. Future discussion should probably be focused on the threads linked to above, so as to consolidate things.
     
  3. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #3
    Let me guess, you're in a PAL country with 50Hz TVs unlike the 60Hz TVs found in the U.S.? That seems to be the problem from what I understand.
     
  4. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #4
    I believe that is exactly the problem which is why only people in certain countries outside of the U.S. seem to be having the problem. I'm sure they are planning an update to allow it to output in different ways to better support countries on the PAL standard like the old Apple TV. It's obvious a few things were rushed to get out in front of the competition and will probably be corrected on the next iOS update. The port from Tiger to iOS is missing a few things right now.
     
  5. benoitgphoto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Well... I'm in Canada (NTSC) and can clearly see the slight stuttering when looking at HD renting content. It happens only once the buffer is full or the content has been completly downloaded. Curioisly though, I watched a rented Standard definition Tv episode yesterday evening and did not notice stuttering at all.
     
  6. jajohns8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #6
    I am in the US and experiencing this issue as well.

    It happens on Itunes HD material and handbrake encoded HD material.

    FWIW, the thread over in apple support is growing by the day.

    This is a widespread hardware issue.

    In the apple support thread, there is a link for feedback. I would encourage people to use that link.

    If all you watch is SD, then hey, maybe it's not an issue for you.

    Try watching various things in HD, within the device's published specs.

    They all have this issue.
     
  7. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #7
    I rented an hd movie from iTunes yesterday (I guarantee it was HD because I specifically looked for one to test it out). Was available immediately and it ran smooth as silk. I also watch episodes of a 720p Tv show I processed myself off an external hard drive and they run great too. Other people in the forums don't have problems either so it's not an overall issue that can be pinned specifically to the ATV. I'm in the US and have a 2 yr old Samsung lcd tv. I'm also using a beefed up home network so I have plenty of signal to stream efficiently. Unlike any other Apple product, the ATV is subject to so many external conditions that can F up the user experience it's really hard to blame one specific thing. If you've ever been a web designer, you'll know what I'm talking about....
     
  8. jajohns8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #8
    Willing to bet if you attempted to watch the same content as me, you would have the same issue.

    Just wait, it will happen eventually.

    It IS related to the Apple TV2 or a process that the ATV2 uses. My 1st generation apple tv plays the SAME CONTENT back with zero problems.

    My network is not the issue. I have a fully wired, CAT5/6 ethernet setup with connections I crimped myself. I know this stuff. It is how I make my living.

    Just because there are people in the forums that haven't seen it yet, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
    Those that haven't reported an issue yet, might be watching SD and not really care about quality for all I know.

    Plenty of others HAVE seen it for it to be an issue. The support thread in the apple support forums is growing by the minute.

    Rent a few more HD items. Play a few more HD encodes from various sources and let me know.
     
  9. JustTheTip macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    #9
    I have the issue as well but it is so slight and infrequent it just doesnt bother me.
     
  10. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #10
    Have you ever seen a dvd skip and stutter? I have. Netflix or Zune streaming poorly on an Xbox? Heck yes. A movie on the internet goof up? Constantly. A movie on broadcast tv? less often but it happens. A movie on my harddrive I opened in Quicktime hitching? YES. A movie on a pc in media player hitching? YES.

    All I'm saying is that video is never perfect 100% of the time and there are a myriad of reasons why it doesn't play perfectly 100% of the time for any particular person. If there's anything Apple can change on their end, they will, but I wish more people would spend some time looking at their setup before they throw up their hands and immediately blame the ATV. In that thread you reference, there are also a bunch people who say "this fixed it for me" and "that fixed it for me" which proves my point. There are 250,000+ ATVS out there and a tiny percentage of those people are on these forums. That's my perspective. I'm not trying to minimize your frustration, just trying to balance things out with an anecdote that says not everything is crap. Happy people don't usually go on forums like these so the forums get skewed with unhappy people, which leads the unhappy people to think everyone is unhappy. I've seen this happen on all sorts of forums on all sorts of subjects.

    P.S. I'm a motiongraphics designer and graphics operator for meetings and shows so I see hitchy video in my work constantly. It's a bane of my existence that I can create a video that runs smoothly on my computer at home but doesn't when I put it on the equipment on show site. And it's not just the videos I make. The only movies that run easily are the standard def that don't require a lot of processing power but everyone wants to go high def now so it's a constant battle to find the right combo that works.
     
  11. jajohns8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #11
    My setup is definitely not the issue. That is proven using my Apple TV first generation and every other piece of hardware in my home.

    Enough users, describing THE SAME PLAYBACK CONDITIONS, have proven that this is a widespread issue.

    It is highly suspect that the few people that claim to have 'fixed' the issue with 'this or that,' in that thread are having the same problem. If you are referring to the person that said turning off the 'send data' feature worked, then there are several more who posted and said that that doesn't help. (I didn't post, but it does not fix the issue.)

    There is most definitely a problem with the Apple TV 2.

    If I purchased 100 random Apple TV 2s, and used the same HD playback material as an experiment, they would all show the stutter.

    Just because you haven't seen the issue with the content you watch, doesn't mean the issue doesn't exist for your Apple TV.

    It just hasn't been seen yet.

    My setup is ideal. I have a standard (although I ran the wire and crimped my connectors myself because I want a certain standard of work done.) wired ethernet connection and NO ISSUES with the first Apple TV or any other piece of hardware in my home.

    To disprove the notion that it is 'just MY Apple TV 2' I offer you this:

    Take part in a simple experiment.

    I'll send you 99.00. You send me your Apple TV 2. (We can use Ebay/Paypal to protect each other.) I will make a youtube video of the experiment showing that it doesn't matter what Apple TV 2 I use. They all will skip and stutter when certain HD content is played back. I'll show the serial number so we know I am using your device.

    No, I don't want to go to my local apple store and buy one. I want an Apple TV 2 owned by a user who is claiming they have 'no issues.'

    Are you game?
     
  12. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #12
    Who has the same playback conditions? People are in different countries, different ISPs, different tvs, different tweaks to their tv's preferences, different ways of getting the network to their ATV, pc, mac, different media being viewed, etc. etc.
    I'm not saying it's "just YOUR ATV", I'm saying it's probably something less than optimal about something else in your setup and/or some homemade material you are trying to view.

    If MY ATV suddenly worked poorly for you, wouldn't that just mean your setup is bad? It would be more interesting for you to send your ATV to me and it magically works. If your "certain HD content" is something you ripped off a dvd or from a torrent then that's a whole other can of worms and probably the issue. Feel free to send the file to me via YouSendIt and I'll try to run it and tell you how it goes. If it's too big for the free part of YouSendIt, let me know and I'll set up an ftp site for you to upload it.
     
  13. jajohns8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #13
    Yep, thought you would refuse because you do not want to be proved wrong.

    It means your ATV 2, like all of them, just has an issue.
    Is that so difficult to accept?

    My material is everything from HD versions of my kid's baseball games to HD ITunes rentals to encodes of my Blu rays. Take your pick.

    Do you know what Handbrake is? Do you use it?

    Sorry, but it's not my setup. Neither is it the setup of the other people who are reporting this issue.

    So, answer this. Why does my Apple TV 1 not have this issue, but when I use my Apple TV 2, it does have the issue?

    My setup is not magically changing. The only variable that is changing is the hardware and the internal processes that using that different hardware brings.

    This has been widely reported on these and other forums.

    Something is failing that worked before.

    Look, we can argue technical stuff all day long. I have plenty of experience in software development/IT. I know how to troubleshoot. I get paid to do it everyday.

    The fact is, this product is defective. It does not playback certain content that it claims to be able to playback, without issues. I didn't make up the specs, Apple did.

    As far as you showing me that content plays back 'fine' on my ATV 2, sure I can show you that too. That's not at all what we are saying.
    Certain HD content is not playing back well. Itunes content included.

    Just because you claim to not have experienced this issue because you have only played back one HD movie and 1 HD television show, according to your first post ITT, certainly does not prove your case.

    In fact, it demonstrates how LIMITED your experience and testing with regards to this issue is.
     
  14. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #14
    I have a degree in Chemical Engineering so I think I kinda know something about the scientific method to determine causality. And, yes, I have used Handbrake and the movies I have made run pretty smoothly, no jitters, just a rare pause once or twice. I blame that on all the processing steps because nowadays I create motion graphics for a living and I know how finicky video files can be if you don't choose the right codec with the right settings for the final machine that's going to play it. Sooooo, I think I'm more than qualified to participate in this discussion. If you can't figure out that swapping my ATV for yours (like for like) is really a test of your setup, then I can't help you.
     
  15. jajohns8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #15
    And I have a degree in Computer Science. Blah, blah blah. We are all smarties in here. Yada yada yada.

    Just a rare pause once or twice? Hmm, so you might be experiencing this issue after all.

    So, in earning your Bat. degree for Chem E, (if you really did) I'm sure that they taught you that running an experiment with more than a limited test case (your claim about using 1 HD movie and 1 HD tv show) was probably a good idea, right?

    I didnt say you weren't qualified, you have been claiming that it was my setup. That is false.

    Again, why does my Apple TV 1 play back THE SAME CONTENT fine? Or do you want to continue to ignore that fact?

    Please, I want to know more about your 'slight pause' every once in a while.
     
  16. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    #16
    Just jumping back in here (I was hoping the discussion would move over to the other thread I linked to, or a mod would merge the threads to keep the topic consolidated).

    For those of us on NTSC, if the sync rate conversion is at fault (or one of the causes), it would make sense that TV shows (both SD and HD) would not exhibit the problem, since those would be 480p or 720p files (both 60Hz). I haven't tested out any TV show files (yet), so I can't comment on whether those exhibit the problem. Movies are 24p/24Hz (or 23.9something Hz), so those have to be converted on-the-fly by the Apple TV CPU/GPU to 60Hz, and I believe that may be part of the problem. In my case, my TV (a 1080p 120Hz set) also had some advanced 3:2 settings which when turned off, seemed to make the problem go away (or at least diminish it significantly).

    If Apple can enhance the Apple TV via firmware to allow it to send video out at its native framerate, that might solve the problem entirely. But the Apple TV hardware may not be capable of being enhanced via firmware to do that.
     
  17. tourphoto123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #17
    Why the heck are we talking about degrees? This new apple device clearly has software issues. If you can't see the skipped or frozen frames then you aren't really using the thing are you?
     
  18. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    #18

    Are you kidding with this? Do you really expect someone to send their new ATV2 unit to you for testing? That is ridiculous! If you are not trolling for a fight, then you have lost at least a few of your marbles.

    Did you ever consider that perhaps your ATV1 has no issues with the content because (surprise surprise) it is not the same hardware as ATV2? Differing hardware will have differing traits.

    And, for the sake of this discussion, lets say that your ATV2 is screwed and the cause of your issue...that does not in any way prove that other users with similar complaints have the same underlying problem as you. It's a good hypothesis, but you have yet to test this hypothesis and prove it to be true. But don't look to anyone here to donate their units to you for this purpose.

    The bottom line...I am willing to take your word for it that your ATV2 has a problem, but then you have to take my word, and the word of any other posters here who say that they are not having issues. Why would we lie about this? We are not drones or sheep. If my ATV had an issue that made it unusable to me, do you know what I would do? I would give Apple the opportunity to fix it, and if they couldn't, I would return it.

    Simple as that.
     
  19. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #19
    I knew you would jump on the pause thing so I just viewed the movie I saw ONE half second pause in directly on my octo core macpro with 24 gigs of ram. guess what? it paused for half a second in one place. It also had other artifacts in it like square color blocks in places. No ATV involved. Besides that, one half-second pause in a 90 minute movie is different than jittering.

    Maybe because the ATV1 has a completely different processor and Handbrake had time to create a setting that works well for it. I don't know how you created your videos but I used High Profile/Large file size

    And I didn't say ONE HD movie and ONE TV show. I've seen one HD iTunes streaming rental, several HD hard drive movies I handbraked myself, a bunch of Netflix movies and tv shows, hd podcasts and six 720p episodes of True Blood that I Handbraked myself.

    I give up on this and am moving on because you have your mind made up and it's just not worth my time. I'm sure in your mind it'll mean I'm admitting you are right and if that makes you happy, it's fine with me. Good luck to you.
     
  20. jajohns8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #20
    Read my original post. Then, read it again.

    I said I would pay for it to prove a point. Please don't misrepresent what I said.

    No, sorry, I don't believe that it is just my Apple TV 2.

    Your ATV2 will skip under the same conditions. Its a fact. It is a fault with the device. Plenty of others have proved this fact.

    I can show you my ATV2 does not jitter under certain circumstances too. Wow.

    That doesn't prove at all that it will not stutter under other, specific circumstances.
     
  21. jajohns8 macrumors regular

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    Sep 11, 2008
    #21
    Look, we will agree to disagree.

    You think it's "my fault" and/or an apparent "hardware difference that becomes apparent with handbrake encodes" between the 2 devices that explains the issue.

    Fine. Those points are understood.

    I, and many others, think it is simply the device and/or a process related to the new hardware.

    We will leave it at that.

    Good luck to you too.
     
  22. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #22
    I'm sorry but insisting that everyone has the problem when they clearly do not is ludicrous no matter what way you're spinning it. No one is saying there aren't people having the issue. But the problem certainly isn't showing up for everyone like you keep trying to insist.
     
  23. jajohns8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #23
    No, that's not what I am saying at all. Please re-read my posts.

    I'm saying that given the same set of HD content for playback, they will all show this defect.

    If all you watch is SD and the occasional HD movie or HD TV rental, then no, you are probably ok and will never see the issue.
     
  24. BlackMangoTree macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #24
    i have 3 new Apple TV's all show this issue, No matter where the file comes from.

    BluRay's i have encoded myself with Handbrake and MKVtool, Rented films from iTunes store.

    They all stutter once the movie is fully loaded, all 3 on 3 different TV's

    There is nothing we can do other than send feedback and call Apple about this issue and hope one day they fix it.

    To whoever feels they don't have this issue it's you are just not seeing it.

    This is widespread problem.
     
  25. benoitgphoto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #25
    Absolutely. For you guys who don't see the issue...make sure you are looking for it once the HD movie/ HD TV show is fully loaded in to the buffer (full white bar)
     

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