Apple not fixing 480p on Apple TV 4K

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by levander, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. levander, Mar 14, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019

    levander macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #1
    Last year I switched from regular cable TV service to just having a bunch of Apple Tv’s around. I’ve got two Apple TV 4th gens around and two Apple TV 4K’s. My TV/internet provider was AT&T. And when I cancelled TV service with them, they put a monthly 1 TB data cap on my internet service. I figured out that if in the Settings app I lowered the resolution from 1080i or 1080p down to 480p on all my Apple TV’s that I stay under the data cap.

    The main video app I use on Apple TV is YouTube TV. And when you lower the resolution, that must tell the Google servers to send you video with a lower bit rate. And so you use less bandwidth. Interestingly, lowering the resolution down to 720p reduced the bandwidth we were using very little, if st all. I’m thinking to save money, Google really doesn’t stream any higher bit rate video to people requesting 1080i than they do to people requesting 720p.

    When my Apple TV’s auto-updated to tvOS 12.1 back in like November, two of my TV’s had their HDMI ports fried, These were the ports on those TV’s that were hooked up to the Apple TV 4K’s. So after playing around with them a little, I figured out that if I just plugged the Apple TV 4K’s into different HDMI ports on the TV’s everything worked fine. Then a week later I noticed I was a good bit over my data cap on my internet service. So I checked the resolution on my Apple TV’s and the resolution on the two Apple TV 4K’s had been switched to 1080i (or 1080p, I can’t remember now). The Apple TV 4th gens were fine. They were still on 480p and no HDMI ports were fried in the TV’s they were connected to. The problem is only with the Apple TV 4K’s.

    So I tried switching the Apple TV 4K’s back down to 480p. But the Settings app would reject that change after a couple of seconds.

    So I called Apple support and after a few days messing with them and getting them some data dump from the TV, they came back and said they reproduced the bug in their lab and it was in their bug tracking system to fix. So I put the two Apple TV 4K’s on the two TV’s I use less and just stopped using them. Which was obnoxious, but fine for awhile.

    But now it’s like 4 months later. Apple has released two updates to tvOS, 12.1.1 and 12.1.2, and the bug is still not fixed,

    Anyone has any advice on how to handle this with Apple? I’ve got like a senior level tech calling me back in a couple of days, I called Support this week just to ask to if there was any feedback at all from engineering. And I’m waiting for the call back.

    What I really think should happen is Apple should send me two Apple TV 4th gens to use. And if they ever fix this bug with 480p I’ll send them back if they want them. That would be an excellent level of service. But considering the premium price Apple charges for their products, I don’t think it’s asking too much. I’ve run that idea by a couple of support reps, and they just seem confused like “why would he ask for that?” It’s kind of come up with them trying to get Apple to replace my two Apple TV 4K’s with Apple TV 4th gens that don’t have the 480p bug. But I really don’t think I should have to give up future compatibility with 4K resolutions. And the reps haven’t seemed all that convinced that Apple would even do that.
     
  2. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #2
    Ouch watching video in 480p is not a pleasant experience. 1TB is a pretty decent amount of monthly data. I'm in the UK at my home for the next 2 weeks and even steaming a 4K film once or twice a week plus my friends using broadband and me running my marketing company from home only uses 350-400gb of data a month on average.
    I'll admit that we don't watch TV channels at all but we are YouTube users for blogs plus I'm always uploading for clients.

    Maybe watch slightly less Apple TV and enjoy it at 1080p to start within the 1TB.
     
  3. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #3
    Best solution may be too get a couple of used second or third generation units?
     
  4. levander thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #4
    We tested the difference in video quality pretty good. Neither us nor some people weave had come over could tell much of a difference. We think there was a difference between 1080i and 720p, but we weren’t sure. Between 480p and 720p there was a difference, mainly in dark shots, But for daily use, it was pretty obvious we didn’t care.

    But now we are watching TV on 46” LCD TV’s. It’s possible bigger TV’s the difference shows up more. These TV’s are also about 7 years old. Maybe newer TV’s, you can tell the difference more?

    Google must pay hefty feeds for all the bandwidth it uses streaming to its subscribers. Looking st the minimal, if at all difference in bandwidth when we switched to 720p for a few days, I’m sure Google saves on that bandwidth bill by not streaming any higher bit rate video to 1080i customers than it does to 720p customers.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 14, 2019 ---
    Well, I was really hoping someone had advice on how to get more out of Apple.

    Maybe that’s not possible or would even really be fair to ask?
     
  5. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
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    #5
    I highly doubt Apple would loan out an apple tv.

    Is it possible to buy a bit more data without incurring a large expense?
     
  6. HeadphoneAddict macrumors 6502a

    HeadphoneAddict

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    Sep 16, 2007
    #6
    I know Comcast Xfinity will charge $10 for an additional 50 GB over the 1 TB cap, and that's something like 10 1080P HD movies. The only time we go over our 1 TB cap is when our son comes home from college for the summer. But for the past 3 months we've done 693 GB, 779 GB, an 625 GB. So far, halfway through March 2019 we have used 304 GB.

    It should be hard to exceed 1 TB and need to watch everything in 480p. I wonder if something else is using up your bandwidth (did your PC become a spam slave, etc)?

    I watch a lot of HD youtube, and maybe 2-3 4K ATV movies a week, and we usually watch about 1 hour/day of Netflix or Amazon prime original TV series. I buy a lot of iTunes movies to stream from my iMac (3-5/month), and I download an HD copy of each of them to have backups locally in case internet goes out. We also do about 100 GB/mo in iOS app updates over several devices.
     
  7. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #7
    You have good control over your internet usage which is good. Is it possible to temporarily move to a higher or unlimited package for the summer?

    I used to have a 300 GB cap which was okay before I went 4k. After I moved to 4k, I found it difficult to keep below 300 because I wanted to re-watch a lot of my movies in 4k so I moved from my 50 mbps DSL ISP to a cable 500 mbps unlimited ISP. The two-year deal I got with my cable ISP actually saved me money.
     
  8. eightdotthree macrumors newbie

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    Mar 20, 2018
    #8
    I'm streaming 1080 most of the time on two televisions and occasionally 4k movies. Sometimes I leave a streaming channel on and forget about, like Hulu live. Streaming music, games, downloading games, etc. I come in under 700GB a month.

    Are you sure you're hitting the cap of that 1TB allocation? Maybe there's something eating up some of that data, neighbor maybe?
     
  9. HeadphoneAddict macrumors 6502a

    HeadphoneAddict

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    Sep 16, 2007
    #9
    I don't know if Comcast Xfinity has a higher bandwidth plan, but they treat everyone like they don't. The 3 times we got over 1TB it was still under 1.1TB or maybe under 1.05TB 2 out of the 3 times, so it's not like we got charged a huge amount.

    When we get the email saying we hit 90% and it's still a week before the end of the month, we stop updating iOS apps, and stop watching 4K TV, and then we're able to keep it from going more than 50-100MB over. I'll update my apps at Starbucks during that time, and my wife will do it at work.
     
  10. levander thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #10
    It’s weird to me you think it’s hard to hit the 1 TB data cap. But you add 1 person to your household in the summer and you hit it.

    When I first started having trouble with the data caps, I was doing Google searches to find out how to stay under it and when you do the searches that way, you find people who are just paying AT&T the extra $50/month to get unlimited bandwidth. In fact, the first senior level Apple support rep I got on the phone over the 480p issue, he told me he was paying the extra $50/month. But I forget what ISP he was using. And he wasnt volunteering ways to make this sound like an important issue. He doing things to try to come up with a way to say this wasn’t an important issue. Like one thing he told me was if you just wanted 480p there’s no reason to buy an Apple 4K, so this might be a low priority issue for Apple. He did later, I think it was on a subsequent phone call, acknowledge that future compatibility and there only being a $30 price difference between a 4K and a 4th gen Apple TV was a good reason to buy a Apple TV 4K even if you only want to use it for 480p.

    I have monitored my home network, the vast majority of data we’re using is streaming video from our Apple TV’s.

    What ticks me off about this is I paid Apple’s exorbitant price thinking I was getting a better supported product. But instead they’ve accidentally disabled how I was using the product and fried some HDMI ports on my TV’s in the process. And when I call them to tell them about it, all they tell me is they put it in their bug tacking system and maybe they’ll fix it.

    The thing is, the code in their product to watch TV is already there. Because like the YouTube app has the ability to let you switch the resolution down to 480p when you’re watching a video and it works fine. The only problem is it doesn’t remember this setting. So I’d have to change the resolution every time I watch a video. And the setting isn’t available in every app I use. But the code to watch video at 480p is already in the product. There’s just something weird in the Settings app where the Apple TV won’t let me change the default resolution.
     
  11. HeadphoneAddict macrumors 6502a

    HeadphoneAddict

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    Sep 16, 2007
    #11
    No offense meant - I described my use of ATV, iPhones/iPads, and computers and posted how much bandwidth I use. I offered info so you could compare my usage and bandwidth to yours, and suggested that maybe you have something that is draining your bandwidth.

    My son comes home from college and he's gaming online for hours, and listening to Tidal Hi-Res music daily, and watching several 4K ATV movies a week, and that pushes me from the numbers that I posted to somewhere between 1 TB and 1.1 TB per month.

    So, in order to go 50 or 100 MB past the cap, we have to work VERY hard at it - we hit the 1 TB cap at about 25-27 days into the 30-31 day month when he's home. It's not hard to stop updating apps for 3-5 days until we get to the next month.

    I'm still worried that something is sucking your bandwidth other than your 4K or 1080P ATV.
     
  12. Michelasso macrumors 6502

    Michelasso

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    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Treviso, Italy
    #12
    Online game is (usually) nearly irrelevant. I measured the network traffic when playing Final Fantasy XIV (it's an MMORPG) and it was consuming 5MByte/hour. Music at 320Kbps is about 144MByte/hour. 4K videos instead... I think Netflix has a maximum bitrate of 15.6Mbps. That makes about 7GByte/hour.

    Instead, sorry for asking.. But why the cap? Is it on land lines? In such case I thought they were a thing of the past!! On the other hand 1TB/month on mobile would be a lot (we get around 50GB/month top on mobile, here in Italy).
     
  13. bag99001 macrumors member

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    Jun 11, 2015
    #13

    It’s to avoid customers running servers out of their home.
     
  14. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Estonia
    #14
    Why? Is this a bad thing?
     
  15. Zenithal macrumors 604

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #15
    Gaming won't use much data since the data transfer is mostly position and event data. Tidal hi-res will eat up bandwidth alongside 4K films and... well, you know the rest.
     
  16. HeadphoneAddict macrumors 6502a

    HeadphoneAddict

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    #16
    I said he listens to Tidal Hi-Res music, which is 24/48 lossless, and higher bandwidth than CD Quality ALAC or FLAC. CD Quality (16/44.1) ALAC and FLAC would use up around 600 mbps on average, while uncompressed WAV would be 1411 mbps. But 24/48 would be closer to between 2100-2400 mbps. Or on average 8x more data than a 256 AAC or 320 mp3 stream.

    I don't know the bandwidth of iTunes 4K Apple movies via ATV, but that's what we watch mostly, and it's supposed to use more data than Netflix.

    Comcast re-introduced a 1 TB cap on home internet, about a year ago, claiming 99% of people use less than 1 TB so the other 1% should have to pay to use more.
     
  17. pmau macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #17
    They want to limy the 24/7 file sharing customers, not mom and pop.

    The upstream peering is not that expensive as most streaming providers have caching near to your location.
    Otherwise the whole idea would not work anyways.

    I watch Apple TV YouTube and iTunes Content all the time.
    I cannot get near 1TB with that.
    You should really check what is going on in your network.

    Most boxes can still be queried via SNMP to show you basic traffic counters.
    If you are technically skilled, you can setup a Linux Server as an internal gateway.
    This would proxy everything to you ISP.
    This way you could know exactly what is going on.

    1TB in 30 days is 33 GB a day. That is quite possible, but would require a few movies and constant streaming of music / YT.
     
  18. HeadphoneAddict macrumors 6502a

    HeadphoneAddict

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    Sep 16, 2007
    #18
    That's what I'm saying. I'd be interested to know what is really sucking down that much bandwidth for the OP.

    He has to limit his streaming to 480P or he goes over the 1 TB cap, yet we heavily use internet streaming for high bit-rate music and video (including 4 video cameras uploading to the cloud 24/7, forgot about those) and we have only burst the 1 TB limit 3x in, well, ever. And those times were when my son came home for the summer and added to our usage. Most of the time we are under 700 GB/mo. When my daughter's come to visit for a week or so, it doesn't seem to affect our overall usage much, although one of them watches a lot of Netflix at 1080p.
     
  19. levander thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #19
    I appreciate your worry about what’s taking up the bandwidth at my house. But like I said earlier I’ve already looked into this and I don’t really want help with it.

    I posted in this forum because I thought you guys might know more about Apple and how to deal with their support. Instead I ran into some guys who mostly seem convinced a 1 TB data cap is almost unreachable. Which is weird because in all the looking into this issue, this is the only place I’ve come into that being such a prevalent opinion.
     
  20. HeadphoneAddict macrumors 6502a

    HeadphoneAddict

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    #20
    Oh, in that regard, there is no dealing with Apple. They do whatever they want.
     
  21. levander thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #21
    Okay cool, thanks. That’s what I was looking for. And kind of the impression I had gotten from trying to work with them on the phone.

    And I hope I didn’t dissuade you from trying to help other people in the future. Because there are a lot of people out there that need the help. It’s just in this one case I really felt like it would have been redundant and I didn’t want to fool with it. But I am glad you seem to like helping people.

    Just maybe in the future in trying to get better at helping people, maybe before you change the subject of a thread, maybe do a short “check with” post, to see if people want to go in that direction? It would save you time, I don’t know though. Maybe that’s usually not really an issue.
     
  22. HeadphoneAddict, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019

    HeadphoneAddict macrumors 6502a

    HeadphoneAddict

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    #22
    This is off the original topic, but a response to my Apple doesn't budge's response.

    When Apple sets their mind to something, it's hard to sway their opinion. Sometimes it takes a huge amount of press for them to concede, like with antenna-gate, or battery-gate. And not all solutions were good ones. For antenna-gate they had a limited time offer for a free bumper case to some users if requested, instead of fixing the flawed design or a recall, or giving free cases to everyone who bought one past and future. It look over a year for them to acknowledge and address the 6s battery defects, which they solved by throttling all phones as battery capacity declined.

    But, also it never hurts to try, or keep trying if you have the time. Sometimes random miracles happen. Maybe that 4th or 5th or 10th time you try to get a remedy, someone might help, someone who isn't on the same page as Apple corporate.

    For example, people were having the screens pop off their Apple Watches while charging (cracking around the edges as they popped off), and at most stores they would blame the user and try to charge $250 for a replacement. Then upon the customer insisting that it be sent to Apple for review, apple service would stick to whatever diagnosis the store gave, and not acknowledge that there was anything else going on. They played dumb, because they wanted to and could.

    But a few stores had recognized that the battery was bad, and had swollen as the cause for cracking the screen all the way around the edges and pushing out the screen. People persisted with their claims, and after going through the 3rd and 4th supervisor, or 6th one, they were finally able to get relief. The majority of people were stuck paying for a new watch or giving up. But it took weeks (or months) for Apple to acknowledge the issue and put out a memo for stores to replace them under warranty.

    Or, when Apple announced the $29 battery swap for battery-gate, they refused to do the swap for $$ if someone had an active warranty and the battery was over 80% of capacity.

    So you'd say, "Apple, take my money and I want the new battery to replace my 85% battery", and they'd say "Ummm, no". People complained about shorter run times than as new, and were willing to part with money to get the extra 15% of battery capacity, and were denied. Apple stuck to their policy and wouldn't budge. It was like that for weeks before some stores started to break policy and allow the swap, but it was never a universal policy to do this, and it was a flip of the coin what you'd have happen. Apple did what they wanted, no rhyme or reason.

    Then 2 weeks before Apple stopped doing the $29 battery swaps at the end of Dec 2018, some stores were now doing a free warranty swap on a 22 month old battery that was at 86% if it was still under Applecare+. But Apple's formal policy never budged. So, you have to try and try till you find a rule breaker.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 17, 2019 ---
    Also, can I go off topic again? I don't know how to convince Apple to fix the 480p settings in software.

    In the meantime, while you fight with them to find a rule breaker that will help, what else have you done to determine that nothing else on your network is sucking up the bandwidth other than movies that are higher resolution than 480p?

    I didn't notice that the primary video you watch was youtube. Sorry
     
  23. bag99001 macrumors member

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    Jun 11, 2015
    #23
    They want you to pay for a business account for that type of service probably.
     
  24. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Location:
    Estonia
    #24
    In my country, access to internet is considered to be basic human right.
    So only mobile contracts have data caps. But you can also find (again) the provider wo offers without.
     
  25. bag99001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    #25
    https://www.highspeedinternet.com/r...ment-programs-to-help-me-get-internet-service

    There is free or subsidized internet access in the US as well for those close to or below the poverty line- under the same program that used to exist solely for phone service. Higher levels of service provided by a cable company that would serve above and beyond typical usage has nothing to do with that.
     

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