Apple TV 4 Low Volume on Movies.

CaTOAGU

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 15, 2008
688
680
Manchester, UK
Has anyone else noticed the volume is unusually low when playing movies compared to music and compared to the gen 3 Apple TV. It's also outputting 7.1 channel PCM to my receiver whereas the previous Apple TV output Dolby Digital 5.1.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DEXTERITY

CruiseToGo

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2012
71
8
Yes, I also noticed this. I couldn't believe the horrible sound quality on the video apps like disney junior live programming and others. My atv3 was much louder and the surround experience we better. If there is no fix for this, I will take it back.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kurri

Gueeds

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2015
121
94
I don't have mine yet to compare, is there a setting somewhere to set the output to bitstream instead of PCM?
 

CaTOAGU

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 15, 2008
688
680
Manchester, UK
Yes, I also noticed this. I couldn't believe the horrible sound quality on the video apps like disney junior live programming and others. My atv3 was much louder and the surround experience we better. If there is no fix for this, I will take it back.
Thanks, the quality seems OK so long as the volume is turned up, although I sometimes think the range is being compressed as well. I'll have to back to back some more movies when I've got time to check. It's still making me think twice though.
 

CaTOAGU

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 15, 2008
688
680
Manchester, UK
I don't have mine yet to compare, is there a setting somewhere to set the output to bitstream instead of PCM?
There's 3 settings, Auto, Dolby Surround and Stereo. If I have it set to Auto, music is output in Stereo as you'd expect but Movies are output in 7.1 PCM, at a far lower level than the Stereo, I'm also not sure if there's some Dynamic Range Compression going on even with the Range Compression turned off, it's hard to tell. If it's set to Dolby Surround, it will bitstream it to the Receiver I think, however music is then also output in Dolby Surround, which is weird.

All this could be perfectly normal but it's definitely very different than the previous version for me. The 7.1 PCM output could be because of the support for Dolby Digital 7.1, if so it's still disappointing that it can't bitstream it to a receiver.
 

jaysue

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2011
111
2
Tolleson, AZ
I did notice it was a little low as well, i set my setting to DD and nothing really changed, during a movie when you pull down the menu mine just says english, will it show surround like the Apple TV 3?
 

taeclee99

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2002
823
1
Anywhere but here
I noticed that the sound is low for iTunes movies as well. The volume varies between individual audio tracks too. I am wondering where the sound check option went. I cannot seem to locate it in the settings. Having to keep adjusting the volume between movies and music is very annoying. If there is no way to normalize the sound volume , I will probably end up returning the apple tv and getting a Roku 4 or Amazon Fire TV.
 

Gueeds

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2015
121
94
It's been a while since I've done the whole bitstream vs. PCM issue as I've set every other AV device to bitstream, but the ATV4 should be set to PCM as it defaults everything to DD even when it's just stereo as that's either a bug just a horrible way of forcing everything into a DD format.

Really, the volume difference is just how your receiver sets the volume levels. DD is set at a higher volume level than PCM, there's absolutely 100% nothing wrong with your ATV or your receiver, that's how PCM is. Hence the noted difference between Stereo/PCM/DD. I just set the reference volume on my ATV port higher than normal and it's the same as if I used DD.
 
Last edited: