[Apple TV 4K] Black screen while streaming video. Audio works fine.

punkdthrice

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 18, 2017
30
8
I just took advantage of the DirecTV Now promotion to get a free Apple TV 4K today. Upon setting up the device I immediately updated to tvOS 11.1.

After the update I noticed a major issue that's happened frequently throughout the day. I would start a stream on DirecTV Now and it will work fine for a few minutes until the screen goes completely black. There's no video at all except a black screen but audio plays just fine. The guide within the app works normally during this time. I would exit to the home screen and picture with all my apps would come back. So it may be app specific. Except that it happens to all my apps. When I go back to streaming content all it would show is a black screen. The only way to fix this is to restart the Apple TV and it would work fine again for a few hours.

This issue applies to all apps that stream video including Directv Now, Netflix, Hulu and Plex. Black screen but audio works. I'm able to scrub through the video such as fast forward and rewind. The UI still works fine but video stays black screen no matter what I do. I'm a bit lost and confused as to why this is happening. I never had this issue on my Apple TV 4 and I didn't notice this happening prior to updating to tvOS 11.1. Could it be that it's a bad update?

I'm about to perform a factory reset and hope for the best. Does anyone have a similar experience with their Apple TV 4K? Could it be an HDMI cable issue? Maybe it's the software? Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

For those wondering, video Format is set to 4K SDR YCbCr Chroma 4:2:0.
 

christsay

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2017
20
7
Having the same problem, had the 4K from launch and this issue seems to have arisen since the 11.1 update, fingers crossed that its fixed in 11.2.

Spent a little time swapping cables this morning and the only thing that would fix it was to reboot the ATV.

-chris
 

punkdthrice

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 18, 2017
30
8
Yeah I updated to 11.1 from the get go so the issue start appearing right away. I hate how there's no USB-C port. We can't downgrade to the previous firmware easily when problems arise in the new firmware.

May I ask what cables you are using?
 
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christsay

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2017
20
7
Cables are some beefy monoprice cables with ferrite cores, bought them a few years ago so I don’t remember the name exactly but they should be 4K HDR compliant. Tried a few of those and also a thin active directional cable (which did not work).

-chris
 

punkdthrice

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 18, 2017
30
8
I brought my Apple TV to the Genius Bar today and they plugged it in to their TV with their HDMI cable and everything was working fine. I will add that it only starts doing it after the Apple TV wakes up after awhile of inactivity. Unfortunately we were unable to reproduce the problem within a 15 minute span.

I ended up purchasing Apple's official Belkin 4K High Speed HDMI cable and just brought it home and plugged it in. Let's see how this goes..
 

Andrew504

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2017
11
3
I'm having the same issue. The only way I can get it to work is restarting the Apple TV. I have the Belkin 4K HDMI cable my tv is the 65X900E I'm on TV OS 11.2. It's super annoying! Going to the Genius Bar later today.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,587
454
Estonia
I'm having the same issue. The only way I can get it to work is restarting the Apple TV. I have the Belkin 4K HDMI cable my tv is the 65X900E I'm on TV OS 11.2. It's super annoying! Going to the Genius Bar later today.
Which HDMI port are you connected to?
 

Andrew504

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2017
11
3
I'm using HDMI 2. Because only HDMI inputs 2 and 3 are capable of showing 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,587
454
Estonia
I'm using HDMI 2. Because only HDMI inputs 2 and 3 are capable of showing 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color.
For that kind of bandwidth you need to enable HDMI Enhanced mode. Although I fail to see the benefit of these high-bandwidth settings for aTV.
 

Andrew504

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2017
11
3
Try if switching to YCrCb 4:2:0 makes any difference?
I originally had it set at YCrCb 4:2:0 still have the same issue. Apple suggested the Belkin cable so I bought it. That's when I changed YCrCb to 4:4:4
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,587
454
Estonia
I originally had it set at YCrCb 4:2:0 still have the same issue. Apple suggested the Belkin cable so I bought it. That's when I changed YCrCb to 4:4:4
Then unfortunately I am out of ideas. I cannot say anything abiut the apps you mention as I do not use them. Except Plex. Sometimes mine has trouble restoring picture when coming out of sleep. But it is so rare that it doesn’t bother me.
None of the tvOS 11 versions (now 11.2) has given me troubles with video playback.
I keep mine at 4K@60Hz SDR. Since yesterday’s update to 11.2 it now switches to HDR as needed. And I have a late 2016 Bravia.
 

Andrew504

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2017
11
3
Then unfortunately out of ideas. I cannot say anything abiut the apps you mention as I do not use them. Except Plex. Sometimes mine has trouble restoring picture when coming out of sleep. But it is so rare that it doesn’t bother me.
None of the tvOS 11 versions (now 11.2) has given me troubles with video playback.
I keep mine at 4K@60Hz SDR. Since yesterday’s update to 11.2 it now switches to HDR as needed.
I'm really only use Netflix and Hulu. After about an hour of inactivity it happens. I restart it multiple times a day. Maybe Apple will give me a new one then i won't update it. It worked fine when i first bought it.
 

oOMezzaOo

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2017
80
28
UK
I had this issue with some cheap cables I bought from Amazon. Once I swapped the cables it was fine.
 

Andrew504

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2017
11
3
I had this issue with some cheap cables I bought from Amazon. Once I swapped the cables it was fine.
Apple thought it was the HDMI cable so they suggested i buy the Belkin 4k Ultra High Speed HDMI cable. It didn't fix it.
 

tonyr6

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2011
1,401
456
Brooklyn NY
I just got a new 4K TV so I upgraded to the new 4K Apple TV. At first it works great but then when I try to open certain apps it is random video will freeze or I just get sound. This can happen random but usually when I go to turn on the TV. A quick reboot fixes it but it is annoying as my non 4K 2015 Apple TV never did this even on my new 4K TV.
 

z06gal

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2011
501
16
I am experiencing this issue along with the video being ahead of the audio. I had to reboot 4 times last night to deal with those issues. I hope they release an update soon. This is maddening
 

tonyr6

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2011
1,401
456
Brooklyn NY
I updated to the newest 11.2 update when I first got the new 4K ATV thinking it was okay. Later finding out that the stock 11.0 update did not have this issue. Where is the QC these days. I am tired of "new and improved" forced updates that break things.
 

Andrew504

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2017
11
3
I just got a new 4K TV so I upgraded to the new 4K Apple TV. At first it works great but then when I try to open certain apps it is random video will freeze or I just get sound. This can happen random but usually when I go to turn on the TV. A quick reboot fixes it but it is annoying as my non 4K 2015 Apple TV never did this even on my new 4K TV.
It's super annoying! I went to the Apple store yesterday. They had no answers but agreed to give me a new one. But they had to order it so i have to go back to the store to pick it up.
 

punkdthrice

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 18, 2017
30
8
It's super annoying! I went to the Apple store yesterday. They had no answers but agreed to give me a new one. But they had to order it so i have to go back to the store to pick it up.
I brought mine to the Apple Store and couldn't reproduce the issue. What did you do to convince them to give you a new one?
 

Andrew504

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2017
11
3
I brought mine to the Apple Store and couldn't reproduce the issue. What did you do to convince them to give you a new one?
I explained everything I did to try to fix the issue. New HDMI cable a different HDMI port different screen resolutions factory rest. I knew I wouldn't be able to reproduce the issue so I recorded a video on my iPhone for them to look at.
 
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tonyr6

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2011
1,401
456
Brooklyn NY
I brought mine to the Apple Store and couldn't reproduce the issue. What did you do to convince them to give you a new one?
Of course not. It works perfect on a fresh reboot. If they left your ATV there connected overnight and tried it again then they would know.
 

radio893fm

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2004
252
560
Boston
Apple thought it was the HDMI cable so they suggested i buy the Belkin 4k Ultra High Speed HDMI cable. It didn't fix it.
Same thing is happening to me. Sony TV as well, HDMI 2, Enhanced HDMI enable, etc.

Restart fixes it. Hopefully on a future release they will fix it.
 

Andrew504

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2017
11
3
Of course not. It works perfect on a fresh reboot. If they left your ATV there connected overnight and tried it again then they would know.
Hooked the Apple tv up to a another tv. It's been working fine! I even let it go to sleep for a few hours. Woke it up and it played video/audio perfectly. Ugh.