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

priitv8

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Jan 13, 2011
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Restart fixes it. Hopefully on a future release they will fix it.
This bloody Android TV needs also restarting, more often than you might want to think.
On Sony you either hold the "power" button on remote down for 10 seconds or pull the plug.
 
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Andrew504

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2017
11
3
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.
I got my replacement Apple TV. It's on TV OS 11.0 it works perfectly. The problem must have been with TV OS 11.1 & 11.2
 
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punkdthrice

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 18, 2017
30
8
I got my replacement Apple TV. It's on TV OS 11.0 it works perfectly. The problem must have been with TV OS 11.1 & 11.2
That's good to hear. At least that leaves us some hope that Apple can fix this in their next firmware update.
It sucks we can't downgrade our Apple TV's this generation because they decided to leave out the USB-C Port.
 
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priitv8

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Jan 13, 2011
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It sucks we can't downgrade our Apple TV's this generation because they decided to leave out the USB-C Port.
Has it ever been possible? I thought it is always been the same wih all iOS devices - once Apple closes the old firmware signing window, there is no going back, irrespective of the ports.
Or was it different with aTV??
 
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punkdthrice

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 18, 2017
30
8
Has it ever been possible? I thought it is always been the same wih all iOS devices - once Apple closes the old firmware signing window, there is no going back, irrespective of the ports.
Or was it different with aTV??
Yes, Apple has always locked their firmware past its signing date. But if the firmware is still being signed it can still be downgraded.

Apple TV is the same 4th gen and earlier but ever since the 5th gen 4K they eliminated the possibility of plugging your Apple TV into your computer, therefore downgrading would be impossible. Atleast on 4th Gen we could still downgrade down to tvOS 10 since it's still being signed. If we had the port to plug in the computer on ATV 4K we could downgrade tvOS 11.0 (still signed) which actually didn't have this No video/Black screen issue.
 
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Jamesk811

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2015
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I thought I was the only one with this issue. On my Sony X930E, Netflix will show subtitles and play audio but just a black screen (only 4K content), other content works fine.

The fix for me is going into settings on the Apple TV and restarting it.

This is so annoying as I thought it was my HDMI cable so I bought the belkin 4K one from Apple store and the issue is continuing.
 
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tonyr6

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Oct 13, 2011
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Brooklyn NY
If you turn off your TV with the Apple TV input on it will do this. I notice if you turn off your TV when it is on a different input it does not occur.
 
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AbblePC

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2009
172
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If you turn off your TV with the Apple TV input on it will do this. I notice if you turn off your TV when it is on a different input it does not occur.
What brand & model TV are you connecting the ATV4K to, also what HDMI port and rating on your TV?

I’ve been having this issue intermittently ever since I bought both my ATV4K and Vizio E70-E3 TV from BestBuy, especially since the latest TVOS update and both are only a month old. I fixed it originally by swapping HDMI inputs and taking my Vizio sound bar from ARC to using Optical then setting the AT4K to same port which supports 2.0 and also swapping multiple brand new HDMI cables that support high 18G+ speeds. Also simultaneously my ATV Siri remote will act very sluggish, so temporarily I moved it from behind the TV for direct line of sight acccess and seemed to smooth the remote operation, however the ATV4K still wants to blank video with 1-3 second intervals and sometimes longer in between. Like one other poster said earlier, mainly after the AT4K has been asleep and you first power on the TV using the Siri remote. It seems as the AT4K warms up (sometimes) it plays 4K content uninterrupted, all other inputs cables external devices including PS4 VR and internal SmartCast TV app works fine. No matter the settings changes or TV menu settings I change, helps other than setting the ATV4K to SDR gets rid of this problem.
 
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tonyr6

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Oct 13, 2011
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Same problem... Sony tv. Anybody found a fix? Super annoying problem.
Not leaving on the Apple TV input when turning off the TV seems to fix it. As long as I have it on another input when i turn the TV off it seems fine as I have not had to reboot it in days.
 
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Michelasso

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Feb 20, 2012
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Treviso, Italy
This bloody Android TV needs also restarting, more often than you might want to think.
On Sony you either hold the "power" button on remote down for 10 seconds or pull the plug.
I have found out that with HDMI issues pulling the plug is sometime the only solution. I have just done it now, and finally turning off the (Bravia) TV it turns off the ATV 4K as well. I hate the software of this TV! It's a complete mess.
 
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zims2730

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2015
17
5
Anybody found any fixes yet? Have me made Apple aware? (assuming it's an apple issue as it used to work a few updates ago).
 
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theviewer19855

macrumors newbie
Dec 28, 2017
21
6
This is also happening to me.

Except I have an LG OLED. A lot of people here seem to have mentioned they had Sony TV’s and I didn’t want people to start thinking it’s sony specific.

Only started happening to me last week While Using any streaming app.. I’ve tested amazon and Netflix. Restart fixes it for a day or two.
 
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Michelasso

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Feb 20, 2012
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Treviso, Italy
Anybody found any fixes yet? Have me made Apple aware? (assuming it's an apple issue as it used to work a few updates ago).
I am not sure I am allowed to talk about it (NDA crap) but being in the Appleseed program I have opened a bug report. No answers yet, though.

And today after the latest 11.2.5 update it still doesn't work (just tested it)...

On a slightly different matter, is it normal for the AVR (I have a Yamaha RX-v483) to take up to 10 seconds to turn on after turning on the Apple TV 4K? The TV turns on immediately. Is it again something with the Bravia (like, I don't know, the AVR is off so the ATV 4K goes through standby HDMI passthrough, the TV turns on and then the TV via HDMI-CEC turns on the AVR)? The "stop" from ATV 4K is immediate for all devices, though.
 
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priitv8

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Jan 13, 2011
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On a slightly different matter, is it normal for the AVR (I have a Yamaha RX-v483) to take up to 10 seconds to run on after turning on the Apple TV 4K? The TV turns on immediately. Is it again something with the Bravia (like, I don't know, the AVR is off so the ATV 4K goes through standby HDMI passthrough, the TV turns on and then the TV via HDMI-CEC turns on the AVR). The "stop" from ATV 4K is immediate for all devices, though.
My all-Sony setup behaves exactly the same.
aTV will only report to connected TV that it wants to become "active source". TV+AVR will then figure out the correct signal routing and TV will wake AVR to apply it's part of routing, if needed. AVR will also negotiate with TV and become the default Audio device (Bravia will flash a banner about that event).
I can provide you with my CEC logs if you want to dig deeper into the protocol :D
Power-off from aTV is sent as broadcast, ie all devices on bus receive it at same time. Everyone will process it in own pace, naturally. For example UBP-X800 will take 30-60 seconds to wrap itself up and shut down.
PS Check the Supplement 1 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS CONTROL (CEC) on page 213 in the definitive document. It documents all required message flows.
 
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tonyr6

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Oct 13, 2011
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Brooklyn NY
Sony XBR43X800E I have the same issue if I turn off the TV on the Apple TV input. Even buying this switch as I needed more than two 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color ports as I have a lot of streaming devices the Apple TV will still freeze with a black screen if I leave the switch on the Apple TV input. If I put it on any other input when I turn off the TV then turn it on the Apple TV works fine once I switch to that input.
 
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Michelasso

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2012
402
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Treviso, Italy
My all-Sony setup behaves exactly the same.
aTV will only report to connected TV that it wants to become "active source". TV+AVR will then figure out the correct signal routing and TV will wake AVR to apply it's part of routing, if needed. AVR will also negotiate with TV and become the default Audio device (Bravia will flash a banner about that event).
I can provide you with my CEC logs if you want to dig deeper into the protocol :D
Power-off from aTV is sent as broadcast, ie all devices on bus receive it at same time. Everyone will process it in own pace, naturally. For example UBP-X800 will take 30-60 seconds to wrap itself up and shut down.
PS Check the Supplement 1 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS CONTROL (CEC) on page 213 in the definitive document. It documents all required message flows.
So after the last 11.2.5 beta update the AVR turned on immediately the few times I tested it (I did few tests because I noticed that change). Now it's a bit back to the usual, maybe it take a bit less time. Having 3 pieces involved (TV, AVR, ATV 4K) who knows what's going on..

PS: I went through that document but it's a bit of a nightmare.. :D
 
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netnothing

macrumors 68040
Mar 13, 2007
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NH
Similar issue with my X930E. I did have my ATV going through my Denon, but got tired of having to pull power on the tv to fix. So decided to plug directly into Hdmi 3 on the tv. Now after some idle time, when I go to play anything, it’s just a black screen with audio. UI seems fine....just the video is affected. Reboot of ATV fixes it. Getting tired of this.

I’m running 11.3b1.
Tried both Amazon and Monoprice cables. Currently running the Belkins from the Apple store. Convinced it’s not a cable issue though.
 
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digital1312

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2018
1
0
using apple tv 4k with LG 65UJ7700 65" 4K tv

I have the same issue where audio keeps coming though but screen is black. restart apple tv video comes back. have swapped out cables with Tripp Lite hdmi 4k cables as well as a belkin cable and problem persists.

I've tried disabling Dolby Vision & running on HDR and issue persists.

it has be something that can be fixed with an update.

have even moved my xbox one s to the port that had the apple tv4k attached to and had zero problems with the xbox.
 
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netnothing

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Mar 13, 2007
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I am not sure I am allowed to talk about it (NDA crap) but being in the Appleseed program I have opened a bug report. No answers yet, though.

And today after the latest 11.2.5 update it still doesn't work (just tested it)...

On a slightly different matter, is it normal for the AVR (I have a Yamaha RX-v483) to take up to 10 seconds to turn on after turning on the Apple TV 4K? The TV turns on immediately. Is it again something with the Bravia (like, I don't know, the AVR is off so the ATV 4K goes through standby HDMI passthrough, the TV turns on and then the TV via HDMI-CEC turns on the AVR)? The "stop" from ATV 4K is immediate for all devices, though.
I also have a bug report opened with Apple but have yet to hear anything on it. I have sent logs/sysdiagnose/console output to them.

Not leaving on the Apple TV input when turning off the TV seems to fix it. As long as I have it on another input when i turn the TV off it seems fine as I have not had to reboot it in days.
This is interesting. So what you are saying is.....before turning off the TV, simply change the TV input to any other input, just not the one the ATV is on? I'll have to try this.
 
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CLS727

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2018
254
372
A black screen with working audio sounds like a bug in the HDCP authentication:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-bandwidth_Digital_Content_Protection

It's a hardware issue... which is why Apple Store will suggest a new cord.

This is same reason why you can't take an Apple TV, plug it's HDMI-out into your computer via a 4K capture card (like for video game streaming)........ if you try to "record" Netflix content, you'll get a black screen with full audio...... somehow it "knows" you're plugged into non authenticated device, and blocks the video.
 
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netnothing

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Mar 13, 2007
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A black screen with working audio sounds like a bug in the HDCP authentication:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-bandwidth_Digital_Content_Protection

It's a hardware issue... which is why Apple Store will suggest a new cord.

This is same reason why you can't take an Apple TV, plug it's HDMI-out into your computer via a 4K capture card (like for video game streaming)........ if you try to "record" Netflix content, you'll get a black screen with full audio...... somehow it "knows" you're plugged into non authenticated device, and blocks the video.
Yeah, it does sound like an HDCP error between the ATV and the TV after a period of idle time. @tonyr6 had an interesting approach of making sure the TV switches to a different input before powering off. Guessing the point in this is to make sure the next time the TV is turned on, you have to change the input to the ATV input, thus forcing that handshake again. I've managed to program this into my Harmony.....so we'll see if that works.

I have tried 3 different brands of cables and probably 6-7 different cables themselves. All exhibit the problem.
 
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netnothing

macrumors 68040
Mar 13, 2007
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NH
Sadly, changing the HDMI input to a different one before the TV is turned off doesn't seem to have worked. I woke up this morning and same problem again.....ATV UI works fine. Once I start a video in Netflix for example, all I get is a black screen with audio.

Really wish Apple would respond to my bug report.
 
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Michelasso

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Feb 20, 2012
402
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Treviso, Italy
I also have a bug report opened with Apple but have yet to hear anything on it. I have sent logs/sysdiagnose/console output to them..
In 11.3 beta the ATV 4K randomly turns off when turning off the TV. It worked a couple of times that I tested it. It didn't another couple of times. Well, it isn't vital.
 
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