Apple TV blinks intermittently when I change HDTV source/mode - forced to reboot ATV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Danie143, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. Danie143 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2008
    Puzzling behavior, straight out of the box.
    I have an Olevia 27" HDTV and an AppleTV (2nd gen)

    No problems when....
    I set the source on my TV to HDMI and reboot/start up AppleTV.

    Problems when....
    AFTER the AppleTV is booted, warm and happy, I change the source (from HDMI to perhaps the Tuner to watch TV). Bingo! Flashback to dying Nintendo days when after awhile, it would toggle-blink a magenta screen and the game loaded. Same exact thing happens here. The AppleTV will be still scrolling my screensaver photos intermittently as the screen goes black and sometimes magenta. When it alternates to the black screen (no AppleTV input, I gather) I see a NO SOURCE sign pop up on my TV.

    The only way to solve the problem is to reboot the AppleTV.

    I have googled to the ends of the internet and have found not a thread of evidence and reasoning why this occurs - help!
  2. BobC macrumors newbie


    Apr 15, 2007
    Providence, RI
    Olevia problem, probably

    I almost hate to say this, but I think it's a problem with certain revisions of the Olevia TV's firmware. This has happened with my Olevia TV, too, and rather than reboot, another way to rectify the problem when it occurs is to momentarily unplug one end of the HDMI cable, and when you plug it back in a few seconds later, the AppleTV will re-negotiate with the Olevia and the picture will stabilize as it should.

    Several months ago, I discussed this at length with an Olevia support person, and the company position seems to be that the AppleTV doesn't follow the HDMI "rules" properly. While unlikely, I suppose that it *is* possible. :)

    My experience, indeed, was that the problem (usually) only occured when the AppleTV had entered screen-saver mode by the time it was switched back in, which makes me think that the AppleTV itself might be doing something wonky as regards to the HDMI spec.

    Interestingly, this doesn't happen with my later-model Olevia and the same AppleTV unit. YMMV.
  3. Iggy macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2003
    Bournemouth, UK
    A similar thing happens with my Samsung LCD. Very frustrating.
  4. hotzenplotz macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    Another Oleavia 32 inch LCD HDTV owner here. I experienced the same things including garbled video from YouTube and iTunes via HDMI, but not over component. Since I updated my aTV with the latest FW, however, I had not have any problems.
  5. iowamensan macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2006
    Mine did this all the time as well, when I would switch the receiver from one source to the :apple:TV, the screen would just show an Apple logo and be completely unresponsive. Since the last software update, it now still shows the logo for about 5 seconds, then goes to the menu screen. Not sure if this is the exact thing you are getting, but sounds close.
  6. coogee macrumors regular

    May 28, 2007
    Another +1 on this. It's worst if I switch the (Panasonic) LCD TV off and on again. The Apple logo appears for a millisecond, then the screen goes blank, then I have to wait up to 5 minutes for the ATV to appear. Very frustrating.

    It's also part of why the removal of the option to hold down Play to switch off the ATV is a massive annoyance to me. I have to go through the wait to see the ATV to switch it off. And when I switch the LCD on when the ATV has been in Standby, it takes even longer to appear on the TV.
  7. aphxtwinin macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    I have the same exact problem. I have a panasonic pz85. Seems to be an hdmi handshake problem
  8. coogee macrumors regular

    May 28, 2007
    Anyone made any progress with this? It's very frustrating. I'm reluctant to chop and change from watching AppleTV content to changing my HDMI input on TV to watch CableTV.

    Reason is the AppleTV seems to have a 50% chance of ever reappearing on my TV when I switch sources back. Sometimes it comes back eventually, other times it just never reappears. I am forced to pull the plug on the ATV in this case, switching the TV on/off has no effect.

    The TV is detecting 720p input, the Apple TV is switched on. But it just hangs. Some sort of 'HDMI Handshake problem' sounds very plausible. How to fix? Do I have to Standby the AppleTV every time I want to change TV source?
  9. nathanjbrown macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Apple's implementation of HDMI on :apple:TV is a bit below expectations. This has been documented repeatedly in forums such as this one (I've also heard that running an AppleTV through an HDMI repeater - such as a receiver - can make matters even worse).

    My suggestion: Use component video cables. Sure...The A/V industry loves to sell us expensive best-of-the-best cables, but, c'mon, we're working with highly compressed video here. You wouldn't plug high-end headphones into your iPod, would you? ;) Component video will solve the problem you speak of with very little - if any - hit to video quality (though, admittedly, running four wires - component video + optical audio - is far less attractive than a single HDMI cable).

    Here's to improved HDMI performance on the next hardware revision!

  10. inVaUSA macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2009
    same thing with 2009 mac mini

    I am having this same issue with my 2009 mac mini. I switch to cable tv, and when I come back to the mac mini input it just blink/rotates through a black, blue, and desktop screen over and over again.

    same thing happens if i try and use PIP. I have a Dell 37" LCD TV.

    has anyone found a solution?
  11. RumMunkey macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2006
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/528.16 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Safari/528.16)

    I get this on my AppleTV / Sony Grand Wega setup downstairs because I have to go through a dumb HDMI switch (yay for single HDMI in!).

    I'm sure it's to do with the handshake that's required for HDMI devices going through a passive (dumb) switch.

    My AppleTV / LG LCD (much newer TV) setup upstairs doesn't have this problem at all.

    When I switch to the 2nd HDMI input, I actually get a "Negotiating..." prompt on screen as the LG reconnects with the device fresh each time.

    I'm guessing some TVs have low quality passive switches inside that (like my add-on switch) doesn't really handle a fresh handshake each time you switch inputs??
  12. inVaUSA macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2009
    my guess is you are probably right. I had read somewhere else that it might be with the EDID, which I think is what you are talking about. so the next question is, should I try a different connection.

    I can purchase monoprice's mini-displayport to hdmi and see if that fixes it. i can purchase their mini-dvi to hdmi and see if theirs works better (some people reviewed that it was the only adapter that worked for them) or I can try a VGA connection to my tv, although its unfortunate to be downgrading like that.

    --or I can purchase the Gefen DVI Detective which stores the EDID information, but that would be yet another $65 and another thing plugged into my mini.

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