Apple TV colors seemed washed out/bland

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Kdon22, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Kdon22 macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2007
    I have a Sony Bravia WEGA 40" LCD HDTV and the DVD rips I have done look beautiful through Quicktime with vibrant colors. Yet, when I play the same movie through Apple TV, the colors seem to be either washed out and dull.

    I went back to check the colors using my TV cable box and the colors are fine - flesh tone etc.

    Any ideas or is this just what I can expect.
  2. clownie macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2003
  3. FreeState macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Also there is a place in Settings on the ATV to display everything darker. (sorry don't have it in front of me to tell you the exact name but it is under Settings).

    EDIT here is the link to apples help document on it...

    When using an HDMI connection, you can adjust the output brightness level by doing the following:

    Go into the Settings menu.
    Select HDMI brightness. Pressing Play/Pause switches between Low and High brightness levels. Additional brightness adjustments can be made on your TV for optimum viewing.
  4. natemonster macrumors member


    Mar 15, 2007
    when using component always check to see if cable are connected correctly.
  5. Diode macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    I think on your TV picture settings are by input (IE different picture settings for each input). Go through your TV settings and see if you can adjust it to what the cable input is at. Could be the default setting for showrooms (which makes everything look like crap).

    Or as someone mentioned if your using component check the cable.
  6. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    The picture on my Bravia over HDMI is extremely similar to what you described using my AppleTV. It looked fine on my Westinghouse and Gateway LCD televisions. Must be a sony thing, go figure :rolleyes:
  7. MacVault macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2002
    Planet Earth
    Dude, I was at the Apple Store yesterday in Novi, MI and tried out the Apple TV... I was way dissapointed in the quality of the movies/videos. Pictures were good, but motion video seemed very low resolution or something. Like the trailer of Cars, PrisonBreak, etc. Is this because of how the video is encoded from iTunes? Or is that all the Apple TV is capable of doing?
  8. FreeState macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Its how the video is encoded. If you really want to see what it is capable of subscribe to one of the HD Trailer podcasts and play them - they look awesome... I suspect there will be some HD (720p and possible 1080i) movies in iTunes soon.
  9. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    Partially it's the encoding. It's also the color gamut of your Bravia. An NTSC or ATSC television has a different color gamut from a computer monitor.

    Additionally, LCD TV's in general tend to have poor contrast and colors do look washed out relative to higher fidelity displays such as LCoS (Sony SXRD) and CRT (e.g. Sony Trinitron).

    I have tested 720p content and upscaled DVD content (see AppleTV Hacker's tutorials on upsampling DVD rips to 854x480 for widescreen HDTV... works really well if you follow his directions) and the color, clarity and contrast look stellar on my Sony Trinitron XBR WEGA HDTV but CRT's just blow away flats... even the Sony SXRD XBR 70 inch display comes close but not quite in terms of its color representation, clarity and actual contrast. Stated contrast levels are always inflated by the manufacturer and retailer but simply put, fixed pixel displays do a relatively poor job of maintaining decent black levels.

    Try true 720p content or upsampling your rips per the directions on AppleTV Hacker's blog and see if that makes an improvement. I know it certainly fares a lot better than the 640x480 content in the Apple store.

    I know that sounds weird but an increase in resolution also contributes to an increase in color density, saturation and overall gamut because of the wide gradients that can be represented in the same space when resolution is HD versus SD, or sub-SD in the case of iTunes content at the moment.
  10. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    The Apple Store currently has about the worst combination possible for demoing AppleTV. In fact, I'm contemplating complaining to Apple marketing executives on this one because the launch has been atrocious.

    First, they're using entry-level Sony Bravia LCD monitors. This is about the worst image clarity you can get in modern displays. Knowing that CRT's are kind of out of the question (my Trinitron XBR HDTV looks STELLAR running HD over AppleTV but at 200lbs it would be a pain to ship one to every Apple Store... even though it's cheaper than an LCD)... I would have recommended cutting down the number of displays and instead using one Sony SXRD prominently placed. SXRD sets use Liquid Crystal on Silicon which provides far greater clarity, contrast and color than any LCD TV.

    Second, they're using sub-iTunes content. The demo videos that shipped with the AppleTV units don't even have 640x480 resolution according to several store reps in Southdale and Mall of America. This is patently stupid. They're not selling any AppleTV's to walk-in customers, I can tell you that.

    In addition to the atrocious combo of low-res material and crappy HD displays... They positioned the units off in a corner which ends up looking as if they're just background displays for ambience and not really a product. No one notices the AppleTV units next to them. Something needs to be done to make these display setups more prominent because most customers see the big computers with apps running, the headphones around the iPod displays, and they recognize these are products. People see some displays over in the corner with crappy video on them, have no idea what they are, and move on... or if they do investigate, they're not impressed with the low quality demo and will never know what they could be watching.

    Lastly, the store reps are next to totally incompetent when it comes to answering questions about AppleTV, its capabilities, media types, compression rates, etc. You know... the things that anyone considering dropping $300 on a next-generation media bridge might be inclined to ask. One rep sounded like he was making up approximate file sizes on the spot and made the deadly mistake of trying to answer questions about encoding standards he knew nothing about (ironically, about H.264 which is common to the iTunes Store).

    They claim that Apple corporate is working on fixing the demo content issue but we're already into April and the only thing that might save AppleTV from complete failure is the unmitigated stupidity of competing designs such as the Netgear EVA8000 which is touted to support 1080p but has no internal hard drive and cannot stream 1080p worth a damn because no one thought to actually incorporate 802.11n on the device. Incidentally, Apple DOES have 802.11n and the Apple people were smart enough to only go as far as guaranteeing only 720p and only at n speeds (even though most first-movers report it works great over 802.11g, which I have found as well).
  11. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Not even showing full-resolution content? That's almost unbelievable, if I hadn't seen an ATV display myself at a store. I was wondering why POTC looked so bad...I thought it was upscaling artifacts or something like that. I mean I know it's not true HD content, but my DVD rips look so much better on my Sony 32" tube HDTV.

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