Resolved Are my HDMI cables actually different from the one Apple is trying to sell me?

NameUndecided

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I mentioned in a previous post where I rambled a little bit much -- So I could do Dolby Vision, now I can't. -- that my Apple TV 4K is going from being fine with Dolby Vision to acting like my equipment can't handle it.

Apple Support is suggesting that I buy the Belkin HDMI cable that they personally vouch for.

The cable that I'm currently connected with is labeled with 4K compatibility, 18 Gbps, and "high speed".

According to the Amazon page for the Belkin cable, that one is 18 Gbps as well.

The previous cables I tried -- each worked with Dolby Vision at first, then a day or so later the ATV stopped letting me switch to DV -- an Amazon Basics cable (I don't know the specs on that one), and the Vizio HDMI cable that came with this 4k Dolby Vision capable TV, so I imagine that cable should want to work with these formats just fine. And now this third cable that says "4k" "18gbps" on its packaging.

So basically -- I don't know if I really need to spend $30 on a new HDMI cable, or if this is something wrong with my Apple TV or (heaven forbid) my Vizio TV is the one not cooperating.
 

archer75

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Since it did work but now doesn't tells you at least it's possible. Something changed somewhere. I wouldn't think it's the cable but you never know.
I use the premium certified cables from monoprice. They are cheap and they work.
A number of people reported similar issues that were ultimately resolved by getting new cables. Seems the ATV 4k is very sensitive.
 
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jca24

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Sorry to hear of your issue. I would not be so sure its a cable issue or an Apple TV issue. It could be a TV issue. Vizio has their reputation for a reason.
 

NameUndecided

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Yep. I just find it too strange that three cables in a row worked at first and then didn't. So I couldn't bring myself to buy another one and just wait and see. My return/exchange period for this Apple TV ends this Friday.

No other settings within the TV are being changed. I troubleshooted all around the first time this happened and it seems to just happen on a whim.

It could very well be the TV's problem, and that'd be a bummer. But I've had this Vizio for almost two months and I'm so super happy with it so far. I bought it based off plenty of reviews and research and finding what's best for my price range. I'm totally happy with it up until this issue, if it does turn out to be the TV's fault.
 

archer75

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Yep. I just find it too strange that three cables in a row worked at first and then didn't. So I couldn't bring myself to buy another one and just wait and see. My return/exchange period for this Apple TV ends this Friday.

No other settings within the TV are being changed. I troubleshooted all around the first time this happened and it seems to just happen on a whim.

It could very well be the TV's problem, and that'd be a bummer. But I've had this Vizio for almost two months and I'm so super happy with it so far. I bought it based off plenty of reviews and research and finding what's best for my price range. I'm totally happy with it up until this issue, if it does turn out to be the TV's fault.
It probably isn't the TV. Vizios are great TV's. Do you have other devices you can use to test with, something other than the ATV? The TV's built in Netflix and Vudu apps should give you dolby vision. That just shows it still works on the TV but not tell you if it's a port issue.

You can factory reset the ATV and then give it another go. If that doesn't work then factory reset the TV and try again.
Are you connecting to a receiver?
 

NameUndecided

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I'm afraid I don't have any other Dolby Vision devices. My only experience with HDR before this has been a bit of Horizon Zero Dawn on my PS4 (and that's only HDR10). Didn't have issues there.

Factory reset on the ATV happened a few days ago and that didn't seem to sway things either way. I hope I don't have to factory-reset the TV but that might come to be (eek).

Okay here is one catch about this Vizio TV -- It doesn't have any built in smart features. All the smart features are on an included android tablet and the TV has built-in Chromecast. So, no HDR on the TV's (tablet's) Netflix or Vudu apps. I just didn't/don't care about Smart TV features because I have things like an Apple TV and PS4. So I'm afraid I can't test it that way.

The Apple TV is connected straight to HDMI (yep, the correct HDMI port for expanded UHD color stuffs. edit: and yep, always been making sure that option for expanded color stuffs is turned ON on the television), and then just an optical cable from TV into sound bar.
 
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archer75

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Okay here is one catch about this Vizio TV -- It doesn't have any built in smart features. All the smart features are on an included android tablet and the TV has built-in Chromecast. So, no HDR on the TV's (tablet's) Netflix or Vudu apps. I just didn't/don't care about Smart TV features because I have things like an Apple TV and PS4. So I'm afraid I can't test it that way.
I am familiar with it. But doesn't it still do HDR10/Dolby Vision via casting? The Chromecast Ultra does and I thought I heard that the vizios did too.
Looks like your next step is to factory reset the tv. If that doesn't do it then you really need another device to test with. The chromecast ultra is cheap and can be purchased at a number of stores. After testing you could return it.
 

NameUndecided

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I am familiar with it. But doesn't it still do HDR10/Dolby Vision via casting? The Chromecast Ultra does and I thought I heard that the vizios did too.
Looks like your next step is to factory reset the tv. If that doesn't do it then you really need another device to test with. The chromecast ultra is cheap and can be purchased at a number of stores. After testing you could return it.
I truly don't think that it can do HDR via casting. That was mentioned in a review or two I youtube-viewed for this TV, and also the fact that casting is treated as its own "input" alongside the HDMI and component inputs list for this TV, and there's no mention of UHD colors off and on like there is with HDMI 1 input.
I remember now Vizio calls it Smartcast instead of Chromecast, if that makes any difference. I will experiment with the Netflix app in a little bit just to be certain, though. I won't mind at all being shown that I'm wrong about this.

Buying and testing a chromecast ultra is a good idea, and I might actually do that if push comes to shove. Before I do that, I think the best course is to exchange this Apple TV before my 14 days ends this Friday. If it still persists and I haven't learned anything new, I will probably try that dreaded Belkin cable. With that, I'll either concurrently eat my words and rejoice as it works better than all my other HDMI cables have, or I'll return that cable; Then test with a new device like the Chromecast Ultra.

Thank you for your help. I really do appreciate it.
 

Tech198

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Mar 21, 2011
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If a cable works it works.... but u can get flaky cables.

Look at it at this way... Test it with $30 cable Apple recommends...,.. if it doesn't work, you only lost $30. but at least u'll know its not the cable... vs say a cheaper one your just using but you have no idea if it still would be the cable. (i.e Apple doesn't sell defective stuff)
 
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NameUndecided

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If a cable works it works.... but u can get flaky cables.

Look at it at this way... Test it with $30 cable Apple recommends...,.. if it doesn't work, you only lost $30. but at least u'll know its not the cable... vs say a cheaper one your just using but you have no idea if it still would be the cable. (i.e Apple doesn't sell defective stuff)
Yeah but the thing is: it's been the same behavior across three different cables, all of different brands. The cheapest and most questionable being Amazon's brand.
Mainly I just wanted to see if anyone knew of some key discernible feature the Belkin cable has that these others don't. I'll try that cable probably if a second ATV gives the same issues.
 

NameUndecided

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I don't know why I initially skimmed over archer75's Monoprice cable recommendation. I've just ordered one of those, but might probably exchange the ATV anyway, just in case, since the cable probably won't arrive with time for me to fully test it before my return window is up.
 

TexaClone

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Oct 17, 2017
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I own a Vizio M65-D0 and an LG OLED65B7P. I have an nVidia Shield TV, Xbox One S and just got an Apple TV 4k. I can tell you that if the Vizio you have went into Dolby Vision mode it can cast with Dolby Vision. To verify, go to your Netflix app on your iPhone and select the Cast button, then look at a show, like Stranger Things. If the TV is working, you will see the Dolby Vision symbol on it. The Google Cast function in those TVs directly support DV. But you have to select Cast first. If you don't, you may just be screen mirroring. The difference is that when you cast first, the built in Chromecast device actually connects to the content provider and streams directly, which enables Dolby Vision, which your phone doesn't have. You can leave the house and that stream will still run because the TV itself is running the stream, which is why they included a cheap tablet remote, the device starting the stream doesn't need to be very powerful to get great looking content.

That said, I can also tell you that I went through a TON of cables getting HDR to work with my Xbox One S originally with the Vizio. The $8 Monoprice cables work better than any of the others I tried. Also, check the length. If you are over 6 feet with Dolby Vision, good luck. Interference from microwaves, cell phones, power lines, etc. Are all pummeling that signal and the shorter the cable the better. Monoprice 6 foot cables made everything I have connected work and also check the specs on your Vizio and make sure the deep color setting is turned on. For the M series, only certain ports support deep color(HDR). My M works just fine with Dolby Vision on the ATV.

Last, also make sure you have the latest firmware and updates on everything. And check your settings after firmware updates.

Good luck!
 

Patrick Turner

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Sep 30, 2017
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It it is also very important to use a well-shielded HDMI cable if you are having issues with your WIFI data rate.

Unlike 1080p, 4K signaling happens at around the same frequency as your WIFI bands and causes interference if cable or connector seam is not well shielded.
 

NameUndecided

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Mar 28, 2011
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I own a Vizio M65-D0 and an LG OLED65B7P. I have an nVidia Shield TV, Xbox One S and just got an Apple TV 4k. I can tell you that if the Vizio you have went into Dolby Vision mode it can cast with Dolby Vision. To verify, go to your Netflix app on your iPhone and select the Cast button, then look at a show, like Stranger Things. If the TV is working, you will see the Dolby Vision symbol on it. The Google Cast function in those TVs directly support DV. But you have to select Cast first. If you don't, you may just be screen mirroring. The difference is that when you cast first, the built in Chromecast device actually connects to the content provider and streams directly, which enables Dolby Vision, which your phone doesn't have. You can leave the house and that stream will still run because the TV itself is running the stream, which is why they included a cheap tablet remote, the device starting the stream doesn't need to be very powerful to get great looking content.

That said, I can also tell you that I went through a TON of cables getting HDR to work with my Xbox One S originally with the Vizio. The $8 Monoprice cables work better than any of the others I tried. Also, check the length. If you are over 6 feet with Dolby Vision, good luck. Interference from microwaves, cell phones, power lines, etc. Are all pummeling that signal and the shorter the cable the better. Monoprice 6 foot cables made everything I have connected work and also check the specs on your Vizio and make sure the deep color setting is turned on. For the M series, only certain ports support deep color(HDR). My M works just fine with Dolby Vision on the ATV.

Last, also make sure you have the latest firmware and updates on everything. And check your settings after firmware updates.

Good luck!
Oh… my gosh. Thank you for the very detailed reply.
I tested this all out this morning. Dolby Vision and 4K actually do work on the built in Smartcast/Chromecast. I just took the word of what I heard in one of the reviews of this TV. It didn't bother me because I didn't think I cared about the TV's built in smart features. I hardly even felt the need to test it. But just seeing that it does work makes me so much even happier with this television.
There was a small scare when DV content was showing as dark-rainbow-glitchiness, but that fixed itself when I switched from one of my calibration presets to another (it wasn't the preset that was making it dark-rainbowy, it just needed the semi-refresh in the display settings).
Either that one review was misleading, or I misheard or misremembered, or maybe(?) this was implemented in an update since last year.
So yes, confirmed that Dolby Vision and 4K were playing on Netflix, and that's thrilling to know!

For deep color settings -- the Apple TV is definitely always in the correct HDMI 1 input, and that UHD color setting is always turned on. All firmware is up to date. I should also clarify -- HDR10 is still always continuing to work after Dolby Vision no longer does. With the highest chroma 4:2:2 whichever (I don't remember the numbers offhand. Just the highest settings HDR10 continue to play just fine).

I ordered that monoprice cable last night and I have high hopes for it. For a moment I almost bought the ten foot instead of six, but realized I don't need to add that possible extra hiccup (and I don't… need… that extra length, like at all).

It it is also very important to use a well-shielded HDMI cable if you are having issues with your WIFI data rate.

Unlike 1080p, 4K signaling happens at around the same frequency as your WIFI bands and causes interference if cable or connector seam is not well shielded.
I had no idea that wave signals in the air could affect signals in the video cables. This is really something for me to further look into.

Thank you all very much for your help.
 
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archer75

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I have a 25' cable from monoprice and it's working with 4k, HDR and Dolby Vision, no issues. That's from my Denon Receiver to my LG OLED B6.

For the record if I hadn't gotten my LG OLED I would have gone with Vizio. I have another Vizio that's just 1080 and is several years old but it's a great TV(once calibrated). Part of my still wishes instead of getting a 65" OLED I went with a 80" Vizio based upon seeing the 4k Dolby Vision Vizio in my brother in laws house. Sure my OLED has deeper blacks but that Vizio in a lighted home environment looked really good.
 

Patrick Turner

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Sep 30, 2017
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Oh… my gosh. Thank you for the very detailed reply.

I had no idea that wave signals in the air could affect signals in the video cables. This is really something for me to further look into.

Thank you all very much for your help.

No. To be clear, it is rather the video signals that can interfere with WiFi reception if poorly shielded cables are used. This leads to choppy video as the interference reduces the effective data rate of the incoming stream (over WiFi to the ATV).

On some other forums, a few users reported WIFI data rate issues which were fixed when they used the Belkin Dolby Vision cables. They claim that cable has excellent shielding even at the connector seams.
 

oneMadRssn

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Part of my still wishes instead of getting a 65" OLED I went with a 80" Vizio based upon seeing the 4k Dolby Vision Vizio in my brother in laws house. Sure my OLED has deeper blacks but that Vizio in a lighted home environment looked really good.
Gah. This is my internal dilemma right now. LG 65" OLED or Vizio/Sony/Samsung 75"+ LED? On one hand, the OLED seems to be the better long-term choice in terms of technology especially with HDR and power consumption, but on the other hand, as Tim Allen would agree, bigger is better.
 

NameUndecided

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Oh boy, what a rollercoaster! So today later in the day, I tried switching to DV again, as I have been off and on over the past couple of days, and it worked! Now I get to wonder if any of these circumstances have anything to do with it --

• Was it because I had my ethernet cable unplugged from the ATV and into my television (from testing Smartcast this morning)? I plugged the ethernet cable back into the ATV and still switched formats back and forth successfully.

• Does it have to do with my enabling DV within Smartcast that "warmed" my television up to it? (or… something like that.)

• Could it be related to that initial difficulty with Dolby Vision within Smartcast, where it initially appeared as dark rainbow ugliness until I changed to a different picture calibration preset?

Who's to say. It's a crazy adventure full of scientific deduction and exasperation. But now, if the ATV doesn't want to switch to Dolby Vision again, I have a few things to try out and see if that helps it along.


And more about my Vizio TV --

I definitely am happy with it in these first couple months, and I feel I made the best decision short of spending multiple-hundreds more on an OLED -- which I'd have been happy to do if it was responsibly feasible at the moment.

Part of what sold me on this model are the great black levels and I'm very happy with it in that regard. Its many "active LED zones" help to create something maybe-comparible to OLED, (but then there's also some trade off, with some haloing of light if there's like a lone object surrounded by black). And I am really impressed at how much it suddenly popped even more-so as soon as I calibrated everything proper with a colorimeter.

But here is something to keep in mind if shopping for, or borderline-regretting not getting, an LED TV: viewing angles!
The picture really does fade on this TV outside of, say, a 30° viewing angle.
I am personally okay with this with the way it's set up for me, and I understand there are some things that can't be perfect while I get most all of the other features that were important to me. But it is a little surprising that the viewing angle is almost (not quite) as poor as an older 720p LCD Samsung I have around.
Just something to keep an eye out for.
 

NameUndecided

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Oh boy, what a rollercoaster! So today later in the day, I tried switching to DV again, as I have been off and on over the past couple of days, and it worked! Now I get to wonder if any of these circumstances have anything to do with it --

… • Could it be related to that initial difficulty with Dolby Vision within Smartcast, where it initially appeared as dark rainbow ugliness until I changed to a different picture calibration preset?
⬆ It was this.

It does turn out to be a minor glitch in this television. After a couple of days of testing, with consistent results, if I switch my calibration to a different pre-set before I try and switch to Dolby Vision, it works great. If I haven't changed the pre-set anytime since the TV has been turned on, it won't want to do DV.

I've no idea why this is, but this is turning out to be a solution to the problem.
The HDMI cables were framed! They seem to have had no hands in this scandal.

Luckily, good thing, this doesn't bother me too much because I have separate calibration settings both for SDR and for HDR, so I'm already changing to a different calibration pre-set anyway. I just need to make sure I do that before I switching into Dolby Vision.

I do not think I would have come to this solution as easily if I hadn't checked my other source for Dolby Vision - Smartcasting - which I didn't know or think that I had. So I want to thank all again for everybody's help.

The drama is probably over! Thank goodness.
 

archer75

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Sounds like a handshake issue. I've had similar issues on other devices when switching inputs or when I don't power things up in the right order. Several updates later i'm no longer having those issues.

Why do you have to switch your calibrations? When your TV receives a HDR source it should auto switch to HDR mode. Or if it detects a DV source it should auto switch to that.
Though the ATV4k is stuck in whatever mode you set that to and you have to switch the ATV itself for non HDR content.