ATV4 compatibility with HDMI converters

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by johnpurlia, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. johnpurlia macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2011
    I'm hoping to collect some user experiences with the compatibility of the new ATV4 with various HDMI converters (to RGB, VGA, etc). Upon receiving my ATV4 today I immediately hooked it up to my ViewHD HDMI to RGB converter (which works fine with ATV3 and Roku boxes). The result was no picture or sound, at all. The converter uses an implementation of HDMI 1.3, where the ATV4 is based on HDMI 1.4. Until I dig into these specs, though, I'm not sure if there's a handshake that may be missing in the ViewHD converter.

    Anyone have success connecting ATV4 to an HD TV that lacks a proper HDMI port?

    (And, yes, I know compatibility through any converter is not guaranteed)
  2. milky1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2015
    I am having a similar problem. I have a HDMI switch (NEET, 5 port) which according to the amazon page is HDMI 1.3b. When I go through that I get no picture at all -and an occasional flash of the white LED on the front of the apple TV, which I guess is it attempting to handshake. Connecting straight into the TV is fine.

    Was scared the Apple TV was DOA when I first hooked it up, but now it seems I need to find a new switch, unless there is a way to use some sort of backwards compatible mode. I've tried specifying a resolution / colour scheme but it didn't help.

    (This same switch has worked fine with my Apple TV 3 (original) for the last few years)
  3. Bourboncont macrumors newbie


    Nov 3, 2015
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm in the same predicament. I just found an updated ViewHD converter that supports HDMI 1.4. Guess you might have the older version. Do you think this would work?

    ViewHD HDMI Audio Extractor Support Ultra HD | 4K | ARC | MHL | TOSLINK Optical Audio Output + RCA L/R Audio Converter | VHD-H2HARC
  4. johnpurlia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2011
    This may work for converting the audio, but it does not appear to have outputs for video.

    I sent an email to the folks who make ViewHD yesterday afternoon, so I'm hoping to hear back in the next few days with concrete information about a potential solution.
  5. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    I wrote about hdmi to vga adapters here:

    It seems to be a power issue whereby portable ones which work with atv2 and atv3 can't draw enough power from the atv4.

    My solution was to use an older powered converter and this worked well with the atv4.

    But why should I have to revert back to older technology to get hdmi to vga to work with the atv4? I find that rather odd.

    I prefer portable ones because they are much less bulky and require fewer cables.

    Hopefully newer portable ones will be made soon which will not require as much power so that they can work with the atv4.
  6. johnpurlia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2011
    The ViewHD HDMI to RGB converter I tried unsuccessfully is powered. Which one have you been able to use successfully with the ATV4?
  7. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    My powered converter is a digitech like this: This is working with the atv4. But apple don't sell these. They should if the portable ones don't work with the atv4.

    My portable one is a belkin like this: which doesn't work with the atv4.

    I'm going to try out this portable one to see if is better than the belkin - apple used to sell the belkin but now sell a kanex portable one instead like this:

    So maybe apple switched to kanex for compatibility with atv4. I'll report back here on success or otherwise with the kanex. I haven't got it yet but I checked postage tracking and it's on it's way.
  8. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    Well I tried the kanex today, and as I expected, it didn't work.

    It requires power from the hdmi port and it seems the atv4 won't provide enough power to make it work properly - just like the belkin one.

    I deliberately got the one apple sells because now this places apple in a very embarassing position. They are selling the portable kanex which isn't working with the new atv4. But they are not selling the digitech powered one which does work with it.

    Apple are not quite forthcoming with information pertaining to the power coming out of the hdmi port and are not at all clear that their kanex won't work with the atv4.

    So I'll be returning the kanex to apple, but also accompanied by a stern letter that they need to be clearer with their advertising.

    I think for now we are stuck with powered ones like the digitech.

    Hopefully portable ones will eventually be updated to work with the atv4.
  9. x-evil-x macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    Works fine with my matrix splitter(4x2). I have the Apple TV connected to two separate TVs with two separate surround sounds(receivers).
  10. fpnc, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

    fpnc macrumors 68000

    Oct 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA
    My 32GB ATV4 works with my HDFury2 HDMI-to-component adapter (which is self powered), but the Fury is a very old device and probably better made that the cheap stuff you generally find on the market today. I'm also running it at 480p and while that is a selectable option on the ATV4 the specs for the Apple TV say that you need either a 720p or 1080p HDTV (and my rear projection TV supports just 480p and 1080i, and Apple no longer supports 1080i).

    The signal from the ATV4 is also going through a fairly old Denon AV receiver and then back out to the HDFury.

    That said, I'd be leery about trying to use any HDMI-to-analog converter since the copy protection in HDMI is VERY finicky. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Fury works just because of pure dumb luck which could change with the next software update or revision in the Apple TV hardware.
  11. tywebb13, Nov 5, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016

    tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012

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