Brand new Apple TV - sound drop out?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by GilesM, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. GilesM macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2008

    I have had my Apple TV for 24 hours (software has been updated to the latest) and I an finding that occasionally during playback of both movies and music there is a brief drop out of sound, perhaps for 1/2 second. The drop out appears seemingly at random, and infrequently (i.e. not at the same place if I play the files again).
    I am using the optical connector to my Yamaha amp.

    Is there anything I can do about this?

    The Apple TV is not connected to any network at the moment, only playing synced content.
  2. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    Under normal circumstances, there shouldn't be dropouts. My first thought is to make sure the optical cable is not kinked in any fashion and is connected securely at both ends.

    My next suggestion would be to try a different optical cable.

    Also, I've noticed the occasional dropout when my computer starts a sync operation with the AppleTV, but it sounds like that's most likely not your issue.
  3. GilesM thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2008
    Hmmm.. I will check the cable, but I have been using it for years on another appliance with no issues.

    I will change it for another tomorrow.

    I was wondering if it's because the ATV is busy doing other processing, could it be related to the fact that it is not connected to the internet and this is causing the unit to 'search' periodically thus diverting processing power?

    I suspect a fault somewhere, I guess I could send it back to Apple,,,
  4. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    Optical cables can be fragile. It could have gotten damaged somewhere along the way. Also, make sure it's connected properly at each end. If one end wasn't pushed in all the way, you could get intermittent performance.

    Having your unit disconnected from the network shouldn't cause any issues.

    I guess I should also ask if you're sure there isn't a problem with the media you're playing back. Are any of the dropouts repeatable?
  5. GilesM thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2008
    Well, drop outs have happened on two sources, music from iTunes and a purchased movie from itunes.

    In each case, if one rewinds after the drop out, then one can pass the same point with no drop out taking place.

    So, it's different file types, movies and music.

    I guess the only thing to do is change the cable, and see if it persists.
    Then I guess try the analogue jacks to see if it happens or listen to the HDMI sound, thus testing out each port in turn. Problem is i never know when it's going to happen...
  6. GilesM thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2008
    So, after a changing out the optical cable for another, I find that the issue (so far) has been fixed, looks like it was a bad cable!

    So, now I need to buy a couple of new cables, but that is a small price to pay to resolve the issue.

    Thanks for the advice, you were right !
  7. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    Glad things seem to have worked out.

    Actually, it's kind of funny, because I've noticed a few audio dropouts on my AppleTV recently. I run HDMI for my living room and use the analog outputs for zone 2 and I've had dropouts in both zones (which means it can't be the cable). I've had my unit since early 2008 and this was never a problem beofre. I wonder if it could be a version 3.0 (or 3.0.1) thing?

    Anyone else having audio dropouts playing music on the AppleTV since the latest software updates?
  8. GilesM thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2008
    hmmm.. really could not say, but my :apple:TV has been just fine since swapping the cable, but perhaps that is a coincidence, no way to tell really.

    I guess if both analogue and digital drop at the same time then it must be a) the file, b) the :apple:TV.

    Have you tried playing the same file on a MAC to see if the file is OK?

    Then I guess you would be left with a fault on the :apple:TV.
  9. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    We've been using the AppleTV as our main source of listening to music (which we do a lot of) for over 1.5 years without any issues. I couldn't say for sure which songs this has happened on (I didn't take note at the time, other than noticing that some were songs that have gotten regular play in our main playlists for some time), but I can guarantee that at least some of them have played flawlessly in the past. I suppose the files could have become corrupted. If it keeps up, I may try resyncing my music. I hate to do that, though, since it takes all day (I've got probably 40 GB of music on it).

    I did go to the Apple website and submit Feedback on the issue. If it is software, I'm sure other people are experiencing it.
  10. GilesM thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2008
    I guess the thing to do is to listen out for it to happen, then rewind straight away, if it happens again at the same place, then it could be an issue with the file. This can then be checked by playing the same file on your computer.
    I the file is OK, re-sync it to the Apple TV.

    Then you know for sure your data is in good condition, if it happens again, you know that the issue is the Apple TV or the HiFi hardware or even (as my case) the cable in between them.

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