Decided to junk Apple TV 4K

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by d5aqoëp, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. d5aqoëp macrumors 6502a

    d5aqoëp

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    Feb 9, 2016
    #1
    I have decided to junk Apple TV 4K and stick to Nvidia Shield TV. My main issue is Apple’s arrogance to support DTS-HD MA/X and Dolby Atmos lossless in passthrough mode. The current infuse implementation by decoding the audio to PCM simply does not cut it.

    Apple believes that by supporting the above lossless formats, people might not buy their movies from store. I purchased Ready Player One and the sound quality of Bluray is superior in terms of dynamic range. Apple’s movie copy sounds dull and quiet.

    Though Shield TV has it’s own set of bugs and issues, it is clearly the more superior device at the moment with recent update. I did try to use Apple TV 4K for good 1.5 years before coming to this conclusion.

    Why does Apple think ONLY and ONLY about profits all the time? Do consumers even feature on it’s management’s mind? The goodwill about Apple is already running into negative these days anyway.

    Sincere appeal to infuse devs to drop smugness and port the app to Android TV. Being on Android platform will not make you less cool.
     
  2. Michelasso macrumors 6502

    Michelasso

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    #2
    Although I agree with you about the shameful lack of HiRes audio support in the ATV, not porting Infuse to Android isn't a matter of being "cool".

    First of all to port an app from iOS/tvOS to Android isn't a trivial task. And to support it, it can become a nightmare, due to the Android fragmentation (not to mention the crappy implementations of Android TV on many devices, starting with the Sony Bravia like mine).

    Also, as soon as Infuse would land on Android TV you may be sure that the Pro version will end up, cracked, in Aptoide and on the multitude of sites with Android apps illegal to download. That could even damage the sales on Apple devices, because once the cracked app works on an Android TV television, Fire TV or anything else with Android TV connected to a TV one owning those devices may decide not to buy the license, which isn't exactly cheap, for an Apple TV.

    In simpler words it may not be worth the extra cost and the hassle.
     
  3. bluespark macrumors 68000

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    #3
    I'm with you on lossless audio. Apple needs to add this functionality.
     
  4. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #4
    Yup one of the biggest issues with Apple TV 4K is the lossless audio
     
  5. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    #5
    I could be wrong, but I think Infuse is written natively in Swift and uses iOS APIs so as to be as optimized as possible for iOS/tvOS. Going multi-OS would sort of cut against that goal.

    That said, while I would love proper audio passthrough, I don't mind not having it for now. I only have a 3.1 audio system, no atmos, so PCM is fine. With even such a modest audio system, I am in the minority - the vast majority of folks use their tv speakers or a sound bar. We have to admit that those of us that ask for proper audio passthrough are in a tiny minority among consumers.
     
  6. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Couldn't / shouldn't we try to change this?
     
  7. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    #7
    You have to pick your battles. Go for it, but man is it low on my priority list of battles I want to fight.

    Proper home theater stuff is expensive, takes up more space, requires certain room dimensions, and while it's become a ton easier to use lately, it's still not very user-friendly. I don't see 5.1 component setups become mainstream anytime soon (which the AppleTV handles just fine as it is), let alone the kind of x.x.x setups that the AppleTV is currently imperfect for.

    I think the best average consumers might get is an Atmos soundbar, but if I understand correctly, the sound quality of those isn't so great such that the Atmos part of it is more of a marketing gimmick than anything else.
     
  8. bluespark macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Sure, but so are users who care about Dolby Vision, Atmos, frame rates, etc. The fact is that Apple could do this and needs to if they want Apple TV to be the go-to platform for those of us who care about getting the best quality possible.
     
  9. Michelasso macrumors 6502

    Michelasso

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    #9
    Actually Firecore is trying to improve this. They have a sort of petition going on, made via Bug Reports. Here are the instructions: https://firecore.com/forum/topic/20983

    Obviously feel free to open one BR. I did it myself long ago.
     
  10. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #10
    I was more referring to educating the users. And raising the bar. It is downright sad, that these days average consumer only looks at the price.
     
  11. JBaby macrumors regular

    JBaby

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    Jun 14, 2015
    #11
    It’s always been that way. Sound systems have been around a long time and the average consumer never had one. I doubt that ever changes. I’m one of those consumers. My HomePods are my first “sound system.” I have never had a desire for a sound system and I still don’t.
     
  12. Arctic Moose macrumors member

    Arctic Moose

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    #12
    In the shoes of the developers of Infuse I would never ever even consider an Android port. The decision would have zero to do with cool and everything to do with income and personal sanity.
     
  13. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #13
    Either the AppleTV is gonna convert to PCM or your Receiver is.
    It's lossless. This is belly aching for no reason over placebo.

    I'm honestly surprised audio quality is your only complaint of iTunes movies. I couldn't get past the video quality, crushed colors, and distortions.
    You can rent from AmazonPrime and have a chance at higher image quality. Some of theirs are running 3x the video bitrate and full 640kbps AC3 rather than itunes 384?. It's sitll not DTS or DTS-HD but it's serviceable.
     
  14. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    #14
    I admit I don't have the data on this, but I would be willing to bet my car that the % of users that have a Dolby Vision capable tv is materially greater than the % of users that have proper Atmos sound systems.

    Just scrolling through Best Buy and Walmart, about a quarter of all new TVs today are Dolby Vision capable, and almost all high-end new TVs are. So it may not be important to many users, but a whole lot of them do have the requisite hardware. The same isn't true for Atmos.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 21, 2019 ---
    That's not true. The Atmos metadata is completely lost in the PCM conversion. If the receiver doesn't get the Atmos metadata, the Atmos speakers aren't going to do anything. The Atmos signal isn't an audio channel, like channels are in 5.1, it's digital metadata about location.
     
  15. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #15
    I dare to disagree. For 2 reasons:
    1) Atmos metadata is not lost in tvOS 12’s PCM output. Otherwise we wouldn’t be discussing aTV Atmos sound here. aTV does not bitstream audio, as we all know.
    2) In reality, Atmos is a mix of channels and objects. It is needed for plain backward compatibility. DD+ or TrueHD decoder without Atmos capability will not go mute but still play back the 7.1 channels.
    You can check the DD+ Atmos encoding specification for details about objects’ encoding onto the available 6 or 8 channels in frequency domain. Its a public document on etsi.org
    TrueHD encoding spec is still not in public domain.
     
  16. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    #16
    I think we're saying the same thing. tvOS can output proper Atmos metadata, but only when playing an iTunes movie. That they don't offer this to all apps is the crux of OPs gripe. For all non-iTunes sources, the aTV converts to PCM and loses all Atmos metadata.
     
  17. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Again, I dare to disagree. I have Atmos demo clips in my iTunes library that play perfectly in Atmos. You can even AirPlay them!
    I also contributed to Subler code that will set E-AC3 track magic cookie inside MP4 file so, that tvOS 12 recognises Atmos track and plays it back. All necessary details are still to be found in the spec published by ETSI. So if you happen to have a MKV file that carries DD+ Atmos (E-AC3 codec), you can convert it to iTunes/tvOS likeable format.
    PS those mp4 files off dolby site are already all perfectly formatted, so they work as-is.
    If some app on tvOS does not play atmos properly, then I'd blame only the developers.
     
  18. bluespark macrumors 68000

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    #18
    But lossless pass-through is useful for other things as well. For example, the ATV doesn't work very well as a source for two-channel music, because it's processed. Depending on your system, that processing may even mean that source material recorded in two channels plays back on multiple speakers, something that's really not good. Lossless pass-through, at least as an option, solves lots of problems.
     
  19. Frosties macrumors 6502a

    Frosties

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    #19
    The problem for Apple TV 4k is the lack of 4k material. Most new content is still HD. :( Other than that I enjoy the heck of it.
     
  20. Scott Davilla macrumors regular

    Scott Davilla

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    Jan 5, 2016
    #20
    The upcoming MrMC v3.8 (when released) will handle eac3/atmos playback in any media container including mkv.
    And yes, the atmos indicator on the a/v receiver does light up :) So it's a real passthrough of atmos.
     
  21. priitv8, Feb 24, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Doesn't it light up already now, with PCM/MAT? It does on mine:
     
  22. Scott Davilla macrumors regular

    Scott Davilla

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    #22
    I think you missed the point. Playing eac3/atmos in an mp4 container under avplayer is trivial and works. So any app that uses avplayer under the hood can play eac3/atmos in an mp4 container.

    MrMC runs it's own player and is not limited to using avplayer, which means eac3/atmos in ANY container works. No need to transmux into mp4 containers anymore.
     
  23. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #23
    I got it. And hope that others (like Infuse) also find their ways to bitstream to HDMI out again.
    So far I understood there was some fundamental change made in tvOS 11.4 that blocked this capablity (which Infuse already had).
    I just got stuck on the atmos indicator statement, sorry.
     
  24. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #24
    I too would like to see the Apple TV be the best of the best. However, there has to be some limitations on what this tiny box can. If it was the size of the Mac mini I would surely be on board with full audio/video format support.
    Apple probably won’t make a full spec ATV.
    The target audiences and knowledge of all these formats and technology are all over the place.
    Here on this formula there are people ranting about her support on the phones. Working in an apple store people would come in asking how to connect there ATV. Then the HT snobs that we’re just too good for an ATV.
    Then one the other hand many didn’t even know what an Apple TV was.

    In my opinion, if you really cared about quality, there would be a high performance disc player and some sort of sound processor. Expecting a comparable results from box costing < $200 to a system is unrealistic.
     
  25. Mellofello808 macrumors regular

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    Mar 18, 2010
    #25
    I have a shield, and ATV 4k. I haven't turned the shield on in months.
     

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