Does 480p resolution work on your Apple TV 4K?

levander

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 21, 2011
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I’m trying to work with Apple on a bug in the Apple TV 4K supporting 480p resolution. And I’m wondering how widespread the problem is. Apple engineers haven’t told the support guy I’m working with either way. Whether it’s widespread or not, So I figured I’d try to get some feedback on the forum? This bug doesn’t affect the Apple TV 4th gen (from my testing anyway), only the Apple TV 4K.

I’ve got two Apple TV 4K’s and some Sony Bravia TV’s all manufactured 5-7 years ago. I can’t get 480p resolution to work on either Apple TV 4K with any television I’ve tried it on. And I’m wondering how widespread this problem is.

i realize most people aren’t gonna be using 480p with an Apple TV 4K. But if you’ve got one handy, do you mind trying switching to the 480p resolution to see if the Settings app will let you do that?

To change the resolution, just open the settings app. Then scroll down to “Video and Audio”. On the page the comes up, either “Resolution” or “Format” is the top item, click on that and change the resolution to 480p 60Hz. Then wait five seconds to make sure the switch successfully takes place.

What happens on my Apple TV 4K’s is the resolution will successfully switch. But then you get a dialog box with a countdown timer. By the time the countdown timer gets to 20 seconds, the screen resets and I get another dialog box saying there was a problem and the Apple TV’s switching back to the old resolution.

If you try it for me and report whether or not the resolution switch was successful as well as the TV manufacturer and as much as you as you about the model off the top of your head (like maybe all you know is that it’s a Samsung about five years old?), I would appreciate it.

Thank you.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
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Cascadia
Works fine for me on both a modern 4K Dolby Vision TV and an old 720p plasma TV. (Probably 12 years old at this point.) I'm betting your TV isn't working with the output.
 

levander

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 21, 2011
68
15
Works fine for me on both a modern 4K Dolby Vision TV and an old 720p plasma TV. (Probably 12 years old at this point.) I'm betting your TV isn't working with the output.
Thanks for checking freak.

The thing that makes me think it’s more than just my TV is that I have four TV’s here that it’s not working with. And it’s two different Apple TV 4K’s.

However, they are all Sony Bravia TV’s that I bought over a couple of year period like 5-7 years ago.
 

Anonymous Freak

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Dec 12, 2002
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I'd guess something with that period of Bravia, then. My old TV is a Phillips, and it works fine with the ATV 4K. (I normally use an ATV 3rd generation on it, but since it uses the same power plug as the 4K, it was easy to test quickly.)

9igmHCYqRtq5IkwoVG1rUw.jpg

Note that on my 4K TV, it did "flicker" a bit while trying to run it in 480p. The screen would turn off/no-signal if it didn't update every few seconds. So if I left the selector on the one option, the TV would do a "no signal" thing until I moved the selector. As long as I moved something on-screen every few seconds, it stayed up. It does the same thing with my Wii through a Wii-HDMI adapter, which also outputs 480p. If you let the screen sit with something stationary for a few seconds, the TV has issues with the signal. But as long as something is moving, it's fine. The old Phillips doesn't have that problem.
 

levander

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 21, 2011
68
15
I'd guess something with that period of Bravia, then. My old TV is a Phillips, and it works fine with the ATV 4K. (I normally use an ATV 3rd generation on it, but since it uses the same power plug as the 4K, it was easy to test quickly.)

View attachment 827814

Note that on my 4K TV, it did "flicker" a bit while trying to run it in 480p. The screen would turn off/no-signal if it didn't update every few seconds. So if I left the selector on the one option, the TV would do a "no signal" thing until I moved the selector. As long as I moved something on-screen every few seconds, it stayed up. It does the same thing with my Wii through a Wii-HDMI adapter, which also outputs 480p. If you let the screen sit with something stationary for a few seconds, the TV has issues with the signal. But as long as something is moving, it's fine. The old Phillips doesn't have that problem.
Freak, I don’t know that screenshot you’ve posted, I don’t know that that’s the same thing as 480p that you have highlighted. Those are like computer screen resolutions which I think are different than TV resolutions. On my TV, I don’t have to go down into “Other Formats”. 480p is listed on the first page of formats along with the other standard ones like 1080i, 1080p, 720p, etc. On my TV it doesn’t say 640 x 480. It says 480p.

And one thing I: realizing while typing that out is the problem isn’t even really in having the Apple TV 4K display 480p video. Because like the YouTube app lets you change the resolution for the video you’re watching to 480p and it works fine. And when I press the Info button on the Sony TV remote control, a little information window comes up saying the TV is displaying 480p content. The problem I’m having is in the tvOS Settings app, where it just wont let me change the default resolution to 480p for all apps for all the time.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
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442
Cascadia
Ah, I posted the wrong photo! I've tried both "480p 60Hz" and "640x480 60Hz" on the 720p-native, as well as on the 4K.

On the 4K TV, "480p SDR" only appears under "Other Formats" not on the main page, "640x480 SDR" also appears under "Other Formats" on the 4K TV.

480p SDR appears on the main page on the 720p TV. As does 1080p, which that TV doesn't even support. It will accept a 1080i input, but downsamples it to 720p.

Here are 480p on both:
IMG_3524.jpg
IMG_3520.jpg