If ATV4 Appears to be DOA

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Cartaphilus, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    It turns out that the new AppleTV doesn't support HDMI 1.0 cable.

    I'm much too proud to admit I traveled two hours round trip to the Apple Store to replace the ATV4 so we'll skip right over that part as well as the part about the three tech support reps who had no immediate solution for the TV screen just remaining blank, other than for me to drive two hours round trip to return the device. So instead let me go right to the part where Justin the Senior Tech Rep figured out the problem and restored my faith in Apple and my will to live.

    The trouble was, as Justin figured out, that the first generation HDMI cable which had worked just fine with that TV and with the previous ATV model, was not up to the standards of the haughty ATV4. Luckily another TV in the house did have a modern 2.0 HDMI cable, and a quick swap was all that was needed. (I'm glad, though, that I didn't accept either the offer to mail back the first ATV and await a new one, or the suggestion to order a $20 USB-A to USB-C adapter--even though the rep said he could mail me a free one, which was very nice even if it wouldn't have helped.)

    Hope this helps somebody else avoid a long car ride.
  2. Mac... nificent macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    How did you determine it was the version number, and not just a bad cable?
  3. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Good to know. My ATV4 was having issues with one of my HDMI cables(version 1.3 I think), but when I plugged in my old ATV3 to test, it had the same issues. It turns out that I just had a bad cable.
  4. Cartaphilus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    The tech suggested I try the ATV on another set, which had its own HDMI cable, and it worked. I initialized the ATV using that set, then took the ATV back to the original set where it still didn't work. So I exchanged HDMI cables and the original set worked finally, and the "test" set also worked for cable TV with the HDMI cable that didn't work with the ATV. The senior tech gave me the explanation that while many cable box-to-TV setups don't require the 2.0 cable, the ATV 4 does. This explanation jibed with the experimentation, so I think it's right.
  5. Wunderwally macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2015
    Afaik the ATV doesn't even support HDMI 2.0, only 1.4. So i really think you just had a bad cable! (I'm using a 1.4 cable from AmazonBasics and it works as expected!)
  6. johnpurlia macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2011
    It's actually a three part equation: the version of HDMI that Apple TV supports (1.4), the version of HDMI supported by the device Apple TV will be connected to (varies widely), and the version of HDMI supported by the cable. For the most part (with some exceptions), the cable will be version agnostic. More important, though, is the degree to which the two devices support the HDMI spec. The new Apple TV adds a lot of HDMI functionality over what had been supported in previous versions of the device. Unfortunately, from reports seen here and on other forums, it would appear that the implementation for these features (especially CEC) may be a little suspect. Likewise, backwards comparability with some TVs and devices based on HDMI 1.3 doesn't work at all.
  7. Cartaphilus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    Wow, I was just lucky, it looks like. You're right about the version. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT200008

    Since the incompatible HDMI cable worked fine between the TiVo and the TV, as well as between the old ATV and the TV, if it were a bad cable I guess it had to be impaired only such that it affected the ATV4 demands only. In any case, it was blind luck that I just happened to have an ATV4 compatible cable.

    Shouldn't Apple try to make it more explicit that a 1.4 HDMI cable is required, or does everyone but me already know that?

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