Strange AppleTV it broken?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by grazzyman, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. grazzyman macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008

    Ok, so I went to go and use my AppleTV lastnight to find that it had frozen....the menu was onscreen but it was completely locked up. So I power cycled the unit and everything started OK.

    Then after about 1 minutes use the whole thing locks up again. So I power cyled it again. Next time the unit rebooted I saw the apple logo...after this the AppleTV produced a screen of white noise.

    So after about 10 power cycles I finally managed to do a system restore to take the software back to it's native 1.0. All seemed Ok on reboot for about a minute or two...then I noticed random graphics errors, jumping text and the odd random white line on top of the menu.

    I managed to do a software update to the latest software but this has not resoled the issue...the system still has graphics problems and hangs after about 1 minute of use. The unit cannot play seems to play only 5fps and has no audio.

    I have contacted Apple but they have said as it is 21 months old it is out of warranty and they will not offer any further help. :mad: The unit has always been cared for and has remained on a dedicated AV rack (adequately cooled) for it's whole life.

    Anyone have any ideas what I can do or what the problem might be and how I can resolve it?

    Regards, Grazzyman.
  2. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
  3. grazzyman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    The unit is protected by a Belkin AV sugemaster protector...all my other kit appears fine.

    21 month life for the product seems too short for me and Apple don't care.
  4. jcschlic macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2009
    Well this could be totally un-related but you could always try connecting it to a different TV or using a different cable. I would assume you are using an HDMI cable? Perhaps try it on a different HDMI input on your TV? Different HDMI cable?

    Perhaps you are running into HDCP handshake issues...

    I know these may not be it but I'm just trying to throw out other ideas before you scrap the unit.

    If you have some component cables sitting around you could try out the component connection and see if you get the same results.

    Also, even though your AV cabinet is adequately cooled, is the Apple TV itself running hotter than usual?
  5. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    That's unfortunate, but Apple "don't care" because it's a two year old machine that you didn't buy an extended warranty for.

    I never buy Apple Care, either, and I've never had an Apple machine crap out on me prematurely, but this is the risk we run. They're pretty clear on the terms of the Apple Care that comes free, and quite honestly, no other company would care at this point, either.
  6. iSaygoodbye macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2009
    a boat

  7. grazzyman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    The unit is currently connected using component. Using HDMI made no difference, same issues.

    I understand the length of warranty etc. however, most people purchasing hardware expect a longer life out of the product. If you purchase a stereo, LCD TV, or a Mac Pro you would expect more than 21 months of useful life. I suppose (typically) that my unit is the exception.

    Apple won't even repair it...they just say to contact a third party authorised repair centre....sounds expensive to me. :(
  8. chrysrobyn macrumors member

    May 9, 2003
    Austin, TX
    A lot of credit cards come with a warranty doubler up to an extra year of warranty. If the AppleTV came with one year, then you're still set for a few months. Call em up and see what they can do. I've only used that feature on my AmEx once and they were nice as pie. I had to show the receipt and find the billing cycle it appeared on, but since I bought it on Amazon, that took <5 minutes.

    If you're stuck without a warranty repair at all, you might see if you can isolate if it's a hard drive failure or some other component. If you take the drive out and mount it in a USB or firewire box and mount it on another mac, does it stay working for more than a minute? Can you read all the data off it? (Might make sense to make a compressed disk image using Disk Utility and save that off JIC.) If it's not the hard drive, I think you'd be hard pressed to find something on eBay that's worthwhile. Might be best just to make sure you buy with a good credit card and go back to Apple.
  9. Exidor macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2008
    Do you sync or stream your media and have you upgraded to the newest version of iTunes if you stream? I stream mine and I experienced some similar, but less severe, problems after I went to iTunes 8.1. After I restarted both the AppleTV and the host computer my problems seemed to go away.
  10. Dmac77 macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2008
    It almost sounds like the graphics chip in the ATV is dead. I think your ATV is fried. As another poster said, some credit cards do double the warranty of a product, so you may want to check with your credit card company (if you purchases it with a credit card) and see what they can do for you.

  11. grazzyman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    I only stream media. My itunes is pre-update.

    I thought it might be the graphics chip aswell. I will check into the credit card situation.

    I took the back off the unit to see if anything was loose...etc. Everything looked OK but I am not able to verify if chips have blown etc.
    I'll come back with an update about this.

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