Things I hate about the new AppleTV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by JWSpaceMan, Dec 14, 2015.


How Satisfied are you with the 4th Gen ATV?

  1. It is an entirely or mostly successful platform

  2. It is a promising system with a few bugs

  3. It is a bug riddled system with some promise

  4. It is entirely or primarily a disappointment

  1. JWSpaceMan macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2015
    I moved from the 3rd gen ATV to the 4th at the time of release. There are plenty of things that I like about both systems, and feel that they are probably still among the best streaming solutions around. In general, I'm usually a pretty huge apple fan / promoter. But, this thread is for complaints.

    * The physically symmetric remote. There is no substantial physical cue for feeling the difference between the remote being held right side up vs. upside down by touch. This leads to frequently experiencing an exit to the home screen when a pause was intended.

    * Touch scroll is overly sensitive to false contact. Just picking up the remote incorrectly can lead to the viewing position scrolling wildly across 20-30 minutes of content.

    * Siri seems buggy. It seems like it should be one press and then talk, rather than hold to talk (just a preference). Instructions seem to get truncated and misunderstood (with wildly out of context responses) more often than not. Simple things like "turn on subtitles" often don't seem to work. Once Siri responds with a non sequitur, the procedure for discharging the response and getting back to the main view has seemed counter intuitive.

    * Aspects of the interface that seem like they should be global are not always propagated effectively into all similar downstream apps. In particular, the Yahoo Screen app is really terrible (I realize this isn't necessarily Apple's fault), with non-standard response. For example, it doesn't provide the inset content preview window while scrolling, which seems like it should be an absolute default. That app in particular also makes strange volume changes for me after pause and resume.

    * The text entry system is unbelievably bad, with no ability to use the keyboard on an iPhone.

    * The remote app for iPhone is non-functional with the 4th gen. This is apparently being worked on, but should have been release day ready.

    * The implementation of login for viewing on apps with a coupled TV subscription is problematic. Again, this may be a burden imposed by the content providers, but it is still a problem. It should be a single login to the content provider, which then provides a list of available apps with permissions. Instead, each app provides its own online code to be entered individually. Furthermore, the SuddenLink (again this may be a particular problem upstream that Apple is not directly responsible for, but it is still a bug in the ecosystem that gives the whole works a feeling of incompetence) provider login is generally not working for me. Actually, it claims to work, but then doesn't, which is worse. For example, if one is using ABCGo to watch "Agents of Shield" (insert your show here) then there is generally a one-week delay lock for new episodes, unless you are logged in. I am logged in, so the episode shows no lock. But, when I try to play a new episode I instead get a cryptic internal error "noAuthz".

    * Scrolling is still not as smooth as I hoped. The number one complaint with the 3rd gen was that rewind was difficult, and not easily metered between fast/slow review. Also, there was virtually no caching to allow review of just watched material without rebuffering. This is much improved in the 4th gen, but still not ideal with regards to seamless backups and finely grained rewind/fast forward. The little inset window is a helpful addition, but the process is still not as intuitive and natural and seamless and responsive and precise as I had hoped.

    Again, there are plenty of things I think that they got really right, but these nags are limiting my satisfaction with the system overall. Anyone else having a mixed response to the new unit?
  2. chasemac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2005
    In a house.
    The remote app has been updated along with a tvOS update.
  3. Poontaco macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2014
    I don't have any of those issues.
    Although I can understand people's annoyance with the remote's symmetry. There is a learning curve, but people will get used to it like anything else. A strap or case will help.
  4. nburwell macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2008
    I would honestly love to see this some to fruition. It's a PITA that each time I download a new entertainment app, I have to authenticate it via my cable subscription. I would love to be able to just enter my creditals once, then each subsequent app I download pulls in said information.

    I know that Netflix/Hulu/HBONOW/Showtime are different beasts in that you can simply subscribe to their apps without a cable subscription. But for the vast majority of apps that are tied back to your cable account, it would certainly be nice to have a universal login for those.
  5. larry00 macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2014
    Here is one that's bugging me - the lack of support for chapters. All of my home sharing movies are encoded with chapters, but they are invisible on my ATV4. Especially annoying on something like a concert video where you want to pick a particular song to watch.
  6. sentiblue macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2012
    Silicon Valley
    I'm throwing in a very very annoying observation that I have, and I'm gonna be very specific.

    The TV Series "Grey's Anatomy" has over 10 seasons. I'm on season 8.

    When I go from main menu to "Shows", it lists the series on recently purchased top bar, but clicking it does NOT always bring me to the series. Rather, most times it reacts like I clicked "Shows" button.

    Stuffs that I purchase on laptop takes hours to show up on the AppleTV, that's just not right!

    Forget that, when I'm at the "Purchased" screen, lots of times I entered the list and start scrolling to my show and it flashes as a refresh and puts me back to before I entered the list. So now I learn to get to "Purchased" and wait few seconds before even start scrolling.

    Now that I've entered into Grey's Anatomy. I'm on Season 8, it shows me an icon to play the next unwatched episode ONLY. There's no description of that episode. Instead, it always shows me the description of the season of that episode it offered to view next.

    Not only that, the list of available episodes (watched and unwatched) always start at Season 1, Episode 1.

    I have no choice but to watch the next unwatched episode without knowing ahead the description of the episode. This is a problem because there may be episodes between Season 1 and 8 that I've come to an end but hit stop right away, which didn't mark the entire episode watched. I had to go on the laptop and marked all of them as watched up to the episode I last watched. Not only that, after every episode, I have to wait and let it end by itself.

    One more very serious problem: Remember the bottom list that always starts with Season 1, Episode 1? After seeing the first unwatched episode, I have to scroll through the entire 8 seasons to get to the next episode. That's just plain stupid!!! I have to do this every time I turn on the TV. The old unit always puts the cursor on the last viewed episode or the next one if that last one was entirely viewed.

    Now I know the first version of the OS was always buggy and patiently waited for the update. I was completely disappointed to see that it didn't fix these issues.

    Attached Files:

  7. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
  8. larry00 macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2014
  9. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    For the way I use it, it is mostly successful.

    I also don't like the symmetry of the remote, but it is hardly a reason to say it isn't mostly successful. I believe you can change the scrolling speed....I think I changed it to "normal" or something like that.

    Since they added the Remote app and Siri with Apple Music, my main complaint at this point is the lack of the native Podcast app. I typically just Airplay them from my phone or use "Computers" to get to them on my Mac, but I would just rather have a native app without needing a computer or iOS device involved. I would also like to see Siri integrated with the Computer app. Not sure how that will work with music, but if I have a matched 256k file sitting on Apple's servers and a lossless file in the next room, I would rather play the lossless file. In other words, I would love to see them integrate some ability to always choose the local option (not waste my bandwidth).

    I would also like to see bit perfect streaming of audio, rather than converting everything to 48khz. They had the same issue with the last AppleTV, so I won't be surprised if that never happens.
  10. chuyn macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2015
    Not sure if it's Apple or Logitech, but the harmony remotes work a bit weird with it. I lean towards Apple because before the most recent update, my harmony wouldn't even pause the playback if I pressed the 'OK' button. It would also pause and bring up the menu (like if you swiped down on the Siri remote remote) if I pressed 'up' on the remote. After the update, those issues are gone. Nothing happened on Logitech's end, so it must be the way the Apple TV reads the old remote's IR signals.
    But right now, if I press 'down' on the remote, the menu opens up, but pressing 'up' or 'down' again doesn't remove it. I have to press 'menu' to back out of it. Problem is, depending on the app, or even the day, it'll close the pop up menu and not affect playback, or it will back out and stop the show. It will also sometimes leave the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen when I start a show in Hulu. It'll stay like that until I press the 'play/pause' button to pause and resume the show. Again, Apple's or Hulu's fault here... not sure, but still annoying.
  11. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I think its a mostly successful platform. There are a few improvements I'd like to see in due time:

    - Organization of apps is messy. I'm not sure if folders / categories as we know them on OS X or iOS is the right answer, but there needs to be something to address organization.
    - Deep linking. I would like a way to add an icon to my home screen that takes me directly to a show / category within an app. For example - a link directly to my Netflix recently watched list, or a link directly to my Hulu queue, or a link directly to Last Week Tonight With John Oliver on HBO GO.
    - Third party apps in Siri search results.
    - HomeSharing content in Siri search results.
    - Improved HomeSharing UI. There are many better ways to display fully tagged TV shows and movies. Anything would be an improvement here.
  12. Tech198, Dec 14, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015

    Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Here's my list:

    1. GUI looks good except unlike the 3rd gen, cover art at the top on home screen, now takes up half the screen. Simply on Apple music takes up one-third of the screen, so everything is smoshed together to display everything.

    2. I don't need voice over telling me constantly what letter i m over, i know that, I am looking at it u know :p.
    3. While u can turn Voice Over off, Apple poorly incorporate the shortcut used to toggle this in the MENU button, the most used button on the remote, to go back or inadvertently hit by accident (triple-press accidentally) ... I constantly had to switch it off all the time.... This was my main point i went back to 3rd gen... it would annoy my parents to bits. I may get it again when i find out this has been changed. and some of this stuff looks better

    Apart from that, its probably all ok... however i tested out the Apple TV 4 for a few days, and just couldn't get the touch siri remote to use my finger..... i swipe, but nothing.... doesn't work well with dry hands. Probably not a good reason, but it's there.

    To be fair search is not available for Home sharing, so i take the "siri does not work with home sharing" as a kind of middle man....
  13. JWSpaceMan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2015
    Interesting & thanks - I hadn't caught that.

    I guess this is what you're describing though, which is still rather limited:

    This is what I would really like (it seems obvious), and it is apparently coming next year:

  14. chasemac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2005
    In a house.
    Yes, Apple stills needs to get that remote app to fully replicate the remote. I think the tv is great and it will just get better. However, I don't think I will ever truly enjoy the remote. It is just too small and awkward to me. I have never truly liked a remote that Apple has come out with and have been so used to using the remote app.
  15. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040


    Mar 19, 2008

    our first 3 points are why I flat out just sold the Siri remote, which had the added benefit of more than halving my net cost (since I got on after T-Giving on big sale).

    (I have a Harmony setup...but I'd tried to make the Siri remote my main interaction - yuck - no thx)
  16. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040


    Mar 19, 2008
    I frankly prefer the remote from the 3rd gen. So many issues with the Siri remote, #1 of which for me was the inadvertent skipping ahead/back when picking it up. Simply can NOT have that happening.

    Why isn't it smarter?

    They should have installed some type of sensing so that it knows when you are holding it correctly and then made the trackpad "aware".

    Maybe the "Magic Siri Remote" will do that.... lol
  17. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I voted the second option, its promising with a couple bugs...or at least things I've noticed.

    I need to restart it on occasion for the most random things. For example, my Youtube stop autoplaying. It would just play a video, have the 10second count down and at the end just return to the youtube menu. Restarting it fixed it. Hulu will error out with an "Error 5003" until I restart the ATV.

    Random freezing that will just go away after 30 seconds or so. I can induce the issue by going to my library and playing a movie, backing out, playing another movie, over and over again. Yes thats dumb and doesn't represent real world usage but it will do it on its own on occasion.

    I'm noticing as I type this that I lost all my chapters in movies. Not sure if I'm just doing something wrong or if they broke. If I ask the remote "next chapter" it says "skipping..." and gives me a box that says "open computers". It doesn't skip nor does the "open computers" do anything.

    I feel like I'm back too micro managing apps with the ability to close them. I like the idea of apps remaining open but I use this feature so rarely that by the time I return to a previously used app it will refresh itself.

    Something that can't be fixed with software is the remote. Overall my feelings are "meh". I don't hate it. For me there is a learning curve that I'm not enjoying. First, its fragile. So I try to keep it near me so it doesn't slide off the couch onto the hardwood. This is a problem because its bluetooth and touch sensitive with a hair-trigger. So I keep it closer to me because its fragile and I inadvertently activate it because it doesn't rely on IR. This is the first remote I've owned that my cat jumping onto the couch has activated it.

    Not all bad though, I like the scrolling/scrubbing. The mic seems to work well for me (when I remember to use it) and the accelerometers work well with games.
  18. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Actually, I'd say it worked incorrectly on earlier versions. Plus, it makes a lot of sense. Chapter titles (esp. if they are something descriptive, not just "Chapter X") can be localised and aTV would display the text in proper language.
  19. Poontaco macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2014
    So, how do you search with Siri, or close apps?
  20. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Yep, the remote should have never made it out of the lab. It is WAY too sensitive. I like the HDMI-CEC control, but the damn remote is so sensitive that if someone merely picks up the remote to move it, or accidentally puts a hand on it, it turns on the ATV which turns on the TV. At the very least, you should have to fully depress a button to activate this feature. When watching a movie it is way to easy to accidentally scrub forward or backwards while you get your bearings on where the remote is in your hand, or even if you should god forbid lean against the thing while sitting on the couch.

    I also agree about the login for apps being stupidly bad as well. We have 3 of these set up in the house and one of them is always pestering me for a login for one app or another. This should have been Apple's priority #1 with the new ATV. FIX THE LOGIN PROCESS. That alone would have propelled them to the top of the heap in set-top boxes.
  21. easy4lif macrumors regular


    Mar 31, 2005
    Southbay CA
    for me, the remote is its only major flaw. Apple Could have spent a few hundred hours of R&D more on a better design.
  22. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040


    Mar 19, 2008
    I don't care about Siri at all honestly.

    Closing apps? I just do the old "back to main menu" as always.

    Only reason I even got the new model was the sale price and it's a lot faster and the ESPN app finally works well.
  23. turbineseaplane, Dec 15, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015

    turbineseaplane macrumors 68040


    Mar 19, 2008

    I think the login problem wasn't addressed because Apple was all jacked about getting a content deal and running their own OTT service.

    Now that they ditched that apparently, it'd sure be nice if they'd return to polish the existing situation.

    Feels very half as*ed
  24. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    Not really a fan of it. I hate the new remote.
  25. grandpa8times macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2015
    i agree.....the remote sucks!! i have rather large hands.

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