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Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
888
332
[EDIT 2/4/2024] After much troubleshooting, I’ve narrowed the problem described in this thread to this: I have a 4K Apple TV connected to a Denon X6700H AVR, which is connected to both a 2022 Samsung QN82 QLED TV and an Epson 4010 projector. This is part of a home theater system that was set up this past week. While testing out all the equipment, including apps on the ATV, I randomly picked an episode of Reacher on Prime Video. It was fine. I backed out and then hit Resume. The audio played, but there was no video, just a black screen. I eventually discovered that this only occurs with Prime Video content marked UHD HDR, which is most of their original programming. Now all such content starts with a black screen — it only had video that first time. Every other format is fine. Everything I’ve tried on Netflix, Apple TV+, and YouTube is fine. Our Panasonic UB820 BD works fine with 4K Blu-ray discs, 1080P Blu-ray discs, and DVDs. The ATV had some other glitches that were fixed by resetting the unit to factory default, but it didn’t solve this one. I’m baffled. [END EDIT]

In May 2022, after moving across country and staying in an apartment until our new house was built, we got an 82" Samsung 4K QLED TV and a 4K Apple TV. When I powered the system on, the TV would come on first and say that there was no signal detected from HDMI input 2, where the ATV was connected. Then the ATV would come on (it takes a little longer), the TV would detect it, and the ATV home screen would show. They worked fine together like this until two or three months months ago, when the TV sporadically started failing to detect the ATV at all. The solution was to unplug and restart the ATV until the TV detected it, which usually took two or three tries. There was no rhyme or reason that I could determine.

This week, we had a full 7.1.4 home theater installed in our basement. This time, the ATV is connected to a Denon receiver, along with other components, which outputs to the Samsung TV. The ATV is sporadically acting glitchy with this system, too. Sometimes the screen blinks on and off until we power down the system and restart it. The technician, who has been installing home theater systems for over 20 years, swapped out the HDMI cable (all the HDMI cables are 4K compatible) and made sure the firmware is up to date on all the devices. Now, on the Amazon Prime Video app, the menu screens are fine. All of a sudden, though, the video for Amazon Prime content stopped displaying. In other words, I play an episode of, say, Reacher, and the screen goes black, but the audio is fine. I back up to the menu screen, and it's fine. The weird thing is that we subscribe to the PBS add-on, the content of which is played through the Amazon Prime app, and all of those programs are fine. The only possible difference I can think of is that the PBS programs are older and probably not 4K, whereas the Amazon programs I checked probably are 4K. However, Netflix 4K content doesn't have this problem. The technician thinks that something likely is wrong with the Apple TV. Before I buy a new one, doesn't anyone have any other possible causes?
 
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-Gonzo-

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2015
1,433
768
What video settings are you using?

Have you tried connecting to another TV to see if the same issue is replicated?
 

waw74

macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
4,647
933
do you have match rate and range turned on?
frame rate and dynamic rage are more likely to be incompatible than a resolution, (99.9% sure the aTV always maintains resolution and does the up/down scaling internally, so a resolution change shouldn't affect output at all)

Reacher is HDR, the PBS programs are probably SDR, so that points to a signal incompatibility with HDR content somewhere along the line.

does your TV have deep color turned on for that input. (that's what it's called on my LG, may be a different name or not exist on the Samsung, but that has to be enabled for HDR or dolby vision content to work properly, and it's a per input setting)

and same for the Denon, does it support pass through of all the formats? there may also be settings that need to be enabled.

have you tried switching the HDMI output and chroma modes on the aTV, you can choose from RGB-low, RGB-high, and YCbCr. Also 4:2:0 or 4:4:4. try messing with those, see if it helps.

As gonzo suggested, try plugging directly into the TV, The TV and Denon should have HDMI-eARC, so the TV will forward the audio to the Denon. You may have to enable and verify you're in the ARC port on the TV.

My guess would be the Denon is not passing video properly. Connecting the aTV directly to the TV and using ARC should bypass that problem.
 
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Reverend Benny

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2017
595
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Europe
In May 2022, after moving across country and staying in an apartment until our new house was built, we got an 82" Samsung 4K QLED TV and a 4K Apple TV. When I powered the system on, the TV would come on first and say that there was no signal detected from HDMI input 2, where the ATV was connected. Then the ATV would come on (it takes a little longer), the TV would detect it, and the ATV home screen would show. They worked fine together like this until two or three months months ago, when the TV sporadically started failing to detect the ATV at all. The solution was to unplug and restart the ATV until the TV detected it, which usually took two or three tries. There was no rhyme or reason that I could determine.

This week, we had a full 7.1.4 home theater installed in our basement. This time, the ATV is connected to a Denon receiver, along with other components, which outputs to the Samsung TV. The ATV is sporadically acting glitchy with this system, too. Sometimes the screen blinks on and off until we power down the system and restart it. The technician, who has been installing home theater systems for over 20 years, swapped out the HDMI cable (all the HDMI cables are 4K compatible) and made sure the firmware is up to date on all the devices. Now, on the Amazon Prime Video app, the menu screens are fine. All of a sudden, though, the video for Amazon Prime content stopped displaying. In other words, I play an episode of, say, Reacher, and the screen goes black, but the audio is fine. I back up to the menu screen, and it's fine. The weird thing is that we subscribe to the PBS add-on, the content of which is played through the Amazon Prime app, and all of those programs are fine. The only possible difference I can think of is that the PBS programs are older and probably not 4K, whereas the Amazon programs I checked probably are 4K. However, Netflix 4K content doesn't have this problem. The technician thinks that something likely is wrong with the Apple TV. Before I buy a new one, doesn't anyone have any other possible causes?
I had an Apple TV4k hooked up to a Denon x2400 and theQ950 (8K) Samsung TV.
Came across some glitches and ended up changing the 4:2:0 or 4:4:4, that helped.
I also had issues with hz and can't remember how I fixed it, but there was setting on both TV and Apple TV as far I remember. Its was most obvious when there were panoramic scenes or during moving screensavers on the ATV.

I might have swapped cables too at one point but I do think the 4:2:0 or 4:4:4 helped me.
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
888
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Thanks for all the suggestions, folks! I’ll check the various settings. My receiver is a Denon AVR-X6700H, which is one of the most configurable you can get, so it should allow pass-through. A Best Buy team installed and configured everything, including a 7.1.4 ATMOS speaker system.

As for your last suggestion, waw74, prior to having this system installed, the ATV was connected directly to the TV via HDMI (non-ARC) for over a year with no problems, and then it started having syncing issues two or three months ago. The only other component in the mix was a Samsung soundbar connected to the TV via HDMI ARC. The fact that the combination worked fine for over a year made me wonder if either the TV or the ATV is having problems, either physical or firmware-related. So far, though, in our new system, the ATV is the only component having video issues. We have a 4K Blu-Ray player and a VCR (yeah, we’re “of a certain age”).

I’m pretty technical, but a lot has changed since we had our 7.1 1080P system installed at our previous home in 2012, so I have a lot to learn!
 

waw74

macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
4,647
933
that Denon so be able to handle most if not all modern video signals, so I'm guessing it's not the problem

when using the blu-ray, what are you playing?
are they HDR or Dolby Vision movies?
Can use use an app like Netflix on the blu-ray to stream a DV program.


here's how to enable the deep color on the HDMI ports for Samsung, it is per port, so if the aTV was plugged into another port previously, it may not be enabled on the port connected to the Denon. not sure of your exact model.
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
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Thanks, waw74! My Blu-ray player is a Panasonic DP-UB820P-K. It works fine. I’ve tested a 4K disc of Avengers: Infinity War in both 2D and 3D (although, if I understand correctly, 3D is 1080P), a standard 1080P Blu-ray disc of Last of the Mohicans, and a couple of DVDs. I didn’t have time yesterday to check out the settings you suggest, but I should have time today and will report back.
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
888
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Update: I checked all the settings, and everything seems to be in order. HDR content on the ATV Prime Video app still has a black screen. However, when I use the Prime Video app on the Samsung TV, it’s fine. My next thought was to delete and reinstall the Prime Video app on the ATV. Following Apple’s instructions, I hold down the center button on the app until it jiggles. Then I press the play/pause button. A “Delete/New Folder/Cancel” option is supposed to appear. It doesn’t. The same is true with any app I try. I did a web search, and I couldn’t find anyone else with this problem. The firmware is up to date. So I am able to watch everything I want to now, but I’d love to figure out what’s going on with the ATV.
 

Ipadlover29

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2011
972
308
Update: I checked all the settings, and everything seems to be in order. HDR content on the ATV Prime Video app still has a black screen. However, when I use the Prime Video app on the Samsung TV, it’s fine. My next thought was to delete and reinstall the Prime Video app on the ATV. Following Apple’s instructions, I hold down the center button on the app until it jiggles. Then I press the play/pause button. A “Delete/New Folder/Cancel” option is supposed to appear. It doesn’t. The same is true with any app I try. I did a web search, and I couldn’t find anyone else with this problem. The firmware is up to date. So I am able to watch everything I want to now, but I’d love to figure out what’s going on with the ATV.
Have you tried resetting the Apple TV to factory default? I was recently having issues with mine and it solved it for me.
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
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Good suggestion, Ipadlover 29. That did fix the inability to delete apps on the ATV, but not the other problem. I’ve experimented with playing various types of videos on various apps, and the only ones affected are those on Prime Video labelled UHD HDR. 4K HDR videos play fine.
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
888
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I don’t know if this is helpful, but I tried the Prime Video app on the Panasonic UB820 BD player. Reacher (which is UHD HDR on the ATV app) looks terribly low-res on the UB820 app. I pressed the HDR Settings button on the remote, and it says that an HDR source is required. I do

We also have an Epson 4010 projector attached to the Denon AVR. It displays the same content as the Samsung TV (i.e., no video for UHD HDR content from the ATV Prime Video app), so that tells me the issue has to lie with the Prime Video app, the ATV, or the AVR. What’s strange is that when I was first testing out our various ATV apps, I picked Reacher at random on the Prime Video app, and it played fine. It was only after I backed out of the episode and then hit Resume that the problem started. The last thing I can try is connect the ATV directly to the TV, bypassing the AVR, and see if UHD HDR video plays.
 

waw74

macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
4,647
933
using an internal app is completely different than using an external source
the external source has HDMI cables and connections and settings that don't apply to the internal apps. So really isn't a good test for your issue. it just shows the TV can display HDR images.

the only ones affected are those on Prime Video labelled UHD HDR. 4K HDR videos play fine.
UHD is just another name for 4k.
Your problem is very very unlikely to be resolution related. as the aTV always sends the same resolution, and the conversion from the resolution of the file to what the aTV is outputting happens in the aTV.
It's much more likely to be related to dynamic range.

the avengers 2D disk, is it dolby vision/HDR? or just SDR?
from the one I found in a quick look on amazon, the 2D disk is 4k, but not HDR
if it is SDR, then again, it doesn't relate to your issues with prime.

Do you have Netflix or Apple+, can you try an HDR video there (Netflix requires a higher priced subscription to get HDR). The trailers for most new movies that you can rent/purchase from apple should also be in Dolby Vision. (if you hit the siri button and say "Oppenheimer" it should take you to the movie, try watching the trailer) If it blacks out, then your problem is related to dynamic range.
Your TV may also display a badge on the screen when it changes to HDR.


for SDR vs HDR
SDR is standard dynamic range. It's been the norm for a while, It means the color of each pixel in the signal gets 8-bits for each basic color (Red, Green, and Blue), which gives you 256 options for the brightness of each color, meaning each pixel can be one of 16,777,216 colors. (256x256x256). And each pixel uses 24 bits of data for each pixel to make the color (8+8+8)

HDR is High Dynamic Range (applies to both HDR and Dolby Vision), it has 10 bits per color, which gives you 1024 steps for each color, meaning each pixel can be close to one of just over 1 billion colors. And each pixel uses 30 bits of data to make the color (10+10+10)

The easiest way to see this is things with a gradual color gradient. Underwater scenes are a good example, in SDR, you'll see several bands of color. while with HDR, it will be a smooth fade. Since in HDR, there are several extra steps of color between each step of color available in SDR.

24 bits vs 30 bits doesn't sound like a lot more, but a 4k signal has over 8 million pixels, so it's a significant increase in the amount of data that needs to be transmitted, which is why you need to have special hardware to transmit HDR vs SDR.

Just found on google, Samsung TVs do not support dolby vision, only HDR, so that may also be part of your issue.
 

Ipadlover29

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2011
972
308
I don’t know if this is helpful, but I tried the Prime Video app on the Panasonic UB820 BD player. Reacher (which is UHD HDR on the ATV app) looks terribly low-res on the UB820 app. I pressed the HDR Settings button on the remote, and it says that an HDR source is required. I do

We also have an Epson 4010 projector attached to the Denon AVR. It displays the same content as the Samsung TV (i.e., no video for UHD HDR content from the ATV Prime Video app), so that tells me the issue has to lie with the Prime Video app, the ATV, or the AVR. What’s strange is that when I was first testing out our various ATV apps, I picked Reacher at random on the Prime Video app, and it played fine. It was only after I backed out of the episode and then hit Resume that the problem started. The last thing I can try is connect the ATV directly to the TV, bypassing the AVR, and see if UHD HDR video plays.
The HDR setting button on the Panasonic 820 blu ray player only works on 4K blu ray movies that are encoded with 4K HDR. It doesn't work on apps or other movies.
 

SAMtheGAM

macrumors 6502
Mar 18, 2011
346
196
I have similar issues with a Pioneer receiver and Apple TV 4K 2022 and Samsung TV. The issue is that Prime uses HDR10+ instead of HDR10 since Samsung TV does not support Dolby Vision. The black screen is encountered when the TV switches between HDR modes. After starting Prime content with HDR10+ I usually wait 10-15 seconds for the handshake to complete and I get video plus audio. In the settings you can turn HDR off in the Prime app.

On the Samsung TV make sure Input Signal + is turned on for the input you are using and also make sure the 4K mode on Denon is enhanced for the input you are using for Apple TV.

Also not all episodes of "Reacher" Season 2 are in HDR10+. They all do have Dolby Atmos audio.
 
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Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
888
332
Thank you all for your additional explanations and suggestions! I didn't have a chance to do further troubleshooting yesterday but will do so this evening and give you an update. The number of AV formats is mind-boggling, and I still haven't learned all the differences.
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
888
332
Well, folks, I never did figure this one out. I tried all settings you mentioned, including various combinations. The only content that has the non-video problem is Amazon Prime original shows labelled UHD HDR, which SAMtheGAM says are 4K HDR10+. I tried with HDR both on and off in the Prime app. I made sure Input Signal Plus is on for the Samsung TV. 4K mode is set to Enhanced on the Denon AVR. Content on Apple TV+ labelled Dolby Vision plays fine. And I think I mentioned that when the Apple TV was connected directly to the Samsung TV (before we set up the current system), there was no problem playing Prime UHD HDR content.

However, it turns out that the Panasonic BD player supports apps, including Amazon Prime. The UHD HDR content plays just fine on that! The BD player is connected to an HDMI input on the Denon, just as the Apple TV is, so there’s no difference in how they’re connected. So we can watch Prime content now, but the techie in me sure would like to figure out why it doesn’t play on the Apple TV.
 

niteflyr

macrumors 65816
Nov 29, 2011
1,031
207
Southern Cal
Prime Video recently started including ads in their programming unless you upgrade to their "ad free" plan (2.99/month extra). I believe this started on Feb. 1. I read an article today that said only the "ad free" Prime Video plan will stream in UHD HDR now. This may or may not be related to your issue.
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
888
332
Thanks, niteflyr. Yes, we did upgrade to ad-free Prime Video. And the content plays fine on the Panasonic BD player’s Prime app, although I haven’t verified whether it’s 4K or 1080P. The menu thumbnails on the Panasonic’s app don’t look as sharp as those on the ATV’s app, but the content itself does.
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 20, 2008
888
332
Prime Video recently started including ads in their programming unless you upgrade to their "ad free" plan (2.99/month extra). I believe this started on Feb. 1. I read an article today that said only the "ad free" Prime Video plan will stream in UHD HDR now. This may or may not be related to your issue.
You might be onto something. I mentioned that we didn't have the issue with Prime UHD HDR content when we had the Apple TV connected directly to the Samsung TV. So when did we connect it to the Denon AVR? January 31, a couple days after Amazon dropped their ad-free tier. As soon as we got the message that we had the option to upgrade to ad-free for $2.99 per month, we did so. In theory, our Prime app settings should be what they were prior to January 29, but who knows? I'll report back if there's anything to report.
 
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