I’m tearing my hair out with this and would love some help.
My gen 1 Apple TV 4K, which is about 15 months old, barely works any more. It often wakes from sleep and just displays a static screen (like the classic white noise TV screen, but in 4K). If it doesn’t display a static screen when it wakes up, it usually will when I click on something to watch.
The static screen seems to be triggered by a change in content, i.e. going from SDR to HDR, or 1080p to 4K.
Here’s everything you might think the problem is, and how I’ve ruled that out:
- HDMI cable: I have tried numerous HDMI cables, including the 4k 120hz cable that came with the PS5. The cables are all good, and they work fine with our other devices.
- You might think it’s the TV. The TV is only a few months old, and this HDMI port works for everything else, so that’s not it.
- We plug everything into the receiver, so it could be the receiver, but the receiver is also brand new (as of November). It doesn’t display any issues otherwise, and is 8k capable, so it can easily handle the 4K 60hz Apple TV requirement. It supports Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, the works. (We have a home theatre.) The receiver isn’t the problem either; I’ve tried everything. In fact, we get no video or audio when I see the static. If we got audio, but not video, I’d know the problem is the HDMI cable to the TV, but in this case, I can even rule that out.
- I thought it might be HDCP issues with the receiver or the TV, but I don’t think this is the case. We have a 4K Blu-ray player. If I pop in a Blu-ray that jumps from SDR to Dolby Vision, or from 1080p trailer to 4k content, this is a non-issue. It just works. (A phrase I wish I could still say about all my Apple devices.) Not to mention the fact these 4K Blu-rays have so much DRM that they could cripple any inferior HDCP setup. So I don’t think it’s an HDCP issue.
- Finally, you might think it’s electrical interference. We just bought this house last summer and discovered after moving that the basement wiring was a huge fire hazard. So I ripped it all out and re-wired the whole basement myself, then had a certified electrician come and sign off. There should be no interference issues.
So I’m at a loss. Do I have just a lemon? Is there something I’m not thinking of? I’ve heard that you need “insulated” HDMI cables with the Apple TV to prevent Bluetooth issues, which is possible, but I find it hard to believe that the much-ballyhooed PS5 HDMI cable isn’t insulated (and don’t know how to tell if it is or isn’t).
But most importantly, this worked flawlessly for almost a year. We’ve had other issues with this Apple TV, and Apple told me to reset it to factory previously. My assumption is that I’ve got a lemon. But if it’s not a lemon and I can save myself $200 on a new one with a simple, guaranteed fix, I’d prefer that.
Please just don’t suggest more HDMI cables, unless you’re 100% certain some fancy HDMI cable will fix this problem. I’ve been down that road and so has my wallet, sadly…