New Apple TV Has Its Share of Bugs

I got my new Apple TV today. It’s a nice little device, smaller and especially cooler than the previous model. I have no issues with not being able to store content on the device, and streaming works fine for me.

However, it seems that the Apple TV software has a fair number of bugs. While there aren’t a lot of threads in Apple’s forums – the device has only been shipping for a few days – there are enough to confirm that the problems I’ve had are not unique.

First, when entering info for my wifi network, the Apple TV got to a point where it displayed “Waiting for Network Services…” After a few minutes, I restarted the device; at that point, it was connected to my wifi network.

Next, when trying to enter my Apple ID – necessary to stream content, as well as to buy and rent content from the Apple Store – it failed, telling me that the password and/or user name were incorrect. A post on the Apple forum suggested resetting the device, which I did.

So, after the reset, it no longer saw the wifi network I wanted to use. (I have two networks, using an AirPort Extreme base station: one for 802.11n devices, and one for others.) I had to type its name to get it recognized. This time, entering the password worked, and I was able to enter my Apple ID and get it accepted.

I then added the library on my Mac mini, which has all my content, and found that the Playlists section showed only a blank screen. All the other sections display correctly, though sometimes there’s a lag as the Apple TV has to load the library (yet again; it seems to do this a lot). Playlists finally displayed, but only after the display had switched to show a currently-playing track. It turns out that it takes quite some time for playlists to display; more than 20 seconds. I have a couple hundred playlists, but if the library itself is copied to the Apple TV, it shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. After all, my Artists or Composers lists display immediately, or even my Songs list, which contains more than 56,000 items. At least playlist icons have colors, those that Apple removed from iTunes.

The new Apple TV’s volume is very loud; much louder than the previous model. For example, my amp was set to a volume of 45 before, and content I played on the old Apple TV was at the correct volume. I’ve had to lower the volume to 30 with the new device, which means that every time I change sources I’ll have to shift the volume more than before. You can no longer control its volume from the remote, and there’s also no volume control available from the Remote app on the iPod touch. (Though it probably makes more sense, when streaming music at least, to stream it from iTunes and control it on the iPod touch, rather than use the Apple TV’s screen; this way you can adjust the volume being sent from iTunes.)

On the up side, the new Apple TV’s interface is much snappier, so over time I’ll be able to tell whether it’s a real improvement. One thing I won’t need to do any more, at least, is sync content to it. I get the Daily Show from the iTunes Store, and I’d have to sync it after it downloaded to my Mac mini; now, in the future, I’ll just mount the library and stream, saving a step.

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8 replies
  1. David says:

    The ATV2 is incompatible with my Panasonic TX-32LXD700A. The colour-space is mixed up; blues are green, yellows are pink, etc. Unlike most other HDMI devices, there is no option within the ATV2 setup to change the colour-space. I’ve tried all the usual HDMI troubleshooting techniques but nothing works. I’m waiting on a firmware update which is to be sent to me on an SD card. The new firmware addresses a “sound distortion” issue (which I can recall happening occasionally sometime ago) but here’s hoping it fixes my ATV2 colours too.

    Oh and I should add that I used a HDMI-to-DVI cable to connect the ATV2 to a Samsung LCD computer monitor and the colours were fine.

  2. David says:

    I took my ATV2 to a friend’s place and plugged it into his TV using my HDMI cable and all was well. So I know that it’s an issue with the TV.

    I’m still waiting on new firmware from Panasonic.

  3. David says:

    Well the new firmware arrived. TV now shows version 3100-10000. ATV2 still doesn’t work.

    My only hope now is that Apple update the ATV2 to include similar video options as on the ATV1. At least an option to choose between 50 and 60Hz for those of us outside of the US.

  4. Cesar says:

    I purchased an Apple TV 2 today and I’m about ready to throw it against the wall. I am having the same problems with the Applename/password, YouTube, etc. I basically can’t make it work. It is stuck on “waiting for network time…”
    Any suggestions?

    • Pete says:

      I’d say bring it back while it’s still time.
      Seems a whole lot of folks are having that problem, many solutions that seem to work for only afew

  5. dexter says:

    I too am having trouble with HDMI volume…. very annoying while watching music vids or anything with a lot of bass… (ie action movies with explosions etc)

    looking forward to someone finding a cure for it’s illness – apple or JB =)


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