AV receiver can't get along with Amazon media
July 13, 2019 3:19 PM   Subscribe

I've recently encountered a problem where Amazon videos and audio cause my AV receiver to turn itself off. It's the damnedest thing.

My setup is like this:
Apple TV (model 3) > Onkyo AV receiver > TV & speakers
I frequently play media that's stored on my computer via my Apple TV; I also have streamed Netflix and HBO Go video through it. This all works fine. And for some time, I had been able to stream Amazon video through it without incident (although the Amazon app on the Apple TV seems pretty buggy).

Over the past month or so, Amazon video and audio has caused the AV receiver to shut down with a blinking power light that indicates some kind of fault. Initially I thought the receiver was overheating, and it does get hot, but I've also gotten this result when the receiver is cold, and I don't get this result with other services, even though the receiver gets hot with those too (as you'd expect). I've also tried streaming Amazon videos via the iOS app to the Apple TV using Airplay, and that also causes the shutdown.

I'm mystified as to why this might be happening, and wondering if anyone can suggest a solution.
posted by adamrice to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
 
I don't know if it is your issue, but I've noticed that some video streaming services will occasionally send malformed digital audio streams (or more charitably send an otherwise compliant stream that uses a feature not well supported by some decoders). Apple TV supports re-encoding audio into a format generally universally supported (technically uncompressed stereo PCM).

You might try turning this on to see if this fixes your issue. On the Apple TV go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format. Turn "Change Format" to "On" and for "New Format" select "Stereo".
posted by RichardP at 3:56 PM on July 13


Had a similar issue with a Pioneer receiver when playing movies through Apple TV from iTunes (DVDs ripped and stored in iTunes). Receiver would shut off and just have a flashing light.

Found that it has protection circuit that tries to prevent overloading. The volume was never that loud and the receiver also had the cable TV box running through it and it never experienced it while playing cable. But I was able to reproduce it playing the same scene at the same volume, whether the receiver was hot or cold, all wires checked and nothing cracked or loose.

Writing this up I realize that the Apple TV (series 1 or 2) was replaced around Christmas with the current model (series 4?) and it hasn't happened in the half year since then.

I would try to recreate it reliably with the same scene and if you can do that lower the volume and see if it stops.
posted by DizzyOnBugSpray at 4:00 PM on July 13


I was recently reading about a media device shutting down (crashing) when playing certain media. It turns out it was trying to display some metadata that contained a % symbol and the code was running it through the C "printf" call and tried to interpret it as a parameter substitution for a non-existing parameter. Sorry, I can't remember the precise details.
posted by sjswitzer at 8:42 AM on July 15


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