Apple TV tvOS public beta releases - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1828 Old 02-09-2018, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Apple TV tvOS public beta releases

Things to know:
  • Apple has a [public beta program] which, while not risk-free, sometimes supports in-demand features (e.g. Match or Sony DV support). Releases are [announced here] (RSS)
  • Assume that if you install a public beta on a machine without a USB port (ATV4K) you cannot roll back to the current production release.
  • The developer heads up display (HUD) will display debug records for apps that support that feature. These records include the source video format. See [this post] for guidance. [This is the referenced Stack Overflow article]. You will need the current Xcode beta release (and a Mac). This display is the only way to determine stream type for most apps.
Please note that the only way to provide feedback to Apple is the Feedback Assistant which can only be installed on an iOS/macOS machine enrolled in the beta program or Bugreporter (Radar) via the web. Both require a developer account. Apple does not provide engineering engagement to public beta enrollees. Apple does not provide "feedback to the submitter" for issues reported regarding public beta releases.

If you have a single ATV and it's a Homekit gateway do not install beta software if losing the gateway is unacceptable. Do not be mislead by terms like "production" or "commercial". If you cannot tolerate or will whine about failed apps or loss of service in this please do NOT install beta software.

Raise you hand if you remember releases of iOS 10 and iOS 11 that "bricked" devices.

Discuss amongst yourselves.


Notes about Atmos:
Atmos support was released with tvOS 12b2. Apple is using an updated proprietary LPCM based system developed by Dolby called Metadata-enhanced Audio Transmission [V2] (MAT 2.x) for the console market that allows mixing local audio and generating Atmos in real-time. Apple released a small number of Atmos movies but removed them shortly afterward. Vudu has provided Atmos since release. Apple released a larger set of movies with tvOS 12b7. Dolby provides two [SDR Atmos test clips in MP4 format]. These can be imported into an iTunes library and played with the tvOS Computer app without any further processing. If you have any issues with Atmos it's crucial that you test with known good files since not all video chains will process MAT 2.x.
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post #2 of 1828 Old 02-09-2018, 03:55 PM
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Thanks good idea

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post #3 of 1828 Old 02-09-2018, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Remote App bug in 11.3b2/15L5175d

The remote app will not (reliably) control 15L5175d unless it's running under 11.3b2 /15E5178f.

I won't typically say "or newer". It's always implied.

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post #4 of 1828 Old 02-09-2018, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bodosom View Post
The remote app will not (reliably) control 15L5175d unless it's running under 11.3b2 /15E5178f.

I won't typically say "or newer". It's always implied.
What does that mean? Are you saying that the remote flat won’t work with 15L5175d? I appreciate your trying to keep us informed, but sometimes your posts are not easy to understand.
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post #5 of 1828 Old 02-09-2018, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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What does that mean?
This means (in my experience) that as of b2 you need iOS beta to control tvOS beta. The remote app programs are the same so I assume there's been some low level handshake change. I do expect that this is a simple regression that leaked because everyone testing inadvertently used iOS beta. I would also expect it to be fixed quickly.

I didn't check iOS b1 because I'd already loaded b2 on my iPad before noticed the ATV issue and I didn't want to move back to b1.
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post #6 of 1828 Old 02-09-2018, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodosom View Post
This means (in my experience) that as of b2 you need iOS beta to control tvOS beta. The remote app programs are the same so I assume there's been some low level handshake change. I do expect that this is a simple regression that leaked because everyone testing inadvertently used iOS beta. I would also expect it to be fixed quickly.

I didn't check iOS b1 because I'd already loaded b2 on my iPad before noticed the ATV issue and I didn't want to move back to b1.
In your original post, you made no reference to iOS beta software, which is why I didn’t understand what you were saying. I don’t run beta software on my iPad. And I don’t really use the iOS ATV remote, preferring to use my Harmony, so no big deal. Thank you for clarifying.
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post #7 of 1828 Old 02-09-2018, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodosom View Post
This means (in my experience) that as of b2 you need iOS beta to control tvOS beta. The remote app programs are the same so I assume there's been some low level handshake change. I do expect that this is a simple regression that leaked because everyone testing inadvertently used iOS beta. I would also expect it to be fixed quickly.

I didn't check iOS b1 because I'd already loaded b2 on my iPad before noticed the ATV issue and I didn't want to move back to b1.
Now I get it. Thanks.

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post #8 of 1828 Old 02-09-2018, 08:46 PM
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11.3b2
I left Hulu app active until ATV 4K went to sleep on its timeout and turned TV off. This morning I found my Hulu app had signed me out.

Signing in, I couldn't resume an on-demand 24p show from previous pause until above sleep as my power down for the night.

I tried closing Hulu app and all apps with app switcher and even rebooting but couldn't restart that show; I had a prolonged black screen with failure to get back to app or UI each time; finally getting the UI after some time and multiple button presses. Multiple reboots didn't help either.

Finished the episode on the Roku Ultra and came back to the ATV much later; couldn't duplicate the error. All seems normal now.

Seems this has happened before on beta and cleared itself up as before. I know some posters had reported having to fast forward Vudu to get playback to start but that didn't help me with Hulu on-demand.

Maybe I shouldn't leave paid subscription apps active when ATV sleeps? Usually I come back in after some time to Hulu and there's a dialogue about signal lost or similar. I press OK and ATV goes to show I was viewing before before auto sleeping. Hulu app updated too so maybe there's a change brewing there too.

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post #9 of 1828 Old 02-11-2018, 11:11 AM
 
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On B2 here...

TNT app unstable.

Had to use airplay from my iPAD through the Apple V4K to watch The Alienest. Otherwise no sound, lip sync awful when there was sound, etc.

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post #10 of 1828 Old 02-11-2018, 03:16 PM
 
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There needs to be a way to back out of a bad beta. You don't know if you're going to have issues until you try it. So the idea that you know the risks so its inconsistent to complain about being stuck with beta FW issues doesn't wash. You don't know until you try it.

Apple needs to have away to let us walk these things back to more stable FW even if its the previous beta.
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post #11 of 1828 Old 02-11-2018, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmiddleton4 View Post
There needs to be a way to back out of a bad beta. You don't know if you're going to have issues until you try it. So the idea that you know the risks so its inconsistent to complain about being stuck with beta FW issues doesn't wash. You don't know until you try it.

Apple needs to have away to let us walk these things back to more stable FW even if its the previous beta.
Apple does have a documented way to go back to a production ATV4K version but a couple of people in the ATV thread say it doesn’t work. I personally haven’t tried it.

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There's a way for previous gen's with the port to do so. I've not found anyway for the 4K's. VUDU has issues, now TNT.

Something's not right, I know rocket science, and I'd like to go back one beta. We'll see if a b3 is coming soon.
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post #13 of 1828 Old 02-11-2018, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmiddleton4 View Post
There needs to be a way to back out of a bad beta. You don't know if you're going to have issues until you try it. So the idea that you know the risks so its inconsistent to complain about being stuck with beta FW issues doesn't wash. You don't know until you try it.



Apple needs to have away to let us walk these things back to more stable FW even if its the previous beta.


Yep. I had to swap mine out for a new one at the Apple store. No questions asked. PITA though.


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post #14 of 1828 Old 02-11-2018, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jsmiddleton4 View Post
You don't know if you're going to have issues until you try it. So the idea that you know the risks so its inconsistent to complain about being stuck with beta FW issues doesn't wash.
You argument only makes sense if you're being forced to use beta software. It's your choice and the consequences are your responsibility.
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“Only makes sense...”

Nope, you are wrong.

You don’t know the risk until you try it. No way to make an informed decision as a result. Needs to be a way to back out of it when it becomes clear that a FW is turd. Once you have the information and you figure out its a turd, we need One Wipe Charlies to mitigate the mistake.

B2 seems to be a turd.

Please fire away with the you’re big and I’m small if you’d like. You’re still wrong.
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post #16 of 1828 Old 02-12-2018, 05:59 AM
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You argument only makes sense if you're being forced to use beta software. It's your choice and the consequences are your responsibility.
Hard to buy that argument. If any manufacturer provides you with an optional way to use their product, you make that choice and then it no longer works; they don't come back and say it was your choice and the consequences are your responsibility. Apple apparently agrees and that's why they will "swap it out" if you take your ATV to the store.

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I remain conflicted as to how much of a beta tester I want to be for Apple.

There are a ton of things they never fix despite direct member feedback in THEIR forums. I stopped giving them free advice since they have never fixed anything based on that advice. They are a FOR PROFIT company and therefore it doesn't make sense or us to test for "free". They would get a lot more beta testers if they sent out itunes gift card codes for participating.

Generally in medical studies, the patients don't pay for treatment drugs and this should be no different.

Anyway... back to the original topic...

has anyone seen new info about Dolby Atmos coming to ATV more recently? This is the big "hole" in their offerings besides DTS X or even routine 7.1. If they at least got a ton of Dolby Atmos content, I would be pleased.

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I remain conflicted as to how much of a beta tester I want to be for Apple.

There are a ton of things they never fix despite direct member feedback in THEIR forums. I stopped giving them free advice since they have never fixed anything based on that advice. They are a FOR PROFIT company and therefore it doesn't make sense or us to test for "free". They would get a lot more beta testers if they sent out itunes gift card codes for participating.
I'm on the beta program for only one reason (and it's the only reason I bought the ATV4K). I want the "low latency" version of DV for my Z9D. Once it's available on Apple's regular public firmware, I'm out of here!

However, I'm pleased that I found another reason to own the ATV4K. For us, iTunes Movies provides an excellent selection, reasonable prices, and high quality place to obtain entertainment.

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Originally Posted by bodosom View Post
You argument only makes sense if you're being forced to use beta software. It's your choice and the consequences are your responsibility.
Until the ATV4K came out Apple allowed me for a user to restore back to a production image via the USB-C port via iTunes. All other Apple devices allow for a restore the same way. I have read various reasons as to why they removed it (mostly related to protecting their IP) but wouldn’t it have made sense if they would have set aside a partition that contained the original FW so people wouldn’t be stuck? I’m in the dev program so I know what I got into but the public beta people are different.

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post #20 of 1828 Old 02-12-2018, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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You don’t know the risk until you try it. No way to make an informed decision as a result.
Apple makes the risk clear. "Please note that since the public beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software."
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Hard to buy that argument. If any manufacturer provides you with an optional way to use their product, you make that choice and then it no longer works; they don't come back and say it was your choice and the consequences are your responsibility.
In fact that's exactly what they say.
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Until the ATV4K came out Apple allowed me for a user to restore back to a production image via the USB-C port via iTunes. All other Apple devices allow for a restore the same way. I have read various reasons as to why they removed it (mostly related to protecting their IP) but wouldn’t it have made sense if they would have set aside a partition that contained the original FW so people wouldn’t be stuck?
They could have preserved the ability for the ATV4K to roll-back. They didn't. That's that. The excerpts from Apple below make it pretty clear.

What is the Apple Beta Software Program?
...
Install the beta software only on non-production devices that are not business critical. We strongly recommend installing on a secondary system or device, or on a secondary partition on your Mac.

What's the difference between this programa and the Apple Developer Program?

The Apple Beta Software Program collects feedback on pre-release software. The Apple Developer Program allows developers to test and build applications. Participants in the Apple Beta Software Program may receive different beta software from participants in the Apple Developer Program.


How do I stop receiving public betas and install the next shipping iOS, macOS, or tvOS release?
When your device is enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program, you will automatically receive new versions of the public beta from iOS Software Update, the Mac App Store, or tvOS Software Update. At any time, you may unenroll your device so that it no longer receives these updates. Then, when the next version of commercial software is released, you can install it from... tvOS Software Update.


Unenroll Your Devices to Stop Receiving Public Betas
...
Once your setting has changed, your Apple TV will no longer receive tvOS public betas. When the next commercial version of tvOS is released, it will automatically install if you have Automatic Software Update turned on. Or, you can install it from Settings > System > Software Updates > Update Software.

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Nope, you’re still wrong. Only way risk is clear is you use it. Apple makes it clear there is risks. Apple does not make it clear what those risks are. You don’t know till you try. It is disrespectful of Apple to treat those who are willing to try beta firmware so poorly.

We need a way back from turd FW. We are not obligated because we are willing to try beta FW to be stuck with turds.

You are wrong.
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There are a ton of things they never fix despite direct member feedback in THEIR forums.
Apple does not take feedback from forums. The only mechanism available to public beta participants is Feedback Assistant.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post
I remain conflicted as to how much of a beta tester I want to be for Apple.

There are a ton of things they never fix despite direct member feedback in THEIR forums. I stopped giving them free advice since they have never fixed anything based on that advice. They are a FOR PROFIT company and therefore it doesn't make sense or us to test for "free". They would get a lot more beta testers if they sent out itunes gift card codes for participating.

Generally in medical studies, the patients don't pay for treatment drugs and this should be no different.

Anyway... back to the original topic...

has anyone seen new info about Dolby Atmos coming to ATV more recently? This is the big "hole" in their offerings besides DTS X or even routine 7.1. If they at least got a ton of Dolby Atmos content, I would be pleased.
Yes, the most frustrating part for me is their lack of communication. Over the years I have entered numerous bug reports across a range of products. I think I have had a direct response and worked with them ONCE. I've had a lengthy report in now for my issues with the ATV and Sony handshake problems......nothing from them. It is frustrating to put in time and effort for what ends up being nothing.


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I'm on the beta program for only one reason (and it's the only reason I bought the ATV4K). I want the "low latency" version of DV for my Z9D. Once it's available on Apple's regular public firmware, I'm out of here!

However, I'm pleased that I found another reason to own the ATV4K. For us, iTunes Movies provides an excellent selection, reasonable prices, and high quality place to obtain entertainment.
I got in first for the Match Range and then again for the Sony DV fix. I think once 11.3 comes out, I'll leave as well.
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post #24 of 1828 Old 02-12-2018, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jsmiddleton4 View Post
Nope, you’re still wrong. Only way risk is clear is you use it. Apple makes it clear there is risks. Apple does not make it clear what those risks are. You don’t know till you try. It is disrespectful of Apple to treat those who are willing to try beta firmware so poorly.

We need a way back from turd FW. We are not obligated because we are willing to try beta FW to be stuck with turds.

You are wrong.
There is no right or wrong on this topic. It's a matter of opinion. You made the choice to install beta/test software on your main device and then want to turn around and complain when it doesn't work like a fully developed/tested firmware? It's my opinion that your complaints sounds like someone not willing to take responsibility for their hasty decisions.

When installed the beta I knew full well risks and also took the time to read impressions and feedback on the beta to see if there were any issues reported I couldn't live with. Next time maybe you should be more cautious or stay out of the beta program all together. It's this type of thought process that would have Apple pull the public beta program and I would have had to wait even longer to get the Match Dynamic Range/Frame Rate and low profile Dolby Vision working on my Apple TV.
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post #25 of 1828 Old 02-12-2018, 09:58 AM
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Nope, you’re still wrong. Only way risk is clear is you use it. Apple makes it clear there is risks. Apple does not make it clear what those risks are. You don’t know till you try.

Can’t agree with that! Apple can’t make it clear what the risks are because they won’t know until people install and test it. They’re clearly saying that it might result in problems and even advise not to install it on your main device. That seems pretty clear to me.

I haven’t installed it because, I’ve made an assessment that it’s too risky given that I use the device regularly. I was able to make that assessment without trying it to find out what it may or may not break. I also know that a first or second beta release is likely to be more risky because they’re versions which are so early in the development cycle. Again, I was able to figure this out without testing.

There will be another beta along next week so hopefully that will improve things for you.




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post #26 of 1828 Old 02-12-2018, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bodosom View Post
Apple does not take feedback from forums. The only mechanism available to public beta participants is Feedback Assistant.
It is fairly stupid to have hundreds of billions in the bank but not have people available on staff to read their own forums and make a list of things that are emerging that need to be fixed? There is no excuse that makes this smart on their part, regardless of their "policy" on accepting feedback.

Their feedback assistant takes too long too. Again I'd be happy to offer it if I were paid, but they lost me on the free work quite a while ago.

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post #27 of 1828 Old 02-12-2018, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jsmiddleton4 View Post
“Only makes sense...”

Nope, you are wrong.

You don’t know the risk until you try it. No way to make an informed decision as a result. Needs to be a way to back out of it when it becomes clear that a FW is turd. Once you have the information and you figure out its a turd, we need One Wipe Charlies to mitigate the mistake.

B2 seems to be a turd.

Please fire away with the you’re big and I’m small if you’d like. You’re still wrong.
I largely agree with you, but to some extent, those of us who test do have to realize that we may be stuck with beta bugs.

I was so happy to see DV fixed in the first beta, that I took a chance and loaded it. Sure, there were some issues, but overall, I was quite happy with beta 1. Then comes b2. The last thing I expected was for Apple to break more than they fixed. And the bugs were significant. It was and remains a big turd as you said. I complained here and was soundly shot down for not understanding what beta meant. In all my years of beta testing, I've never seen a subsequent beta be so much worse than the previous one. Knowing that this will happen again with Apple and their very poor quality control, I'll never do another beta again after the current one gets officially released, especially when there is no mechanism to revert to a prior version as with the ATV4K.

And keep in mind that Apple has now changed their philosophy regarding yearly updates, which so many predicted would be a real problem regarding various problems/bugs. Apple will now go to a two year cycle and spend more time refining and fixing those issues. Apple is rushing new major OS versions way too fast as evidenced by so many significant bugs that have surfaced in all devices over the last few years.

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post #28 of 1828 Old 02-12-2018, 10:56 AM
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I can't believe more people aren't seeing that the Dolby Vision they implemented clearly doesn't work???? It's not only much darker but also seems to be because it's missing "half" the HDR info, as if the top end brightness and color luminance aren't there at all compared to internal app. It's not just dimmer, it's broke.

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post #29 of 1828 Old 02-12-2018, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Larry Little View Post
... The last thing I expected was for Apple to break more than they fixed. ... Apple is rushing new major OS versions way too fast as evidenced by so many significant bugs that have surfaced in all devices over the last few years.
These two statements sound contradictory. Given that Apple has withdrawn production releases over major issues you might expect a beta release to cause your device to explode.

I might type 2K for 1080p.
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post #30 of 1828 Old 02-12-2018, 11:40 AM
 
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Whether they contradict or not is irrelevant. We accept risk when we use beta FW in general. Yep, absolutely. We don’t know the exact nature of those risks until we try the actual beta. When we do if the details of that beta are such that a company squeezed one out they need to step up and give us a way to mitigate the stink. This B2 is bad. Apple needs to fix it with a B3 or let us go back to B1.

That is the norm for all kinds of FW driven devices when using a beta or even an alpha release when you get a bad one to test.

This is on Apple.
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