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Why Does My Apple TV Keep Cutting Out? 

Smart televisions, such as the Apple TV, are just one of the latest innovations in the television industry. They make things much simpler, especially since you don’t have to include certain extra devices to enhance them, as smart TVs have things like Netflix, Hulu, and more built into them. While smart TVs are great, however, that does not mean they are not without their issues. For instance, some people have reported that their Apple TVs keep cutting out. But why does this happen?

If your Apple TV is cutting out, it is likely due to a faulty HDMI cable, and thus it is easily fixed. All you need to do in that case is swap out the HDMI cable. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to consider a hard reset of your Apple TV to its original settings to resolve the issue.

But what if these fixes don’t actually fix the cutting out problem?

Why Does My Apple TV Keep Cutting Out?

There are multiple reasons why your Apple TV is cutting out, which we will detail below.

Test your Apple TV with different viewing methods

A good way to figure out the exact problem with your Apple TV flickering is to try using it in different ways. If the TV only flickers when doing certain things, this will help narrow down the possible causes of the problem. For example, if you are using a device through your Apple TV that connects via HDMI or USB and it’s the only thing that has this flickering problem, this will get you to the next step of the process. However, if you are just using an app on the Apple TV and you experience flickering only in that app, or if the flickering happens no matter what, you will have to try different solutions to resolve the problem.

Check the HDMI cable used for the Apple TV

This is one of the most common issues that causes this to happen, at least if the feed keeps cutting to black. If your TV is cutting to black, the HDMI cord may be loosely fitted into the port. Of course, this is only going to be an issue if you are trying to use an HDMI-connected device that causes the feed to drop from this device. Try wiggling the HDMI cable to see if the flickering occurs when you do. For instance, if you are using a connected Roku device or a PlayStation 5, you may find that the HDMI cable is unable to keep a consistent feed. This can be annoying at the best of times, but when at its worst, it could mean having you lose at your PS5 game due to not being able to see what’s going on.

The issue with the HDMI cord could be to do with one or both ends of the cord being loose in their respective ports, or there may be an issue with the cord itself that causes the HDMI cord to malfunction. To find out whether the HDMI cord is the problem, the best solution would be to try the cord on other devices. If the problem persists with other devices, such as a different television or a computer monitor, that tells you all you need to know. Just order a new HDMI cable to replace the faulty cable.

Check the HDMI ports on the Apple TV and the other device

However, while there may be something going wrong with HDMI, it does not necessarily mean that the cord is at fault. For instance, it is possible that the ports themselves are defective in some way. This could have occurred if someone, for example, stepped hard on the HDMI cable while it was plugged into a device, causing the port to be damaged (as well as possibly the HDMI cable as well). This could mean that the HDMI cable could also be broken, so before you deduce that the HDMI cable is the only problem, also try another HDMI cable to see if the ports are busted as well.

If this is what is causing your Apple TV to flicker, getting it fixed will be a significantly more problematic process. This is because ports on your Apple TV cannot simply be swapped out of your television, and would need to be professionally replaced. This could be an expensive process if you do not have it covered under a relevant warranty, or if the warranty period has since passed. Even if the Apple TV is out of warranty, you may be able to get it repaired, either by a third-party company or Apple itself, though you will likely need to pay a fee. Getting a new Apple TV could very well be a better investment than having your current Apple TV repaired, however.

All information regarding HDMI cords and HDMI ports also applies to USB cords and USB ports.

One of the apps is having problems with flickering

If the problem is with the app, the solution may be more or less complicated, depending on why it is occurring. If the problem is on the app maker’s end, the only thing you can really do is let them know that the problem is occurring, and then wait until they release an update. You may be able to fix the issue if it is caused by a faulty download. You can possibly fix this by uninstalling and reinstalling the app or by deleting the app’s cache. To do this, open the Settings menu on your Apple TV, go to General, and then select Manage Storage. Here, you can delete the appropriate app, which will also delete the cache.

The Apple TV needs to be unplugged from the power source

Another way for you to potentially fix the issue is if you unplug the power cord from the outlet, wait for 10 seconds, and then plug it back in. Make sure both ends of the power cord are securely plugged in. This may help solve the issue.

Update apps and the Apple TV

To update problematic apps, go to Apps and either select Automatically Update Apps, or check if updates are available for individual apps. For Apple TV, go to System, Software Updates, and then select Update Software. Finally, select Download and Install.

The Apple TV needs to be reset to factory settings

If, even after you have exhausted all these options, your Apple TV is still malfunctioning, the most drastic step to take would be to reset it to factory settings. This step will reset everything about your Apple TV, including your settings and downloaded apps, so make sure you’ve exhausted all reasonable options before you take this step. To reset your Apple TV to factory settings, go to System, then Reset, and finally, select Reset and Update. The Apple TV will be reset to factory settings, and the Apple TV’s firmware will update to the latest version.

Does the problem persist across different Apple TV models?

If you are having trouble with your Apple TV cutting out, you may wonder if switching to a different Apple TV could help. While getting a new Apple TV could fix the issue if your Apple TV is broken in some way, it is not likely to be a problem with your specific Apple TV model. There does not appear to be any one Apple TV model that has this problem more than others, as people have reported the problem with multiple types of Apple TVs.

Does my Apple TV come with a warranty?

If your Apple TV is still experiencing problems with cutting out, you may be wondering whether you can get it repaired or replaced, and if so, for how much. Every new Apple device purchased comes with a warranty, which is limited by both the length and coverage of the warranty. The Apple TV particularly comes with a one-year limited warranty, as well as 90 days of complimentary tech support. The coverage of the warranty accounts only for issues that were the responsibility of Apple. This means that any defect that is detected within the warranty period will make Apple responsible for either repairing or replacing the Apple TV.

What is the difference between an Apple TV and Apple TV Plus?

One point of confusion that has come up with the Apple TV is the difference between this and the Apple TV Plus service. The Apple TV is essentially a regular Smart TV under the Apple brand, while Apple TV Plus is a streaming service that offers original programming funded by Apple. Your Apple TV is able to download the Apple TV Plus app to the storage, though to watch the content on the streaming service, you would need to subscribe to it. It comes with a week-long free trial, and after that, it costs $4.99 per month (significantly cheaper than most streaming services). However, to get the best value, an annual subscription for $49.99 would be the best option price-wise.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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