Apple TV customers began noticing their screens flickering and and flashing last week after Apple released its 4.2 iOS update to the TV set top box. Apple is reportedly working on a fix for the bug, but so far have not announced a release date.
The problem affects only a small number of users, mainly those with older, high-definition sets, AppleInsider reported. The latest update added "streaming Major League Baseball and National Basketball League games, support for AirPlay wireless streaming in third-party applications, and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound output for Netflix Instant Watch streaming movies."
Those with sets manufactured by Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi, Samsung and Toshiba, all reported issues after the update and doesn't discriminate between direct HDMI video connection or HDMI with a DVI adapter. Most of the older sets run on a 1080i resolution, which the new $99 Apple TV doesn't support. The TVs usually accept a 720p input and then convert to 1080i.
Apple said it was aware of the issue but declined to give a date the fix would be released.
It's odd that this problem has been slow to surface. It's even stranger that Apple is surprisingly quiet about it and slow to fix the issue. If Apple intends on becoming a competitor with cable and other Internet giants, it will have to work much harder on its customer service. Dealing with a flickering or flashing screen for a week? The average cable customer would have canceled and switched to satellite by now.