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Amazon Fire Stick doesn't show picture on specific episodes?

 
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:02 pm    Post subject: Amazon Fire Stick doesn't show picture on specific episodes? Reply with quote


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Here's a weird problem:

Bought an Amazon Fire Stick a couple of weeks ago and there are certain Netflix episodes that only show a black screen. Sound works and the Netflix overlay/interface continues to work. You can pause/play/etc and everything works, there's just a black picture while playing certain episodes. The problem is completely repeatible.

This is the regular 1080p stick, not the 4K one (on Amazon.ca here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0791Z1G6W/ or Amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/2NKXcGG)

An example problem episode is Brooklyn 99, season 6, episode 10: https://www.netflix.com/watch/81085951
Episodes immediately before and after play fine with a picture.

First thing I figured was that the problem episodes maybe had some sort of incorrect HDCP flags and that would affect absolutely everyone. Problem is that that doesn't seem to be the case as I don't see any complaints about this episode. About as close as I can get to people having similar issues are these 2 threads in the Amazon digital and device forums:

https://www.amazonforum.com/s/feed/0D54P000071n1ZFSAY
https://www.amazonforum.com/s/feed/0D54P00006zSwtjSAC

Things I tried:

- Tried the stick on 6 different 1080p HDMI displays. Same black screen on all.
- I changed the stick display settings to force 1080p/60 instead of 'auto' in case the episode resolution was mis-flagged. Same black screen.
- Made sure the stick software was completely up to date. It was. It auto-updates.
- Tried a factory reset on the stick. Same black screen.
- The problem Netflix episodes play fine on other devices in the house (iPhones, iPads, PCs, MACs, PS3, PS4) so it's not an issue with our Netflix account.
- Called Amazon, they have no idea, but they replaced the brand new stick with another even though I don't see how this can be an issue with our specific stick. The replacement arrived today. Same black screen on the new stick.
- Took the problem stick to a friend's house and same black screen on their TV.
- Our friend has a Fire Stick too (same model but maybe 6 months older than ours) and when they try playing the problem episode through their Netflix account on their stick it PLAYS FINE!

Weird as I don't get how it can be episode specific and be our hardware. That to me is something about the content, but everyone else seems to not have issues with the content including us on different hardware! Any thoughts?

Kal

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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet if you open both sticks there would be a hardware difference.
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe! (I assume you mean the my friend's unit that works and mine that doesn't). I'm trying to figure out what or how hardware differences between the two could be episode specific?

One test I haven't done is using my stick and playing through his Netflix account (and vice versa). I don't think it would make a difference given that we can play this problem episode on other devices around the house but who knows.

Kal

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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Maybe! (I assume you mean the my friend's unit that works and mine that doesn't). I'm trying to figure out what or how hardware differences between the two could be episode specific?

One test I haven't done is using my stick and playing through his Netflix account (and vice versa). I don't think it would make a difference given that we can play this problem episode on other devices around the house but who knows.

Kal


Yep or maybe a different firmware?

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe but I doubt it. It's the same version of stick and all versions of the Amazon Fire TV will download and install software updates automatically and because the whole point of it is to be connected to the internet to stream, it's constantly updating. You'd have to block at the router level (or similar) or root the stick if you want to turn this off. Neither of us are doing development work on these things and/or wanting to stick to a specific OS.

Kal

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had my friend log into my Netflix account at his house on his FireStick and it still played fine for him, so it's nothing to do with our Netflix account.
I guess really has to be something about these two new FireSticks we bought. Weird.

I also bought a Roku (their cheapest 1080p model) which is similar in concept to the FireStick and it works perfecty with the problem episode. Not surprising given that every other device in the house that can stream Netflix works fine.

Kal

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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Had my friend log into my Netflix account at his house on his FireStick and it still played fine for him, so it's nothing to do with our Netflix account.
I guess really has to be something about these two new FireSticks we bought. Weird.

I also bought a Roku (their cheapest 1080p model) which is similar in concept to the FireStick and it works perfecty with the problem episode. Not surprising given that every other device in the house that can stream Netflix works fine.

Kal


Yep, great trouble shooting there! Bad somthinorother-thingamagig in that Fire Stick

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spent almost 2 hours with Amazon support yesterday.

They thought it was something to do with the fact that I have both Amazon.com and Amazon.ca accounts (the accounts are link/locked together with the same username/password - change your email in one and it changes the other). When the stick was first set up they say it was set up with US settings and content instead of Canadian even though it was bought from Amazon.ca and region/language was set to Canada.

So they had me port our Kindles from Amazon.com to Amazon.ca because (supposedly) that a Kindle is the default device that was causing the stick to register as a US stick. Once those were ported over, I had to unregister the stick from my account, re-add it, and do software updates about 5 times for it to reload all the background data (not just the firmware/OS) that supposedly it uses. A bit odd, as it doesn't update them all at once - you keep doing "check for updates" and it would keep finding updates to download and install 4-5 times.

But all that still didn't change anything. They got Netflix on the phone and they were unable to figure it out either.

On a whim bought the 4K Amazon Fire Stick last night because it uses a completely different OS than the non-4K version. It's $20 more. It arrived this morning. Plugged it in, registered it to my account, installed Netflix, and it works fine with the problem eposides.

I hate technology.

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Spent almost 2 hours with Amazon support yesterday...
.
I hate technology.


Kal


Me too...

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jask



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PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you using an ethernet adapter, or is this wireless?
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All testing was done on wifi.

Kal

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WTS



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Calgary


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Amazon Fire Stick doesn't show picture on specific episo Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Here's a weird problem:

Bought an Amazon Fire Stick a couple of weeks ago and there are certain Netflix episodes that only show a black screen. Sound works and the Netflix overlay/interface continues to work. You can pause/play/etc and everything works, there's just a black picture while playing certain episodes. The problem is completely repeatible.

This is the regular 1080p stick, not the 4K one (on Amazon.ca here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0791Z1G6W/ or Amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/2NKXcGG)

An example problem episode is Brooklyn 99, season 6, episode 10: https://www.netflix.com/watch/81085951
Episodes immediately before and after play fine with a picture.

First thing I figured was that the problem episodes maybe had some sort of incorrect HDCP flags and that would affect absolutely everyone. Problem is that that doesn't seem to be the case as I don't see any complaints about this episode. About as close as I can get to people having similar issues are these 2 threads in the Amazon digital and device forums:

https://www.amazonforum.com/s/feed/0D54P000071n1ZFSAY
https://www.amazonforum.com/s/feed/0D54P00006zSwtjSAC

Things I tried:

- Tried the stick on 6 different 1080p HDMI displays. Same black screen on all.
- I changed the stick display settings to force 1080p/60 instead of 'auto' in case the episode resolution was mis-flagged. Same black screen.
- Made sure the stick software was completely up to date. It was. It auto-updates.
- Tried a factory reset on the stick. Same black screen.
- The problem Netflix episodes play fine on other devices in the house (iPhones, iPads, PCs, MACs, PS3, PS4) so it's not an issue with our Netflix account.
- Called Amazon, they have no idea, but they replaced the brand new stick with another even though I don't see how this can be an issue with our specific stick. The replacement arrived today. Same black screen on the new stick.
- Took the problem stick to a friend's house and same black screen on their TV.
- Our friend has a Fire Stick too (same model but maybe 6 months older than ours) and when they try playing the problem episode through their Netflix account on their stick it PLAYS FINE!

Weird as I don't get how it can be episode specific and be our hardware. That to me is something about the content, but everyone else seems to not have issues with the content including us on different hardware! Any thoughts?

Kal


Kal, I'm curious why you didn't go with the ATV 4K.

I see Crave is saying that ATV 4k is the only device that will get 1080P now, at least during this pandemic time.

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Amazon Fire Stick doesn't show picture on specific episo Reply with quote

WTS wrote:
Kal, I'm curious why you didn't go with the ATV 4K.

ATV 4K is the Apple TV 4K?

I have no interest in the additional processing power, apps, or games, nor did I want to pay 5x the cost for what we wanted to do.

Kal

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WTS



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Calgary


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Amazon Fire Stick doesn't show picture on specific episo Reply with quote

kal wrote:
WTS wrote:
Kal, I'm curious why you didn't go with the ATV 4K.

ATV 4K is the Apple TV 4K?

I have no interest in the additional processing power, apps, or games, nor did I want to pay 5x the cost for what we wanted to do.

Kal


Yes it's the Apple TV 4K, okay just wondering if you had tested them both and like the Firestick.

Another question, I saw a picture of what looks like your back room where you have an automatic HDMI switcher mounted. Is that a decent unit, what brand/model number is that? I might need something like that. So does it select the active input or is there one input that's the default until the other input becomes active.

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Amazon Fire Stick doesn't show picture on specific episo Reply with quote

WTS wrote:
Another question, I saw a picture of what looks like your back room where you have an automatic HDMI switcher mounted.

Probably this here?: http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=366247#366247

Quote:
Is that a decent unit, what brand/model number is that? I might need something like that. So does it select the active input or is there one input that's the default until the other input becomes active.


From the link above:

Quote:
"Both source signals then go to a Monoprice 8462 HDMI switcher. This switcher is "intelligent" in that it always switches to the last source that outputs a signal. This means that I don't need to do any switching at all to switch between PS3 and HD-PVR during normal use. The HD-PVR always on and always outputs a signal so it's always the active signal sent to the projector. If we want to watch a movie or play a game, we turn on the PS3 and the switcher automatically switches over. Once done, the PS3 is turned off and the switcher switches back to the HD-PVR automatically. I like that. Makes it bulletproof for anyone to use."


Keep in mind that I bought this stuff in late 2012. I doubt they're still selling that exact model 8+ years later but there are probably others they sell today with similar specs/features. Haven't used it in years as we haven't used satellite TV in years. Today the HT only had a PS4 for everything (Blu-ray and streaming services).

Kal

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WTS



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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Amazon Fire Stick doesn't show picture on specific episo Reply with quote

kal wrote:
WTS wrote:
Another question, I saw a picture of what looks like your back room where you have an automatic HDMI switcher mounted.

Probably this here?: http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=366247#366247

Quote:
Is that a decent unit, what brand/model number is that? I might need something like that. So does it select the active input or is there one input that's the default until the other input becomes active.


From the link above:

Quote:
"Both source signals then go to a Monoprice 8462 HDMI switcher. This switcher is "intelligent" in that it always switches to the last source that outputs a signal. This means that I don't need to do any switching at all to switch between PS3 and HD-PVR during normal use. The HD-PVR always on and always outputs a signal so it's always the active signal sent to the projector. If we want to watch a movie or play a game, we turn on the PS3 and the switcher automatically switches over. Once done, the PS3 is turned off and the switcher switches back to the HD-PVR automatically. I like that. Makes it bulletproof for anyone to use."


Keep in mind that I bought this stuff in late 2012. I doubt they're still selling that exact model 8+ years later but there are probably others they sell today with similar specs/features. Haven't used it in years as we haven't used satellite TV in years. Today the HT only had a PS4 for everything (Blu-ray and streaming services).

Kal


Yes I took that into consideration that you probably bought it years ago. I have found a few boxes(Monoprice-Amazon) that say theirs work as they are supposed to but lots of reviews on all of the products I've found say 50-50 chance that they work correctly.

Thus it's always better to ask someone who has want you want and if what they bought actually works correctly.

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