Soft picture compared to Android "Live Channels" app

Have been using Channels app on my AppleTV for years. Sony 950G 65" TV. Just messing around and I thought I'd try the native Android "Live Channels" TV app (picking up live TV channels via the Android HDHomeRun app) and it was a massive jump in picture quality. So much sharper – was very noticeable especially across the HD channels.

Apple TV – 4K SDR @ 50Hz (AU) Channels App vs same picture settings on the native Android Live Channels app. Both were picking up channels via HDHomeRun.

Just wondering why there would be such a difference in quality? I love the ease of the AppleTV set-up and will keep using it, but it was hard going back to a softer picture now I know it can look so much better...

Actually, I wonder if the native Android app is utilising the Sony upscaling (highly praised) from 1080 to 4K as opposed to the AppleTV outputting a direct 4K signal hence the TV doesn’t apply any processing / upscaling to it?

Can you try the Channels android app to compare?

That’s what I was originally going to look at but it was another $35 while the Live Channels app was free. I’d pay if I was going to use it but prefer the Apple TV experience so will keep using Channels there.

Thanks. Will test against tonight and let you know.

For reference, I tried to capture the difference last night. Top is ATV4K and bottom is native (Android Live Channels app). It doesn't look like much, but from a normal distance the text was super crisp on the native app, while blurry on the ATV.

I'll try and capture some comparisons again tonight between the same app (Channels) on native (Android) and ATV.

I have a Sony XBR-930E and use Channels DVR on it with the built-in Android TV app and also on my Apple TV 4K.

If you haven’t checked your tv settings, they are independent of each other. You will have a different picture setting for the Apple TV and a different setting for the built-in apps. Try writing down the exact settings you have when viewing it through Android TV and copy those over to the input for your Apple TV. My picture looks identical to me except for the difference in the UI between the two platforms.

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Thanks, and yes, I'm aware of that - all settings are exactly the same between the 2 inputs (native and ATV) – I have my own custom presets I use. After some more research it seems it's likely due to the Channels app de-interlacing algorithm. That and perhaps Sony's upscaling. The native live TV app still seems sharper to me. See the "TOASTIE" text above. So I'm guessing it's due to the following:

  1. AppleTV 4K to Sony (no upscaling processing as TV is already receiving a 4K signal).
  2. Sony native Android TV app receiving 1080 signal from HDHomeRun and therefore TV is applying its own upscaling processing.
  3. Channels app applying its own de-interlacing algorithm.

Regardless, I'm still using Channels app on ATV as it offers best convenience and interface – was just surprised at the extra sharpness when trying out the native Android TV app which I'd never used.

I’ll take some pictures of mine this evening and post the results. I’ve not really paid close attention if there is a difference but I’m curious now.