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Old Nov 8, 2012, 12:55 PM   #1
chrisbru
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Please recommend wireless router/modem combo for Centurylink DSL with Apple TV

Hey all,

I have Centurylink DSL (12Mbps), and I still have problems with 1080p movies with Apple TV movie rentals, home sharing, and Airplay Mirroring from my MacBook Pro. I'm guessing that my current setup isn't helping (Zyxel wifi modem that I lease from Centurylink) and it's probably better to get my own modem anyway and stop paying $6/month.

Can you recommend what I need to set up the "path of least resistance" for streaming and airplay?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:13 PM   #2
CoMoMacUser
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You might also try asking at www.dslreports.com/forum/centurylink
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:14 PM   #3
mic j
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Originally Posted by chrisbru View Post
Hey all,

I have Centurylink DSL (12Mbps), and I still have problems with 1080p movies with Apple TV movie rentals, home sharing, and Airplay Mirroring from my MacBook Pro. I'm guessing that my current setup isn't helping (Zyxel wifi modem that I lease from Centurylink) and it's probably better to get my own modem anyway and stop paying $6/month.

Can you recommend what I need to set up the "path of least resistance" for streaming and airplay?

Thanks!
I use an Airport Express Base Station bridged with my AT&T gateway and it work perfectly. Not sure what protocol your Zyxel modem uses but "n" is really necessary.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:18 PM   #4
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Maybe try using Your Apple Tv with a wired connection over a wireless connection
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:25 PM   #5
chrisbru
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Maybe try using Your Apple Tv with a wired connection over a wireless connection
This isn't an option, due to the jacks in my house and living room setup. Call me crazy, but I'm not willing to rearrange my living room to a poor setup just to make the Apple TV able to use a wired connection.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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This isn't an option, due to the jacks in my house and living room setup. Call me crazy, but I'm not willing to rearrange my living room to a poor setup just to make the Apple TV able to use a wired connection.
Nor should you have to, in most situations. What exact problems are you having and with what: homesharing, airplay? What is your DSL download speed?
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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Nor should you have to, in most situations. What exact problems are you having and with what: homesharing, airplay? What is your DSL download speed?
Homesharing will drop randomly when it's playing videos (I stick to iTunes Match for music and it works perfectly.) Sometimes it won't be able to connect at all.

Airplay has similar problems... Either my MacBook won't recognize that an ATV is available, or it will start playing and have audio issues or just randomly stop working.

The last time I rented a movie on ATV, it played about 40 minutes, stopped, and wouldn't load any further. I tried several times to revisit it before my 24 hours expired, and even tried resetting the ATV and restarting the movie, but to no avail. It was set on 1080p at the time.

Netflix and Youtube work fine, I assume because of the lower quality?

I don't know how to test the ATV, but my MBP connected to the same network just showed 10.4 down via speedtest.net.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mic j View Post
Nor should you have to, in most situations. What exact problems are you having and with what: homesharing, airplay? What is your DSL download speed?

Nobody is forcing anybody to go wired, the suggestion is often offered because it's the most reliable, the less technically complicated, the less troubleshooting/tweaking. But OK, if u can't, u can't.

OP, if you already have prob getting stuff directly from Apple, Mirroring is another layer of difficult you will have to resolve.

Anyhow am sure you will get plenty of advice on how to tweak what you already have.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chrisbru View Post
Homesharing will drop randomly when it's playing videos (I stick to iTunes Match for music and it works perfectly.) Sometimes it won't be able to connect at all.

Airplay has similar problems... Either my MacBook won't recognize that an ATV is available, or it will start playing and have audio issues or just randomly stop working.

The last time I rented a movie on ATV, it played about 40 minutes, stopped, and wouldn't load any further. I tried several times to revisit it before my 24 hours expired, and even tried resetting the ATV and restarting the movie, but to no avail. It was set on 1080p at the time.

Netflix and Youtube work fine, I assume because of the lower quality?

I don't know how to test the ATV, but my MBP connected to the same network just showed 10.4 down via speedtest.net.
Download speed is fine, so that should not be the source of the rental problem. It does sound local. What protocol (n or g) and what is your transmit rate (press alt and click on the wifi symbol on the bar at the top of your MBP)?
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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Download speed is fine, so that should not be the source of the rental problem. It does sound local. What protocol (n or g) and what is your transmit rate (press alt and click on the wifi symbol on the bar at the top of your MBP)?
It shows 802.11g, Transmit rate is 54.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 02:08 PM   #11
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It shows 802.11g, Transmit rate is 54.
I will speculate that using g is the source the connection problem. I really think n is needed for fluid video transfer over wifi. So you're back to your original question of which router to buy. And I'm sure that there will be lots of opinions on which is best.

As a side note, as I noted we have a "g" gateway and "g/n" AEBS. Wifi works fine. We noticed the other day my wife kept getting wifi drop outs when using her iPad and it had really gotten slow in loading stuff. She finally discovered that she had accidentally connected to the AT&T "g" router instead of the AEBS "n" router. As soon as she switched to the AEBS the dropouts disappeared and have not reoccured.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrbobb View Post
Nobody is forcing anybody to go wired, the suggestion is often offered because it's the most reliable, the less technically complicated, the less troubleshooting/tweaking. But OK, if u can't, u can't.

OP, if you already have prob getting stuff directly from Apple, Mirroring is another layer of difficult you will have to resolve.

Anyhow am sure you will get plenty of advice on how to tweak what you already have.
Sorry, didn't mean for it to be taken that way. Just trying to reassure the OP that wifi should be sufficient in most cases.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 02:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mic j View Post
I will speculate that using g is the source the connection problem. I really think n is needed for fluid video transfer over wifi. So you're back to your original question of which router to buy. And I'm sure that there will be lots of opinions on which is best.

As a side note, as I noted we have a "g" gateway and "g/n" AEBS. Wifi works fine. We noticed the other day my wife kept getting wifi drop outs when using her iPad and it had really gotten slow in loading stuff. She finally discovered that she had accidentally connected to the AT&T "g" router instead of the AEBS "n" router. As soon as she switched to the AEBS the dropouts disappeared and have not reoccured.
I don't know what the difference between g and n is, but it sounds like the right place to start.

Is it possible to get a modem/wifi router combo that supports "n" for DSL? I'm not really sure what to look for!

Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.

----------

Does this look like what I need?

http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Wire...s=dsl+n+router

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrbobb View Post
Nobody is forcing anybody to go wired, the suggestion is often offered because it's the most reliable, the less technically complicated, the less troubleshooting/tweaking. But OK, if u can't, u can't.

OP, if you already have prob getting stuff directly from Apple, Mirroring is another layer of difficult you will have to resolve.

Anyhow am sure you will get plenty of advice on how to tweak what you already have.
No worries, I didn't take it the wrong way—wired is a great suggestion, just not feasible without adding a phone jack behind my TV or running a wire through my living room (not a good idea with dogs!)
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 02:28 PM   #13
mic j
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Originally Posted by chrisbru View Post
I don't know what the difference between g and n is, but it sounds like the right place to start.

Is it possible to get a modem/wifi router combo that supports "n" for DSL? I'm not really sure what to look for!

Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.

----------

Does this look like what I need?

http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Wire...s=dsl+n+router

----------

To put it simply, n will transmit more data than g at a faster rate but over shorter distances.

I'm hoping others will help with modem-router equipment recommendations as my hands on experience is limited with different brands/capabilities. You also have the option of keeping your current modem and just buying a router to attach to it.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 03:40 PM   #14
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To put it simply, n will transmit more data than g at a faster rate but over shorter distances.

I'm hoping others will help with modem-router equipment recommendations as my hands on experience is limited with different brands/capabilities. You also have the option of keeping your current modem and just buying a router to attach to it.
Got it—I'd prefer to buy a new combo router/modem so I can stop paying the $6/month to Centurylink for the "lease" of the modem
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 03:59 PM   #15
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Got it—I'd prefer to buy a new combo router/modem so I can stop paying the $6/month to Centurylink for the "lease" of the modem


I would get a dedicated modem with a separate WIFI 802.11N router. To be specific, a router with MIMO simultaneous dual band and 4 external antennas.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 05:35 PM   #16
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I would get a dedicated modem with a separate WIFI 802.11N router. To be specific, a router with MIMO simultaneous dual band and 4 external antennas.
How is the beneficial over the one I posted? I'm just curious because I'd prefer not to spend much money on it, and every device is less than 50 feet from the modem/router with only 1-2 devices in use at a time.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 05:53 PM   #17
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How is the beneficial over the one I posted? I'm just curious because I'd prefer not to spend much money on it, and every device is less than 50 feet from the modem/router with only 1-2 devices in use at a time.


If you have a router with 4 external antennas, you will have two for transmitting and two receiving. MIMO (multiple in multiple out) and the 4 antennas work together and make your WIFI super fast. Dual band simultaneous MIMO allows you to run a 5ghz and 2.5 ghz at the same time. Most routers with WIFI built in are slow and dont have the good hardware inside to give you a fast connection. Picture a freeway with one lane. Traffic is going in both directions on that one lane road. There will be some collisions that will cause back-ups down the line.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 06:07 PM   #18
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If you have a router with 4 external antennas, you will have two for transmitting and two receiving. MIMO (multiple in multiple out) and the 4 antennas work together and make your WIFI super fast. Dual band simultaneous MIMO allows you to run a 5ghz and 2.5 ghz at the same time. Most routers with WIFI built in are slow and dont have the good hardware inside to give you a fast connection. Picture a freeway with one lane. Traffic is going in both directions on that one lane road. There will be some collisions that will cause back-ups down the line.
Great analogy, thank you... That helps a lot. I'll look into what I can do for my setup.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 06:45 PM   #19
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Just want to mention that the AEBS uses MIMO.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 05:06 PM   #20
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[/COLOR]Does this look like what I need?

http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Wire...s=dsl+n+router[COLOR="#808080"]

Update: I picked up this modem/router for pretty cheap to hold me over until I can figure out what I want for a more permanent setup. I'm currently getting 10Mbps download, and showing 802.11n with a transmit rate of 145. It seems to have fixed most of the problem with mirroring from my computer. I will test out the movies in 1080p sometime in the next few days.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 05:09 PM   #21
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Update: I picked up this modem/router for pretty cheap to hold me over until I can figure out what I want for a more permanent setup. I'm currently getting 10Mbps download, and showing 802.11n with a transmit rate of 145. It seems to have fixed most of the problem with mirroring from my computer. I will test out the movies in 1080p sometime in the next few days.

Thanks for the help everyone!
With a 145 transmit rate, you may be more than satisfied with what you have...at least until the next big thing comes out and we all have to upgrade our systems to handle that.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 09:41 PM   #22
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My setup

I just moved away from an apartment with CenturyLink DSL (5 down, 768 up). I have the Zyxel modem, with the WiFi turned off, connected to an airport extreme with my Apple TV 3.

I've also had issues with 1080p movies, but only those. Everything else has worked fine, so I assume it has something to do with the DSL, rather than anything in my home.

The speed of the wireless connection in your home isn't the bottleneck, it's your internet service. Ask a buddy if you can borrow a dedicated router and use that as your home wireless connection to see if it helps.

I had a terrible time with the WiFi on the Zyxel modem, and ended up turning DHCP off and serving everything through the airport extreme (router). Made things far easier.

Let me know if you have any questions, because it's been working okay for me for the past few months.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 09:08 AM   #23
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I just moved away from an apartment with CenturyLink DSL (5 down, 768 up). I have the Zyxel modem, with the WiFi turned off, connected to an airport extreme with my Apple TV 3.

I've also had issues with 1080p movies, but only those. Everything else has worked fine, so I assume it has something to do with the DSL, rather than anything in my home.

The speed of the wireless connection in your home isn't the bottleneck, it's your internet service. Ask a buddy if you can borrow a dedicated router and use that as your home wireless connection to see if it helps.

I had a terrible time with the WiFi on the Zyxel modem, and ended up turning DHCP off and serving everything through the airport extreme (router). Made things far easier.

Let me know if you have any questions, because it's been working okay for me for the past few months.
Download of 10.4Mbps works fine for iTunes 1080p movie download. And since the OP mentioned having issues with Homesharing and Airplay Mirroring, and the router is not "n" the issue appears to be a local problem, IMHO.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 04:03 PM   #24
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Wireless will always have issues. interference is the killer of WIFI. You can have the best wireless connection in the world, but if you have some interference around your router it will be fragmented. That router/modem will work, but it will not provide enough throughput for your wireless. Trust me when I say this. YOu would be better off getting a dedicated modem and wireless router separate from one another. Have you ever tested your internet connection? I mean have you ran a speed test on it? Go to speedtest.net and see what you get. Every, and I do mean every ISP has some form of network management system to throttle high data users during peak times so all their customers can have good connections. I bet the problems is that your ISP is throttling your connection. Even if you get a good score at speedtest.net, your ISP might be slowing your connection.

----------

Get this router. A budy of mine has this router and it is a screamer. I mean litteraly. It is the fastest wireless router that I have seen. Just make sure you get the Version 1 of this router. Version 2 is slower than the Version1. Read the review in the link that I provided and you can learn. The best thing about this router is that it has been out for a few years. You should be able to pick one up for really cheap.


http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wirel...r3700-reviewed
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:16 AM   #25
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Okay...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mic j View Post
Download of 10.4Mbps works fine for iTunes 1080p movie download. And since the OP mentioned having issues with Homesharing and Airplay Mirroring, and the router is not "n" the issue appears to be a local problem, IMHO.
5mb should be okay for streaming 480p YouTube videos too, but they take almost a minute before I can start watching and I often have to wait until they're fully downloaded to watch them.

But yes, his problem seems local.
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