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Old Oct 25, 2012, 03:57 PM   #1
Narial Taster
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Apple TV 3 + AirPort Extreme 5G + 2012 MBA = Laggy AirPlay mirroring

I have a 2012 MacBook Air, Apple TV (3rd generation), and AirPort Extreme (5th generation) and hooked them up to my HDTV to watch videos using AirPlay Mirroring. Standard Definition videos and iTunes HD content run perfectly well but 720p HD mkv files stutter/lag. The choppiness isn't so bad as to make them unwatchable but the videos don't run fluidly and once you notice it you can't ignore it! The problem is most apparent during long pans shots and fast action sequences.

My laptop connects to the router at 300 Mbit/s and I wired the Apple TV to the router as that seems to be the commonly prescribed fix. However, this didn't help at all. Before I wired my Apple TV to the router it was connecting at 65 Mbit/s, which surprisingly seems to be the fastest speed at which the two can connect.

I am very disappointed, especially as I have the latest hardware and don't see why AirPlay Mirroring isn't working as it's supposed to. I bought the Apple TV and the AirPort Extreme pretty much solely for mirroring stuff off my Mac. Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 05:03 PM   #2
fridgeymonster3
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It could just be the conversion from 24 fps to 30 fps. HD content shot natively at 24 fps can have a noticeable stutter on pan shots when converted to 30 fps. There isn't a solution to the problem because the Apple TV 3 doesn't support 24 fps, just 30 fps.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 09:18 PM   #3
zhenya
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I would try an app like Beamer designed exclusively for this purpose. AirPlay mirroring just isn't well suited to smooth video streaming.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 09:42 PM   #4
anush3
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did you try all wired....macbook to router and apple tv to router both...try this so that to rule out wifi interference.
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Old Oct 27, 2012, 01:05 PM   #5
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You're not really meant to stream movies via the AirPlay mirroring function, but rather through iTunes itself. Remuxing your content from MKV to M4V files would be the best way to accomplish this. This is a fairly simplistic analogy, but what you're currently doing is roughly equivalent to watching a movie and trying to describe it in real time to someone sitting next you. However good you are at describing it to the other person, there's always going to be a delay. Obviously with a computer the delay is lessened, but it's an unnecessary extra link in the chain.

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Old Oct 31, 2012, 02:46 PM   #6
Narial Taster
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Originally Posted by zhenya View Post
I would try an app like Beamer designed exclusively for this purpose. AirPlay mirroring just isn't well suited to smooth video streaming.
Thanks a ton for that recommendation! Beamer is exactly what I was looking for and works beautifully so far. I can now use my Apple TV the way that I originally intended to.

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Originally Posted by anush3 View Post
did you try all wired....macbook to router and apple tv to router both...try this so that to rule out wifi interference.
I've wired the Apple TV to the router as they happen to be next to each other anyway but connecting the computer to the router kind of defeats the purpose of getting an Apple TV as it is meant to enable you to cut the cord and go mobile without worrying about running cables all over the house. Also, I have a MacBook Air and so wiring it to the router would create a hassle of its own!
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 03:16 PM   #7
Menneisyys2
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Originally Posted by fridgeymonster3 View Post
It could just be the conversion from 24 fps to 30 fps. HD content shot natively at 24 fps can have a noticeable stutter on pan shots when converted to 30 fps. There isn't a solution to the problem because the Apple TV 3 doesn't support 24 fps, just 30 fps.
Surely not. It's because of MKV that he's experiencing stuttering. Which is understandable, as the ATV can only stream natively supported video files as is - that is, mp4 / m4v / mov files only. MKV's need to be played back using brute force - hence the stuttering.

There isn't any other solution to the problem than remuxing to a mp4 / m4v / mov file.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhenya View Post
AirPlay mirroring just isn't well suited to smooth video streaming.
It is if (and only if) you play back natively supported files (see list above). Then, ATV will pre-cache the file itself and won't play back streamed content.
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 03:20 PM   #8
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I would remux the MKV's as M4V's. You can do it without touching the video.
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 09:11 AM   #9
zhenya
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Originally Posted by Menneisyys2 View Post
It is if (and only if) you play back natively supported files (see list above). Then, ATV will pre-cache the file itself and won't play back streamed content.
Are you sure that natively supported files are decoded by the ATV when displayed via AirPlay mirroring from a Mac? It would have to negotiate one stream for the video file, and another stream for the rest of the content displayed on the screen, and somehow keep them in sync. Doesn't sound likely.

Anyhow, using Airplay mirroring to play supported file types on the ATV is pointless - you'd just use home sharing which works flawlessly and doesn't tie up the host computer while doing it. The whole point for people looking at using this as a solution is to get content that they can't otherwise get on their TV's - primarily web content, I'd wager.
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Old Nov 1, 2012, 01:01 PM   #10
Menneisyys2
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Originally Posted by zhenya View Post
Are you sure that natively supported files are decoded by the ATV when displayed via AirPlay mirroring from a Mac? It would have to negotiate one stream for the video file, and another stream for the rest of the content displayed on the screen, and somehow keep them in sync. Doesn't sound likely.
At least when your media player on the Mac is running in full screen, I think it does. (I haven't tested this myself. It's working the way I've outlined with iOS clients - that is, native streams are decoded by the ATV itself, while non-native ones are transferred via standard - and far inferior - screen mirroring.)
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 02:54 PM   #11
JackLeBoul
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Similar Problem

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Originally Posted by Narial Taster View Post
I have a 2012 MacBook Air, Apple TV (3rd generation), and AirPort Extreme (5th generation) and hooked them up to my HDTV to watch videos using AirPlay Mirroring. Standard Definition videos and iTunes HD content run perfectly well but 720p HD mkv files stutter/lag. The choppiness isn't so bad as to make them unwatchable but the videos don't run fluidly and once you notice it you can't ignore it! The problem is most apparent during long pans shots and fast action sequences.

My laptop connects to the router at 300 Mbit/s and I wired the Apple TV to the router as that seems to be the commonly prescribed fix. However, this didn't help at all. Before I wired my Apple TV to the router it was connecting at 65 Mbit/s, which surprisingly seems to be the fastest speed at which the two can connect.

I am very disappointed, especially as I have the latest hardware and don't see why AirPlay Mirroring isn't working as it's supposed to. I bought the Apple TV and the AirPort Extreme pretty much solely for mirroring stuff off my Mac. Any help would be much appreciated!
I have a similar problem.

I noticed a strage behavior with my apple tv.
I took a home video exported from Final Cut Pro X for AppleTV format (1080p).

When I AirPlay mirror the movie it via iTunes, my network upload speed is about 30-40 Mbit/s and the movie plays very fluid. (see pic)

When I AirPlay mirror the same movie but now directly from the computer, my network upload speed is only 9-12 Mbit/s and the movie shutters. (see pic)

On both cases I had 300 Mbit/s transmit speed.

This only happened when I upgraded to 10.8.2. Before my upload speed with Airplay Mirror from the computer was also 30-40 Mbit/s and it played great. I have a feeling that 10.8.2 is buggy and slows down AirPlay Mirroring.

Any thoughts?
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 07:56 PM   #12
matt2053
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It seems many people in this thread don't understand the difference between playing a video via Airplay, and Airplay Mirroring.

If you play a video from iTunes and click the little Airplay icon and stream the video to your Apple TV, you are streaming via Airplay. This method streams the selected video file across your network to your Apple TV.

If you click the Airplay icon in your menu bar and turn on Airplay Mirroring, you are doing something else entirely. This method (Mirroring) is meant for sharing your desktop to Apple TV, for things like presentations, etc.

Playing video via Airplay (not mirroring) is sends only the video file over the network to the TV. Whereas mirroring is effectively recording and streaming video of your desktop, and does not do so at anywhere near a high enough framerate to enjoy a movie!
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 06:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by matt2053 View Post
It seems many people in this thread don't understand the difference between playing a video via Airplay, and Airplay Mirroring.

If you play a video from iTunes and click the little Airplay icon and stream the video to your Apple TV, you are streaming via Airplay. This method streams the selected video file across your network to your Apple TV.

If you click the Airplay icon in your menu bar and turn on Airplay Mirroring, you are doing something else entirely. This method (Mirroring) is meant for sharing your desktop to Apple TV, for things like presentations, etc.

Playing video via Airplay (not mirroring) is sends only the video file over the network to the TV. Whereas mirroring is effectively recording and streaming video of your desktop, and does not do so at anywhere near a high enough framerate to enjoy a movie!
Matt,
We understand the difference very well.
That is not the issue discussed here.

With 10.8.2, Airplay Mirroring upload speed has slowed down!

Before 10.8.2 I had no problem getting 25-40 Mbit/s, after 10.8.2, the maximum upload speed I get is 12 Mbit/s. When I downgraded my MBA to 10.8.1 upload speeds doubled and 1080p movies played fluidly again.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 04:44 AM   #14
JackLeBoul
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10.8.3

Running the 10.8.3 beta and noticed that my laggy Airplay is gone !
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 06:55 AM   #15
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Are you by any chance connecting via 5Ghz ? my Macbook Pro has a bug where it will connect at full 300mbps, then very quickly drop to 9mbps, press alt (i think) and click on the Airport menubar icon, it tells you the transmit rate.

I have to connect via 2.4ghz to get anywhere near a decent speed.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 07:26 AM   #16
mattopotamus
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Originally Posted by zhenya View Post
I would try an app like Beamer designed exclusively for this purpose. AirPlay mirroring just isn't well suited to smooth video streaming.
so glad you posted this. The lag always drove me crazy when trying to watch movies not in itunes using mirroring.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:38 AM   #17
JackLeBoul
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5Ghz

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Are you by any chance connecting via 5Ghz ? my Macbook Pro has a bug where it will connect at full 300mbps, then very quickly drop to 9mbps, press alt (i think) and click on the Airport menubar icon, it tells you the transmit rate.

I have to connect via 2.4ghz to get anywhere near a decent speed.
Yes, connection on 5Ghz works much better.
I noticed that the upload thru-put was more consistent watching 1080p movies.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 08:19 PM   #18
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What about the bit rates?

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Originally Posted by JackLeBoul View Post
Running the 10.8.3 beta and noticed that my laggy Airplay is gone !
Can you measure how fast it is transmitting in 10.8.3 please?
They said that 10.8.3 would have enhanced graphic drivers and focus on airplay , so maybe it is a fix for once?
I have the same annoying stutter, and as much as we can remix, re-encode and use 3rd party programs, it is really annoying when playing web-videos as well...

I never tried mirroring a videoplayback before 10.8.2, so i have never seen this work properly...
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