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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:32 AM   #1
Kilamite
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Apple TV 3 - Poor Ethernet Performance

To try and improve streaming performance, I turned off WiFi on my Mac and connected my Mac straight to my Apple TV by ethernet. Works fine, however the streaming performance is just the same as WiFi.

Videos still buffer for the same duration, and worst of all, photos don't load instantly.

Is this just a limitation of streaming? I'd have expected far better performance from being wired versus wireless.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 11:55 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kilamite View Post
To try and improve streaming performance, I turned off WiFi on my Mac and connected my Mac straight to my Apple TV by ethernet. Works fine, however the streaming performance is just the same as WiFi.

Videos still buffer for the same duration, and worst of all, photos don't load instantly.

Is this just a limitation of streaming? I'd have expected far better performance from being wired versus wireless.
When you say "straight to my Apple TV by Ethernet", do you mean with a crossover Ethernet cable? If so, do you have one rated for Gigabit speeds? If not, then you're only getting 100 Mbps, which is slower than a good 802.11n connection. Gigabit Ethernet requires what is effectively a "double crossover" cable, in which both sets of wires are crossed over, as opposed to just the 10/100 set of wires. Hence the need for a Gigabit-rated crossover cable.

Also, are you doing the "Computers" option on the AppleTV, or are you going directly to Movies/TV Shows/Photos/etc? If you're going through Movies/TV Shows/Photos/etc, then it's using your internet connection, which is probably the slow part, rather than streaming directly from the computer.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 12:41 PM   #3
mmomega
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The AppleTV only has a 100Mbps interface, there is no Gigabit.
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Ports and Interfaces
HDMI
Optical audio
10/100BASE-T Ethernet
Built-in IR receiver
Micro-USB (for service and support)
This should not be a problem of the AppleTV streaming as I have some aTV's positioned a good 50' away from my Mac at the end of a LAN cable and they stream actual 1080 BR rips and load photos fine.

I would even try completely shutting down the Mac and aTV, connecting them and then powering them back up and try this again. Sometimes you may experience network hiccups if you disconnect a LAN cable from one source and the connect to another.
Also do you know if you are using a CAT5, 5E or 6 LAN cable?
Is it a "cross-over" cable or just a standard LAN cable? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_cable
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Anonymous Freak View Post
When you say "straight to my Apple TV by Ethernet", do you mean with a crossover Ethernet cable? If so, do you have one rated for Gigabit speeds? If not, then you're only getting 100 Mbps, which is slower than a good 802.11n connection. Gigabit Ethernet requires what is effectively a "double crossover" cable, in which both sets of wires are crossed over, as opposed to just the 10/100 set of wires. Hence the need for a Gigabit-rated crossover cable.
Doesn't matter - the Apple TV only has a 10/100 Ethernet port so Gigabit will provide no benefits.

Edit: mmomega beat me to it
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:05 PM   #5
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Well, nevermind me then! (At least, that part of my post.)
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:58 PM   #6
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When you say "straight to my Apple TV by Ethernet", do you mean with a crossover Ethernet cable? If so, do you have one rated for Gigabit speeds? If not, then you're only getting 100 Mbps, which is slower than a good 802.11n connection.
Yes 100 mbps is slower than a good wifi connection but is it better than the Apple TV wifi connection? I've never had my Apple TV connect at anything faster than 65mbps over wifi even though my laptop connects to the same network at 450 mbps. So, in short, if your Apple TV is like mine plugging it into the ethernet port should improve the connection speed.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 11:22 PM   #7
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The Apple TV's max wifi speed is 150mbps on wireless N 2.4Ghz or 300 Mbps on 5Ghz (Dual Band Routers only). If you aren't getting any better than 65mbps you may want to check your router settings. A lot of new routers will limit connection speed based upon the band you use. Also it will be limited if your router is far away or the connection goes through multiple walls.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JohnDoe98 View Post
Yes 100 mbps is slower than a good wifi connection but is it better than the Apple TV wifi connection? I've never had my Apple TV connect at anything faster than 65mbps over wifi even though my laptop connects to the same network at 450 mbps. So, in short, if your Apple TV is like mine plugging it into the ethernet port should improve the connection speed.
Where do you see the 65mbps speed? I have an app called Speedy Net to test my macs and iPhone/iPad.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 11:02 AM   #9
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Not sure on the type of cable, but even if it was just going 100mbps, that's say 8MB/s in real world scenario.

I have some 1080p files, that have a data rate of ~5MB/s. When I stream them, it buffers for about 5-6 seconds, and then after playing for 10 secs, it has to buffer again.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 11:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by d21mike View Post
Where do you see the 65mbps speed? I have an app called Speedy Net to test my macs and iPhone/iPad.
Airport utility.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyromonkey83 View Post
The Apple TV's max wifi speed is 150mbps on wireless N 2.4Ghz or 300 Mbps on 5Ghz (Dual Band Routers only). If you aren't getting any better than 65mbps you may want to check your router settings. A lot of new routers will limit connection speed based upon the band you use. Also it will be limited if your router is far away or the connection goes through multiple walls.
Somehow I doubt it is the router settings, since I'm getting full speed to the laptop even when it is placed exactly where the Apple TV is. The theoretical maximum of wireless N on 2.4ghz is 150mbps and 300mbps on 5ghz, for dual band, but do you have any evidence that the Apple TV can connect that fast in the real world? Can you show me a pict of your Apple TV connected at 150mbps?
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 02:04 PM   #11
mic j
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Originally Posted by Pyromonkey83 View Post
The Apple TV's max wifi speed is 150Mbps on wireless N 2.4Ghz or 300 Mbps on 5Ghz (Dual Band Routers only). If you aren't getting any better than 65mbps you may want to check your router settings. A lot of new routers will limit connection speed based upon the band you use. Also it will be limited if your router is far away or the connection goes through multiple walls.
Interesting, I just checked my aTV3 through the Airport Utility and it also says 65Mb/s (n but does not say whether it is using the 2.4 or 5MHz band). Coincidence or does the aTV3 actually have that as a limit. The aTV is just over in the next room from the AEBS, not more than 20-30ft away.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 06:24 PM   #12
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Interesting, I just checked my aTV3 through the Airport Utility and it also says 65Mb/s (n but does not say whether it is using the 2.4 or 5MHz band). Coincidence or does the aTV3 actually have that as a limit. The aTV is just over in the next room from the AEBS, not more than 20-30ft away.
I just rechecked my airport settings and have my ATV connected at 150 Mbps. My second ATV that you see in the picture, however, is only connected at 65 mbps, but as it is further away from my router, I needed to connect it through the 2.4ghz band.

It is possible that the max speed for 2.4 Ghz is 65 mbps and the max for 5Ghz is 150mbps.

Here is a screenie!

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Old Jan 2, 2013, 11:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pyromonkey83 View Post
I
It is possible that the max speed for 2.4 Ghz is 65 mbps and the max for 5Ghz is 150mbps.

Here is a screenie!
Now I'm jealous In your case the wifi is faster than the ethernet cable is. I wonder what the problem is, maybe too much interference from neighbors, dunno. I'm also on the 5ghz band but only get 65mbps.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 11:25 AM   #14
mic j
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Originally Posted by Pyromonkey83 View Post
I just rechecked my airport settings and have my ATV connected at 150 Mbps. My second ATV that you see in the picture, however, is only connected at 65 mbps, but as it is further away from my router, I needed to connect it through the 2.4ghz band.

It is possible that the max speed for 2.4 Ghz is 65 mbps and the max for 5Ghz is 150mbps.

Here is a screenie!

Image
Sounds like a plausible explanation. Thanks.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 01:17 PM   #15
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Sounds like a plausible explanation. Thanks.
Except mine is running on the 5Ghz band and also capping at 65 Mb/s even tho my macbook air is hitting 300 Mb/s on the same network/distance. Any idea how to break this 65 Mb/s cap?
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 09:51 PM   #16
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Except mine is running on the 5Ghz band and also capping at 65 Mb/s even tho my macbook air is hitting 300 Mb/s on the same network/distance. Any idea how to break this 65 Mb/s cap?
Again, I would ask how far away your router is or how many walls it goes through? My router is literally 15 feet away from the ATV3 that gets this signal. Your MacBook Air may get a fine connection, but the ATV antennae are smaller and may not receive as high a signal. Wifi is all about SOS (strength of signal).
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 01:56 PM   #17
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Again, I would ask how far away your router is or how many walls it goes through? My router is literally 15 feet away from the ATV3 that gets this signal. Your MacBook Air may get a fine connection, but the ATV antennae are smaller and may not receive as high a signal. Wifi is all about SOS (strength of signal).
Same room, less than 8 feet away from the router....i get excellent signal with a steady 65Mb/s cap. I was reading about using wide channels on the Airport Extreme to maybe fix this problem, but I don't know how to enable that setting on the newest airport software, and the older one is not compatible with ML.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 04:03 PM   #18
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Same room, less than 8 feet away from the router....i get excellent signal with a steady 65Mb/s cap. I was reading about using wide channels on the Airport Extreme to maybe fix this problem, but I don't know how to enable that setting on the newest airport software, and the older one is not compatible with ML.
Airport Utility 5.6.1 will work on ML it just takes a tiny bit of work and by work I mean downloading an Automator Workflow and AU 5.6.1.

1. Go here to get Airport Utility 5.6.1 from Apple.

2. Go here and grab the workflow. This only extracts the Airport Utility app from the dmg file.

3. Drag the Airport Utility 5.6.1 dmg and drop it onto the Utility Extractor.

4. Wait a few seconds for the extractor to work and you will have the AU app.
I named mine "Older Airport Utility" since it has the same icon as the newer version and dropped it into the Utilities folder.

It will ask you to update the app each time you open it to version 6.1, just ignore that prompt and you can use the older version in ML.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 07:28 PM   #19
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Are you having issues with streaming from the Internet or your Mac computer? I think it is your local computer.

If the Internet, what is your Internet bandwidth?

Can you post your ping times and do a trace route? Maybe you are having issues on your local network that may show up in the pings and trace routes.

Personally, I have not had any issues with streaming files from my local network nor the Internet to my ATV. I've even tried all 4 of them streaming the same file, though not all at the same exact starting time since they are across three floors and 4 different rooms.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 07:36 PM   #20
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hi. i had this issue last night when my sister was trying to airplay(mirroring) with her ipad n the ATV3 n her 1080p tv. buffering issues, to the extent it looked extremely bad.

however on my ATV2 n my 720p tv(old), it(mirroring) worked perfectly.
i was extremely puzzled. when i tried to use airplay(mirroring)with my mac air+her atv3, it gave some weird settings to my mac air.

however....
(because it was mirroring, it didnt have to be 1080p, quality didnt really matter)

when i switched the atv3 to 720p, everything was good..
i guess i'd need a faster network (in future) to support 1080p


update:
i just re-read ur post. what do u mean by streaming? Home sharing feature?
Then it should be instantaneous, i dont have that sort of issue.

Last edited by wharzhee; Jan 6, 2013 at 07:55 PM.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 12:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Hammie View Post
Are you having issues with streaming from the Internet or your Mac computer? I think it is your local computer.

If the Internet, what is your Internet bandwidth?

Can you post your ping times and do a trace route? Maybe you are having issues on your local network that may show up in the pings and trace routes.

Personally, I have not had any issues with streaming files from my local network nor the Internet to my ATV. I've even tried all 4 of them streaming the same file, though not all at the same exact starting time since they are across three floors and 4 different rooms.
Streaming from my Mac. If I streamed a 1080p file, it would buffer for a while, play for maybe 10 secs before buffering again.

Pinging my Apple TV I get between 6-10ms. My local network is fine because I often access data stored on my raspberry pi, and transfer rates are fine. I should mention that my raspberry pi has been off for a while, and the only two devices on my network are my Apple TV and my laptop during this troubleshooting.

Is there a way to see the data transfer rate between my Mac and Apple TV?
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 11:06 AM   #22
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Hi

As you say about 1080p I assume this is an ATV3? What is your Mac? Have to say I can only assume that for some reason the Mac can't serve the file well enough. I say this as I have a 2006 iMac using a Seagate 2Tb USB (Usb3 drive running as usb2 cos of the machines age) as a library which is connected by cat6 to a Airport Extreme which then services 2 ATV3's wirelessly, perfectly every time with any quality of file I can throw at it. Other than a short delay as the Usb drive wakes and then loads the first segement (and I mean short, between 1 & 3 seconds) the only time I get buffering is when accessing trailers from t'internet. I find the ATV's wireless to be a lot better than an iPad 2.

Know this doesn't solve the problem but might give you somewhere to look.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 01:46 PM   #23
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I don't wanna hijack the thread but there seems to be a lot of knowledgeable people in here in regards to home networking. I just have one question.

When I go into the airport utility and see a list of devices connect to my airport express, I see that, for instance, my macbook has a connection speed of 130mbps. Then when I go and do a speed test I get a speed of 16mbps. How does this happen? Is the 130 just a hypothetical "max" connection speed and the 16mbps is what my actual connection is? I just wanna make sure I maximize my connection speed. Thanks
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 02:02 PM   #24
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I feel stupid, I'd always assumed wired would be faster then wireless on any device. Would wireless N (to my latest generation Time Capsule, less then a foot from the Apple TV) really be faster then using a Cat5E ethernet cable? If so that is messed up.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 02:17 PM   #25
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I feel stupid, I'd always assumed wired would be faster then wireless on any device. Would wireless N (to my latest generation Time Capsule, less then a foot from the Apple TV) really be faster then using a Cat5E ethernet cable? If so that is messed up.
Well what most aren't pointing out is even when you connect at 150mb/s via wifi, almost half of the bandwidth is lost for encryption, packet loss, etc. so in the end 100mb/s ethernet would still be faster in real world scenarios than 150mb/s wifi since you don't have to worry about encryption and/or packet loss.

Edit: And before anyone corrects me, yes you will still have packet loss with an ethernet connection, but the amount of loss is greatly reduced compared to wifi.
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