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Old May 29, 2013, 10:32 AM   #1
Boomish69
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Faster net connection or ATV3?

I have an ATV2 and recently got a new 50" 3d Panny TV, which is stunning but now I want to try the 3d part, I managed to grab a 3d film but it seems quite slow to respond at times, as the film is much larger than my other 720p film collection.
I also borrowed a friends 3D version of Avatar which plays on his ATV3 but wouldn't play on mine at all.

So was wondering could it be my wired net connection to the ATV or maybe the ATV3 has a lot more power to handle the bigger file size, ram buffer cache etc..

Currently I have a cat5 cable going from my main router (Sagecom F@ST2504n) to a Netgear GS605 switch hub under the telly I use the hub to spread net connection to ATV, Xbox, Onkyo amp etc but was wondering maybe I need Cat6 cable and a better switch box or whatever it should be so I get a 1Mbit connection, not sure how to test what speed I'm getting, maybe I can plug my Macbook Pro in to check.

Ahh I think maybe an ATV3 would be worth it as I could start converting my films again to 1080p, so far I haven't noticed any real difference, but maybe with this telly I will.

Appreciate any help or advice.
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Old May 29, 2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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I don't think it's the ATV being unable to play the videos: I play 1080p 3D videos on my ATV2 (obviously downscaling to 720p) and they play fine. Sometimes I can have issues if I fast-forward at the fastest rate, but when playing, or generally fast-forwarding or jumping forward a 'chapter' it works great.

I use a 500Mbps homeplug pair between the ATV and Mac hosting the videos.

I guess there's a huge amount of scope too in how much a "1080p" video can be compressed, what codecs are used etc., so not all 1080p videos are the same.
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Old May 29, 2013, 11:32 AM   #3
Boomish69
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I don't think it's the ATV being unable to play the videos: I play 1080p 3D videos on my ATV2 (obviously downscaling to 720p) and they play fine. Sometimes I can have issues if I fast-forward at the fastest rate, but when playing, or generally fast-forwarding or jumping forward a 'chapter' it works great.

I use a 500Mbps homeplug pair between the ATV and Mac hosting the videos.

I guess there's a huge amount of scope too in how much a "1080p" video can be compressed, what codecs are used etc., so not all 1080p videos are the same.
Thanks for the reply.
Really wow what size are the films? the Avatar I have is nearly 19gb so not sure if the Net is fast enough to stream that or ATV is to big for it to play. I did try re-encoding it but it looked awful afterwards.
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Old May 29, 2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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CAT 6 is cheap, might be worth a try. You didn't actually mention your internet speed. No doubt that is slower than your ethernet network.
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Old May 29, 2013, 12:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Boomish69 View Post
was wondering maybe I need Cat6 cable and a better switch box or whatever it should be so I get a 1Mbit connection, not sure how to test what speed I'm getting, maybe I can plug my Macbook Pro in to check.
if you mean a 1Mbit connection from your provider...
the speed of your internet connection has nothing to do with the speeds on your network. it's the speed at which you can download stuff from the internet.

Think of a walled city (your home network) with only one bridge going into it (your internet connection).
the speed limit on the bridge doesn't affect how fast you can drive between two points in the city.

if you ment 1Gbit connection for your internal network...
it doens't matter since the aTV only has a 10/100Mbit port

wired ethernet is more than fast enough to transfer the file.
i've got straight blu-ray rips, some are a bit over 40GB, they play at about 5MB/s (or 40Mb/s) well within the 100Mb speed of wired ethernet (and quite possibly your wireless connection - i get over 200Mb on 5GHz 802.11n)

cat 6 won't solve your problem, it's the player on the aTV.
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Old May 29, 2013, 12:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for the reply waw74
lol yes I mean my home network speed of 1GBs, and good point on the ATV port I didn't know that, hmm looks like a new ATV 3 might be on order. Just feels slow at times to respond to the network.

than again wait a week and see if they announce anything ..
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Old May 29, 2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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100 mbit LAN is enough for 1080p, assuming of course you are doing one thing, and the LAN is not being used by 5 other people in the house doing their own download and what not.
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Old May 31, 2013, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomish69 View Post
Thanks for the reply.
Really wow what size are the films? the Avatar I have is nearly 19gb so not sure if the Net is fast enough to stream that or ATV is to big for it to play. I did try re-encoding it but it looked awful afterwards.
For example - a 23 minute video is 1.38GB (and they only have stereo, not surround sound), so they're actually more compressed than the Avatar file you're viewing. They look great, but I'd guess Avatar - with a lot of on-screen complexity - would require a higher bitrate to look good.
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Old Jun 4, 2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waw74 View Post
if you mean a 1Mbit connection from your provider...
the speed of your internet connection has nothing to do with the speeds on your network. it's the speed at which you can download stuff from the internet.

Think of a walled city (your home network) with only one bridge going into it (your internet connection).
the speed limit on the bridge doesn't affect how fast you can drive between two points in the city.

if you ment 1Gbit connection for your internal network...
it doens't matter since the aTV only has a 10/100Mbit port

wired ethernet is more than fast enough to transfer the file.
i've got straight blu-ray rips, some are a bit over 40GB, they play at about 5MB/s (or 40Mb/s) well within the 100Mb speed of wired ethernet (and quite possibly your wireless connection - i get over 200Mb on 5GHz 802.11n)

cat 6 won't solve your problem, it's the player on the aTV.
I have similar lag and was considering upgrading my Cat5 to Cat6. How wouldnt this not improve the stream? It's a faster cable so it would have to right? I have ATV2 & ATV3 and 2008 Mac Pro with my files stored on a external WD 3TB Hard Drive via USB 2.0 connection. Thanks

Last edited by JMEANS; Jun 4, 2013 at 08:17 AM.
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Old Jun 4, 2013, 10:28 AM   #10
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I have similar lag and was considering upgrading my Cat5 to Cat6. How wouldnt this not improve the stream? It's a faster cable so it would have to right? I have ATV2 & ATV3 and 2008 Mac Pro with my files stored on a external WD 3TB Hard Drive via USB 2.0 connection. Thanks
CAT5 is good for 100Mbit/s, which is the maximum speed the current AppleTV supports, so there is no point in CAT6 (provided that the CAT5 is in good shape and used according to specification). Bad installations and/or too long runs exist of course...
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Old Jun 4, 2013, 11:50 AM   #11
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CAT5 is good for 100Mbit/s, which is the maximum speed the current AppleTV supports, so there is no point in CAT6 (provided that the CAT5 is in good shape and used according to specification). Bad installations and/or too long runs exist of course...
Thanks! Awesome factoid i didnt consider...

Now my run from office to living room ATV3 is 25-30ft granted that is far, so would a Cat 6 show any improvement over the current Cat5 in a distance situation?

Also would a Ethernet cable pinched even slightly hinder performance? Not really sure of the optimal conditions for hiding Cable etc. Any info would be greatly appreciated : ) thanks

Last edited by JMEANS; Jun 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM.
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Old Jun 4, 2013, 04:19 PM   #12
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Now my run from office to living room ATV3 is 25-30ft granted that is far, so would a Cat 6 show any improvement over the current Cat5 in a distance situation?
That distance shouldn't be a problem provided there is no damage to the cable or some really strong source of interference along the way.

On the other hand, a 25-30ft CAT6 cable should be reasonably inexpensive nowadays, you could buy one and give it a try. If it works better, great. If not, you would have a spare cable that could come in handy sometime.

Quote:
Also would a Ethernet cable pinched even slightly hinder performance? Not really sure of the optimal conditions for hiding Cable etc. Any info would be greatly appreciated : ) thanks
Depends a lot on the cable. Some aren't designed to take any abuse at all while others are built to withstand quite a bit.
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Old Jun 4, 2013, 05:53 PM   #13
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Again guys thanks so much for all of this info. One part of the 25-30ft stretch is down a duct channel (from inside office wall straight down to basement then back up to living room by TV) I am guessing being that close to the metal duct tube could be have an interference issue?

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Old Jun 5, 2013, 01:38 AM   #14
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One part of the 25-30ft stretch is down a duct channel (from inside office wall straight down to basement then back up to living room by TV) I am guessing being that close to the metal duct tube could be have an interference issue?
For a wired connection with cables intended for the purpose, interference is unlikely.

Unless there is a power line involved, or possibly some other cable, I wouldn't even consider the possibility before ruling out more reasonable potential problems.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 04:53 AM   #15
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Yeah no wires in this space, I will run the Cat6 to see if I find improvement. Thanks again
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 05:17 AM   #16
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Thanks for the reply.
Really wow what size are the films? the Avatar I have is nearly 19gb so not sure if the Net is fast enough to stream that or ATV is to big for it to play. I did try re-encoding it but it looked awful afterwards.
19GB is huge, for a 2hr movie, thats roughly 21mbps if I calculated correctly. That's at upper limit of 54G in a perfect signal scenario.

The AppleTV also IIRC has around 8GB internal flash for OS and caching, it likely blows through what it can cache.

Remember, its basically an iPad 1, original SOC processor.
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Old Jun 10, 2013, 06:44 PM   #17
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thanks for the replies guys, good to know about the Cat 5/6 speeds, is there an app that I can run to test the cable? I have a MacBook Pro I could plug into the ATV cable and time a data transfer manually?
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Old Jun 10, 2013, 08:41 PM   #18
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thanks for the replies guys, good to know about the Cat 5/6 speeds, is there an app that I can run to test the cable? I have a MacBook Pro I could plug into the ATV cable and time a data transfer manually?
Yes, you can copy a file over, say a few hundred Megs, time it with a stop watch.

~80 mbit/sec throughput on a 100 mbit LAN after overhead typical.
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Old Jun 11, 2013, 12:56 AM   #19
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It sounds like your issue is not enough buffering. This can be caused either by the aTV not being able to decode fast enough or by too slow of a network connection to keep up with playback speed. Since you're already using a 100Mb wired connection and that's all the aTV supports, you *can't* fix the network speed problem. You mentioned that a newer aTV played the same video files correctly - there's your answer. The CPU of the device simply can't keep up.

CAT6 cable is designed to limit the crosstalk that can exist between wires in the same cable at very high frequencies. In every other way, it is identical to CAT5 cable. You are running at 100Mb, which CAT5 was designed to handle, so your cables aren't the problem.
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