AppleTV v2 - 300+min movie rental load times?!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rawdawg, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    I've had the AppleTV v2 for a few weeks now but have only watched YouTub and NetFlix which has worked perfectly. Last night I attempted to "rent" (instantly watch) my first film from Apple. It took 380 minutes to load!?!!?

    I am plugged directly into my modem. Netflix works FINE! In fact, we gave up on the rental after waiting an hour and watched a Netflix movie!

    What gives Apple?
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Location:
    La Grande, Oregon, USA
    #2
    Same problem here

    I've had the same problem with :apple:TV. I rented my first HD movie last night and it displayed a very long load time. It went down a bit, then up a bit. I reset my :apple:TV by unplugging my HDMI cable and power cord. It then displayed "1 minute" but never budged. My Internet speed is 5MBps, and everything else runs great. This is my second problem with an iTunes rental.

    Eventually our movie started, but paused three times while it had to fill the buffer again so it could continue. I ran the tests on the Settings menu, and the test on speed said it was fine. Also, I paid extra for HD and all the sound was from the center speaker -- mono! I'm going to try to get credit for my rental. Anybody know how we do that?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #3
    yeah, anyone know how to contact apple about a refund? if for anything just to let them know we were unhappy
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Location:
    La Grande, Oregon, USA
    #4
    Credit for rentals is easy!

    In my previous post I wondered how to get credit for an HD movie I rented and it was a very long load time. It stalled three times while watching it, waiting for the buffer to fill again. Anyway, when you get your billing from iTunes, it has a Problem section. Just click on Problem with video, fill out the reason and explain what happened. You will get an answer in about a day. I got full credit for my $3.99 movie, even though I actually watched it (in bits and pieces).

    My Internet is 5MBs. Does anyone know what the minimum speed needs to be for smooth flowing HD rentals?
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #5
    Here is a thread which outlines the wait times you might expect for downloads from the iTunes Store:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1029347

    Remember, however, that the quoted times assume a completely solid and consistent download speed. Just because your ISP says that you have a given speed or just because in the past you've benchmarked a certain speed that doesn't mean that you'll get that speed all of the time. If you dip much below 5Mbps the difference in viewing times can be rather dramatic.

    Last night I was having problems with a 1Mbps standard definition video stream from Hulu Plus and I was wondering why. I then checked my internet connection and found that I was barely averaging 1Mbps. However, as soon as I reset my DSL modem the problem went away. At least in my hands, it appears that Hulu Plus (on the PS3) has very poor bandwidth elasticity. I think you may need something over two times the data rate of the selected content which on Hulu Plus would mean about 2Mbps for SD and up to 6Mbps for HD (although I can not confirm the latter since my DSL tops out at 3Mbps).
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #6
    I have a 20Mb verified connection, and I've had this issue in the past too. Haven't tried to rent anything from the ATV yet, but hoping it's no longer an issue. Not sounding promising though.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #7
    If you watched a Netflix movie on the Apple TV the iTunes download would have most likely stopped while you watched Netflix. Thus, you'd have to subtract the length of the Netflix movie from the apparent time it took for the iTunes movie to load. Basically, the Apple TV can't stream or load two different pieces of content in the same amount of time in which it can handle a single request.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    What gives you the impression that the ATV can't download two things at the same time? If you have a fast Internet connection, it is unlikely that either service will saturate your connection - you can generally get much higher throughput in parallel from multiple servers than from one individual server. I've had the same experience in the past - and successfully watched Netflix while waiting for a rental. Apple definitely has an issue with their rental servers.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #9
    I just finished watching Sex and the City 2 HD from iTunes, Friday night, prime time. Took 10 seconds to be playable after I authorized payment and never hiccuped once. Your network streaming just isn't good enough for HD and that's what you need to work on. I've now watched four HD iTunes rental movies (Iron Man 2, Land of the Dead Unrated, Get Him to the Greek and SATC 2) from iTunes and have never waited longer than 18 seconds to start. I only know that because I count it out; I never have the time to get an "x minutes to view" message before it's ready to play. I have Comcast 12 mbps cable internet and a signal booster. Part of my network is wireless (from the office to the livingroom), some not (between the modem to the Time Capsule and between the Airport Extreme to the ATV). Getting on the internet and watching Netflix adjusted-down video is easy, streaming HD is harder and needs more service.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #10
    Well, you have an 8gig buffer. Where's all the downloaded video supposed to go? Something's gotta give.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    That's not the way the original Apple TV worked. In fact, downloads would pause even if you were playing local video content (i.e. video stored on the Apple TV's hard drive). Downloads (of any type) were also queued in a single-file manner on the original Apple TV. I also used one of the new Apple TVs for a few weeks and I'm pretty certain that I observed similar behavior -- although I can't absolutely confirm that (so I will yield to your experience if you've confirmed that multiple downloads can run concurrently on the new Apple TV). If the new Apple TV can effectively stream from two source simultaneously then that would be an advance over the original unit. However, internet bandwidth may not be the issue, I'm just not certain whether Apple would risk compromising the active video stream just so that it could begin downloading something else for later viewing.
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #12
    It's not a network streaming issue on the user's end - there appears to be something else going on. There are a large number of people reporting issues who know very well how to verify their connection speed. In my case, I have experienced download speeds in excess of 2 MEGABYTES per second from Apple servers for software updates, and then been unable to watch a movie rental all the way through without interruption.

    Whether you can store the entirety of both movies on the device is besides the point - you can figure out within the first 5 minutes how fast the content is downloading, and extrapolate from there. I've had this same experience with iTunes rentals on a computer where storage space is obviously not an issue.

    No - I'm not sure that the current ATV can download from multiple sources at once - it was actually a question - but I was trying to point out that this issue has been around for some time now - even when renting from a computer - ie. it's definitely not just that the user's bandwidth is somehow otherwise constricted.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #13
    Add us to the mix with ATV2. We attempted to rent an HD movie through ATV2 and it said the wait would be 300 min to 1700 minutes!! Remember, this is supposed to be "on demand".

    That said, we contacted apple and they called us back. Spoke with a rep and a "senior advisor" and we went through a flurry of things to try. None worked. My speed is around 2.8mbps and I know that is sufficient because we rent Amazon On Demand HD on a regular basis and it comes through flawlessly.

    I think they know they have an issue and told me they will be passing this along to their engineers. In the mean time, I emailed iTunes for a refund. You just have to go through your account. I don't think I will have any issue getting it.

    If you have this problem, contact Apple. Right now I think they are in the information gathering stage. So the more calls the quicker they will have a fix!
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #14
    Happened to my wife and I while trying to watch "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" as a rental.

    It started and played just fine for the first hour, then paused (maybe my internet connection paused). After I verified that my internet was back up and running, the resume on the movie indicated that it would take 200+ minutes to play. My wife and I didn't have that kind of time to wait (it was a week night) so we had to go to bed. This meant that the rental period had started, and we missed out on being able to watch the rest the next day. I reported an issue with the rental through my iTunes account, and within hours, support had credited the rental. I got home from work later that day and the rental was ready to be watched, with a 30 day rental period. This was nice!

    However, a few days later, we rented "Grownups" and from the get go, nothing played. Instead it said it would play in 200+ minutes. So, we weren't able to watch until a few days later when we had time.

    The old aTV didn't do this...kind of worried about the whole experience. I am an original adopter and love both devices...just kind of worried.

    I have a 12 meg connection BTW.
     
  15. laurim, Nov 21, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010

    macrumors 65816

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #15
    2.8 mbps isn't very fast and should probably be experiencing long streaming times from iTunes. I checked the Amazon on demand support page and found this:

    "To watch HD TV shows you need a powerful computer and a fast broadband connection (3.5 Mbits/sec or higher)....We'll automatically detect your connection speed, send you the highest quality stream your connection can support"

    This is the same thing Netflix does and that's why people with slower connections can get Netflix movies alright. So, you may not be getting the quality you think you are getting. Apple may need to go to this kind of streaming instead of the full-on HD streaming because it seems not enough people have a decent enough connection to get full 720p movies.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    #16
    I've got a 50MB connection and also sometimes find long estimates for starting rentals. I find that rebooting the Apple TV after initiating the rental starts playing right away. It's a bit of a pain but suggests that maybe it's not Apple's servers but something about the Apple TV's negotiation...

    Hopefully it'll be fixed with the AirPlay firmware update!
     
  17. macrumors regular

    RoarinRow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #17
    This wait time is a BIG disappointment! I'm in the middle of renting 'Price of Persia' in HD and this 200+ wait time is ridiculous! I've had to restart the movie at least 3x and I'm only 5 mins into the movie.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #18
    Any of you have a v1 and v2 that can do a comparison? I have a v1 and last week rented a movie in HD, no problems. ~10 seconds to start playing and no pauses. I've rented tons of HD movies before and have never had this issue.

    I was planning on buying a couple v2 for the house (we have ethernet house-wide) but not if there's something inherently wrong with the device.
     
  19. macrumors 68040

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #19
    We rented our first movie on the ATV2 earlier in the week, and I can report that we had no issues. The movie started instantly. That was not the case the few times we tried to rent movies from the computer.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    askthedust

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    enlightenment
    #20
    have both

    i had this same problem with ATV v1 it does happen with v2 every once in a while. netflix is a bigger issue because sometimes movies just aren't playable for some reason.
     
  21. newagemac, Nov 22, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010

    macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #21
    If you try a stream and get reported a long wait time that shouldn't be, I think there is an option in settings that allows you to cancel it and start over which may give you a more accurate time. There could have just been a hiccup or something in your internet connection when the ATV was analyzing the speed of your connection.

    Also, do any of you have other things downloading or streaming while you're trying to stream? Maybe someone else in the home doing it? If you have a 3mbps connection which is already a bit on the slow side and something else is taking up the bandwidth at the time, I can see how you might get reported an extraordinarily long wait time.

    If you have at least a 5 mbps actual download speed (a 6mbps DSL connection gives you a real world speed of about 5mbps), there shouldn't be a wait time at all. The streams should start in about 5 seconds. If not, there is definitely something wrong.
     

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