1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

Getting fed up with Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MattG, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. MattG, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

    macrumors 68040


    Let me just say, I love the concept of Apple TV. When it works, it's great.

    I've got two Apple TVs (2nd gen), both connected wirelessly (not by choice...at the moment, that's all I can do). They're connecting to my Airport Extreme (802.11n) to get on the network. I live in a small-ish 1000 sq. ft condo, and the Airport Extreme is located right in the middle. I have good wireless coverage from end to end, and even when I pull up the network settings on ATV, they both show a full signal. There really isn't any other traffic on my network. It's my girlfriend and I living there, and besides for casual internet use, all the network really gets used for is media streaming to Apple TV.

    My media-center is a 2010 Mac Mini, which is on all the time, connected to the same Airport Extreme via gigabit ethernet.

    Here are my issues:
    • It loses connection to the library on my Mac Mini *constantly*. Meaning, I turn the TV on, go to look for a show, movie, whatever, and it says it can't connect. The only way to resolve it is to disable Home Sharing, re-enable it, and ta-da...works again. There's been a lot of discussion on this on Apple's forums.
    • In the middle of a show, it'll just pause. I have to exit out of the show, and go back in.
    • Sometime after watching one episode, I go back to the table of contents to pull up another one, and it just freezes there "loading." Again...exit out, go back in, sometimes more than once to get it to cooperate.

    Is anyone else here having these issues, and what have you done to resolve them? I spend more time troubleshooting these damned things than I actually do using them, and I'm at the point where I'm considering looking at another solution. I just don't get it...I don't see how it could be hardware incompatibilities; all of the hardware is made by Apple!!! And yes, it's wireless, but like I said...it's pretty much a dedicated network for this, and there isn't a lot of traffic otherwise. The problem doesn't seem to be buffering, as when I'm able to get a show to successfully start, I see it load quite a bit up right off the bat without any problem.
  2. macrumors 6502


    Are both ATVs up to date? make sure they are up to date and you have the latest iTunes. If you still have problems, I would restore them and set them up again.
  3. macrumors 603


    I understand your frustration. I gave up trying to get Wifi working reliably with the ATV, so switched to Ethernet and it worked pretty much perfectly.

    Until I installed iOS5, and now Ethernet is dropping as well! Either it has no connection when I wake the ATV, or it'll just lose connectivity mid-play (not just to the Home Sharing server, but all network connectivity) and I have to restart it. This happens almost every day I use it. I'll try restoring to see if it makes a difference, but I don't fancy my chances.

    I did notice one other 'silly' bug, in that iTunes won't prevent the server from sleeping if you're streaming from it on the ATV, so you have to make sure the media Mac/PC is set to not sleep.
  4. macrumors member

    You basically have the same setup as I do, and the issues you encountered has been there for a while, and the only solution that I came across that works for me is never set the Apple TV to sleep, and if a show stops in the middle of a stream, restart the Apple TV will likely fix the problem.

    Also, firmware 4.4.2 is the one that I'm staying with because of the Netflix issue that I encountered with firmware 4.4.3, you do not need the latest firmware but you definitely won't want to use something that's too old either.

    I'm currently running iTunes 10.5.1 on my MacMini with both of my Apple TV on 4.4.2 (never sleep), so far it is working pretty well for me.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Thanks for the advice, everyone.

    Yes, I keep everything up to date in the hopes someday a software update will fix the issues. ATV is up to date, iTunes is up to date, and Airport Extreme firmware is up to date. I've tried system restores to no avail.

    I read about the "never sleep" thing too -- I have both of mine set to never sleep.

    I've got my Mini set to never sleep, not even the hard drives. It's on, 24/7.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Same Problems ~ New to Mac

    The iPad 2 and Apple TV were my first Apple purchases and I knew nothing about anything Apple, I decided to follow instructions and do exactly as they said.

    The problem described in these posts I have as well but seldomly. If this happens, the only service I use is Netflix, the message, (Netflix is not available as this time, continually), I thought the memory in Apple TV was corrupt, and, I know I shouldn't do this but I pull the AC input cord and plug it back in right away.

    I also turned on the report back to Apple. I don't have iMatch enabled. I have home sharing ennabled.

    I have to go through Apple TV booting itself with time and date for a few minutes but far better than booting my PC with Windows 7 which takes 15 to 20 minutes.

    Results may differ for you, no guarantees. The interuption is so infrequent it's not a bother.

    Apple TV is a bit of a disappointment to me. The only thing I use it for is Netflix.

    The pricing for movies, TV, channels and other offerings has got to go down for me to use any of the features I thought would be included.

    It is way above what I'm willing to pay. It has for the moment, cell carrier fever, I can walk across the street and pay a dollar for a movie.


  7. macrumors 68020


    sorry to hear you are all having problems


    I was hoping to maybe move away from using the dvd player and tv set up, but I won't now.

    I'll keep checking the forums, hope Apple addresses these issues.
  8. halfcack, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Same Problems ~ New to Mac

    Sorry for the double post.
  9. macrumors 6502

    I have the aTV2 and the iTunes server both on g-wifi, using my Verizon Fios cable modem. I have very few problems with my aTV2, now. Perhaps I need to reboot it every couple weeks, which I would rather not do, but it isn't particularly onerous.

    When I first got it, however, I had frequent buffering problems. It was sitting a few inches away from my cable box, on the same shelf. Apparently the cable box isn't very well shielded, or perhaps there are some electrical wires running in the wall at that level between the aTV2 and the router, because moving the aTV2 up one shelf, on the TV's pedestal but away from other electronics, made those problems go away.
  10. macrumors 68030

    From A Buick 8

    I know some folks have issues, but we love both of ours. There are some ocasionanal issues but not enough to outweigh the convenience of having all of my movies and TV shows at my fingertips.
  11. macrumors 6502

    A couple of ideas, not sure if it'll be of much help.

    1) I know this is a no-brainer, forgive me for asking. Is your network secure? If you're in a condo and you don't have a password protected or access controlled network then somebody else could be clogging up your network bandwidth.

    2) Have you tried restoring your Airport base station to factory settings and setting up your network from scratch?

    3) How is your network set up? Specifically, do you have a DSL modem acting as a router assigning IP addresses to your various devices, with the Airport acting as a bridge? Or is the Airport itself your router? Basically, what assigns IP addresses to other devices on your network?

    In my experience it's best to have just one device given the task of assigning IP addresses. This prevents the problem of devices on different subnets not being able to see one another.
  12. macrumors regular

    Maybe other wifi networks in your building or other electronics in your condo are causing interference between your ATV2 and the AEBS? To rule this out, as a test, try running ATV2 through an ethernet cable to your AEBS. If the problem is solved then you know it's your wifi connection. I'd want to double-check that before giving up...

    ...last resort: it could just be a bad unit, take the ATV2 back to an Apple Store and see if they can exchange it for a new one.

    Don't loose hope on ATV2! Mine is shared with 15 other wireless clients on a busy home wireless network and it works just fine using out-of-the-box, default settings.
  13. macrumors 65816


    Usually just restarting iTunes resolves the issue for me.
  14. MattG, Dec 15, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011

    macrumors 68040


    Hi warvanov,

    1. It is not secure in the sense that I'm using encryption, but, the network SSID is hidden (not broadcasted), and I have verified by looking at my DHCP clients table that there aren't any outside users on my network.

    2. Yes!

    3. The AirPort is the only device handing out IPs. The DHCP functionality on my DSL modem has been shut off completely.

    I have tried running wired, and it does run better, but I don't know that it's my wireless causing the issue per se. I've tried different channels, different placements, etc., and analyzer tools to make sure my network frequencies aren't overlapping with others. Not trying to pass the buck, but I really feel like at this point I've troubleshooted my network pretty well.

    Attached Files:

  15. macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Hidden (non-broadcasted) SSID networks have exactly the problems you mention, depending on a combination of the beacon rate and acknowledgement timing of each device on the wireless network. It's clearly possible to make it work nearly normally with certain combinations of wireless clients, but the types of issues that pop up with any streaming applications (like Apple TV) that need constant, uninterrupted stable access to data usually make it not worth the trouble. I would think It's likely why wired works better than wireless in your application.

    It's worth noting besides the downside of making certain kinds of wireless clients work with less stability, people continue to incorrectly think hiding the SSID has an upside of making their network more secure. This is simply wrong, someone who has the tools to hack a wireless network can still discover your SSID and casual users without hacking tools who might otherwise select non-conflicting channels won't know they may be on your same channel. Hiding the SSID doesn't make a wireless network more secure.

    In case you're interested, Microsoft's explanation of why hiding an SSD makes a network less secure explains the details well.
  16. macrumors 68040


    Hi, I completely understand that hiding the network doesn't make it more secure. If I were concerned about hackers, I would certainly encrypt it and add a password. However, where I live, I'm not...and hiding the network is simply a means of making it so neighbors who have any wireless devices set to "connect to any available network" won't be accidentally connecting to my network, or leaching free Internet connectivity from me.

    I will certainly try making it an open network with WPA2 encryption to see if it makes any difference, however I fail to see why it should. The whole idea with a closed network is that your devices can get on as long as they know the SSID. As long as Apple TV knows the SSID, why should it matter? I don't see why it would be any less reliable. All of my other devices, Apple or otherwise, work just fine. Even at work (I work for an IT Department btw, not that it matters, just saying), our entire staff wireless network uses a hidden SSID (along with encryption in this case), and we don't have any issues with the hundreds of devices, all makes and models that are on it.
  17. macrumors 6502

    I would definitely try unhiding your SSID, and secure your wireless with WPA. I had my SSID hidden as well and had the same problems your reporting but mine was also secured with WPA. I haven't had any problems since changing this.
  18. macrumors 68040


    K, so a couple votes for this now...I will definitely give it a shot.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    We have both ATV1 and ATV2 and despite efforts to try and transition, ATV1 is still our "go to" device. Nearly flawless (although it will cook meat).

    I've recently hacked it with Flashcore so I only expect the ATV2 to gather more dust. This is not so much a hit on ATV2, just that ATV1 is such a great machine for our uses.
  20. macrumors 68020


    thanks for the response

    It's nice to hear some folks are getting theirs to work. Thanks for posting.

    I've tried to set up my wireless with my aging Samsung tv with no luck. My other issue which has nothing to do with Apple tv, most of the movies I love are still dvd only releases, not digital. Don't like watching movies on my computer unless I have no other choice.

    Will reconsider the Apple tv down the road.
  21. macrumors regular


    Keep us posted.
  22. macrumors 6502


    That has been our experience with the ATV2 as well. Some occasional problems, but far and few between, so I don't get annoyed with them. Mine is connected wirelessly to an Airport Extreme (802.11n). I don't know how much of a factor proximity is, but the router is about 20' away in an adjacent room. I will have the Netflix unavailable issue maybe once a quarter?
  23. MattG, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011

    macrumors 68040


    Update: Things seem to be better since I unhid the network. Thanks everyone!
  24. macrumors regular


    • Firstly, let me say I feel your pain.. I had similar .. I ended up buying an airport express (wasn't viable for me to trawl cat 5 cable throughout the house) to extend my wifi (even though I had full signal) and to then run a cable from my ATV2 to that. There's *something* wrong with ATV2 and wifi and apple have never got to the bottom of it. Anyway, since I've done this, I've not had one drop out.. Zilch, squit.. Drop outs are no more.

      Hope that helps.
  25. macrumors 6502

    I was having nasty issues with streaming video from my MacBook Pro where the video would pause and buffer for minutes at a time. My router is a Time Capsule and I had the Apple TV connected to its 5GHz network. I switched it to the 2.4GHz network and all my problems went away.

Share This Page