Question on Multiple ATVs

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by linds15, May 12, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    i recently hooked up a third apple TV, and so now there are 2 TVs who watch much of my content from iTunes. what i hadn't ever noticed before was that when one of the ATVs is being used, a second one takes VERY LONG to load content from my mac, but once the video starts playing there is no buffering. has anyone had this and found a way to decrease the wait? sometimes it takes up to 5 minutes to load the mac
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Detroit, Michigan
    You're probably pushing the limit of the read speeds of the hard drive by accessing multiple, and different content simultaneously. The only way to overcome that is to switch out the HDD and put in an SSD.
  3. macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    i doubt he's pushing the read speeds of the drive, uncompressed blu-rays are in the 4-6 MB/s range. you should easily be able to simultaneously pull 3 of those off a USB2 drive (USB2 is about 20-30 MB/s)
    standard internal hard drive should hit 70-100MB/s

    the files that you get from apple are much much lower bandwidth, probably well under 1MB/s. probably closer to .5 MB/s

    (blu-rays are about 40-50 GB in size, itunes 1080 files are about 4-5 GB in size)

    i would go more the issue being network related. 802.11G tops out at maybe 5 MB/s if it's good strong signal.
    If both the computer and aTV are wireless, the file has to go to the router, and then to the aTV, so it counts twice towards your total bandwidth.
    and also add in any internet surfing you're doing, and you're choking your network. or if you're at the far end of your house from your router, with a weak signal, your bandwidth will be even further decreased.

    if both are using wireless networking, wiring either the computer, the aTV or both should improve your performance.
  4. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Sum1 recently had something similar, we all thought he had a cabling problem since it was location specific, but he re-encoded his videos and that fixed it. Go figure.
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    To add some clarity to my situation
    1 files are on a USB 3.0 external
    2 both the Mac and atvs are on wifi, no chance if cabling.
    3 using an airport express

    My issue is not with watching content, it streams with no buffering, it's the initial connection to my mini when going into the computers section that can take a very long time

    Thanks all
  6. macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    It's most likely your WiFi is the congestion point. Can you hardwire some of your devices? Which ATV are you using, is it jailbroken?

    PS what's an APE w/1TB attached?
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    All ATV3. None jailbroken. Can't hardwire anything, not in my control. What makes it confusing for me is that there is no issues streaming, just the initial connection.

    APE is an AirPort Extreme, with a 1Tb hdd attached. Outdated need to change that
  8. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    I would too follow others and blame your WIFI EXCEPT once it gets going, is fine you say, and 5 minutes is just dang too long.

    Crucial missing information:

    Does this happen to ALL files (types)?
    Does this happen consistently?

    OK, I remember what the other guy did, he re-encoded one of his "trouble" file to OPTIMIZED FOR STREAMING and that fixed his problem.
  9. macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Have you tried streaming two videos at once over the Internet? Like watching a couple you have purchased? If those work much quicker, you can probably eliminate the network as a problem.
  10. macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    To me it's obvious. Two different files are located in two different places on the same drive, meaning the drive will have to work hard as heck to be able to serve both files at once.

    The ATV will not start playing the file until the average buffering time/speed is enough for the whole file to be able to be played without any buffering issues if that average is kept.

    This means that when the drive is already working to send a file to one ATV, accessing and sending a second file to a second ATV will be a lot slower than only sending one file with nothing else accessing the drive, so startup/buffering times will be longer.

    I dare to claim that this will NOT be an issue if the first ATV has buffered the first film completely before turning on the second film.

    The bottleneck isn't in the theoretical or even real life maximum transfer speed of the drive, it's in the fact that the drive is mechanical. Meaning things will have to physically move. Want to try it yourself? Write two sentences in two different places on a piece of paper. First write them one after the other, then try writing them at the same time. I guarantee you it takes you more than twice as long ;)
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    it happens all the time. its not trying to get a file that is the issue, its connecting to my mini from the computer section of the ATV, once i can get to a file within my mac mini, it starts playing right away with no buffering, its waiting to get to the Music/TV Shows/Movies section of the ATV
  12. macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    I think OP meant that it takes a long time to get past the 'Name of iTunes library' loading screen.
    I also have 3 ATV's (but wired) to my Mac Mini, and i noticed that when one hasn't been used for a while (48+hours) or if a lot of content has been added to iTunes, it takes the ATV quite some time to get past the initial loading screen. So I don't think it's wireless or hdd related. I think it's like when you load your library in your music/video's app on iPad/iPhone, it remembers it for a while, but it still requires a reload at times.
  13. Mrbobb, May 13, 2013
    Last edited: May 13, 2013

    macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    OK, lets make this clear, you can't even to get that screen/menu where it lets you select your second file.

    OK, when you doing this, u may want to watch the Mac's CPU load meter, if it stays maxed out for the duration it means your Mac hardware has no more headroom to handle the task(s) smoothly.

    Hardware aside, I never liked iTunes as a media server. It feels to me bloated and built in-pieces.

    Watch that cpu load meter and whether it's swapping memory during the task 'coz that would REALLY slow things down. Aside from watching the Page-Out numeric (swapping), u kinda know it's swapping too if the startup HD blinks like crazy
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    this is correct, i get stuck at the black screen that reading "my computer name" is loading. that takes a long time and once im in i click on any file and it plays no issue.

    i restored the ATV last night, and that did not help. I now notice that it happens whether or not the other ATVs are connected and playing something.
  15. macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    I've been plating around a bit more with my ATV's and noticed that it's not, like I thought I my previous post, that I needs to reload after a certain amount if time, I can trigger the long loading screen by putting my mini to sleep and going into the 'computers' menu on Apple TV, that wakes up my mini, but it then takes a minute or two to load, instead of seconds.

Share This Page