1.5 Mbs max with Verizon DSL - Will Apple TV work for me?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by nylonsteel, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. nylonsteel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2010
    Verizon tells me my DSL is maxed out at 1.5 Mbps due to my distance from a switch station...(?)
    Unfortunaltely FIOS is not available in my area
    Anyway - Would the new Apple TV system work for me?
    Since my understanding is it relies on streaming media
    I had to watch YouTube videos at 240p resolution with my win xp system otherwise I had unacceptable interupted choppy videos at any higher speeds like 480p
    I'm thinking of buying a Mac Mini plus other Apple gadgets like Apple TV
    I may finally migrate over to Mac from Win XP since my pc of 6 years just died
  2. macman05, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    macman05 macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2007
    1.5 Mbps sounds woefully inadequate to me. You need at least 10 Mbps. Do you have cable where you live?
  3. pasipple macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    I'm in the same boat as you. The maximum download speed I get from my DSL service is 1.2 mbs. But I'm an early adopter so I purchased the ATV2 during the initial release.

    I mostly use the ATV to stream my movie collection (800+) from iTunes. Works great with no shuttering or skips at 720p. So for streaming from iTunes to your ATV you will have no problems. The quality of your streaming iTunes content is contingent on your router and wireless network. I'm using a Apple AirPort Extreme with a WD My Book Studio LX external drive attached via the USB port on the Extreme. Works great.

    The low bandwidth problems arise with downloading content from iTunes (rental) or NetFflix. I can watch NetFlix movies but most of the content comes over in SD with my slow DSL service.

    When I rent a movie from iTunes it can take several hours for the content to download into the ATVs buffer. So I plan ahead if I want to download iTunes content.

    But I'm very happy with the iTunes streaming to the ATV2. No more setting up the Mac next to the TV and connecting the cables.
  4. liquidsuns macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2009
    I have a 1.2mb connection and as long as you aren't counting on instant streaming iTunes rentals and netflix in HD, then the ATV is great.

    Streaming from your Mac works fine, of course, cause that has nothing to do with Internet speed, netflix streams fine (though im having a problem with some movies just stopping after a few seconds but that has nothing to do with ISP speed)and the video quality is actually pretty good, way better then my xbox was. Non-HD youtube and podcasts will work perfectly. iTunes rentals though, since they don't adjust quality depending on ISP speed like netflix does, take a long time to buffer. Count on about 2 hours for SD movies and like 5-6 hours for hd movies.

    I usually just download iTunes rentals/purchases overnight on my iMac.
  5. pasipple macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
  6. nylonsteel thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2010
    Appreciate the informational answers from above...
    Since I'm a newbie - I'm not clear on the issue of downloading from iTunes and netflix and Youtube
    Is it possible to download these things without "streaming" and save to disk?
    I was under the impression that Apple TV (newest version) only did live streaming - where the old Apple TV had a disk drive to download media - then I was able to view at a later time - at my leisure
    Thanks in advance
  7. pasipple macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    You are correct...The old ATV had a HD to store content...the new ATV2 does not contain a HD but has an 8GB buffer for storing downloaded content from iTunes.

    ATV2 owners with fast internet connection are able to stream downloaded content instantly or nearly instantly. Owners like myself have to wait for the content to buffer. As a previous poster mentioned it can take 5-6 hours to download an iTunes movies to the buffer.
  8. Shanewilliams macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2010
    I believe 6mbps is a good(minimum) starting point. Ive used it since day one that I got my apple tv2 and I havent had a single issue! Netflix streams great, movies from itunes works perfect. At the moment I have the apple tv and my xbox 360 streaming netflix and my laptop going, not a single issue!
  9. karsten macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2010
    how is the quality of netflix? i tried netflix via safari on my mbp (i have 1mb cable) and it really sucked. is the netflix quality any better on the apple tv?
  10. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2010
    Denver, CO
    I have 20Mbps cable and my NF quality has always been great. I used the xbox360 for the past year to stream and now use my ATV2. From what I have read NF is adding more quality (audio/video) all the time so it should only get better.
  11. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    What you can do is do all your TV show or Movie renting on iTunes on your computer. The program will download to your computer hard drive while you go do other things with your time, and when its ready you can use homesharing to stream it from your computer to your ATV2. I wouldn't recommend renting any of Apple's content directly on the ATV2 with a connection of 1.5 Mbps. What would likely happen is that, even though you leave the ATV2 alone while it "buffers", a hiccup in the network or the ATV2 going to sleep or any number of things could cause it to stop downloading the stream and then you have to start all over again. Downloading the rented program to your computer via iTunes is more reliable, and more closely replicates the experience of the 1st generation Apple TV.

    I had DSL with 1.5 Mbps speeds and found the Apple TV 2 to be very frustrating to use at these speeds. Netflix worked fine, since Netflix adjusts the video quality based on available bandwidth, but it definitely wasn't HD and sometimes was even lower than SD quality. But it will played instantly and was totally watchable. The problems you will run into will be for watching video podcasts, renting tv shows/movies from apple, or accessing youtube and/or flickr. For me, the lag involved in using ATV2 over dsl was unacceptable, especially since it meant my wife would not even bother using it at all because she didn't want to wait every time she watched something. So I got Time Warner roadrunner for something like $40/month (only $5/month more than what I was paying for DSL) for an "up to 10Mbps" connection, which in reality has always tested at 15+ Mbps for me using speedtest.net. That solved all the lag problems (flickr, youtube, video podcasts, and all apple rental content start playing within 30 seconds of being selected, at most), and I now get HD quality from Netflix.
  12. nylonsteel thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2010
    Just an update
    Thanks to all who replied especially dgalvan123 whose solution directly related to my situation
    I ended my sucky verizon phone and dsl service - feels great
    verizon could not go above 1.5mps because of my distance away from some sucky switching station - and no indication on when fios would be available here
    i went with CLEARWIRE home wimax service
    best part about it is home internet with NO DATA CAP - paying only $30 per month - speed is only around 5mps down - 1.5 mps up - but it streams youtube and amazon hd just fine
    lovin it - eventhough its not up to 10mps
    have not purchased an atv2 yet - but getting closer
    thanks all
  13. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Clearwire is far from unlimited. Also, their Policy explicitly prohibits downloading videos. Here's what their 'Acceptable Use Policy' states:

  14. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    It sounds more like Clearwire's terms will prevent users from continously streaming or uploading videos and files. I think they just want to prevent people from continuous heavy bandwidth use.

    They even state that "occasional, non-contiuous streaming of video" is acceptable. I think watching a Netflix movie every now and then can be seen as "occasional" usage.
  15. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    I agree with your assessment. It sounds a lot like cell phone carrier's "unlimited" plans. As long as you don't end up in the top couple % of bandwidth hogs, I don't think he'll have an issue. Streaming a Netflix movie even once a day will probably keep him under the radar. Downloading several HD movies via torrent sites every day will probably catch their attention.
  16. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Yes, I think you are both correct. Earlier in the thread someone was commenting about downloading multiple hd movies from iTunes and allowing several hours for this to complete. If the OP, who posted Clearwire has 'NO DATA CAPS' tries to actually use his 'unlimited' service to download anything large during a period of high usage on Clearwire's network they will throttle him. Technically, there may not be a data cap, but if the throttling is severe enough it wouldn't deliver what the OP is expecting.

    Sorry if I'm being difficult about this. I have some friends who've been burnt by Clearwire and I'm not much of a fan.
  17. marcre macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2008
    East coast
    I'm a little late to the party, but I have Verizon DSL. My speed is 1.5Mbs. I stream Netflix daily and watch baseball on the MLBtv app, both on the Appletv. I've never had an issue with the quality or picture stutter.
  18. nylonsteel thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2010
    update 8-26-11

    no throttling or data caps with my CLEARWIRE after 4 months of heavy usage

    its all good - full speed ahead

    damn happy i dropped verizon
  19. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Where are you located?

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