768k DSL: Apple TV vs. Roku

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bangak, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. bangak macrumors newbie

    bangak

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    Location:
    Alaska
    #1
    This is for anyone else out there on the fringes of civilization (Alaska in my case) who are limited to sub 768k internet speeds and are considering an Apple TV.

    First off, if you're getting the Apple TV to stream from your iTunes library, then clearly the Apple TV is the way to go.

    If, on the other hand, you are getting the Apple TV to stream Netflix AND are on sub 768k internet, don't bother unless you like to watch 15 seconds of content followed by 30 seconds of buffering for an entire program. Loading the movie and pausing it in hopes creating an acceptable buffer doesn't work. Believe me, I tried every possible workaround there is (from the DNS tricks that work for some to hardwiring the Apple TV directly) for 6 months before finally breaking down and buying a Roku.

    Don't be fooled like I was by the fact that Netflix streams great on every other device I've used on my current internet speeds. Just because Netflix works great on your iPad, iPhone, iMac and MacBook Pro without an issue does not mean it will work on the Apple TV.

    As for the Roku, it's amazing...actually almost magical how "it just works." Programs buffer and then play without a stutter for the entire length of the movie. Picture quality is amazing considering that my download speeds average 500kbs.

    Oh, and if you think you can rent a movie from the iTunes store on the Apple TV and then "stream" it, think again. On 768k DSL the one movie I tried to rent was going to take over 20 hours to "buffer." I decided to leave it on all day and night and pick it up the next evening. When I went to load the rental over 24 hours later, it started the buffering process over again with 20 MORE hours to go before it would play, this time having started the 24 hour rental period countdown. Needless to say, I never did get to watch that movie.
     
  2. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #2
    Do you have the video quality turned down on your Netflix account? That might help with the buffering if you already don't have it on.
     

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  3. bangak thread starter macrumors newbie

    bangak

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    Location:
    Alaska
    #3
    Thanks for the suggestion. I already have it at to the lowest setting in Netflix. Doesn't seem to make any difference what I set it at for the Apple TV.
     
  4. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #4
    It's good that at least the Roku box is working for you.
     
  5. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #5
    You should change the settings on your Apple TV to give you the SD streams. Trying to stream HD over a 768K connection is asking for trouble. And as someone mentioned earlier, Netflix now allows you to set a lower stream quality in your account for people in your situation.
     

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