Airplay audio stutter

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by SWD, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. SWD macrumors member

    May 3, 2011
    I've got an apple tv 3, iPhone 6, and airport extreme n, I think dual band.

    For the longest time I've been disappointed with Airplay. I was hoping the hardware update (from iPhone 5 to 6) and software updates would fix the problem, but it has not. Video seems ok (but not great), but I am having the worst experience with audio when I really shouldn't.

    Signal Strength is 4/5. ITunes Radio works fine, but if I attempt to stream an Rdio/spotify playlist forget it. Constant stuttering, after a few tracks it just gives up.

    Would upgrading the router help? Or is there a setting I should look at? I know it won't take full advantage of an ac router, but might it help? I think I'm also done with the Apple routers.

    I'm ready to give up on the hardware altogether. I've owned every gen of apple TV, but the lack of audio apps, speed, airplay issues is pushing me towards the other available options.
  2. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    Just to narrow down where the problem lies, have you tried the ATV on ethernet?
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    airplay stutter typically means network issues.
    From my mac, I regularly stream to 4 locations in my house simultaneously (2 wired, 2 wireless) and have no stutter issues. (Mac is wireless)

    when you say signal strength is 4 of 5, that's your cellular, has nothing to do with airplay. airplay only happens on the wireless, which is the 3 arcs to the right of your providers name. (your spotify/rdio will also be coming in on the wireless)

    upgrading the router might help.

    moving your current wireless devices might help too. if something is buried in a bookshelf or AV cabinet, it's wireless signal is getting blocked. also walls will block the signal.

    If you live close to your neighbors (like in an apartment) try changing the wireless channel, Their networks could be causing interference.
  4. SWD thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2011
    No, that is the wireless signal, as reported by the ATV via Settings > General > About (or Network)

    Unfortunately, I cannot go wired (until I wire the house with cat 5), nor change the position of router. Netflix/hulu/iTunes Radio stream just fine. I would think if it were network interference, everything would be affected. Not much else is happening on the network too. There really shouldn't be difficulty streaming audio, but there is.

    I hope an ac router would boost signal strength, even to devices that are n.
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    netflix, goes router to aTV (1 jump)

    hulu, goes router to aTV (1 jump)

    iTunes radio, goes router to aTV (1 jump) if played from aTV
    -- not sure what happens if played from iphone, but airplay can send just the stream location, and the aTV would the play it locally, which is probably what they do.

    Rdio, goes router to iPhone -- iphone to router -- router to aTV (3 jumps) so it's eats 3 times the bandwidth, so if your network is close to the available bandwidth, then that could oversaturate it.
    I've discovered Rdio is pretty quick to stop mid-song when the network dies out, even when listening directly on the phone. so might not be airplay stopping, may be rdio itself.

    a new router might fix it. there are a lot of variables when it comes to wireless, a lot of them not visible to the naked eye, and it's hard to tell from this side of the internet what problems you may encounter.

    if your router or aTV are buried in a metal cabinet, your walls are thick or made of plaster with metal lathing, or numerous other potential environmental issues then upgrading your router might not do much.
    In the same way that buying a fast sports car won't improve your commute time if you're driving over a dirt road full of pot holes.

    i can't say a new router will definitely fix your problem. Chances are it will improve things though. Go buy a new router, just save the receipt in case you need to return it.

    another option if you can't hardwire is powerline networking
  6. SWD thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2011
    I wasn't sure where it might be coming from, hence the question. I thought I remembered it once working pretty well, but that probably was a year ago.

    Just got an estimate on wiring Cat5 and it was reasonable. That and getting the tv mounted might be my Xmas present.
  7. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Not necessarily. My WiFi seemed fine and I had stuttering with Airplay audio. Used inSSIDer and I found that near my aTV there were a number of partially overlapping networks from my neighbors. Switched to a channel with fewer and weaker overlaps and add an Airport Express to extend the network and all problems a were solved.
  8. SWD thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2011
    That could be it. We can see our next door neighbors WiFi. I will look into that. Thanks.
  9. SWD thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2011
    Using iStumbler on my mbp in the same room as the atv I find...

    -using channel 6, nothing close by is using that ch.

    -s/n is around 18-22 dB, signal -71, there is another network on a different channel with similar signal

    -using 2.4 ghz channel. 5ghz channel seems to have a weaker signal.

    I'm not sure what else I am looking for.
  10. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    You really need to run wired Ethernet to the ATV, a quick fix might be a fast Power over Ethernet adapter pair.
  11. CostaMoses macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2014
    I am having the same audio streaming issues as the OP (from Spotify), although my ATV2 is hardwired from the router, and my iPhone is about 10 feet away from the router without anything blocking the path.

    I'll try some of the network suggestions above and see if that helps.

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