Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wchigo, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. wchigo macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2015
    Hi guys and gals, I wanted to ask for people's experiences using AirPlay for the Apple TV as I have never owned one before but am thinking about picking one up.

    The vast majority of my usage for the Apple TV will likely be YouTube and using AirPlay to display content from my iPad/MacBook on my TV. Presently, I am residing in China so I don't really use Netflix or Hulu or any other streaming service.

    My previous solution was to hook an HDMI cable up to my MacBook Pro to play videos on my TV, but that was no longer viable when I switched to the new Retina MacBook and did not spring for the adapter. I have resorted to plugging my desktop into the TV and using that to watch content on TV, but that has been less than ideal due to connection issues which I haven't been able to narrow down the root of yet (generally, wifi seems to be more stable than the ethernet, which is an odd thing for me to say.)

    As that is the case, I generally have better experience when watching videos that must stream, such as YouTube, on my MacBook or iPad, especially when it comes to services that auto-play the next video. It's very frustrating to get up every 5-10 minutes because the connection cuts out so the auto-playlist doesn't function properly; a total first-world problem, I know.

    SO! I am now thinking of purchasing my first Apple TV in order to bypass the above issue. I am hoping to get your input on this as I have heard some folks state that AirPlay has never worked very well and am a bit worried about that. My other conundrum is whether to pony up for the newest version or if I would be fine with a 3rd gen unit based on my use case. I will admit to being one of those people who always needs the latest and greatest, as evidenced by the fact that I've upgraded my phone every year since the 4S, so the "Oh, shiny!" pull of the ATV4 is quite strong.

    Now I turn to you wonderful people and would really appreciate any experiences and suggestions that you all have may. Thanks in advance! :)
  2. Mac... nificent macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012

    Most of the people having issues with Airplay on the :apple:TV find it's caused from either older equipment, using the device incorrectly, or Wi-Fi/bluetooth issues. Since you have newer equipment you should have no issues (as long as your Wi-Fi works correctly). I just tried Airplay for the very first time on my new :apple:TV4 and it worked flawlessly.

    Regarding Airplay and which version of :apple:TV to get, the older version will work, fine but I suspect you'd enjoy the newer gen 4 more. I didn't really think I would like the :apple:TV4 that much, as I wasn't a very big fan of the gen 3, but I can honestly say that I use it everyday and I love it. Being able to pick out my own apps to use and having Siri help with searching makes all the difference. I'm not a big gamer BUT I even enjoy the occasional game on it too.

    There will be many new great apps coming down the road for the gen 4 and you may find one or two of them helpful. While the gen 3 will solve your issue, I suspect you will enjoy the get 4 MUCH more, especially since the newer version doesn't cost all that much more than the base gen 3. Just be careful with the remote as it's made partially out of glass. If the :apple:TV doesn't work out for you then you can always return it, but I think you will fall in love with it once you start using it ;)
  3. GlenK macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2013
    St. Augustine, FL
    I have no issues with Airplay on my 6s or Air 2, but my mac does have issues with the Airplay menu. Since Elcap
    is does not always appear in the menu when ATV4 is on. Restarting seems to correct it temporarily but it disappears again quickly.
    I have a 2011 MBP that has always ran Airplay fine with all earlier version of ATV so it seems like an ElCap issue.
    But whatever, it's still unresolved.
  4. benjitek macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2012
    Get the ATV4, try it out and see if it works well for you -- if it doesn't, return it.
  5. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2014
    I can't speak for everyone, but my experience with airplay and the new Apple TV has been amazing! It works great with my 5k iMac and our iPhone 6's. I do, however, have the new AC Time Capsule, so network bottlenecks aren't really an issue.
  6. wchigo thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2015
    Thank you to everyone who's taken the time out to reply.

    Hmm... the wifi working correctly part may prove to be interesting. One piece of information I omitted is that I work in a hotel and as an expat, I am entitled to certain "benefits" such as living in the hotel itself. Therefore, I am constantly on hotel wifi, which is probably a nightmare to most people. Thankfully, our wifi here generally works, with caveats, and we should be receiving an update to our network to move up to the new 802.11ac standard; I believe we're actually still on 802.11g right now.:oops:

    That's somewhat concerning since I have upgraded my rMB to El Capitan, but I think that most of my AirPlaying will likely be done from my Air 2 or Mini 4. Still, good to know. Thanks!:)

    That is definitely something I'd want to do, if it were more practical. Most places around here are resellers, authorized or otherwise, and generally don't accept returns; at most, the allow a 7-day grace period where if something is wrong with the device, you can take it back for an exchange.

    The closest full on Apple Store is in Shenzhen, which at minimal will take over 2 hours to reach (including a 1 hour train ride) or a trip down to Hong Kong, which may take up to 3+ hours in travel time. If I were still living back in Canada where I could drive down to my local Apple Store or Best Buy within 30 minutes, you'd bet I would have done that by now.

    That's potentially a concern as well. As mentioned previously, I am continuously on hotel wifi, which isn't necessarily the most reliable. It works fairly well most times, but if we are running at 80%+ occupancy, the speed can nosedive extremely quickly.

    As of now, where our network is still running on 802.11g technology, the average speeds I see are around 4Mbps d/l and around 5Mbps u/l. Of course that fluctuates; I've seen as high as 5.5ish Mbps d/l and close to 6 Mbps u/l but that's rarer. We are set to improve our network by early next year and it is looking like we will be skipping 802.11n and moving straight to 802.11ac, so I'm kinda hedging my bets on that pulling through.;)
  7. benjitek macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2012
    Hotel WiFi is often, not always, an 'afterthought' tech service slapped in place and offered like chocolates on a pillow -- just a little taste. Faster maybe than on an airplane, but not something capable of handling consistent video stream connections :(
  8. wchigo thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2015
    Preaching to the choir. Surprisingly though, I can say that our wifi is at least better in comparison to many of the horror stories I have been privy to.

    Certainly, it isn't the most ideal situation but unless we are fully occupied, I can generally at least have YouTube stream pretty smoothly in HD, albeit at 720p. There are times where the quality might dip a bit but maintains steady around the 480p area, which is decent enough when watching a video on an Air 2 or Mini 4.

    I'm hoping that the upgrade that we are scheduled to have will improve things quite a bit more, as our connection is often times unstable as well, due to ageing equipment and it being fairly slapped together; wifi was very rare back when the hotel was being constructed, so it was wired more with Ethernet in mind compared to wifi. Hence, there are many spotty areas of coverage and the signal can occasionally cut out for several seconds for seemingly no reason at all.

    I'm hoping that if I can usually watch a YouTube video in fairly decent quality that AirPlay will work as well.
  9. Uofmtiger macrumors 68010


    Dec 11, 2010
  10. rolsskk macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    You mentioned having a desktop, have you considered making that into a Plex server, and then using the ATV4 to play your media through Plex?
  11. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    Airplay was quite buggy and slow for me on the ATV3, even after upgrading to the AirPort Extreme router and connecting the ATV via ethernet. I could never get it to work all the time, particularly with 1080p video shot on my iPhone.

    The ATV4 however, has improved AirPlay massively for me. Leads me to believe the very limited hardware on older ATVs, particularly RAM for video caching, was much of the problem.

    AirPlay is now something I can use and trust.
  12. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    I bought a Refurbished Apple TV(3rd Gen.) from the Apple On-line Store in the year 2013 and I am one happy customer. So, last September I bought another Refurbished Apple TV(3rd Gen) for the Master bedroom.

    I live in the country of Costa Rica so I also do not stream using Netflix as I use it mainly to access YouTube, ABC and CBS News, Podcasts, etc.

    I also use the Airplay function to stream movies on my Mac Mini that is in our 2nd Bedroom to the main TV in our living room and have had no major problems.

    I may buy the latest Generation ATV when they are added to the Apple On-line Store Refurbished Listing sometime next year.
  13. wchigo thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2015
    I was unaware that AirPlay could even be done with Bluetooth. Good to know, just in case.;)

    I can't say that I have, but I must admit that I am fairly ignorant on the subject. I have seen Plex mentioned before but have no idea what it is. Perhaps it is something worth educating myself on.:)

    Thanks for sharing your experiences! That was something that I had considered and was worried about. Whereas I wouldn't necessarily be using the apps a whole lot, the better hardware in the latest Apple TV should provide a better experience in general with smoother interfaces. To have that extend to AirPlay performance seems like a given based on that assumption. Cheers.:D

    Good to know. If you don't mind my asking, what kind of speeds are you getting from your provider? One of the things I'm concerned about is how well my internet can hold up during the streaming process.:oops:
  14. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    Wchigo; I am getting around 2Gigs from my IPO and using the latest generation Refurbished Apple Time Capsule.

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