Apple TV constant movie buffering

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Tech198, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    This may appear to be bandwidth, "blame the customers internet connection", but I can assure this is definitely NOT the case.

    At certain times, when viewing iTunes Movie rentals on Apple TV, connected via Ethernet to router, i get constant freezing during HD rental movie.

    This does not happen randomly, as i've rented tons on movies from itunes and all have been a.o.k

    my connection is 8/1Mpbs upstream, and i've noticed a conisitant pattern over time.

    it seems to happen with latest 2012 movies...... As to why its only them ? I have no idea,

    I agree, it's due to time of day i rent these, mostly in the evening, (same issues as Netflix, everyone gets on after work.. etc....) but surly then it would be any movie, not just latest ones.

    This would be the same if it was my internet connection... but its not..

    Is it just Apples server and for some reason where these latest rentals ? (eg Skyfall).
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    what resolution are you watching?
    what kind of internet? cable, DSL?

    8/1 while decent, really isn't great, and that's then numbers the internet company gives you, if you look at the fine print it will say "up to 8/1" so in the evening, you probably don't get the full 8 down.
    and if you're doing anything else, that will also eat into the bandwidth

    have you done a speed test to see what your actual speeds are?

    there have been posts in the past about the aTV being flakey on wired ethernet, you could try unplugging and going wireless, but that can bring in it's own issues.
    you could try switching to 720
    you could also try grabbing the movie, then taking a 15-30 minute pause to let it build up a buffer.
  3. Tech198 thread starter macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth

    Its DSL... sustained, yes... .. connection does drop a tad but never seen it under 8.

    Movie is 720 in all cases, as I *know* my connection will go down watching any higher.

    Waiting is usually a good workaround, but its annoying at best.. particularly when you rented it, to watch it immediately...

    No other activity on the connection at the time of viewing... and only affects up to date titles....
  4. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Have you tried renting it on your computer and then streaming it from there?

    The point about running speed test will be better tested if you run it during those evening hours where you have the problem. It looks like you ran it in the very late hours (11pm? Australia time) which, if true, really doesn't tell us much (unless that is when you having the stuttering problems). The working concept is that maybe you are facing too much neighboring demand on the DSL pipe such that the bandwidth is getting overly squeezed during what might be called prime time. Else do the reverse test: try running one of the problematic movies at the same time of the evening when you ran the speed test and see if the movie stutters.

    One more thing: I've develop a gut feel that there might be a little bug in :apple:TV in terms of free buffer space. I notice that movies streamed from my Mac via wired will play fine some of the time and stutter other times. When they stutter, I do the old, unplug, wait 30, plug on the :apple:TV. When I try to play them back after that cold reboot, they tend to play just fine again. The gut feel is that through use over time, the :apple:TV free space may not be getting fully freed up such that there is eventually too little free space available to avoid some stuttering. It's just a gut guess but it keeps proving out with the cold reboots in an 'everything else remains the same' environment (not dependent on my internet speed). You might try this too and see if you seem to squash this hypothetical bug as well.
  5. JoshMKB24 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2013
    Won't netflix not even stream 720p to you unless you are at least 15m/s download? I dunno, I think I would blame your speed in this case. 8mbs isn't bad for web surfing, but streaming large files, especially in peak times this could easily be the issue.
  6. iCarabma macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2012
    I bet it's your modem. Some modems have trouble streaming large HD files over wifi.

    I had a similar problem and I get 25down/1up on average. Then I plugged my Apple TV directly into my modem with an Ethernet cable and problem solved. Luckily, I keep my modem right next to the Apple TV anyways so no problem.

    Oh, and my regular surfing while steaming is much faster now too.

    Good luck.
  7. Hermes Monster macrumors 65816

    Hermes Monster

    May 4, 2010
    He does mention that he has an Ethernet cable plugged in...

    Does your ISP "traffic shape" at peak times? If you have an iPhone or iPad you can install the speediest app and check it in real time as you stream, hopefully that will give you some more info.

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