Apple TV doesn't sync large movies

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by JonnyDangerous, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. JonnyDangerous macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    #1
    Hi all - is there any reason why my apple TV doesn't sync large movies (>450mb)? I have my settings set to sync 'all' movies but for some reason it only seems to sync's the smaller movies. Each time the ATV sync's it goes through the motions of copying the larger movies (and appears to complete successfully) but they never show up on the ATV when I expand the 'movies' section under my Apple TV device in ITunes or when my iMac is switched off and i'm only connected to my ATV. Help!
     
  2. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #2
    >450Mb should be no problem. I know for sure it will sync movies in the 1-2Gb range as I've done it myself many times before. I believe I've synced some movies larger than 2Gb too, but I'm not as sure about that. Now, I just stream everything, which works very well.

    Guesses:
    • Is your hard drive too full to accommodate the bigger movie? Use iTunes to see how much free space you have?
    • Are you syncing via wireless and potentially losing signal during the sync (interrupting the file transfer)?
    • Are you sure you have a valid movie file? Have you tried playing it on your computer? Skip to the end to make sure the credits roll?

    Try connecting your :apple:Tv to your computer via a wired connection, and then test the sync. If it works, your problem is probably bullet #2.
     
  3. bergmef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    Southeast of Baltimore, USA
    #3
    Another guess is ... what's the bit rate you are ripping? I'm ripping my bluray discs at a high level and they do not show on the apple tv (on the list I mean). I have high hopes that they upgrade the hardware in the next three years to handle the higher def movie rips. For now, I use a mini to watch those.
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    450 mb is tiny in terms of videos. You need to tell us the video resolution, video and audio codecs, containers and bit rates of these files that won't sync.
     
  5. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #5
    Framerate would be helpful as well. An atv will play any file size movie as far as I know. I know I have a LOTR Extended that is around 6 GB which is synced and plays fine. Remember that a 32 bit mp4 has to be under 4GB ... as long as its a 64 bit mp4 it can be any practical size. And yes the atv has no problem with 64 bit mp4's.
     
  6. JonnyDangerous thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    #6
    Hi all - thanks for the replies so far. My ATV is connected to my iMac via D-Link powerline ethernet devices (which works very well).

    I checked the movies that don't seem to sync. File info says:-

    Video codec: H.264
    Video dimensions: 1033x432 or 1014x432
    Kind: MPEG-4 video file

    At least two of the movies where I'm having problems were ripped using the Apple TV preset in Handbrake 0.9.4.

    I can watch the moves fine by streaming to the ATV but they just don't seem to copy onto the ATV properly.
     
  7. fpnc macrumors 68000

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    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #7
    If those are 30fps they probably won't work since at that framerate the Apple TV is limited to 960x540 resolution. There are also limits on the bitrate so it could be either the framerate or bitrate that is causing your problems.
     
  8. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #8
    If both of these is true, something very weird is going on, casting a lot of suspicion on your :apple:TV itself or that powerline network setup. If these movies play fine when you stream, but these (same?) movies won't sync with your :apple:TV, it can't be a problem with framerate, resolutions, etc. If they play good in any way on your :apple:TV, they should play good in every way. The problem then is that your :apple:TV is refusing to "accept" the transfer of the file itself (not how the file is encoded).

    Is your :apple:TV too full to accept the file? How much free space shows in iTunes?

    If you have the hard drive room (and then some), I suspect that something is interrupting the sync, and the :apple:TV is giving up on the sync. Just as a test try making the connection with an ethernet wire connected directly to your router (try to rule out interruptions in the powerline setup you have) or your computer. Will it sync that way?

    Or, if you have 2 computers, hook one up to the :apple:TVs current network connection and see if you can transfer those same movie files directly from one computer to the other. Maybe even watch this transfer and see if you see the flow hang up (I would guess) many times.

    As I understand it, when streaming, the hard drive acts like a big buffer, so as long as you get some of the first part of the movie, even if there is an interruption- or multiple interruptions- in the streaming (of the rest of the movie), :apple:TV will just ask for the next part as soon as it can get it (much like downloading a rental from iTunes and starting to watch it before the download is complete; if the download stops for a while, it will pick up when more of the file is ready to be sent, WHILE you are watching the movie). I'm wondering if yours is streaming just fine but actually having streaming interruptions that maybe the sync process doesn't tolerate as liberally. The above test should provide an answer
     
  9. JonnyDangerous thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #9
    There's plenty of hard disk space available. I'm only using 30GB of the 160gb available. The really weird thing is that itunes shows the files sync'ing and shows them completing successfully but they just don't appear under the movies list when i expand the movies section under the ATV device list.
     
  10. fpnc macrumors 68000

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    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #10
    Are they tagged as "Movies?" Look under the TV Shows and Music Video sections to see if they are tagged incorrectly.
     
  11. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #11
    You say they play fine when you stream them. Are you saying it is these same movies? Or are some OTHER movies playing fine when streamed?

    If these movies play fine when streamed, do they appear in the movie list so that you can play them? If so, when they are synced, they should also appear in the movie list (tags don't changed when it is streamed vs. syncing).

    You can't rely on iTunes sync completing as the sign that they are there (on the :apple:TV). I still suspect that they are not completely making it, iTunes is trying to sync them however many tries it does, gives up, looking like the sync is done. I've had improperly converted movies before that would be in my iTunes movies list and play just fine on the computer. I could hit :apple:TV sync and it would look like they synced, just like any other movie. But they were not actually syncing to the :apple:TV.

    You can't have the exact same problem I had because your movies are apparently playing just fine when you stream them (mine wouldn't). But I think the result is the same: neither those (of mine) nor yours are actually making it to the :apple:TV hard drive.

    Based on your posts, I believe the problem is either your network connection (powerline) or the :apple:TV itself. You can test the network with the suggestions I offered in the last post (either computer to computer, or run a wired ethernet cable from your computer to your :apple:TV just to test whether your network is the problem). I strongly suspect your network is choking on the larger files, interrupting the transfer too many times such that iTunes and/or :apple:TV are giving up on that file transfer.

    If you test your network and rule it out, the problem seems like it has to be your :apple:TV. The network test is pretty easy to do, so try it.

    One even easier test would be to delete the problematic movies out of iTunes and then sync the :apple:TV. Let's say the result shows that you have 30Gb used, and lets say each of the 2 problematic movie files are 2Gb each. Add one or both to iTunes and then sync again. Does the 30Gb change to 32Gb (if you added one 2Gb file) or 34Gb (if you added two 2Gb files) after the sync? That would suggest that they've made it to the :apple:TV hard drive. If so, see if you can find them in the same list where they appear- and play- when you stream them. If not, you'll have an iTunes way to see that even though the sync may look "complete", these extra files are not actually making it because the "used" file size totals is still 30Gb.
     
  12. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #12
    I also find that iTunes won't sync a file that already exists on the Apple TV (for better or worse) even when the file in iTunes is different than the copy on the Apple TV (it may just check the file name and a few other traits). Thus, when I absolutely want to make certain that I have the same physical copy of a file on both systems I make a backup copy of the file on my Mac and then delete that same file from the iTunes application and then sync the Apple TV to remove any copy that may exist on the Apple TV. Then I use the backup to restore the file into iTunes and sync the systems again.

    That's a lot of work if you have multiple files that don't appear to be working, but you might try this on one of the files to see if that is your problem.
     
  13. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #13
    Good thought fpnc. I have experienced the same issue. So this guy may have synced a bad version of the file the first time, and since then good versions of the file will not make it to the :apple:TV because there's already a copy of that file (the original bad one) there. My guts still lean to his powerline network interrupting the transfer of the bigger files too many times, that :apple:TV and/or iTunes gives up on completing the sync. However, your suggestion with my gut guess could mean that he might have just had some network issues the first day he transferred these movies, resulting in unplayable files that did make it to the :apple:TV, against which all syncs since have been NOT transferring because (bad) files with the same filename is already there.

    JonnyDangerous, try deleting the files from iTunes, syncing, renaming the files that you know work (via streaming), adding them back to iTunes with their new names, syncing again, and see if they'll successfully make it onto the :apple:TV. Again, note the free space before and after the "add" sync to see if the file size of the movies is deleted from the free space after the second sync.
     
  14. JonnyDangerous thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #14
    Yes - same movies. Providing my iMac is on i see the movies on my ATV and they play fine.

    They only appear in my movies list on ATV when the iMac is on. If the iMac is off they dissappear.

    I'll try some of
    the other suggestions tonight and see how i get on. BTW - is there a limit on the number of movies that ATV can handle? I have 34 movies of varying sizes and it seems to only sync 30 (the 30 smallest). I can't imagine there's a limitation here but just wanted to check.
     
  15. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #15
    OK, that rules out a tagging issue. If they are in the movies list, they are tagged as movies. So if they are synced to the :apple:TV without you changing the tags to something else (like TV show, music video, etc), they should also appear in the "movies" list.

    Not that I know of. I have about 400 movies in the movie list. So I know for sure that 30 is not an upper limit.

    Based on the tagging issue being resolved, I continue to suspect your powerline network is interrupting the sync process too many times when you are trying to sync bigger files. Thus, the sync process just gives up on those bigger files trying to be transfered. I bet the direct wired connection test proves this, which would then help you narrow down your focus to seeing if there is anything you can do with the Powerline setup to resolve the issue.

    If my bet is wrong, odds go much higher that the problem is the :apple:TV itself. You've already ruled out that the movie files are damaged or improperly encoded since they play back via streaming.

    Try the direct connection and let us know what happened. There's still a few things left if it turns out that the network handles the big file transfers just fine.
     
  16. JonnyDangerous thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #16
    Quick update. I tested the apple TV with a direct wired connect to rule out the powerlines and the sync worked fine. I then tried using a wireless connection and that worked fine too. There must be something wrong with the D-Link powerline adapters as was suggested. I've tested the powerline connection using the D-Link utility and it tells me the connection is of the highest quality. When teh Apple TV is connected through the powerline adapter everything else works just fine, movie trailers, internet radio etc. Its just the syncing of large files that fails. No errors in iTunes at all - it just shows the sync completing. I've got a call logged with apple so we'll see where that goes. For now, i'm just living with wireless which seems more than good enough. Everything is already sync'd and my wireless connection is showing maximum strength. I'm just a bit pee'd off that its not working the way its meant to.

    Thanks for everyone's help

    Jon
     
  17. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #17
    You might want to try that other test: use the powerline network to try to pass a file from one computer to another (replace the :apple:TV end with another computer). Then, try to pass the same larger movie files over the network and observe what happens. My guess is that the flow of the longer files just keeps stalling and getting interrupted (which you'll probably see if you monitor the transfer), and that's what causing those files to NOT make it to the :apple:TV (it basically gives up after a certain number of stalled attempts).

    In any event, you might contact D-Link and see if there is anything they can do. Maybe you have a bad adapter on the :apple:TV end? Maybe there's a firmware update? Etc.
     
  18. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #18
    Did you try everything mentioned above? Can you elaborate on your situation? For example, does anything sync? If some syncing is working and some (larger files) are not, try the various suggestions referenced in this thread and let us know what happened. The key is always narrowing down the problem.
     
  19. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    #19


    This is obviously a SPAMbot posting.:mad:

    Cutting snippets from the title, subforum name and the first line of the original post.
     

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