Apple TV loses its connection to the network

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jwolf6589, May 3, 2018.

  1. jwolf6589 macrumors 65816

    jwolf6589

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #1
    Since moving to this new house with a 150MB connection my ATV 3 has lots its connection to the network while playing a movie or streaming Netflix twice. I know its not a ATV 3 issue since I not once had this problem at the last place I lived. So if its a network problem how can I convince the landlord of this and how can it be fixed? Or would it be better to connect to the 2.4ghz network instead?


    John
     
  2. techwarrior macrumors 65816

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    If you are connecting to 5Ghz, it generally suffers less from interference, but has a shorter range. If the ATV is near the edge of the acceptable range for the 5Ghz signal, it might explain the issue. Since 2.4 Ghz has a longer range, that may be a better option, but 2.4 suffers from interference from a lot of sources (Microwaves, Bluetooth, Wireless Keyboards\Mice, radar, other networks, etc).

    Experiment, try them both... Both should provide adequate bandwidth for 1080p streaming.

    If there is a way to move the WiFi equipment, that might help. If there is a way to hardwire, that too could help.

    If you want to try to analyze things, Option + Click on the WiFi icon on your Mac's Menu bar, this will give you details about the connection. Or, on iOS, go to Settings > Airport Utility > WiFi Scanner (On) then open the Airport Utility. Doesn't matter if it is not an Airport network, the utility will have a Wi-Fi Scan link that will capture details about all of the signals in range.

    If connected to the same band as ATV, it will give you insights, if the signal fluctuates then the router might be an issue. If it is steady but low quality, try 2.4 and see if it improves. Pay attention to RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator):

    High quality: 90% ~= -55db
    Medium quality: 50% ~= -75db
    Low quality: 30% ~= -85db
    Unusable quality: 8% ~= -96db

    If the landlord is supplying WiFi for you, chances are the router might be old and starting to fail. But, there are so many other factors that could explain the issues.

    Edit: One more thing, look at the placement of ATV and make sure it is not too close to things that might interfere with the signal. Move it away from the TV or power cords. Move it higher in the room, on a shelf for instance.
     
  3. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #3
    The task here is to narrow down the issue. Lots of good ideas in post #2.

    Hook up via ethernet for an evening and play the same movies/shows. Does the problem occur? If not, then there's nothing for the landlord to do, the issue is either wifi or :apple:TV. Note this is not saying you have to stick with an ethernet connection- this is just putting your wifi bandwidth to the test by eliminating that variable.

    If the problem also happens a few times with the ethernet connection too, then there may be something for the landlord to potentially address. Use a computer and Speedtest to repeatedly test & verify that you have a stable connection. Perhaps 150MB is marketing hype at theoretical peak speed and reality is something else. However, even relatively slow broadband will be fast enough for stable video streaming. So 150MB or 25MB is basically the same for these particular purposes.

    Your symptoms sound like the bandwidth is unstable (bouncing on & off). But there's all kinds of possibilities: router, :apple:TV, varying demands on your wifi signal (by others in your house or neighbors who have the password, etc), etc. Wifi bandwidth is capped, so 5 people all making demands of it at times can yield your experience. One friendly share of your wifi password with a neighbor can be paid forward with everyone living in the adjoining home(s), dynamically sucking up wifi bandwidth without you even thinking about them doing that (and they may not even realize they are using your wifi either). Easy solution here: change your wifi password. That cuts off everyone who might be eating up a slice of your wifi bandwidth.

    If it's community wifi (provided by the landlord), I'd start thinking that last scenario is very likely. A hotel might have fiber optic or GB broadband coming in, but when shared with lots of occupants, the wifi speed can slow down to pitiful speeds. The hotel can claim (even think) they have very robust broadband because they think about the speed sold to them. But they then are slicing it up and sharing it with dozens or hundreds of guests.

    So it's still a matter of applying process of elimination.

    If you happen to have another :apple:TV, put it in the same place using the same cables and same wifi, and play the same movies/shows at the same time. Does it also show these problems?

    The task here is always trying to isolate a single variable and then test it. If you can rule it out, move on to the next until you figure out the issue.
     
  4. jwolf6589 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jwolf6589

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4

    Thanks for the reply. I have not yet had any issues with 2.4ghz streaming so far but its still early. The ATV is on top of my cable box, which is on top of my BlueRay player. There is no way to plug the ATV into the router via ethernet here as its too far away and I am in a room. However according to the ATV I have a perfect signal. RSSI reads 55db on the 5ghz WIFI network.

    At the residence I just moved from instead of cable we had DirectTV and I never had a problem there. Perhaps the fix was to reboot my ATV as I did recently, so we shall see as only time will tell.
    --- Post Merged, May 3, 2018 ---

    Thanks for the reply. No one but those living here have the password and there are only 3 people in the house.

    I did download the speed test app from the app store for my Mac and for some reason bandwidth has dropped down to only 40MB from a usual connection of 150MB or higher. Is this because its evening time and I am on Cable? I have no other ATV's and have no way to connect the ATV to ethernet as I am in a room and lack such a long cable. However I may purchase a long cable if I continue to have problems. Perhaps rebooting the ATV and switching to the 2.4ghz connection yesterday has solved the problem, only time will tell.
     
  5. HobeSoundDarryl, May 3, 2018
    Last edited: May 3, 2018

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #5
    For streaming video 40MB will be as good as 150MB. All that extra speed doesn't really matter for this purpose.

    The drop to 40MB is something to explore. Is it really "usual" for it to be 150MB? Have you seen that in SpeedTest? Or was the speed pitched but not verified? If the latter, you can get after the cable company. They may have not actually given you want you expect. Or maybe you need something else to get that speed (a different modem)?

    SpeedTest it in the wee hours, and again in the morning, and again mid-day, early afternoon, later afternoon, evening. See if it follows a predictable pattern of being slow at some parts of the day and faster at others. Does it ever hit 150MB? Does it ever dip much lower than 40MB?

    If the 2.4ghz experiment resolves the problem, great. But if not, I'd be executing the ethernet test to pin the problem down to the wifi or :apple:TV. If it's too far, can you either move your router closer to the :apple:TV or move the :apple:TV and screen closer to the router. In other words, you need to execute tests to narrow down the source of the problem. This one is a biggie as it can help you determine if the problem is within your control or if you can toss the ball to the landlord.

    Writing that the :apple:TV is too far from the router for an ethernet cable might actually identify your problem. WIFI's reach is not unlimited. If :apple:TV is very far from it, you might be out at the fringe of it's reach... or maybe there's signal disturbing items between them? You need to get them closer together for testing purposes. And if you are going to have to lean on wifi going forward, you need to work on a way to bring the source of the signal closer to your :apple:TV anyway. If you don't control the location of the router, explore a signal extender device positioned much closer to the :apple:TV.

    One more thing: download Soeedtest for :apple:TV too. Then compare results with Mac results. Move various distances from the router with the Mac to see if speeds are dramatically falling off as you move closer to the :apple:TV.
     
  6. jwolf6589 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jwolf6589

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    I just ran a speed test on my Mac and got 173MB so the problem has been resolved. Oh and by the way I have a ATV 3 so I cannot download anything. It has worked beautifully with streaming video in the last 2 residences I was at so no reason for any problems here.

    If I continue to have the problem I will need to move the router closer (with the landlord's permission) or move my TV and ATV closer to the router and try there.
     
  7. Phil in ocala Suspended

    Phil in ocala

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    #7
    This is the big secret that all the hype never discloses about ANY wireless streaming device.....Firestick, FiretV, apple TV, Roku et al....anything wireless is problematic....my bluetooth speakers always have a problem connecting....every have a cell call drop off????????
     
  8. Wxchaser macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #8
    You can always buy a range extender for your router or think about going to a mesh type system for better WiFi.

    I recently purchased a Netgear EX8000 Tri Band range extender to go along with my Netgear Nighthawk X10 router.

    This was done as I have a large spread out ranch style home - and approximately 30 devices connected via WiFi. It really enhanced my WiFi on both the 2.4 and 5.0 Ghz channels and much improved that part of the network. I have many HomeKit accessories and switches, along with Hue bulbs - so it was well worth the investment.
     
  9. jwolf6589 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jwolf6589

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    I have yet to have a problem connected to the 2.4ghz channel. if I have this problem again I will need to re-consider my options. But hopefully I will not.
     
  10. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #10
    Moving Apple TV to router is always good, Make sure is not blocked ie. Apple TV is not inside a wood cabinet.

    I think that may of been the issue with mine, even though i has strong signal. Whenever possible connect to Eithernet, that will solve all problems, or if you can't, get few EoP (Eothernet-Over-Power) adapters. These utilize your power lines and work better than Wi-fi in most cases anyway... More rock solid connection. Even though the transmitting is technically still RF.
     

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