Apple TV/Network frustrations

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jmdeegan, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. jmdeegan macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007
    So...I've tried a ton of things, and I am beyond frustrations at this point. Figured I'd throw it to the forums for some help...hopefully....

    Some background:
    Verizon FiOS is our ISP.
    2 home wireless networks--the Verizon provided G network, and my own person Airport N network, which I primarily installed for the Apples.
    The Airport is set to N only.

    I have the wireless access points set up in the basement. The mac mini + 1TB drive housing all media is also in the basement, connected via copper ethernet. Until recently, the Mini was connected to a 26 inch LCD tv, which i've since relocated. As of that time, the mini's been operating headless, and honestly the 1 problem seems to be somehow linked to that (timewise, at least)

    We have 2 Apple TVs, one floor up in 2 different rooms. One room has not had too many issues streaming, but the other Apple 20-30 feet away was always fading in and out and could not maintain N connectivity. So in addition to the Airport Base running N, i added an airport express to boost things, and everything seemed fine.

    So, here are the issues i continually encounter:

    1-I will confirm that the two Apple TVs are connected to the N network, and at some unknown point, at least one will drop from the N network to the G network, and i don't understand or see why. Obviously, running over the G network is slower, and increases the stuttering I already still see with streaming.

    2-Stuttering during streaming. Even running in N speeds, streaming is still hit or miss. Running ethernet cables is not an option for this setup unfortunately.

    3-The Mac Mini issue--I had been connecting via chicken of the vnc, and life was good. Now, it is not. I've had too many instances of the mini and drive and AEBS being up and running, but the Apple TV not reflecting the library-it only displays what is synced.
    Then, when i try to open up chicken of the vnc, the panel does not show the mini as an option to connect to, even tho the power is on and things seem to be running. As it is headless tho, I end up rebooting to try and bring it back, and as often as not it takes multiple attempts before it does come back--i am to the point of grabbing a cheap LCD just to return the system to having a monitor, but i would rather not since i actually enjoy the small footprint and have no need for the monitor otherwise.

    Looking for some suggestions on why, inspite of getting 5 bar strength for both Apple TVs, there is still a streaming issue with both-one more than the other, but both have exhibited it. Also looking to understand why it changes from N to G on its own, and open to any suggestions about the mac mini becoming orphaned effectively....being up but unreachable...The one thing I am considering is switching from the Mini to my older macbook, just to have a monitor/keyboard/mouse again....except the mini, AFAIK, presents the wiser option to leave up and running on a 24x7 basis. Plus the MacBook is used to to my Handbrake encodes, which means it tends to get noisy with the fans---and id rather keep it out of the tv stand while thats going on--where the MB would be, and the noise it would generate during that time, would not be a good place for it

    open to any and all troubleshooting (outside of rebooting constantly and running cat6 cables....)

  2. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world

    Look @ your Mini and the exteranal HD connection for the streaming issue. Often when there is a lag or issues it can be b/c of where the media is being stored and how fast the data transfer is.
    Also look at your two wireless networks as a possible reason for the dropped signal. Sometimes it helps to start over and begin simple. Set up one portion of your network and run tests. Make sure everything is running correct before adding more to it.

    Hope that helps a little bit?
  3. jmdeegan thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007
    so far as i can tell, the 1tb usb2 drive is fine, i suppose i could consider finding a 1tb firewire solution but i'd expect usb2 to be fine.

    as for the wireless networks, i made the N network only for the apples (and my macbooks) because the verizon provided G wireless router sucks, its got issues and theres not much to do about it, and we cannot get rid of it because its responsible for the on-demand, guides etc. i had a ton of issues just with my laptops and that router, which is why i got the N network--i expected that at least streaming materials contained on their own network should be fine, and ive routinely been in the furthest rooms with great signal strength on the N band. when i have to re-force the apple tv to link to the N network, it still sees 5 bar strength, so i was actually thinking its something with the apple where it goes and searches when it doesnt need to...kinda frustrating
  4. jmdeegan thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007
    and a lot of this is moot if the mac mini opts to continually be unavailable following reboots while headless....

    ive rebooted 5x since 8 PM tonight and not once has it come back responding to pings or visible in the VNC. Without it coming online, there's nothing to stream so it is futile.
  5. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
    Your right the USB should be enough or fine. I guess I'm not sure I was trying to offer ideas. I still suspect the G network (verizon) is the reason for many of the issues.
    I use a 1TB FW800 external HD connected to an iMac which is connected to a TC. I've never had any streaming issues with my ATV's. I'm only using a G network and both are at least 30 feet away from the TC.

    Can you disconnect your verizon network and see if your N (internal network) streams ok?

    Just a thought?
  6. jmdeegan thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007
    probably could at some point in the near future. I just wouldn't expect this behavior out of the G device.
    I mean, i know after i download my weekly shows, i have to reboot the device (sometimes before the downloads finish) because it just sucks like that. but, i cannot turn it off because there's at least one laptop in the house still reliant on G...i wish i could....

    of course, it also is making me wish apple was forward thinking enough to either 1-upgrade the disk space on their own beyond the 160 so i could synch more material and or 2-make the USB port available on the back end, without a hack, so streaming wouldnt be that big a deal.

    i am more than likely going to take some time in the next week or so to basically rip out my N stuff and rebuild it from scratch. I may even refresh the apple tvs just because.

    the mac mini is still killing me tho. either i go out and grab a 100 dollar LCD that i dont really want to buy, just to troubleshoot the mini....or i retire the mini and put in its place the laptop--which is an option i do not favor for reasons outlined earlier.

    tons of fun. and steve jobs calls this a "hobby"....

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