Apple TV & Slow inetrnet

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by dansbrooklyn, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. dansbrooklyn macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013
    Hi guys,

    I have an apple TV that I use to access a variety of programming, but I also use to to stream content directly from my Macbook Pro to the TV. Lately we have been having very spotty internet with intermittent dropouts. When the internet is slow, so is streaming, when the internet drops out, so does the streaming.
    I thought the streaming would work regards of internet connection, is that not true?
    The Apple TV's we have are both new ones but my mac is from late 2008.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!!

  2. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    it may be your router dropping out and not your internet.

    or it could be wireless interference.
  3. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    if you have a cheapo router, that's probably it
  4. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
  5. Beelzbub macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2012
    I have noticed that too.

    On my old internet connection, it was 5 down and 5 up. Everything worked fine on it for our needs, except Apple TV. It would take an hour to download the movie for playback, whereas on Amazon Prime on my Blu-Ray player, I could rent the same movie and it would play just fine. Both devices are hardwired too.

    I have since changed internet providers and no longer have that problem, but it was a problem for us when we had the slower connection, even though everything else worked just fine.
  6. dansbrooklyn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013
    More Info

    Actually I don't have a cheap router. I was using an Airport Extreme until just a few days ago and it had begun happening on that. When we upgraded our internet it came with a modem/router so we just started using that and its exactly the same issue.

    Running ethernet cable to the apple tv's is not really possible since one of them is 2 floors below the other.

    It was all working well until we started having internet service issues. Initially I thought it was the router (airport extreme) had stopped working, but now its happening with the new router also.

    I was just wondering if Airplay uses the internet to establish connectivity between devices?

  7. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    probably goes to apple to authenticate first

    can you buy your own cable modem?
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Did you try changing channels your wifi is running on? Maybe a neighbor recently setup a new router and it is interfering with yours.

    The only time the AppleTV would go out to the Apple servers (assuming the video is housed somewhere on your home network) is if you downloaded some iTunes movies and then all it is doing is validating that you did purchase said video. Otherwise no, the internet connection is unused for within the home streaming. We've still watched videos at our house that I have ripped from my own DVD's even when the internet was out completely.
  9. dansbrooklyn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013
    Yeah, I could buy my own, but I'm not sure it would solve the issue. I am going to call Time Warner to find out why our internet is so bad. I just wanted to know if thats what causing my loss of streaming from Mac to ATV.

    Thank you!


    Whats weird is that it corresponds with when our internet goes slow or out.

    I was wondering if my old computer had something to do with it, I read somewhere that Airplay pre 2011 devices required internet connection, but I wasn't sure when to verify that.
  10. cr972003 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2013

    "2 floors" could be the problem. I would test it in closer proximity to help diagnose.
  11. dansbrooklyn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013
    Thanks again.

    2 floors isn't the problem, I get full bars of internet down here and our Airport Extreme was doing the job with the ATV for years, until our internet started getting spotty. 1 of the ATV's is also within 15' of the router, the other is 2 floors down.
  12. cr972003 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2013
    As mentioned above the next thing I'd be looking into is channel interference. Test the wifi on another channel if possible.
  13. dansbrooklyn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013
    I did that! On channel 3 I seem to have improved my download speed from 3mbs to 30mbs!

    I'l go watch something streaming through to ATV and see how it goes..

  14. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    If you are in brooklyn, you probably have a bunch of neighboring networks.
    get istumbler it will let you see all your neighbors wireless networks and their channels. you want to pick the biggest hole to put your network in. keep in mind that channels overlap, to be clear, you need to be 5 numbers away. so 1&6 or 3&9.
    if your neighborhood is anything like mine (midtown manhattan), you will never be completely clear. you just want to aim for the biggest space with the weakest signals.

    you internet speed shouldn't affect your network speed.
    is it possible someone else is on your network?
    do you have the guest network enabled? or roommates who might be torrenting or doing other big downloads.

    check your network to see who is attached.
    if you are torrenting, make sure you have your upload throttled. You want to take about 10% off your available speed, as maxing out your upload will kill your download.

    also make sure all your coax connections are tight, all the way from the modem to the wall, including any splitters.
    a few months ago, my internet was going in and out, i remembered seeing a time warner guy climbing on the handrails in our stairway a few days before, took me several chats with Time warner before i remembered that, and the next time i walked by and checked, he had left one of the connections loose.
    but i've had the same problem with the cable connection going into the back of my modem.

    you may not be able to get to connections in communal areas, but if someone new just moved in, that could be a problem. They may have also jumped on your guest network.
  15. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
  16. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    i'm in queens and last i checked i counted 39 wifi networks that i could see within range. probably some more out there.

    i used to have all of my devices on wifi but they would cut out all the time, now i'm cat 5 for everything. i have time warner and never have any internet issues once i went to cat 5

    if you buy your own modem you will get a cleaner signal since all new modems are DOCCIS 3. might be your modem depending on how good your TWC wiring is
  17. jtrascap macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2001
    One thing that tripped me up was under the Settings > iTunes Store section. After an update a few months ago, I discovered Movie Trailers was continually dropping out in the last ⅓ or stuttering in first ¼ and then dropping out...part of it was bandwidth (I have the lowest-cheapest connection possible) but also that the Movie Trailers (hence, MT) was set to show in 1080 HD - knocking it down to 720 improved it so it hardly ever dropped out in that last ⅓rd, and then putting it on SD made it fast and smooth.

    The performance for the trailers made me question if it was ever worth renting a movie from Apple, but after discovering this I gave it a try. My HD movies - after a little bit of preloading - worked fine throughout, and don't seem to correlate to the experiences I have in the MT section.

    Perhaps Apple is prioritising services towards movie deployment (?) instead of marketing (which is what the MT section really is). With a little adjustment, both experiences are now perfect, but I needed to twiddle it.

    Anyway, if you're gauging the connection by the Movie Trailers section, it might not be an accurate estimation of performance.
  18. gnasher729, Dec 30, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    There are two totally independent speeds: Broadband speed and WiFi speed. Broadband speed is the speed from the Internet to your router. Downloading movies from iTunes depends on that speed. In your home, there is WiFi speed. Normally it is just "plenty", but if like Alert1234 you can see 39 WiFi networks, they will interfere with each other. In that case, sadly you'll need an Ethernet cable. Probably Ethernet from Apple TV to your router will help already, because normally your movie will go Mac -> Router -> Apple TV so you have twice the trouble. Or worse Media Server -> Router -> Mac -> Router -> Apple TV, so if you have a NAS device, connect it directly with Ethernet to your router.

    For the non-technical: Your Apple TV has a port to plug in an Ethernet cable. Your WiFi router should have _at least_ one port to plug in Ethernet, many have four. You just measure the distance, and go to eBay and order an Ethernet cable of the right length, obviously not too short but avoid one that is much too long, then connect the boxes. Don't buy the cheapest cable, but avoid anything overpriced. Make sure it's cable with connectors. (Professionals who put up Ethernet in companies would buy a huge cable roll, cut it to the right length and add the connectors themselves; you and I can't do that). I haven't checked if you need to turn off WiFi on the Apple TV, but it probably figures out automatically that it is connected through Ethernet.

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