Apple TV - streaming video on a G Router

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by snowmaan, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. snowmaan macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2008
    Sydney Australia
    How is the quality of video, streaming video from your Mac over to the ATV and plasma/LCD?

    I am about to upgrade my router I think, to N as the guy at the apple store said it would not be great speed-wise I have the 160gb ATV, but dont want to store it all, would prefer to stream it across

    Anyone had any experiences?
  2. JAWWC macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2008
    Anyway I had a wireless G router when I first got Apple TV and it streams fine. Have to wait maybe 30 seconds for a movie to start and then it's great except you can't fast forward.
  3. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    I didn't have many problems streaming over 802.11g, but 802.11n is much better overall.

    I think it is definitely a worthwhile upgrade.
  4. snowmaan thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2008
    Sydney Australia
    Ok thanks guys
    Went out and bought a N router, worth it really I guess

    Kind of like having a hot rod with a family car engine - you know it will do the job mainly, but wont be an enjoyable ride
  5. paulinhadrp macrumors member

    May 30, 2008
    Southfield, MI
    It streams fine via G wireless, but I constantly got my Apple TV dropped out of the connection while in the middle of a movie or a TV show.
    Now I bought a few N usb adapters for my parents to use on their G laptops and bumped the network to N. Aaaaah... my Apple TV never got dropped again. I do get a few 1-2 second freezes once in a while, but I guess that's ok.
  6. AeroStud1026 macrumors member


    Dec 19, 2007
    Galloway, NJ
    When I purchased my AppleTV I bought a AEBS because I wanted my 1TB External HD on the it was more for that, then wireless N. However that was a big plus.....I have my router set to Wireless N (B+G Compatible) so im pretty sure my mac and appletv are using N while everything else in the house is wireless g. It streams I stated in a previous thread I started I'm streaming all my movie content from the AEBS with my External HD to my Itunes directory on my MacBook then to the appletv....its flawless totally flawless
  7. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    Actually in this case then everything is going at "G" speed. You will only get "N" speed if all devices on the network are "N" . If you have some "G", then everything bumps down to "G". If you have "B" devices then forget it.

    This is why "N" doesn't mean the best performance. Also, its a draft standard so interoperability isn't there if you thow another vendor's draft "N" into the mix. It may be another year before the "N" spec isn't finalized.

    Better of staying with "G". "G" has good speed and is reliable. You can get great "G" access points that are dual radio. In this case you can have both "B" and "G" devices and the "G" runs full speed even if you have "B" devices on the network.

    I use a "G" access point with the dual radio and I only stream my movies off of Apple TV. I even bring it outside and stream movies in the summer to play on my infatable screen. Works great. Only take a few seconds to buffer the movie to start. No real lag.
  8. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    I think you are giving misguided advice:

    There are interoperatibility tests for the N equipment before they can claim WiFi certification, even though IEEE specs are not finalized.

    The specs are in draft stage, but the modifications from one draft to the next are minimal. There are a lot of optional methods that might provide additional performance and not every vendor supports each one, but the minimum basics already provide substantial improvements.

    You still get higher speeds even if you get G equipment. The base station drops down to G to communicate with them, but at other times when G equipment is silent N should behave like N for the most part.

    G base stations advertise a lot of additional features that are not compatible with rival company equipment, so N is actually better for compatibility.
  9. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    True, don't listen to anyone claiming everything will run at the speed of the slowest device... When will people stop spreading wrong information? I don't think that part's been completely true since the early G devices. Either way, it's definitely not the case with the 11n Extreme.

    I have a network with an Airport Extreme 11n, some G devices and one N device. The network is set to 11n (B/G compatible). This to my knowledge limits me to 130Mbit for N and the full 54Mbit for G, that's it. If the G devices are connected, but not transferring anything, i get roughly 70Mbit/s real download from the Internet on the machine connected by N, whereas G would max out at around half of 54Mbit/s.

    Speeds will drop while G devices are transmitting, but even then not as low as if the N computer was running G too.
  10. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    I first would like to appologize for the book that I wrote below but wanted to address some of the posts.

    I will say that the Airport Extreme is one of the top rated routers for 11N Draft 2.0. I also want to indicate that I misspoke in regard to the speed reductions in my post above. However, if a "G" device is added to the mix, speed will be affected across both "N" & "G". One can see the results of testing the Airport extreme on the SmallNetBuilder site:

    From the testing you can see that it also depends on which device "G" or "N" initiates the connection first as to how this can impact the speed. Other pages of the review will also tell you that the Airport Express uses only one radio, so you cannot take full advantage of 11N since you cannot use both the 2.4GHZ and 5.9GHZ streams at the same time. You are limited to one or the other.

    In an all Apple 11N Environment, the airport extreme would perform the highest since all chipsets are the same. But what if you have Windows Notebooks? The chipsets are not the same and performance will not be equal. One needs to take this into account.

    This thread was started with the question about streaming Apple TV on a G router. I as other have said that it streams fine and no issues. Yes you may have a faster network and maybe a slightly faster response rate on the Airport express but its not necessary.

    The other issue is are you better using a "G" wireless router/access point or buy a draft "N" like the Airport Express. That's a decision one needs to make based on the environment and other devices on the network.

    While "G" devices ware compatible today and will be for a final 11N spec, the question then is will current Draft 11N products work with final 11N products. See responses below.

    Yes the point is that it is in a draft stage. The current version of the draft is 2.0 and the IEEE Standards Board for final draft approval is scheduled for March of 2009. However, there still are a significant number of technical issues to be addressed. Only after final approval will there be a 802.11n product for which all companys implementation can be the same. At this point, what is avail for different manufacturers is "Their Own" interpretation
    of the current draft. Not all manufacturers are choosing to implement all aspects of the 2.0 draft. Since 2.0 was released there has been talk of alot more changes as well.

    While you say that there are only minimal changes between drafts this is not true. There are many significant changes on the table since 2.0 was released. It is a goal of the wi-fi alliance to ensure that all draft 11n products can be fully upgraded to final N products when adoped but there is no guarantee. If history is any indicator, by the time a new standard is finalized some 11n devices will be obsolete. If one looks back at Pre 11G products you will find that not one was not upgradable to the final G standard. Not to mention draft 11n 1.0 could not be upgraded to draft 2.0.

    One more note. The Wi-Fi alliance started providing interoperability certification for draft 2.0 starting in June 2007. For a wireless access point to receive certification, it only needs to be tested against five different 802.11n Draft 2.0 clients. Here is the kicker. Only one of them needs to be commercially available for sale.

    This is only true if you used enhanced "G" products. Like Netgears "G" max, etc that claim 108mbps etc. You then need match cards and wireless router/access points to achieve the higher speed. I too would stay away from that stuff and if I wanted "G" get only a regular "G" wireless access point or router.

    This last part is true, "G" will always be slower than "N", even if you add "N" to the mix. As I stated I mispoke above.

    First, in a realworld environment, "G" will never be 54mbps. Its truly more like 1/2 that amount. In your situation noted above, the "G" will also get take a speed hit, from what it could achive in a "G" only environment. Operating this way the "G" will down to more like "B" rated speeds in the neighborhood of 6-10mbps. (see the netbuilder review link above) where they tested this situation. This doesn't just happen on the Airport Extreme but with all 11N access points in a mixed environment.

    You are correct that the "N" speed will be more like 70mbps download, in this mixed environment, but more on a Lan then over the internet. Unless you have a T1, Fios I believe is the highest rated speed and that caps out at 50mbps. But as noted above, you have achieved higher rated speeds with the draft 11N Macbook for example then with a "G" wireless notbook but you have done this at the expense of the "G" devices speed now running much much slower then if they were on a "G" only system. It may be more beneficial to run the 11N as "G" devices (which is automatic) on a "G" wireless Router/accesspoint to avoid taking that kind of performance hit if you have mixed clients. These are things one needs to weigh and take into account.

    For example:
    In my situation, all of my computers and NAS are hardwired, except for 2 windows laptops "G" speed and my apple tv. I pull data stored on the NAS on a from the wireless "G" laptops so I want to keep that speed as high as possible. I don't suffer a performance hit, running the ATV at "G" speed, so I am better off with a "G" access point. Vs. using a Draft "N" access point and achieve even slower speeds on the "G" laptops from pulling data off the NAS or accessing the internet.
  11. daze macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2006
    San Jose, California
    The best way to use the full potential of N routers is to keep them running at just that. For backwards compatibility, plug in your own router and let it take care of your b/g network clients. Sure this means extra hardware, but the speed benefits out weight the cost, especially if you need the extra speed that N provides.

    I have an Apple Extreme N connected to a Linksys WRT54GL router connected to the Internet as well as providing B/G wireless access.
  12. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    You are reaching again... Capability to use both bands at the same time does not have much to do with 11N. Main advantage of 11N is using more than multiple bit streams in one channel (not at two different bands) through multiple antennas.
  13. M. Malone macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Mar 11, 2004
    to the original poster, I'm not that experienced in networks, but what you can do is plug in your old G router into the new N router as an access point. Have all of your wireless G machines connect to the access point, anything wireless N should connect directly with your new router.

    Someone who understands routers better can correct me if I'm wrong with something
  14. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    I realize I left something out of the sentence. It should have said:

    the Airport Express uses only one radio, so you cannot take full advantage of 11N, in a mixed environment, since you cannot use both the 2.4GHZ and 5.0GHZ streams at the same time.

    If the airport express was "dual radio", you could run the 11N network, full speed on the 5.0ghz band and your "G" clients would then use the 2.4ghz with their full speed potential. This would be the best of both worlds.
  15. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    I perfectly aware of that, that's why I wrote "max out at around half of 54Mbit/s". I didn't have any fresh numbers verified at the moment, so I settled for "around half of 54Mbit/s". I could've thrown in some specific guesstimated value, but just making numbers up is something I prefer not to do.

    I actually have a 100Mbit/s Internet connection at home, so the easiest way for me to gather numbers to counter "everything will run at G" was to use a web based speed tester.

    That kind of connection isn't very common, of course, but anyways.

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