ATV questions from a potential buyer

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by joebrown84, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. joebrown84 macrumors newbie


    Jul 14, 2010
    Norwich, UK
    Hello all,

    I'm thinking of getting Apple TV as the adverts I've seen for it on tv are very impressive, and the cost is very reasonable.

    However, I'm just wondering how vital it is to have a fast internet connection for it to work effectively. I live out in the sticks near Norwich, UK and as such our connection speed is awful at the best of times - if both my wife and I are using the wireless network then it's hardly worth bothering. I'm told our telephone exchange is due to be upgraded within the next year, shall I wait til we can achieve better internet speeds or just go for it?

    All advice gratefully received.

  2. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    You connection speed only matters for content that isn't streamed from your computer, in the UK that's just the iTunes store content.

    Could you run a speed test and post the result?
  3. joebrown84 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 14, 2010
    Norwich, UK
    Ping: 177ms, Download: 0.07Mbps, Upload: 0.32Mbps. Pathetic. This was done through the app on my iPad.

    So all of the songs, photos and films I have stored in iTunes on my iMac will be streamed without using the wireless network? And therefore these awful, ridiculous and frankly embarrassing speed test results wont matter, right?

    Many thanks.
  4. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    When you rent films etc it caches them so it'll just take longer before you can watch them. It looks like it starts to download, gauges your download speed, & then gives you an estimated "Ready to watch in x mins / hours"

    So it might be a while before you can watch that rented film, but once you can there shouldn't be any problem

    I find the AppleTV a bit limited (I'd like a heap of apps like Facebook, wikipedia, etc on it) but good at the things it does
  5. joebrown84 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 14, 2010
    Norwich, UK
    I'm not too fussed about the apps part of it, I'll be using it more to play music, films and view photos from either my iPhone, iPad or iMac. The fact that my terrible wireless connection wont make a difference to this is great news.

    Can anyone recommend any wireless speakers to install in different parts of the house so that music can be played in different rooms?

  6. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    The transfer speed of content pulled from your iMac (or iPhone / iPad using AirSharing) is gooverned by the speed of your home network. Presuming that it's of the ethernet or B/G/N wireless variety, you should have no trouble viewing content on an ATV - it will be almost instantaneous.

    Only content pulled from the internet (e.g. iTunes rentals, youtube, internet radio) will be hampered by your slow service.

    Don't know about wireless speakers, but you can use an Airport Express to feed iTunes content into any wired or wireless speakers within range of your network. You plug the AE into a wall socket, plug the speakers into the AE, and you'll be able to direct your music to those speakers - and any others elsewhere in the house (all independently switchable).

    Download the Apple Remote app for your iPhone/iPad, and you'll be able to control the iTunes output from that. It's all pretty slick!
  7. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    To echo what others have said: your internet speed will only affect the content coming direct from the internet to your apple tv. Music and videos you have imported into iTunes on your computer will stream over your internal wireless network so those internet speeds don't matter. And photos you have in iPhoto will stream over with no problem as well.


    Realize what those internet services include, and how the slow internet speed will render them:
    --Netflix (perhaps not available in UK?) will likely be unwatchable.
    --Flickr (for photos) will be frustratingly slow.
    --YouTube probably unuseable.
    --Vimeo probably unuseable
    --Free video podcasts from iTunes will be largely unuseable, though the audio podcasts may be useable since they have smaller file sizes.
    --Movie and TV show purchases from iTunes. There are a number of "free" clips that you'll be able to stream to test how well this works. When I had only a DSL connection (up to 3 Mbps download, but typically more like 1.5 Mbps), a one-hour HD TV program from iTunes would take MANY HOURS to download. With your speeds, it could take days.

    If you do get apple tv and want to watch a show or movie this way, I'd recommend you start the download ON YOUR IMAC the day before you want to watch it (or even earlier?). The entire movie or show will download to your computer in iTunes and be stored safely there. THEN you can stream it to your Apple TV from your computer over your local network. If you try streaming it directly to your Apple TV over the internet at those low speeds, it may eventually cache the whole video, but then if you do something else with your ATV2 in between, the cache will likely be partially overwritten and you'll have to start over from square one.

    Finally, note that your 3G connection on your iPhones may be faster than your home internet connection. Using Airplay, you can get much of the content mentioned above downloaded or streamed to your iphone, and then Airplay it over your internal wireless network to your apple tv. This definitely works with YouTube videos, and audio from many iphone apps. (In fact, even with a fast internet connection, I actually prefer using this method for YouTube videos since it is easier to navigate and search for youtube videos on the iphone than it is on the apple tv's interface.)
  8. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    This is a great option, but just FYI there are rumors that Apple will be putting out an updated version of the Airport Express soon.

    Seeing as how the current AE hasn't been updated for a long time, it might be worth it to wait till the end of September and see if you get a newer version with somehow improved functionality or perhaps a lower price. (Note the current AE costs the same price as the Apple TV, and that the Apple TV has an optical audio out port, so you could potentially use additional Apple TV's for this purpose as well if you have speakers with optical audio inputs.)
  9. baba blakship, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

    baba blakship macrumors newbie

    baba blakship

    Sep 15, 2011
    and I thought I had the slowest internet in existence...

    My advice is not bother with ATV until you move or get broadband passing in front of at least your next village.

    I got 1Mb/s here and movie rentals are simply impossible whatever others might imagine. And it's not a question of starting it on one day and letting it do its thing - the ATV just chokes and throws up an "unable to do that" message... sorry can't be more explicit but I use it so little as its so friggin useless to me that I can't rememebr.

    Unless perhaps you really want to set it up as a way of simply streaming from another compiuter, then sure - go ahead.

    YouTube etc works just abt ok tho...

    this is from the fine print on "A sustained 6-Mbit/s or faster Internet connection is recommended for viewing high-definition movies and TV shows, and a sustained 2.5-Mbit/s or faster Internet connection is recommended for standard-definition content. Internet connection speeds may vary depending on your ISP and other factors" wish I'd seen it before buying is all I can say.
  10. ataboc macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    you need fast internet to enjoy any kind of streaming.
  11. 15danielp macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    Please be clear on what you plan to do with the ATV.

    If you plan on streaming anything from the internet, such as watching YouTube or renting through iTunes, then your internet speed is too slow.

    If you plan to use the ATV as a wireless connection between your iTunes library on your computer and your tv, then that will work just fine.
  12. darster Suspended

    Aug 25, 2011
    Question. If you rent movie from iTunes on your computer (not ATV2), does it download to the computer HD and then stream to your ATV2 via your home wifi if you select it from your library on ATV2? Or does it just stream via the internet on the ATV2, no matter how you rented it? The reason I ask is if you do have a slow internet connection, one way to get around slow connection is to rent movie on computer, and then after it downloads, stream it to your ATV2 via your home wireless and thus not have pauses, etc. Or is that not how it works.
  13. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    If you rent a movie from iTunes on your computer, it will download the entire movie to your computer HD.

    To watch that downloaded movie on your ATV2, you have to go to "Computers" --> Your Home-Shared Computer --> Movies --> the movie you download.

    To rent/buy a movie directly on the ATV2, you go to the "Movies" menu item and select from there. This method will download/stream the movie over the internet directly to the ATV2. I don't recommend this method if you have a slow internet connection, since if there is a glitch you may have to start downloading all over again from the beginning.

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