ATV3 Problems

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by zachlegomaniac, May 20, 2013.

  1. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    I'm having a bunch of problems with my ATV3, and was hoping some of you could tell me what is going on based on my hardware and internet.

    Here goes:

    My problems are that

    - When I mirror to my ATV3 from my iMac the picture on my ATV/Sony TV freezes and stumbles. Did so with HBO GO last night.

    - When I watch trailers on my ATV3 they are sometimes SUPER slow to load. This also happened with a show I purchased in Standard Def from the iTunes store (Top of the Lake).

    - When I mirror from my iMac to ATV3 the audio sometimes continues to come from my iMac and not my TV. I have to restart the computer to rectify the problem.

    - MLB TV on ATV3 goes in and out of awesome HD and something much uglier than SD (although it primarily stays in HD). 4-5 years ago I did not have this problem with my Roku/MLB.

    My hardware

    - ATV3 (with latest iOS installed)

    - Early 2011 iMac 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 running OSX 10.8.3

    - Netgear wireless-N 300 router WNR2000 v2

    - RCA DCM425C cable modem (rental from Comcast)


    - The ATV3 is hardwired with an ethernet cable to the router

    - just gave me 23.1 mbps down and 4.58 up - ping 9ms (what I usually get)

    - Comcast/Xfinity high speed internet

    Hope someone can help. Thank you!!!!!
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Is the iMac connected via Ethernet or WiFi?

    Try disconnecting the Ethernet from the ATV3 and connect it via wifi - any improvement in performance? (I know it seems counter-productive but give it a shot)
  3. zachlegomaniac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    The iMac is connected via WiFi. Thanks for the tip! I will try connecting via WiFi (ATV) when I get home from work.

    If anyone else has input it would be greatly appreciated.
  4. linds15 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    second this, my ATV had awful performance when connected via ethernet, always stuttering, buffering taking forever. went the wifi route and everything has been perfect since
  5. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    OP, while at it, why not try connecting the Mac via ethernet? That way you can test both wireless and wired ideas.

    Most of your problems sound like you have bandwidth issues: the speed the data is getting to the :apple:TV is insufficient for what you want to watch.

    Wired vs. wireless testing might get it. If not, consider other links in the chain: try different wires, test a different router, etc.

    One more thing: cold reboot each piece as part of testing if the solution doesn't reveal itself. I've found the old unplug+wait 30 sec+plug task is sometimes particularly helpful to :apple:TV functionality.
  6. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2006
    New Zealand
    I try to keep the number of items that aren't mobile but connect to wifi down to a minimum. We have a number of phones, iPads and other devices that come and go and use the wifi but for my Apple TVs I use ethernet as I do for the computers. This resolves a lot of the problems. I've even bought ethernet over mains adapters to knit my environment together rather than relying on wifi. The other issue you can have with wifi is if you're in a neighbourhood where there are lots of others using their own wireless routers. It is worth trying a tool like iStumbler and looking at the frequencies those other routers are set to and try and move yours into a less congested frequency as that will certainly improve performance. Most wifi routers will come preset to channel 11 for instance and if you didn't change this you'll definitely have problems streaming consistently. I was having similar problems until I moved mine down to channel 1 and my other one is up at 13.
  7. zachlegomaniac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    The strange thing is HBO Go, for example, streams fine via wi-fi to my iMac, but I tried going wi-fi on the ATV and i'm still getting pauses in video. I don't understand why I have the problem on my ATV, but not on my iDevices or iMac.

  8. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    There's all kinds of possibilities. Maybe the antennas in your computer & iDevices are better than the one in the :apple:TV. Maybe the position of your Mac & iDevices is better for receiving wifi signals. Maybe there is more wifi interference in the area where you have your :apple:TV located. Maybe the horsepower of your iDevices & Mac are just better as turning wifi streams into viewable content. Maybe the iDevices & Mac are set up to buffer more of the video in advance so that they don't catch up to the stream. And on and on.

    If you are successfully streaming to other devices via wifi, the possibilities like "need a new router" and similar fade... especially if you can get good wifi streams over in the same location as your :apple:TV.

    Can you temporarily move the :apple:TV to a different location in your home (maybe hook it up to another TV just to test). Still stutter? How close can you get to your router (for testing purposes)?

    Can you cut the whole internet/Comcast piece out of the equation by watching some video you've put in iTunes (this way you eliminate internet bottlenecks)? If you can test some "local" video and it doesn't stutter, your problem points harder at issues like sustained internet bandwidth & similar.

    Your original post implies that you've had it hard wired (too) and still had these problems which, to me, starts implying faulty :apple:TV. A wired connection should be plenty fast for streaming video.

    In your original post, you shared a pretty fast download speed. Is that consistent? Did you test once? Next time your :apple:TV stutters, go test the speed right then. And what else is going on in your house when you are trying to watch :apple:TV? For example, do you have roommates/family also accessing the internet (maybe eating up a lot of bandwidth doing their own thing)?
  9. JoEw macrumors 68000


    Nov 29, 2009
  10. zachlegomaniac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thank you. I am a my in laws for the weekend, but I will try all these suggestions when I get home Tuesday. The ATV is right next to the router. My old roku (downstairs) does not have this problem (although I'm not air playing to it).

    Will update soon.


    I checked the serial number already but they didn't match. At this point I might just take the device back and see if they'll swap it.
  11. zachlegomaniac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    Okay, I'm home and just tried mirroring HBO Go from my iPhone to my :apple:TV 3 and it worked flawlessly for the first fifteen minutes of Game of Thrones.

    I then tried to mirror from my iMac (same exact location as phone) playing the same episode of GoT from the beginning and it stuttered right out of the gates.

    It happens when I try to mirror ANY video from my 2011 iMac. It does not happen when I mirror from my wife's iPhone or my iPhone even when they are placed right next to the iMac.

    The last 4 of the serial number matches that of the :apple:TVs that were recalled, but the other two digits do not match (mine is 5J instead of J5 as seen on the 9 to 5 Mac screen shot).

    It's aggravating because I can't stream certain websites from my iPhone that I can from my iMac. Ugh.

    I guess I will just see if I can swap this :apple:TV for a new unit at the local store. If the problem persists I have to assume it lies with my iMac, and not the :apple:TV or iDevices.

    Also to note: sometimes the sound does not mirror from the iMac to the :apple:TV and I have to restart my iMac. Even then, I have to turn the volume on my TV WAY up to get sound out of the TV speakers. This problem, too, does not occur when mirroring from an iPhone.

    Thanks everyone for any tips.

    P.S. - Software updated on all devices.
  12. zachlegomaniac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    Quick update. The genius gave me a new ATV even though it wasn't a recall. He said he's seen this a few times I. The past couple of weeks. He also said if it continues to happen them there's a problem air playing from the iMac itself (I'm thinking its this).

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