Better Stream Quality and Overall Picture quality - WIFI vs Hardwired Ethernet?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Benz63amg, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    Oct 17, 2010
    #1
    hey guys so i got my new apple tv 4, it is placed on my home theatre tv stand along all my other components, my Airport Extreme Router is there nearby as well, will i have better netflix streaming etc and better overall internet experience with the apple tv by hard wiring the apple tv 4 with an ethernet cable to my apple airport extreme router or will it it be better with just connecting the apple tv 4 to my airport extreme wirelessly via wifi like all my other devices at home?
     
  2. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

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    #2
    Hardwire is always more ideal. Speed and connectivity.
     
  3. Benz63amg thread starter macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    Oct 17, 2010
    #3
    Thats what my common sense is telling me too which is why i connected the apple tv 4 to my airport extreme with an ethernet cord.
     
  4. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    #4
    Depends on the location and quality of the wireless router, as well as the modes supported.

    ATV4 added 802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO. So if you have the latest Airport for example, you will get faster speeds with wireless because the ethernet port is only 10/100.

    For example, I have Comcast 150/10 internet. Connecting my ATV4 with wired I max out my connection around 90Mbps. Switching it to wireless and my Airport Extreme (which I have 2) and it's getting a solid signal, my connection now tops out at 170Mbps (speedboost on Comcast).

    Streaming from local sources will also be faster assuming the wireless connection is solid. If the router is far away, your best bet is to stick with wired.

    -Kevin
     
  5. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #5
    With my 5th gen Aiport Extreme, I'm limited to 802.11n, but on the 5GHz band I get about 70-80Mbps. Wired I get about 90Mbps.

    Netflix says that their Ultra HD content requires 25Mbps, so either one will be fine.
     
  6. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    #6
    Yeah for streaming even 10/100 is fine. However now with apps and content downloads, I like being able to get the fastest connection to download this sometimes large content.

    -Kevin
     
  7. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Oregon
    #7
    Currently I'm maxed with my 100Mbps cable, so thats where I'm limited. The local telephone company supposedly has gigabit fiber available in my area, I've been looking into that.
     
  8. Benz63amg thread starter macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    Oct 17, 2010
    #8
    Well my internet plan is 50mbps so does it matter now that I mention this? Is wired still slower than wireless?
     
  9. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    #9
    You'll be fine with wired. Anything streaming isn't really going to tax the 100Mbps connection. Even local streaming won't saturate it. I think something like Plex maxes out at 20 Mbps.

    Only real benefit (which is minor) would be downloading things from the internet. Since your internet is slower than 100Mbps.....you're good to go!

    -Kevin
     
  10. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

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    #10
    Wired - wireless won't increase your speed and could only cause connectivity problems.
     
  11. RB1959 macrumors member

    RB1959

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    Sep 30, 2015
    #11
    Limited to 100mbps? LOL Try 8mbps. Mind you it still streams Netflix and HBO perfectly.
     
  12. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #12
    My parents are stuck on 10Mb DSL. You can't watch Netflix if someone else is using Facetime at the same time. It's pretty bad.
     
  13. Poontaco macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2014
    #13
    Assuming you get decent signal, then definitely go wireless. For some reason Apple didn't include a gigabit ethernet port. So wired maxes out at 100mbps, while using wireless(dual band AC) maxes out at 866mbps on the Apple TV 4.
     
  14. RB1959 macrumors member

    RB1959

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    Sep 30, 2015
    #14
    I'm supposed to have 20Mbps. Its 19Mbps at the road, 15Mbps at the top of the driveway and inside I'm getting 8Mbps max now. Its crap, but my phoneline provider is French so all they do is shrug and go off for a three hour lunch break.
    I cant believe Apple put 10/100 ports on this thing. What are they playing at? Weird.
     
  15. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 7, 2007
    #15
    So this is a solid confirmation that ATV4 MIMO can finally go beyond the 10/100 ethernet port? Has anyone measured the AC speed of ATV4 with the new Airport AC? I'm hoping it can go at least 300mbs streaming within a home network.
     
  16. Poontaco macrumors regular

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    #16
    I don't know of a way to test total network bandwidth with the new Apple TV, but I get full speeds with my 250 Mbps internet plan. So I know it gets at least that much throughput.
     
  17. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    That's great. Previously WiFi speed was hobbled at 65mbs. That's why I went ethernet route. With ATV4 I can now remove that cable and just go WiFi.
     
  18. Poontaco macrumors regular

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    #18
    That's using wireless AC of course.
    Using wireless N, I max out at 95 Mbps.
     
  19. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 7, 2007
    #19
    Yes I have the new Airport AC router.
     
  20. cynics, Dec 11, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015

    cynics macrumors G3

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    #20
    Ethernet.

    The only benefit of wireless AC on the AppleTV are convenience and bragging rights with the speedtest.net app.

    Edit: Internet providers have done a good job blurring the lines between speed and capacity. You'll get lower latency (speed) with Ethernet and higher bandwidth (capacity) with wireless AC. Since you'll never saturate the 100mbs Ethernet of the ATV it only makes sense to use it.

    Even if you had a 500mbs internet connection you'll never connect to a server (Apple server) willing to feed you more then 4-6mbs at once.
     
  21. Poontaco macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2014
    #21
    Wrong.
    I fully utilize my 250 Mbps connection on the Apple TV regularly.
    200 MB apps download in 8-10 seconds, rather than the minutes it would take at your (imagined?) 4-6 Mbps limit. And a game that downloads a GB of supplemental content makes the difference even more noticeable.
    Streaming rented movies from Apple fill the buffer in a minute or two, rather than the 5-10 minutes it would take at the wired limit of 90 Mbps, and the hour+ it would take at your (imagined?) 4-6 Mbps limit.
    Streaming movies over my LAN from my Mac are even faster(I'm guessing 600-700 Mbps real-world throughput).
    Also, in my testing, latency is the same over wireless AC as it is wired.
     
  22. winstars macrumors member

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    Dec 10, 2015
    #22
    I have TW Internet 300/20 MAXX, with a year old Airport Extreme and a Arris 6181 modem. With the speedtest.net app it says my ATV4 is getting 320/25 using the WiFi... I have not tried to use ethernet because its... not close by...

    With the ATV4, I am getting zero buffering and movies etc just play instantly, unlike the ATV3 it replaced. Is this because I am using the ATV4, which has AC, as does the Airport Extreme. My MBP and iPad are a few years old and I don't believe have the AC so I haven't been really using the Airport Extreme to its full capacity I suppose...

    I fully understand that I really don't "need" the 300/20, that 50/10 would be fine. But there are times in my home when I might have 3 or even 4 people online at the same time.

    Loading a new app on ATV4 is almost instant, understanding that 200MB is the max it could be...
     
  23. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #23
    Apple caps there servers at around that to a single connection. Post a pic of your routers network activity connected to an apple server exceeding that. Even if I greatly exaggerated do honestly believe you can get more then a 100 mbs download from a single Apple server? There is just way to many users for that to even be imaginable. But lets humor the idea and use yourself as an example, if you get 250 meg per second wifi or 100 meg per second Ethernet app download you'd save yourself a little over 1 second on the max 200 mb app size of downloads. So even if the impossible was possible we are talking 1.x seconds of time saved at best. That's a pretty tough sell IMO.

    Your latency testing is irrelevant, maybe you are lucky and don't live in a congested network area which can very well be the case. The best you can ever hope for "is the same" latency and that is because the bottleneck is elsewhere and not between the AppleTV and router.

    Streaming is also more irrelevant with an AppleTV. Assuming you are storing your media on SSD so it can even read as fast as your network connection, you won't be consuming the data that fast. Think about it, that is literally like trying to tell someone they need an SSD to watch movies on there computer. Haha

    I'm not knocking wireless AC, it's what I use for networking and if my ATV wasn't sitting next to my router what I'd be using. Just for me personally, given the choice I'll still take Ethernet at 10/100 for an AppleTV over wireless AC. YMMV however.
     
  24. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

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    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #24
    Wired unless forced to use wireless. I have 8 ATV's with one on wifi ac and the rest wired. I have multiple iPhones and iPads sharing my wifi. Anything that stays in a fixed location should be wired. I know all of the arguments with 10/100 verses wifi ac and wish Apple had used GB Ethernet in the Apple TV to avoid that debate.
     
  25. fpnc, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015

    fpnc macrumors 68000

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    San Diego, CA
    #25
    Regardless of your promised or tested internet service speed if you think that Netflix or any other video service is going to give you a consistent 100Mbps or greater stream then you need to think different.

    In any case, wired ethernet will most likely give you the best service, minute-after-minute, hour-after-hour, and day-after-day. You might be able to get peak rates that are somewhat faster over WiFi, but in most cases the overall experience will be smoother and more consistent with a wired connection.
     

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