Buy Wireless N Router for iPhone Streaming to ATV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ericinboston, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. ericinboston macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Hi all. I have a wireless G router (with 100Mbit ethernet ports) and my Apple TV is using ethernet cable to get best network performance.

    My iPhone 4S of course is wireless...but streaming any video from the 4S is painfully slow as it buffers the first 30 seconds...sometimes it takes 2+ minutes to buffer 30 seconds!...which is extremely annoying if I want to show a 30-60 second clip. I know it's 1080 material and obviously large amounts of data, but there's no other network traffic (wired or wireless) when I streamed a few times so it's not the network as a whole. It's either wireless G limitations, iPhone 4S upstream/push limitations, or some combination. As another reference, I can stream/buffer movies from Apple much much much faster than I can stream from my iPhone...again, it's not the network being bogged with traffic.

    Have any of you noticed this?

    I believe there are 2 answers/outcomes:

    Buy a wireless N router for $100+ and pray that Apple's iPhone 4S actually pushes faster on N instead of G. All theoretical technical data aside...will the N router really help or is the iPhone still gonna "push" at a slow speed? It's one thing to say "the device supports wireless N" and it's another to actually TAKE ADVANTAGE of wireless N.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    I have a wireless N router (Cisco E3000) and my iPod touch has no issues pushing videos from my nas to my wired atv2. The increased speed should definitely help with the buffering. ( WiFi G is 54Mbps 2.4Ghz WiFi N is 130Mbps and 5 Ghz is 300Mbps).

    First try changing channel on your existing router from default 6 to 8 or 9 - sometimes lot of people use same channel causing interference. If that doesnt help, I would suggest going for a decent wifi N capable dual band router (apple airport extreme or e4200 linksys) and that should certainly help.
  3. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    I'm having the same consideration. I have an Asus G-router. I'm thinking of getting the Airport Extreme! I've been reading a lot about the Cisco's and Netgear stuff, but I think going with a refurbished AE is just easier to deal with because I'm not too good with computer tweeks. I hear the AE is very user friendly and easy to set up. The refurbished one is also a bit cheaper I think.
  4. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    AE/TC are great choices. They just work. If price is a concern Airport Express gets the job done too.
  5. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Thanks for the reply.

    1)What do you mean you are pushing videos off your NAS using your Touch? Can you please elaborate? I'm just trying to push iPhone 4S-created-videos off my iPhone 4S and onto the ATV latest generation.

    2)It should not be my channel. I live in the burbs and other WIFI networks barely register in my house.

    Thanks again.


    I don't follow the AE too much but I do remember it used to have a major limitation as far as the # of devices you could connect to it. 10 I think.

    Linksys and Netgear brands are extremely easy to use...I'm sure AE is too...personally I wouldn't recommend Apple routers as router technology is simply not Apple's focus whatsoever. Just like I wouldn't buy a tv made by Nike. :)
  6. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    I use the FileBrowser app to mount my NAS drives on to my iPod touch and iPad. It allows me to click the movie files on the NAS drive and then AirPlay them to ATV2.

    If its not the channels I think having a decent N router will help your case.

    About Airport Express limitation - that's right, 10 devices. Airport Extreme has no such limitation as far as I know. Linksys routers are perfectly good too - they do a lot more than anything out there if you can put alternative firmware like TomatoUSB or Dd-WRT On them.
  7. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
  8. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    Correct. FileBrowser to iDevice to ATV2+ via AirPlay. I encode all my movies in h264 format atv2 profile which works with AirPlay.
  9. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Neat app....but if the movies are going to be streamed 3 directions (NAS>FileBrowser, then Airplay pushes it back to router, then router pushes it to ATV) that is 3x the network traffic as the ATV accessing the movies off my iTunes directly.


    Also, back on topic...does anyone know the real-world workings of the N gear on the iPhone 4S?...if I upgrade to an N router, will the iPhone push at N speeds or does the iPhone 4S simply "support" the N protocal and/or pull at N speeds but only push at G speeds?

  10. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I believe that is 2X. Everything goes through the router, even from iTunes to the AppleTV. Assuming that both the AppleTV and the Computer are network through the router. Of course you also have to consider that you are using 2X Wifi as opposed to using 1X Wire Network. Also, consider if your iTunes was accessing your NAS to get the movies that you then send to the AppleTV. I believe that would be the same but it would be Wired instead of WiFi.
  11. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    It's not really 3x concurrent traffic - FileBrowser / media player buffers the video from NAS locally and then sends it to ATV. It works great on a N router.

    iPhone 4S supports 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only) - which means if you have a 2.4Ghz band N router it will connect at 130Mbps and transfer at that speed instead of 54Mbps. Be sure to get dual N band router (2.4/5Ghz) so your iPhone can connect to 2.4/130.
  12. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    Regarding your WiFi Router. i upgraded to N a long time ago. I use Linksys and they work pretty well (I have 2 routers in my house to cover the space). However, I am not sure why you are getting 30 second buffering even on G. Real world G should be about 25mbps. My question is how far away from your iPhone is your Router? I.E. Is your G Router setting next to your TV and your AppleTV is plugged into it and you are on the cough just across the room. Of course this would be the ideal setup. However, if the router is in the other room down the hall then the distance could be your problem.

    Also, you do not need to speed $100 on a wireless router. Some mentioned the dual band routers but you can get a fairly inexpensive one for much less (single band). Just keep that in mind.

    Linksys E1200 Wireless-N Router - $49 on Amazon - many other options.
  13. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    I think I am correct...let me write it out:

    Filebrowser on iDevice pulls from network share (trip 1)
    AirPlay pushes what just arrived from Filebrowser back to router (trip 2)
    Router pushes what came from iDevice into ATV (trip 3)


    ATV pulls directly from iTunes (trip 1)
    (optional trips 2-4) if iTunes library is pointing to a NAS, that is now another trip out to the NAS to get the movie(trip 2)...then iTunes is going to pull the movie from the NAS into iTunes buffering system (trip 3)...then iTunes will finally push the buffer out to the ATV (trip 4)

    I am not using a iTunes library of movies is on the computer. Therefore in my eyes, it's 3 trips for Filebrowser vs 1 trip (in my case of not using a NAS) having ATV pull directly from iTunes
  14. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    You wrote this before. You said 3x and I said 2x. You are adding a trip to the router (trip 2) in this case but you are not adding a trip the router in the other case. Unless the AppleTV is directly CABLED to the Computer and not connected to the router then you are still making a TRIP to the Router. You seem to think that when you are hardwired wired thru the router then the router is not used but if you use Wifi then the router is used. If you are saying that hard wired is more efficient then WiFi then I agree. But I still think it is 2x and not 3x. My point is that the iPhone has to connect to the source and then send that to the AppleTV. Where as with iTunes it is a single path. I call that 2x.
  15. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Ah...I see my mistake...I am counting the router as the "trip" when really it's just in the middle of any given trip.

    No, I do know my networking so I'm not purposely stating things wrong. :) Just a counting mistake.

    Yes, my ATV is wired so any communication on its end with "the network" will be much faster than any WIFI device communicating on the network. The house is wired at CAT6 while my router is a 10/100 bandwidth. I could grab a new router for $100 but would love to know if it's worth it: a)will the iPhone will push better to ATV and b)I don't expect to do a lot of iPhone 4S videos on ATV while everything else on iPhone Airplay works just fine and c)only the iPhone and ATV in my house support N...all my other devices/machines are still from the G days which in reality is just fine with my 30Mbit internet connection and extremely rare file sharing inside my private network.

    Anyone? Anyone offer a first-hand-experience answer such as "Yes, having an N router you will see a huge performance increase pushing iPhone 4S pushing iPhone-created-vids to my ATV" or "Nah, don't waste your money...I tried an N router and saw almost 0 improvement with my iPhone 4S pushing iPhone-created-vids to my ATV compared to my older G router"

  16. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Yes, you will get "a" performance increased (not Huge, but it will improve).

    Does it worth $100? well that is for you to answer. $100 value is very different for everyone.

    Personally, I would expend the $100 on 5 lap dances and a couple of beers, before making the change on my network, but that's me.

    Note that if you are testing just that, it will not be much of a noticeable diference, the improve is on the bandwidth, if you are not saturating the bandwidth, then you will see no improvement, but if you try to push those videos while another machine is streaming netflix, another is playing MMO, and another is streaming music, them you will see an improvement.
  17. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    While iPhone 4S supports N, it supports it on 2.4gHz only. N on 2.4 gHz requires a pretty clean spectrum. If you have a microwave oven, for example, fergitaboutit while you're making popcorn! (iPad supports 5gHz).

    I've seen some evidence that - with properly-aware app - ATV3 (and maybe earlier?) can stream from the source rather than the device.

    I have a New iPad and an ATV3. When I stream from YouTube to ATV3 using my iPad, the iPad does NOT get warm. And it's notorious for getting warm when playing videos. (But maybe it's the video processor that heats up, not the CPU.)

    This suggests that the iPad just sent instructions to the ATV3 to stream the video directly from a URL (e.g. YouTube).

    There is a similar kind of thing available with DLNA. You can have a DLNA "controller" application. The controller just tells a renderer what to play. So, there are apps on iPhone/iPad that are DLNA controllers. You can select a movie from your library on your DLNA server, and then have it rendered on, say, your TV (which is a DLNA renderer). The TV then streams the movie directly from your server.

    Anyway, back to the subject: first make sure that you have a hardwired connection between your router and your ATV, if you do not already.
  18. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    Just to (re)state the obvious:

    Wired connections typically are always faster and more reliable than wireless. Use wired if you can, but wireless adds great flexibility in network setup.

    That being said, the difference in B and N speeds is for INTRAnet traffic; that is, traffic between devices on your personal home network. So if you're moving or copying files from your desktop to your laptop, you'll transfer them signficantly faster if both devices are N-capable compared to B.

    If you're over INTERnet, that is, leaving your home network, via the cable modem, and just uploading/downloading to sites like Facebook, Photobucket, etc., you are limited to whatever data speed your cable modem can upload or download at.

    300 Mbps doesn't do much for you if your service provider caps you at around 2 MBps.

    8 bits = 1 Byte, and they use them interchangably to confuse customers.

    300 Mbps, the theoretical max of typical wireless N, is 37.5 MBps. This is almost 19 times faster than your cable modem will allow transfer rate since upload speeds are typically capped. Download speeds could potentially see a difference; but remember, wired gigabit network cards have been around for a long time now, and as a typical customer, you aren't going to be downloading at 1 Gbps.

    That being said,

    I have an ATV3 with a Linksys/Cisco E3000 and I've never been displeased with buffering time. Maybe 10 seconds when I start a 2 hour movie, and not a single stutter after.
  19. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Are you certain about this? I think it's possible to get 300Mbps link speed by turning on 20/40MHz mode even on 2.4GHz routers - it's just sometimes not recommended as it can lead to increased interference.

    This (handy) KB article suggests it's possible to turn on 20/40MHz on a 2.4GHz router. So, the 4S might be able to connect at the full 300Mbps rate.

    AFAIK, my Belkin N router is just 2.4GHz, and when I turned on 20/40MHz mode the linkspeed jumped to 270 or 300Mbps and real-life performance is appreciably better.
  20. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    In practice on 2.4Ghz band due to the various interference possibilities (Bluetooth for e.g.) the N speeds never get that much better. I've never seen any of my N capable cell phones or iPod Touch to connect in excess of around 104Mbps.

    My MBP on the other routinely connects at 270+ Mbps to the 5Ghz router.
  21. saad3000 macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2012

    I bought yesterday a Wireless N router hoping to stream videos from my iphone 4s using Airplay to Apple TV 3rd generation faster than my Adsl2+ Thomson Gateway which is b/g.

    My new wireless router is: Tp-link

    I connected my Atv to Tp-link over wifi suggesting that ATV supports wireless N. And connected my Iphone 4s to stream a 2 min video this is about 300 MB size. And Streamed slowly and it played the movie after 30 seconds and buffered in the middle around 1 minute.
    I was disappointed and I don't know what is wrong with this whole network topology.

    The Tp-link wifi router is configured with:

    Channel: Auto
    Mode: 11n only
    Channel Width: Automatic (you can choose between 20mhz and 40mhz)
    Max Tx rate: 300Mbps

    **Note that there is no microwave or BT that is interfering.
    Any ideas please?
  22. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Buying an Airport Extreme is nothing like buying a TV from Nike. They are excellent products, though on the expensive side.

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