Do not use ATV2 for Netflix

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rockinred, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. rockinred macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Exactly what the title says. Wanted to share this with anyone considering buying ATV2 specifically for Netflix streaming. Save you some heartache....I have 2 ATV2 and PS3 and a Wii. ATV2 is the worst and I constantly get buffering and timeout during movie play. This is with a 20Mbps download speed wired connection. If I switch movie to other source I do not have the problem at all!

    Very disappointed and wanted to share this. Personally I feel it is intentional, but who knows. What I do know is that I don't experience it with the other devices. To me it is a bad deal since the ATV2 device has very limited functionality and is designed for streaming, and it performes the worst?

    So my advice is to get it for other reasons, but DO NOT get it for Netflix....there are other better options.

    Recent updates did not fix bugs on this, and i think it is unnacceptable. This is a known problem and Apple could care less about all the complaints and concerns that have been voiced. Pretty annoyed about it.
  2. holidaypf macrumors member

    May 11, 2009
    Dallas, Texas

    Yep. Bought one and returned it the next day. Quality is much lower for some shows (and no it is not just a 720 v. 1080 issue) and the download speed is horrible.

    Just wanted to let you know someone else agrees with you before a bunch of people jump on here and rip us for not knowing how to adjust the ip settings exactly right. :D
  3. nearlycomplete macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2011
    Anaheim, Ca
    not sure i agree. i have the atv2 and i don't have any issues with buffering and netflix. My internet connection is 12meg on att uverse and i have more trouble loading podcasts from itunes then i do loading movies from netflix...
  4. Misterioso macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2005
    Thanks for the public service announcement but your experience is not the norm.

    I have used Netflix on a variety of devices. Apple TV works very well for me with very good quality. It loads and buffers quickly as well. So, not sure why you are having problems, but I have not had any problems.
  5. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Netflix works great on my ATV2, friends got one too and it works like a charm.
  6. laurim macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2003
    Minnesota USA
    Works great for me, too. Funny how people think if they have issues, everyone else does too. Getting tired of telling people to troubleshoot their setup.
  7. rockinred thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    I'm not sharing this to argue on here. Just looking out for others. I would say it was just a bad deal, but after my second atv box in the living room with same problem as my bedroom....I am going to say it is not an isolated incident. Also, do a google search it is all over the web. Glad some don't have to deal with it, but it is a real issue for many. Especially when the ps3 is plugged into the same switch and doesn't do it.
  8. rockinred thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Please....whatever....doubt you can educate me.
  9. Trevasta macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2009
    I play netflix on my ATV2, Vizio internet enabled TV, Wii, Xbox 360, computers, and iPhone. The ATV2 has the least buffering issues of all devices except the Vizio (which plays flawlessly every time). The ATV2 begins playing faster than other devices as well.
  10. Misterioso macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2005
    if you do a search for PS3, or wii, or samsung netflix issues you will find a lot of complaints too.
  11. rockinred thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    lol...well that is true. I am just having multiple events where I am getting my movie stopped on the ATV2. Thought it was the wireless concern in my bedroom, even though my pc clocks around 17mbps. So I bought my second ATV2 for home theater in my living room and on this one connected it to my switch along with the rest of my home theater devices and this box had issues with movies as well. I let it buffer, press pause and turn on ps3, resume playing and never experience it again. This has happened multiple times. Enough to where I wanted to share with others to save some grief.

    I think I get bugged over this issue, because every apple rental I have rented... I never experienced an issue with it. Also, I wanted it to be my main source for streaming and have to revert over to other devices.

    So if other have good experience...then it is good for them to post it as well. I think consumers would like to know that many are also having a negative experience as well. And this is not one of those goofy folk problems where the person can't connect up components correctly. I would also like to note that I have watched entire movies without it requiring buffering. It just happens more often than not.
  12. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Netflix works fine on my ATV2. It must be your network settings.
  13. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Oct 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA
    I've had mixed results with the Apple TV 2 and Netflix. This is on a wired ethernet system connected to Cox cable that regularly runs at about 10Mbps up/down. Some days/nights it seems fine and other days it can run pretty poorly (pauses every ten minutes or so, sometimes more often, sometime less often like once or twice per hour). These are for standard definition titles with two channel audio.

    I've never really been able to track down the cause. However, once when it was really bad I tried to stream some content to my MacBook over WiFi and even the MacBook had problems. Then I ran SpeedTest and that also showed some very poor throughput. In this case, it looked very much like a router or ISP issue but since the stumbles come and go and are intermittent it is very difficult to track down the specific source of the problem. There may even be multiple causes and it just depends on which day as to what problem source you get.

    The thing I have noticed, however, is that it appears that the Netflix app on the Apple TV caches very little of the content stream. Thus, if there is any interruption in the flow of video, even if only for a short while you may experience pauses in the playback. This means that no matter how fast your connection is if you get a drop out or interruption in the data flow that lasts more than a few seconds you may get a pause in the playback.

    As for the video quality, I've never seen anything that was really horrible, just intermittent pauses or very slow startup in the beginning (and even then, not on every use or on every day).
  14. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Oct 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA
    I also have a PS3 with both Netflix and Hulu Plus that is in another home away from my Apple TV 2. This location is running on an AT&T DSL connection that typically measures 2.5Mbps with At this other location when running on the PS3, Netflix works very well but Hulu Plus is often almost unusable with pauses every thirty seconds during the playback of 1Mbps standard definition streams. Thus, even on the same PS3 with the same ISP and router I see radically different results between these two services.

    I use this example to show how difficult it can be to diagnose these types of video playback problems. On the PS3 is the problem in the Hulu Plus app or the Hulu service itself? Most likely it is some type of interaction between the Hulu Plus service and app and my ISP/router which coincidentally doesn't affect Netflix whatsoever.

    Similarly, it could just be a matter of average throughput where Netflix uses a slightly lower bandwidth than does Hulu Plus. The differences in the bandwidth requirements could be fairly minor (a few hundred kilobits per second) but given any particular setup the end results could be quite radically different.
  15. rockinred thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    This about sums up what I have been experiencing. Although, I always get a good feed with no interruptions on my macbook pro and iPad. I just can't use those as family entertainment. Apple's site has quite a few write ups on the issue with their tech support, just not and official fix to all the issue. IMO this is a known issue with a whole bunch of theories as to why, but nothing definitive. Nothing official has been announced by Apple. I think your cache assessment might be on to something and might be what can happen. That would explain the inconsistency on occurrences from different users. Some connections might be solid depending on the ISP in the different areas. This would explain where speed is not an issue, just an actual quick interruption occurring. Here is one blog that did a write up on another alleged fix to the problem.

    Hopefully a fix comes out from Apple. Contrary to what some believe including the link above, I think Apple should address the issue or concern. It is a common complaint with the same issue being echoed by many of us. That is the reason I wanted to share concern with others and maybe prevent them from the headache as well.
  16. japasneezemonk macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2005
    I have 20Mbps down and my ATV2 works fine over wifi. I use netflix almost every day. At my home we stream netflix, npr, rhapsody, and browse the web all at the same time, in different rooms obviously, and netflix seems to deal fine with the buffering.
  17. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Oct 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA
    Even before I clicked on that link I was saying to myself, "I hope this isn't another post that says that you can fix the problem my changing your DNS settings." That claim has been circulating for a long time, with variations that are sometimes in direct conflict with each other. I've never gone down that path as an attempted fix since I've read reports that say it doesn't change the behavior, or it makes it worse, of whatever. In any case, that user updated his blog just today (Mar. 17) to say that the latest Apple TV firmware update fixed the problem for him and that DNS settings are no longer an issue.

    I think I've only watched about two hours of content on Netflix since I updated the Apple TV firmware to v4.2 (i.e. the iOS 4.3 release). During those hours the behavior seemed to be pretty good, but I've had a few other times even before the update where there was no problem so I'm not ready to say that there has been a marked improvement with the latest firmware.
  18. Moyank24 macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2009
    in a New York State of mind
    I haven't had any buffering issues with Netflix on my ATV 2 either, and we use it on a daily basis. The only problem with Netflix I've encountered is every once in a while the sound would totally go out for about 30 seconds and then just come right back on.

    Fortunately, this latest update seems to have fixed it since I haven't had the problem since.
  19. djmodifyd macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2008
    No issues for me at all either.

    Movies start in 5 seconds or so and never buffer....and that is HD shows
  20. Shoesy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2007
    Colchester, UK.
  21. flashgj macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    Very happy with ATV2 and Netflix

    Add me to the list of happy ATV2 users with Netflix and every other service on the device. One time I had very poor performance trying to watch an Apple rented movie and Netflix also was stuttering. I rebooted my Apple Extreme and everything started working great again and have not had any problems since.

    My advice FWIW, having problems? Reboot everything and try again. I think for those that r having issues, the problem could very likely lie somewhere else rather than the ATV2.
  22. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Clear from these comments that your issues are not unique to you, but are also not applicable to every ATV2 owner. Sweeping judgments based on your one personal bad experience don't help anyone.

    FWIW, I have an ATV2 and use it almost exclusively for streaming off-site content, i.e., content not located on my local network shares. This includes Netflix, Icefilms via XBMC, etc. My Netflix performance has been trouble-free.
  23. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    Also Disappointed.

    Same problems as OP. My ancient Roku works great under the same exact circumstances. Have had to swap one for the other. I never bother with Netflix on the ATV2 now, and that is the main reason I purchased it. :(
  24. s15119 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2010
    I DO use ATV2 for Netflix. And I will continue to do so.

    Yeah, I get an occasional stutter now and then. But 99% of the time it works flawlessly.
  25. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    My experience is about the same, we watch a bunch of Netflix content on our ATV2. We have occasional problems, not sure i would attribute to buffering. Sometimes the audio stops and sometimes the playback stops (like you hit the pause button).

    I would say i am good about 90% of the time, but it works well enough for us.

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