Downloading a movie today - 5 days until complete

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Lumpydog, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    So - I'm pretty much done with "Apple TV". For the second time in as many months, my family planned to sit down and watch a movie. Popcorn popped, feet up - choose a movie to watch... and its download speed says we get to watch in 5 days... in the last hour it's managed to get to 5%.

    The family has dissipated and the kids are disappointed. I'm sitting in front of a half eaten bowl of popcorn wondering why we put up with this crap.

    Yes, I tested my network connection. My XBox was able to download a demo game in the normal amount of time. An internet speed test on my PC shows plenty of download speed...

    This sucks.

    The problem is, at this point, I'm just not going to use my Apple TV for what we bought it for... Me nor my family trusts it enough to plan a night around using it.
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Before you go all up in arms, what about contacting Apple and complain about that issue and explain to them, in a calm fashion, that this is really frustrating.

    It may also have to do with your settings on the Apple TV. Does every movie load that slowly? You could try with trailers.

    Btw, if a movie loads 5% in 60 minutes it will be done in 1200 minutes which is not even a day (1440min). But still very long. I had torrents that load faster.
  3. Lumpydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    Trailers would not load either... The thumbnails on the "Top Movies" screen loaded one at a time over the course of a minute - painfully slow...

    I rebooted the ATV - no improvement. In the last 30 minutes, 50% of the movie suddenly downloaded.

    As I mentioned, I tested downloads on my XBox, and PC - they were very fast.

    It's something on Apple's server-side.

    My point here though. It doesn't "just work" - Two out of two times over two months - the only time I really ever depend on it to work as advertised - and it doesn't. I can promise you, my wife and kids will pass on a movie night next time - in favor of something else.

    Honestly, I'm better off going to the store and getting a DVD.... Which is what I did tonight - just got back from blockbuster. I'll watch the movie with my wife after the kids are asleep in a few mins - and drive it back to the store when I'm done.

    I'm not calling Apple to complain or figure out why there network sporadically boggs down - I'd rather spend my time watching a movie - which I'm off to do - the old fashioned way, on a DVD.

    BTW, At this point, after renting the movie 2 hours ago, it's at 58%... Regarding your math - I was just reporting what ATV was telling me "your movie will be ready to watch in 5 days". Almost comical.
  4. wombat888 macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2008
    I think they have issues with server scaling on weekends.

    For what it's worth, I rented a movie tonight (Verizon FIOS in northern VA) and it downloaded very rapidly ... ready to watch within a minute. But that doesn't help you.

    My only advice to mitigate the problem would be to rent the movie in advance - which I know doesn't always work, since everybody likes a vote in what you pick, but you can start the download up to 30 days before actually watching the movie.
  5. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
  6. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    Maybe I overlooked it, but who is your isp? There have been a few threads on various forums (including here) of some issues downloading certain content from apple, with the theory that the ISP is either throttling the traffic, or that they pushed an update out to their equipment (modem) that for whatever reason doesn't work well with iTunes movie rentals and purchases.
  7. Shoesy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2007
    Colchester, UK.
    My ISP (Virgin Media UK) throttles me every time I try and download an HD movie, first half works fine, second half takes hours. I buy in advance if I'm gonna use it - but it certainly does discourage me from renting.

    On the plus side SD works fine for me here.

    Try explaining that to the kids tho :(
  8. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    Mine was fixed by changing my DNS to google and OpenDns works too. Your IP'S server can throttle downloads.
  9. couto27 macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2008
    my broadband is 10mb unlimited

    since april 2008 i rented about 5 movies a month more or less 50 movies , never had a slow download,never ,never ,never.... and im doing downloads outside of usa with us itunes account.
    my advice blame your isp.
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    im with you there. apple servers are amazingly fast, the ISP is the problem here.
  11. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    If you could post a link/info on how to do that I'd appreciate it.

    My internet provider is via comcast here in Howell, Mich.
  12. Lumpydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    Excellent suggestion

    This is an excellent suggestion. If I understand this, you go to settings/general/network and select "configure ethernet" then select "manually". Cycle through all the settings (IP address, etc) and change the DNS setting to

    I'll try it out and see how this flies.

    I agree that there is something going on here either with Apple or an intermediary (the ISP). Mine is Comcast. Let's see if using Google's DNS fixes this.
  13. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    I hate the ATV as much as the next guy, but it's not at fault here.
  14. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    Unlikely in the extreme. DNS is the Internet's telephone book. Whether it takes 5 milliseconds or 100 milliseconds to look up an IP address isn't going to make any appreciable difference to a download that takes many minutes to complete. Once that IP is looked up, we're done with DNS for the duration.

    (who has never had a problem with Apple TV downloads taking a long time, regardless of day-of-week)
  15. wombat888 macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2008
    There are a lot of things it could be, but the reports most often include comparisons with Internet speed for other stuff, and it generally sounds specific to the Apple TV/iTunes movie download.

    My hunch is that Apple has server farms in various locations with the intention that users hit the farm closest to them, and the people experiencing problems happen to be hitting the server farms with the heaviest loads, or with some other issue going on. But who knows, we'd need far more info to meaningfully troubleshoot.

    Either way - there are too many reports of this for it to be a coincidence or a minor issue. I personally would not plan a Friday or Saturday night around an Apple TV movie rental, at least not without a plan B.
  16. randy98mtu macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    Weren't there also topics on here about routers being at fault with some ATV issues?

    I rented a movie in HD on Friday night and was able to watch it in a few minutes. I paused it at one point and it wasn't far ahead of me, but it never slowed on me. Back when I had Comcast I was having a lot of problems. They got under my skin a few too many times and now I've got Dish (TV) / AT&T DSL. Haven't had nearly as many ISP problems with the DSL.
  17. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    I wish I had this problem ... I live in rural Colorado with a wireless ISP for internet access. Your 5 days would probably be somewhere between 5 weeks and 5 months for me. The WISP I am using has slowly gotten worse over the 4.5 years I have lived in this house. They are reaching a subscriber saturation point and seem to be happy to offer what amounts to dialup speeds when everyone is banging away at the same time. (When I work from home, I can tell when the kids get home from school!)

    Now, I will state that sometimes what appears to be a slowdown can be caused by failing equipment at some point in the route between you and the server. Not all packets follow the same route. So, when the XBox is working well and the ATV is not, the problem could be a router or link dropping too many packets in the connection to iTunes servers. You can check this if you know what the destination IP addresses are for the iTunes service and the XBox service. Use Terminal and traceroute.
  18. littfam macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2008
    If you want to solve your problem, you will have to talk to your ISP and possibly change out modems, or tweak some settings. I had similar problems and started a long thread on this forum about it "can rent SD movies but not HD movies". Long story short, I would be willing to bet that it is definately not your ATV or apple' servers. The ISP's are doing everything they can to free up bandwith these days, so you will have to call and talk "very" nice to them and sort it out. Worst case, is to go buy another modem yourself and see if it works. also you should try your ATV at a neighbors house and see if it works there. Start eliminating hardware to zero in on the problem.

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