Hardwiring AppleTV to Ethernet

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by SpecFoto, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. SpecFoto, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

    SpecFoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #1
    My Apple TV has been via wireless for years and works OK, but I want to get a better internet connection. Currently the TWC come into front of house where my office is. Have the cable router, airport extreme N here with my MacPro and community laser printer hardwired to AE via gigabit ethernet. MacMini, which it the iTunes host, is hardwired into the 3rd AE ethernet slot. Apple TV 2 is in back of house with main Sony TV and wife has 27” iMac in a separate den area. Both work OK via wireless, but at night during prime time, the wife watches Thai TV via utube and I watch mostly the Apple TV. Speed slows down a bit and if Time Warner or Apple are having any problems, which seems to be happening more and more lately, the Apple TV has problems getting programs to start or re-establish a lost connection.

    My plan is to move the MacMini to the back of the house and hardwire the Apple TV to it via ethernet. I ordered 2 TrendNet TPL-420E powerline connectors (new AV1200 gigabit ethernet that supposedly work over greater distances) to connect between the Airport Extreme and the Mac Mini and they will be here tomorrow.

    Couple of questions: I need an extra ethernet port for the MacMini/Apple TV, as the TrendNet adapter has only 1. Already have a older gigabit switch, does is matter where it is hooked up in this arrangement? Was thinking of wiring the TrendNet to the switch and splitting the Apple TV and MacMini off the switch. Or does the MacMini need to feed directly to the Apple TV via it’s Ethernet port, i.e. anything special need to be done to get the Apple TV to recognize the hardwire connection, as currently under the General Menu it only show Wireless as being available. Assume this is where the new Ethernet connection will show up?

    Your comments/suggestions are appreciated.
     
  2. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    You do not need to plug the AppleTV directly into the Mac Mini. In fact that would not work at all.

    You don't have to move the Mac Mini from its location in the office. Proximity isn't important for a wired connection in the context of a typical home. With a Powerline adapter, issues can come up if you have any odd wiring in your house, but if everything is working distance shouldn't be a major concern. Make sure the power line adapters are plugged directly into the wall - NOT to a surge protector or UPS.

    I would plug the gigabit switch into the Airport Extreme, putting the extra ports right there next to the router. I would plugin the Laser Printer and one of the power line connectors into the Switch and leave the Mac Pro and Mini plugged into the Airport Extreme. The other Powerline adapter would go next to the AppleTV and plug the ATV into it.

    Based on the fact that you are only seeing issues during prime time while streaming two videos to different devices, I would guess that the bottleneck is your internet connection rather than your WiFi. If that is the case, you aren't going to see any improvement.
     
  3. SpecFoto, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

    SpecFoto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #3
    Thanks for the info Panch0.

    In waiting for the power line connectors to arrive I hooked up the MacMini directly to the Apple TV via ethernet. It did work in allowing my own content (DVD's I burned, photos and home movies) on the Mini to play, but all other internet services like Netflix did not work. Tried turning on Internet Sharing via wireless on the Mini and the Apple TV only showed 2 items on the screen-Computer and Settings. This confirms what an Apple store employee told me last week, that a direct ethernet connection like this is a way to get some content to play if you don't have internet. (no Apple DRM purchases, rentals or anything that needs a internet connection for verification). This is helpful, as the wife and I are heading to S.E. Asia in a few weeks for almost 2 months and I wanted to take the Apple TV with us to play my movies, plus videos and photos taken there. There will be places we stay at that do not have internet, but it is good to now know my content can be viewed.
     
  4. SpecFoto, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    SpecFoto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #4
    Using Housewiring for Apple TV to ethernet

    450 views and only 1 comment? Guess I should have made the original title more clear.

    Anyway the Trendnet TPL-420E 1200 AV2 power line adapters arrived and I hooked them up last night. Very easy to do, they recognized each other in about 2 minutes and were ready to go out of the box. These adapters take up 1/2 of standard 3 prong double outlet and another std power cord can fit in the other half of the outlet. This model does not have the 3 prong plug receptor on the face, I could not find the 1200 model with that option yet. There are 3 status lights on adapter for power, ethernet, and power line connectivity. Would like to see all 3 green, but after they connected I got amber light for the power line connectivity on both adapters, which is still rated "better" in the users manual.

    Hooked up the 1st adapter to the Airport Extreme in the office. Plugged a Gigabit switch into the far TrendNet adapter and hooked the MacMini and Apple TV to it. The Apple TV recognized the ethernet connection and automatically switched over from wireless.

    As posted in the 1st post, these are the brand new 1.2 Gbps speed 1200 connectors, and not the 200 or 500 series. They use the 3rd ground plug wiring to achieve this speed, so 2 prong electrical outlets in older homes will not work. My main MacPro in the front of the house, hooked up to the TWC modem via the Airport Extreme, gets 16.26 Mbps download speed and 1.12 Mbps upload speeds. (Standard TWC plan 15 Mbps +/-) The Mac Mini, which is now at the far end of the house (70 feet) and hooked up to a Gigabit switch connected to TrendNet adapter, gets 16.18 Mbps download and 1.06 Mbps upload. Hardly a drop at all, considering the amber light. Testing was done via TWC website.

    Got to say I am VERY impressed with the speed of TrendNet adapters. Movies stored in the MacMini iTunes start up on the Apple TV in about 1 second and can start, pause, rw, ff, and play instantly, no more spinning wheels. Netflix main menu started up in about 2 seconds, was able to load TV shows/movies in about the same time. They too were very smooth during playback, pausing, ff, rw. Never ever got this smoothness with my wireless connection; it always took about 8 to 10 seconds, or much longer, for any show or movie to start or re-start after a pause.

    Based upon initial use, these new 1200 AV2 adapters get a big thumbs up from me!
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    I have a Mac Mini iTunes server and two Apple TVs. Everything is hardwired with gigabit ethernet, but I didn't use any powerline adapters, I ran wires through the attic. Performance is very good, but note that the AppleTV doesn't have a gigabit ethernet interface, it is 100base-T. https://www.apple.com/appletv/specs/
     
  6. SpecFoto, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    SpecFoto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #6
    Yes that is true, but ethernet is also more reliable than wireless and should be factored in, as you have most likely seen. Just now I reran the TWC speed tests and it took 78 seconds to complete the test using the MacMini and TrendNet adapter via ethernet. As it is daytime here and I guess not as much internet traffic, I got 20.65 Mbps download and 1.07 Mbps upload. Disconnected the ethernet and tested wireless. It took 126 seconds to complete the same test and I got 8.86 Mbps download and 1.06 Mbps upload. I reran the tests again to just about the same readings both times.

    So even though the Apple TV is not gigabit ethernet, at 100 base T, it is still faster, and in my case a more reliable connection, than the Apple N wireless network I had been using. That is clearly evident with the much quicker start up times and stutter-less playback on the Apple TV. Time will tell, but so far I am very happy with these adapters.
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    Absolutely. That is why I ran ethernet cables, I didn't even consider using wifi for the Apple TVs.
     
  8. JAT macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #8
    That one comment pretty much answered all your questions. The rest are just having snacks.
     

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