Help me find the weakest link!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CirrusPilot, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. CirrusPilot macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2012
    Hi all,

    Here is my situation, and I would like your input/help on where the weakest link is in my MBP setup. I have a jail broken Apple TV 2 running the latest Firecore software. It has a program that will allow you to watch movies over a network share regardless of format.

    I have a 5400rpm USB 2.0 LaCie rugged HDD connected to my MBP. The MBP and Apple TV are connected to the N and G bands of my wireless router, respectively. The MBP has file share enabled, and the folder containing the movies on the external drive is setup as AFP.

    When I am trying to watch a movie, I get constant buffering. Before I had the movies on an old laptop connected directly into my router with ethernet, which was no problem.

    Do you guys and gals think it is my wireless network causing the slowdown (everything is in the same room), or is it the HDD to MBP linkage? Could the HDD be too slow combined with using USB 2.0?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. PaulKemp macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    I would look into the network. You could get a better router maybe? Try to measure troughput on your network with file copying and see what kind of speeds you are getting. You can look into some kind of application that measures this.

    Also, there is no use for using G network unless you actually have a device that dont have N. Look into optimizing your network with channels, technology (N vs G etc) and that stuff. Or just get the Asus RT-N66U with dual channels and 5 GHz. :)


    see this article on
  3. CirrusPilot thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2012
    I have a top-o-the-line Linksys with dual-band. I don't think the ATV was connecting to N properly, which is why I wasn't using it.

    I will give the network a try though. I may just have to use ethernet for the MBP
  4. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: WiFi

    Hi CirrusPilot,

    I believe your 5400rpm USB2.0 HDD is plenty fast enough to stream HD video without pausing. I've seen this done without problem. (Of course, I don't have the LaCie drive, so you might also check the communication speed (e.g., using BlackMagic) for your USB2.0 drive.)

    Therefore I suspect that your wireless is your problem. Does the Apple TV2 not use 802.11n? If not, this is probably your bottleneck.

    I would use Apple's WiFi to see what your S/N levels are and what other wireless routers might be causing radio interference. Even when your signals are strong, radio interference will lower net throughput by causing retransmissions of packets. I've even seen a network radio stop broadcasting intermittently because of radio interference. The WiFi should help you determine if radio interference is a problem. Also, you might be able to switch the channel for your equipment to one that is less crowded. Using 40MHz wide channels on the 5GHz band instead of using the 20MHz channels on the 2.4GHz N band will also help.

  5. PaulKemp macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    Could it be that the ATV 2 was having issues with 5GHz network? I just read that some were having issues with 5GHz and ATV2. But it does support N, so try and look into optimizing your network.

    The best option would of course be wired, but I'm guessing that your ATV is not placed close to the router. :)
  6. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    I had a similar problem, then I moved my ATV away from right under my big, flatscreen TV, and it worked great. I think the TV was "shielding" the wifi signal away from the ATV.
  7. nopw macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2012
    Ive had this problem as well.
    My router a NETGEAR Beta product creates an AP(AccessPoint) For N and non N devices.
    If the mac and the atv are NOT on e same AP i also recieve constant buffering + pauses.
    Ensure having the ATV and your Mac on the exact same AP.
    + try N B G bands amd see what works best for both.
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Wireless is not on par with ethernet whatsoever. Wireless-N can reach a theoretical maximum of 450Mbps in perfect conditions( which pretty much only ever happens in a lab), whereas ethernet can do 1000Mbps easily and is mostly limited by read-write speeds more than the network.
  9. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Two things: ATV -> switch *SHOULD* be ethernet, AND enable QOS on AP.

    And this thread should had been at the ATV section.
  10. CirrusPilot thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2012
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I will try to move the ATV. It is directly under my flatscreen right now and right next to my stereo. It is probably a shielding nightmare. Where everything is loaded I really can't connect the ATV or my MBP to ethernet. I was able to hide the old laptop under the couch (my modem and router are on that side of the room), becasue I never needed to access it since it was acting as an always on server. Unless I want to run an ethernet cord across the room I will have to figure something else out.

    I will make sure they are all on the same band/spectrum. In reality though, a dual-band wireless N router should be able to handle this job, especially given the fact that router, laptop, and ATV are all in the same room, right?
  11. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    Even on the best of days will still only be half the throughput of a wired connection. If they're all in the same room, why not ethernet? You take the guesswork out of the problem.
  12. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    I know u folks mean well, but going full wired, and may as well hookup a HDMI cable to the TV and it's done. The purpose of Mirroring is so that one can sit on the couch and BAM!

    Op, did you read the QOS part? Critical.
  13. CirrusPilot thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2012
    Here are my settings now. My network is 100% wireless N. The ATV won't work on the 5Ghz band correctly. Apple really needs to remove that from the specs.

    My laptop is connected on the 5Ghz N band and the ATV will be on the 2.4 Ghz band. Should that work better? Or would I get better speed if I move both of them to the 4Ghz band? I have channel width on both set to auto and channel selection set to auto as well.

    Thanks for the help!

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