Help me understand the 5 device limit for the ATVs in my home. Having problems.....

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by GhostMac24, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. GhostMac24 macrumors 6502

    GhostMac24

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    NC
    #1
    In our home, we have 6 ATVs and 2 iPads that use content from the iTunes library. Everything I have read states there is a 5 device limit for home sharing. While I understand that, I just don't understand how the entire process works. It appears that once you hit 5 devices the limit freaks out when the 6th device tried to connect even if it's the ONLY device trying to connect as if it still thinks the other 5 that connected are still connected.

    The reason I ask is that we have difficulty connecting several times a week with an ATV that says "cannot connect to library" or something to that effect. So, I run down to the iMac that houses the library and close iTunes and then re-open in order to get the ATV to connect that couldn't.

    For a ecosystem of items that are just "supposed to work" seamlessly together, this is a real pain.

    Thanks in advance for any input!

    Cheers.
     
  2. lunaoso macrumors 65816

    lunaoso

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    Boston, MA
    #2
    I've never heard of a 5 device home sharing limit. Are you sure you aren't confusing it with the 5 computer authorization limit for an iTunes account? I could be wrong, I just have never heard of a home sharing limit...
     
  3. GhostMac24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    GhostMac24

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    #3
    interesting, then maybe I am misunderstanding the way it works.

    If that's the case, then I'm wondering why I have problems connecting to the home sharing.

    All 6 ATVs are hard wired to the network with 50+ Mbps speed as is the iMac that is hosting the library.
     
  4. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #4
    As a side note - you can still use AirPlay to beam to those aTV's that you were unable to activate HS on!
    You just can't browse your shared lib from aTV UI. But you can start playback from computer, iOS device or even from your shared lib taking advantage of the Apple Remote app.
     
  5. GhostMac24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    GhostMac24

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    #5
    Yup, I know that. However, it's the library I'm trying to access that has what I am trying to play so Airplay is of no use at that moment.
     
  6. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Still, you could use the Remote. I understand, this leaves the iPhone permanently connected as a middleman for the time of AirPlaying, but it does work.
     
  7. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    #7
    I have seen as many as 7 Apple TV 3s attached to the same home sharing account. So I have no idea what is happening to yours. Are all running theTest OS and is your itunes up to date?
     
  8. GhostMac24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    GhostMac24

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    #8
    All software is up to date (iTunes, iPads, and ATVs)
     
  9. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Something else is going on because if it were a 5 max limit, you would not be able to connect at all. You mentioned having to restart itunes for the connection to work. So it sounds like that ATV is somehow loosing connection with itunes.

    Try swapping that Apple TV with another one and see if you still have the same trouble at the new location.
     
  10. GhostMac24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    GhostMac24

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    #10
    Good point and yes, I have tried that. It's never the same ATV that doesn't connect. It's just completely random. I'm stumped on this one.

    I'm actually more stumped now that I am understanding it's a 5 computer limit and apparently no limit on ATV and iOS devices. If that holds true, then I shouldn't be having any connection issues at all.

    And here I thought if everything (iMac and ATVs) was hard wired, it would be more stable.
     
  11. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Ok so it's not an specific Apple TV? But one randomly not connecting, correct?

    When this happens, are all the other 5 Apple TVs streaming from itunes?

    Are they all connected with static IPs including the Mac running itunes?

    Also, you didn't mention if your Mac is set to wake on LAN.


    Reason I ask is mine sometimes loses connection with home sharing due to it being on wifi. And if my mini goes to sleep for long peroods (week or two)
     
  12. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

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    #12
    One possibility is your router is having multicast issues. Next time it happens restart your router and don't touch your Mac to see what happens.
     
  13. GhostMac24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    GhostMac24

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    #13

    Correct, totally random.

    No, not all are connected at once. Typically the most ATVs we would ever have connected is 3 (1 in each of the boys rooms and one in our theatre room).

    They (ATVs) all have their own static IP.

    I'm 99% sure the IP my iMac uses is static as it's always the same IP address. The router (new Airport Extreme) has it's own IP address as well.

    My iMac is always on and the drive with the library is always on.

    Makes sense why I am so stumped :D

    ----------

    My apologies, but what is a multicast issue? FYI..it's the new Airport Extreme connected directly to our Cable Modem.
     
  14. linds15 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    have you tried it on wifi instead of ethernet, for whatever reasons, of which i have no clue, my ATV3 dropped out or wouldn't connect CONSTANTLY through ethernet, wifi runs no problem
     
  15. GhostMac24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    GhostMac24

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    #15
    Unfortunately, that isn't the issue either. Same issue with wifi. Stumped.
     
  16. Cinephi1e macrumors regular

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    #16
    I was under the impression that there is a 10 device limit, of which 5 can be computers. I believe this only applies to the iTunes store account, so that no more than 10 devices can be logged into a single account. If all your Apple TV are logged into one iTunes account, in addition to other iDevices and computers, there could be a problem.
     
  17. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

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    #17
    It's a network protocol used by Bonjour which is what Apple devices use to find each other on the network. If you have an Airport Extreme, you have some of your devices plugged into something else since it only has three ports.

    I see you have the issue with wireless as well which makes my suggestion less probable.

    I have a NAS that I use for Time Machine backups. My computers were constantly losing their connection to TM. I would restart the service on the NAS and that would fix it but only temporarily. I eventually discovered that my router's built-in switch was not working correctly with multicast. Fortunately, Netgear had a firmware update that fixed it. Due to other issues, I eventually bought an APE and it works great.

    For some background, different routers / switches handle multicast in different ways. Some will form groups so that computers that need to see the traffic, do, and those that don't, don't.

    Again, this now sounds like it is not likely your issue but I wanted to explain myself...
     
  18. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

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    #18
    How are you assigning static ip's. You confused me when you said you think the Mac is static because it does not change. Best way to assign static is with the router based on the device MAC address. This is what I do.
     
  19. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    #19
    OP

    can you give us a description of how your network is set up. And what networking hardware you have. Might help troubleshoot your issue.
     
  20. GhostMac24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    GhostMac24

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    #20
    Thanks all for the replies and explanations.

    Here is how the entire home looks......

    ISP signal into home via cable line and directly into new DOCSIS 3.0 Motorola Modem (one that is highly rec'd by TWC).

    From modem, a single line to the Airport Extreme.

    From the Airport Extreme, a single line to a 24 port gigabit switch that connects to the direct lines of cat6 locations throughout the home.

    Each ATV is connected via a hard line at their location and each has their own assigned IP address on the system.

    And here is all the possible devices connecting with the same iTunes account using home sharing.

    Computers--> iMac (there is also a MBA and MBP but they do not connect to home sharing)
    ATVs--> 6 in various locations
    iPads --> 5 iPads (2 of them are rarely if ever used in a home sharing capacity and 1 not at all as it is used as a dedicated RTI remote)
     
  21. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

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    #21
    So does the iTunes PC plug into the 24 port switch?
     
  22. GhostMac24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    GhostMac24

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    #22
    Yes, everybody that is hard lined is connected to the switch.
     
  23. justinmartin macrumors newbie

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    Toronto
    #23
    Ive had the exact same problem for about 6 months since acquiring my 6th ATV. Wired, wireless ATV2, ATV3 same thing - I asked a genius one day at the store and he had no idea about the limit. Nothing I've done works to get past it. Ive given up and created a separate hosted library on a second machine to host the kids only movies etc etc.

    Kind of disappointing - with TV's dropping in price adding an ATV seems like a logical addition especially to rooms that do not have cable TV outlets or boxes.

    We currently have 9 TV's in the house and I would most likely buy another 3 ATV's if the limit was removed.

    Another option that i have tested and found to work was to run an in-wall HDMI cable from a HDMI splitter to separate TV's - you will get around the limit, however more than one TV share the ATV signal and view the same content. I have done this with a pair of TV's that would never be on at the same time
     
  24. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

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    #24
    Looking at Apple support it does appear to be a home sharing issue. The limit is five devices. Seems a bit arbitrary and is disappointing for anyone wishing to distribute content within their home using Apple devices.
     
  25. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    Jun 19, 2013
    #25
    Is your router running the latest firmware? Do you use security/firewall software?

    See if TCP ports 123 and 3689 as well as UDP ports 123 and 5353 are open.

    Apple states that Macs and Apple TV use port 123 for time/date. If that is somehow blocked or is off, it will cause trouble with home sharing.
     

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