My first AppleTV experience STINKS!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Wingnut330, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Wingnut330 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    As I'm typing this I'm trying to watch my first movie via my :apple:TV. I took it out of the box, connected it to the network and rented Michael Clayton in HD. We have been watching the movie for 46 mintues and it (as it is now) has stopped at least 10 times. Very poor user experience IMO. I understand there are network latency issues, but I thought they had this all figured out. If you can't watch a movie at 10PM on a Saturday night without interruptions, what's the point? Make that 11 times it has stopped.

    Very very disappointed in this product. Is anyone else having this problem?
  2. cohibadad macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2007
    if it stops for you, it is your network connection. You would need to let it buffer more. Mine queues up within a minute (I've rented Michael Clayton HD) and plays without any stops. I have my :apple:TVs connected by wireless N. If anything, Apple could make it buffer sufficiently so that it would play without stops but I suspect in your case it would need to be at 25-50%.
  3. Wingnut330 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    How do I change the buffer?

    I'm over 20 stops now!
  4. wvuwhat macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
    Are you on an "N" network? I had it on a wireless G network and had those problems, but a simple purchase of an AEBS changed all of that. I found out that if you got the message that the movie was ready, if you waited a little while longer I didn't have any stops.
  5. Wingnut330 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    I have the N AEBS...
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    My ISP only has 1.5 mbps download (really, less than that). I start my HD downloads the night before I want to watch, because they take about 4 to 6 hours do completely download.
  7. AMessy macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    I have my :apple:tv connected to my wireless g network (airport express) and when I download the HD movies they are ready to watch in approx 30 to 40 seconds. Most of the time I start to watch them as soon as they are ready and have not had one problem with them stopping to buffer. I suspect that your problem lies in your connection speed. You should try one of the online connection speed test to see what your connection speed is at. If it is less than your ISP advertised maybe you can complain to them and see if they can help.

    Good luck, I can see how your experience would be less than acceptable with the constant buffering.
  8. veedubdrew macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Your connection speed is more important than your wireless type (b/g/n). I'm on a 1.5mbps connection and I have to let it start an hour or so before I start watching for it not to hiccup on me.

    I'd suggest calling your ISP and increasing your download speed. That, or rent it then start watching it an hour later so that there's a good buffer going before the movie starts.

    As it is now, you're not getting enough data throughput to keep up with how fast the movie is playing.
  9. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    This has nothing to do with your apple tv.. I think you should change your thread title to 'My ISP speed stinks'

    I have Verizon FIOS and Apple tv works great for me, even with HD movies. If I take my apple tv to india.. and try it on the 56k network there.. I think it might take a week to simply start the movie!
  10. lazydesi macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2006
    Gr8 Adelaide
    FYI in India we have a speed up to 8Mbps

    take it to arizona or some uncivilized places in USA
  11. shigzeo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2005
    nice touch

    definately the sort of well thought out comment i would expect here. yeah, network is the biggest bottleneck.

    hint: when you go to india, it would be nice if you can refrain from explaining how much 'better' your country is - happens all the time here and frightenly maddening. but it is always good for a laugh
  12. Wingnut330 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    Could be the network, but I pay for roadrunner cable services, so comparing that ti 56K is a bit of a stretch...
  13. watanabe macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2005
    I'm new to the apple tv myself, but don't recall seeing any buffer settings. I think the way you would do proceed would be to buy the movie, and once it starts playing, hit pause. The download would continue, I'd hope, in effect, building up a buffer.

    On a possibly related noted, I had read an article about cable internet service, and how it would give bursts of bandwidth matching the advertised speed, but the throughput over an extended time was terrible.

    The buffer will only smooth out hiccups for you, if networks rates have slowed down to a rate slower than what the movie requires, your screwed for the duration until the network recovers, I'd imagine. And a HD movie is going to press the envelope of things, thats for sure.
  14. megfilmworks macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2007
    Sherman Oaks
    I wish posters would think before they post. This is not a Apple TV issue. It could be interference on your wifi network or just slow download speeds. I have rented well over a dozen movies and have had no issues. Ready to play in less than one minute and no hiccups. (And I only rent HD)
  15. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If Road Runner's cable Internet services are anything like Cox Cable's where I live, then they offer packages with speeds slow enough to cause the buffering issues that you're talking about.

    When this happens, the only thing you can do is PAUSE the movie for a few minutes and let it buffer some more.

    I suppose that Apple could program the AppleTV to prevent you from continuing to watch the movie when the network speeds aren't pushing the movie fast enough, but I personally prefer the choice of pausing it myself or dealing with the stutters.

    This isn't any different than watching a YouTube video/movie trailer on your computer that starts off streaming quickly and then majorly slows down towards the middle.
  16. pjac macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Yes - that's what people do :)
  17. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2006
    Since I get to "keep" the movie for 30 days I rent movies that I will want to watch in advance, then watch them when I have time.

    Honestly, I don't expect to be able to watch a Hi Def movie within seconds of renting so I don't even try. By the time I sit down to watch the movie the entire movie is sitting on the hard drive of my :apple:TV and I don't get any pauses for buffering. It causes much less stress.

    If folks would plan ahead, just a little bit, they wouldn't have these complaints about movies pausing to buffer.

  18. AMessy macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    Use the test and see what your connection speed it. I have the standard Time Warner Road Runner service and usually get between 6 - 7 Mbps. It may be different in your area but you should check what your speed is to see if that is for sure your problem.
  19. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2008
    Bandwidth is key.

    It runs like smooth butter at home on my 20Mbit Cable. (Wired)

    I also have an AppleTV which I travel with. It doesn't work nearly as well with some of the slower broadband (hotels, for example.)
  20. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Apparently Apple didn't manage to magically increase the bandwidth that your ISPs supplies to you. Normal movies need 1.5 MBit/sec bandwidth, HDTV needs about 5MBit/sec. If that bandwidth is not there, then there is nothing that Apple can do about that.
  21. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Your first ATV experience was ruined by Roadrunner not Apple. Sorry but as every one else has said it is not the ATV. Like you I too pay for Roadrunner service and I easily compare it to 56K. It is better than dial up, not as great as my Cox cable in South OC was (comparing the basic internet vs basic internet) but not as good as it should be. To circumvent that I have to pay $10 extra every month to get "extreme" speeds which appear to be less than Cox "extreme" but better than what I get using their basic service.

    Really? Because I thought by getting Apple stickers I didn't get the magical bandwidth increase. I was about to return my ATV. :D
  22. Wingnut330 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    Wow - some of you folks are sensitive about this and downright nasty. I guess emotion shows passion...some of you are very passionate about your technology.

    I posted my comments out of frustration and was curious if anyone else had the same issues. After spending weeks telling my wife how great this product was, we're sitting in a dark room with my new toy- the AppleTV, and waiting for my movie to load. Once it did, I expected it to play because that's what I read from other user experiences

    My point is this. I thought the device would only show the movie as ready to play when it knew it was good to go. Regardless if that means 45 seconds of buffering or 45 mins of buffering.

    The best advice I've heard is to buy the movie in advance and let it queue up. Not bad advice, but I'm just frustrated because my XBOX doesn't lag when watching movies and when I order a movie directly from my cable provider, it doesn't lag either.

    I expected the same result with my Apple TV and didn't get it.
  23. Scarpad macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    Hmm I assume you rented it from Itunes. And you must've started while it was Downloading, I have'nt done that yet, I rented the Hi Def version of the movie and watched it several days later, so of course it was all on the ATV's Hard Drive at that point. I could see where downloading and buffering might be a problem, thats why I always DL early.
  24. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    I have been on an extended business trip for 6 weeks now and have stayed at two different hotels. My company provided me with a laptop that I can take back to my room every night. This has been my first chance to try out the NetFlix online movies. At my first hotel, I used a wired connection. If I watched during the day, it worked fine. If I watched during the evening, it would often start up okay, but as the evening moved on, I would get pauses where it would say "your internet connection has slowed". It would then take a while to buffer and start up again. This would get worse and worse to the point of being unwatchable.

    My present hotel has wireless broadband. I've tried a couple of times to watch something on NetFlix. It starts okay, and then I get the "connection has slowed" message and it tells me it's going to take a while.

    What does this have to do with AppleTV? It's obvious that there are a lot of things that can affect the download of large files. When you have a cable internet connection, you are sharing bandwidth with your neighbors. It could be that the AppleTV tells you it's okay to start watching, then one of your neighbors starts downloading some large files (NetFlix perhaps) and your connection slows after you get started. Also, if you're using a wireless connection, there could be occasional interference causing some issues.
  25. Wingnut330 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    That's exactly what I did - I rented the movie and when it told me I was good to go, I pressed play. I guess in the future, I will pre-download it. Actually, I'll probably check movies on demand from the cable provider to see if the movie I want is available there and if not then try the iTunes/AppleTV route.

    Fair points, but it's disappointing nonetheless. It's simple really, disapointment comes when your expecations aren't met. Mine weren't - regardless of where the problem lies, mine weren't met. I've come to expect more out of Apple as a switcher from the Windows world. I was disappointed. Nothing personal folks...

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