Slow Apple TV sync, the network or perhaps the HDD?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Xandros, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Xandros macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #1
    I have a 160gb ATV connected wireless, which works fine except for the fact it syncs so incredibly slow and seems to occasionally lose the network connection for no reason. I've got a 802.11.g+n network so I'm guessing it connects to my network via N (not that I can actually tell, the router doesn't say what devices are connected as). However considering how slow iTunes is to sync to the thing anyone would have thought it's running 802.11b...

    I've worked out, and I may have done my sums wrong here - I'm not a mathematician by any stretch of the imagination - but if I was "only" getting 20mbps throughput from the AppleTV (which I should be getting at least), it should only take just over half an hour to sync 5 gigs, not the 2 hours + which is what it currently takes. Again assuming I did my sums right for the time it takes currently, the actual connection rate must be around 5mbps, which quite frankly sucks even for a wireless g network...

    I know the fact I have a mixed n+g network means that the speeds are naturally going to be less than one could expect from an n-only network (or so I've read anyway), but even so 20mbps is pretty reasonable I would have thought (if not more than reasonable),especially seeing as my router is situated about ten foot away from the ATV. There is a wall inbetween them though but, this wall doesn't seem to prevent my PS3, Xbox 360, Wii or my PowerBook from connecting fine with full signal. So why is the ATV not playing nice?

    The thing that really confuses me is syncing a film takes 2+ hours to do, but streaming it doesn't! If I stream a 5gb, 1-hour movie to the ATV I can watch it the whole way through without any buffering, jumping or skipping, it plays like it's been synced. If I can stream videos perfectly ok to the thing but syncing takes so long; does this mean the HDD is just complete crap?

    Prior to the router I have now, which is a Billion 7800N, I had a 3Com router, which worked fine until I changed Internet providers and it suddenly became a problem. It was only capable of 802.11g, however the ATV had exactly the same slow sync issue with that one as well. I had actually hoped when I recently upgraded to a 802.11n router that I was "finally" going to be able to sync movies and what not to my ATV without having to wait hours for it to catch up. Oh how wrong I was.

    I will add that the disconnections the ATV suffers with didn't seem to occur with the old router, but when I had the old router, the ATV was in a different room directly below where I had the router (which was upstairs at the time). I put the slow sync down to but that, but it seems that even having the router only ten foot away and on the same level with only one wall between them it still has problems.

    I'm stumped, and short of accepting this like I have been doing and just considering it a quirk of the ATV I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas. But I've searched on this issue and it seems the only solution many people have come up with was to... Get an Airport Extreme router. Which I'm not doing. It's a shame there's a bloody great wall in the way really, otherwise I'd have avoided this whole problem completely and just use an ethernet connection.:(
     
  2. EmmEff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #2
    I quickly looked at the specs of your "new" router and cannot find anywhere that it's a dual-band router, so I assume it is not. This means that if you have any 802.11g device(s) connected to it, ALL connected wireless interfaces will run at that speed regardless of whether they support 802.11n or not.

    You have a few options. Use your old router for 802.11g and your new router for 802.11n exclusively by disabling 802.11g on the new router. There are guides on how to do this online. I do this myself.

    As a quick validation, turn off 802.11g (ie. enable 802.11n only) on the new router and restart your Apple TV.

    An Airport Extreme will solve your issue because it is dual-band.

    Hardwiring is always best...

    Also, do not expect to get published speeds from any wireless protocols. There's a HUGE difference between theoretical and actual speed, even if you're 10 feet away from the router.
     
  3. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #3
    The easiest way to test whether the wireless is part of the problem is just to run a Ethernet cable since they are so close. If you do that and your problem goes away, bingo! I'd recommend that you just find a way to run the Ethernet cable, it's by far a better solution than wireless.
     
  4. Xandros thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #4
    I've already tried doing this before but I thought I'd try it again just in case anything had changed. I switched the network to n only. Restarted the router and the ATV, and then synced a 5gb movie... It was still slow as ****. Didn't seem to be any different at all.

    I know the actual and theoretical speeds of these various wifi networks are vastly different regardless of range but for an 11n only network it really is not in the slightest bit unreasonable to expect 20mbps transfer speeds when the router is situated ten or so foot away from the device.

    Again what I don't get is why it takes so long to sync and yet streaming stuff is fine. I expect the mechanics of it are different but I'd have thought if it takes 2 hours to receive a 5gb file and write it to disc wouldn't it take 2 hours to receive that same file and buffer it for streaming? Unless of course the wifi isn't the problem. You may be thinking why am I moaning about the sync taking so long when I could just stream and be happy, mostly because I don't always have the computer switched on that the video library resides on so having them synced is the perfect solution. Or would be if it didn't take so fecking long.

    This may be a red herring, but whenever I transfer data between my comps either wireless or wired, I can usually hear Hard Drive activity quite readily (I say usually because not all my comps have loud HDDs). If for example I transfer a file from my PC to my PowerBook, I can hear the PowerBook HDD writing data. And it's a constant... Noise... I don't know how you'd describe it actually. A clicking noise? But if you've ever heard a HDD rapidly writing something then you know what I mean, it's highly rapid, constant "clickclickclick" noise and it's obvious the HDD is doing the job easily and quickly.

    Now compared to the AppleTV, I can also hear the HDD in it when I'm syncing to it. Except it isn't constant, or rapid. It's more of a comparably slow "click click... click click... click click..." noise. That doesn't signify to me that it's operating particularly fast at all.

    To be quite honest though, I know wiring it would be the best solution. Shame right now I can't.

    I just can't be bothered with this anymore. It either has a crap HDD or a crap wifi capability or it just doesn't like my choice of routers, either way screw it.
     
  5. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
  6. Xandros thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #6
    Yes, but as I've already stated I cannot do this. There is wall between the two devices and I'm not at liberty to start running cables through corridors or start drilling holes through the walls. It's the best solution I know, but as is often the case the best solution isn't always one that can be utilised.
     
  7. EmmEff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #7
    I think you have a crap 802.11n router... they're not all created equally.

    And with that, since you've given up, so I have I... unsubscribed from this thread.
     
  8. Xandros thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #8
    Not crap at all. Since I posted this, I upgraded one of the computer upstairs with a new PCI Adapter to have 802.11n wifi. Considering it's further away from the router and there are more walls between it and the router, the connection quality is actually pretty good (85-90%) and the speeds thus far when transferring files between it and my other PC which is wired to the router have been usually in excess of 60mpbs if not higher. I don't think I mentioned before but when looking at the Apple TV's netowork settings it shows signal strength to be 100% (well, it shows full signal bars anyway which I presume is 100%)

    Of course if you've unsubscribed you won't be reading this so meh. I have still given up with this problem incidentally as it seems I'll never get a solution. It seems after Googling and Googling that I'm not the only person that has experienced rubbish performance with the ATV's wifi though. Regardless I'd like to reiterate a very important unanswered question...

    Streaming and watching a 5gb film that's over an hour long works fine. In other words I can sit here for the whole hour and watch this film while it's being streamed with no hiccups or buffering issues. The point I'm trying to make here is, if streaming a 5gb file only takes one hour then why does syncing it take two?

    And on that bombshell I bid you adieu.
     

Share This Page