Sluggish Video

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ryanpfw, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. ryanpfw macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2011

    Looking for suggestions. I have a lot of media on external drives connected to a Mac mini and ever had a playback issue. I recently upgraded from a 2009 Mac Mini core duo with 4gb ram to a 2013 model with 16 gb ram and set up three Apple TV 3s throughout the house. Especially when video is 1080p I am experiencing very sluggish video. Audio is fine but video slows, crawls, speeds up, repeats.

    Last night I grabbed an Ethernet cable and connected it to the Apple TV and Mini, stopped playback and resumed and it still was choppy. I checked one of the other TVs and it was choppy there as well.

    For a router I use a 2009 extreme basestation, although I am not sure that is a factor as the Ethernet cable did not seem to affect things.

    Any suggestions?
  2. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    how are you playing the videos?

    • from the aTV, accessing your itunes library, using home sharing?
    • playing back on the mini in iTunes using airplay? (using the airplay icon in itunes)
    • playing back on the mini, using airplay mirroring? (in itunes, VLC, quicktime or something else) (using the airplay icon in your menu bar)

    on the mini, have you set the order of your networks, so wired is preferred?
    • you want wired to be higher up the list in network preferences.
      if it's not, click the cog at the bottom of the list, and "set service order"
    what format are the videos in?

    • downloaded from the itunes store?
    • ripped from blu-rays and left in the native format?
    • ripped from blu-rays and converted? (how?)

    depending on how you answer that, a 1080 file can be anywhere from 4 to 40 GB.
    so at least a file extension (.mpg,.mp4 etc) and how big the file is can help.
  3. ryanpfw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2011
    Thanks for responding.

    I am accessing my iTunes library via home sharing. Until yesterday I was exclusively using wifi and am noticing the problem specifically with HD files. They are either ripped from DVD/Bluray with Handbrake or MakeMKV followed by Handbrake, or recorded with EyeTV and then run through Handbrake to reduce file size. The EyeTV export would be AppleTV 1080p HD and Handbrake is always the high profile option. The file size of the file last night in 1080p was around 5-6gb

    In all cases it has buffered with room to spare past the point of viewing. I did plug the AppleTV directly into the Mini using Ethernet last night but did not touch the priority order. The AppleTV could no longer see the iTunes Store but did stream the file, albeit jerkily.
  4. jdblas69 macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2012
    You mentioned you don't think the router is a problem, however have you tried giving the router a reboot?

    Anytime I had airplay issues a reboot of my router solved the problem.
  5. ryanpfw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2011
    I can certainly try that. I had done the direct connection with Ethernet and had not noticed a change and had assumed that meant it was not a wireless issue.

    While my files are stored on an external drive, I was unsure if pulling them by USB and streaming to the Apple TV could have been a factor, but never has been before.
  6. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    USB2 should be more than able to handle those files.
    you don't say but i'm guessing that's a one hour recording, from eyeTV. it's well within the ability of USB2

    Have you tried playing the files on your mac? both the original and handbrake converted versions.

    I don't use eyeTV, but use similar (mythTV on linux) occasionally, the television signal drops off and the recording freaks out a bit. make sure the coax connection to your tuner is tight. it's possible that it backed off a bit and you've lost some signal strength.
  7. ryanpfw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2011
    Hi all,

    So far so good news to report!

    I did a router resets and it did not seem to do the trick, so I updated the software on the Apple TV and did two restarts and it played a movie flawlessly. I still haven't tried two of the others and haven't used the first one again today but am cautiously optimistic. I will let you know what happens!
  8. somemightsay macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2008
    I just wanted to add another data point to this, I just experienced the exact symptoms you mentioned here last night while watching the new Muse: Live at Olympic Stadium video I purchased on iTunes. It is the HD version.

    I had seen some stuttering at some point last year with my aTV, but a quick router power cycle fixed it. Last night this didn't help. I noticed that I didn't have the latest aTV firmware, so I updated last night and went to bed. This morning I watched several minutes of the Muse video, and another twenty or so minutes of Pacific Rim HD, and didn't see a repeat of the issue. Hopefully this means the firmware update addressed the issue.

    For all of this I am selecting airplay from iTunes on my wired Macbook Pro running latest Mavericks. My aTV is using wifi.

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