Wi-Fi or Hard Wire?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by AstroDrew, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. AstroDrew macrumors regular

    AstroDrew

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    #1
    I was watching one of those early review of the ATV4 on youtube last night and the reviewer said that the new ATV4 would be better on the Wi-Fi connection than hardwired (ethernet). Is this true?

    The reason I'm asking this because I'm planning to put the ATV4 in the master's bedroom because it's closer to the modem where I can hard wire it. But if it's true that Wi-Fi will have better performance then I'll put the new ATV in the living room and move my 3rd gen ATV in the bedroom.
     
  2. CaptTCS macrumors regular

    CaptTCS

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    #2
    I have always hard-wired my Mac Mini (Media Server) and my ATV. Those two, my cable modem, Airport Extreme, Receiver/BluRay player, and big Surge Protector strip are all stored in my media cabinet. Very convenient.

    Just 1 Power wire & 1 Coax going in and HDMI & Power for TV coming out. Vey clean.
     
  3. April Knight Suspended

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    Olympia, WA
    #3
    I just so happen to run a wire to my entertainment center for my PS4 and Wii anyways, so I'll go with wired. But honestly, if you have a decent Wi-Fi router with ac, and your ATV4 gets a good signal in your home, it's just as good (practically speaking).
     
  4. Kaspin macrumors member

    Kaspin

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    #4
    Theoretically speaking, the 802.11ac WiFi has more potential available bandwidth than the 100BaseT ethernet connection.
    Practically speaking, the video streams are probably only 35-40mbps and you'll never "max out" either connection. In general, ethernet tends to be more reliable overall.
     
  5. Grumpyman macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

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    #5
    I have one hard wired and one on wifi. the one on wifi is upstairs and much further from the router.
    dont notice a difference at all between them.
     
  6. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #6
    No. What the reviewer probably meant is that the 802.11ac Wifi radio in the ATV4 can theoretically achieve higher bandwidth than the 10/100 Ethernet port. But (1) that is only true under ideal circumstances (i.e. low interference and good signal strength), and (2) the Ethernet bandwidth is more than enough for any video content the ATV can stream.

    In practice, you are often better off using Ethernet because it cannot be affected by radio interference. But if you have good Wifi reception, both work equally well for what the ATV can do.
     
  7. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

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    #7
    We have several ATVs floating around, both wifi and wireless. both perform just fine.

    However, if you have one close to a microwave oven or something else that provides interference, wired is better. It's not a huge issue as ATVs tend to buffer anyhow.
     
  8. AstroDrew thread starter macrumors regular

    AstroDrew

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    #8
    I actually watched this youtube review

    Check around 3:35 where he mentioned that because the ATV4 retained the 10/100 ethernet port that the unless you have gigabit connection wifi will be faster....to be honest I'm kind of confused on what he said.
     
  9. timmahh macrumors newbie

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    #9

    Wired Ethernet on the ATV4 can achieve speeds up to 100 MBPS (though due to network overhead, it will never actually achieve 100 MBPS throughput). If your router has gigabit ports, it won't matter, because the ATV4 can only hit 100 still. Wireless AC, however, can range anywhere from 150mbps up to >2GBPS depending on the spec of and the frequency of the WiFi network (2.4 or 5 GHz). Wireless AC has significantly more bandwidth available to it, assuming your local WiFi network isn't complete crap due to other networks in your neighborhood competing with yours. This is great for local streaming and performance, i.e. MacBook airplay to ATV.

    The real bottle neck is going to be encountered for people when they go from their router to their DSL or Cable modem. A lot of modems still have a 10/100 port as well, if your internet speed is >100 MBPS, then having a 100 mbps cap on your modem port is obviously a problem. You'd want to ensure you are using a modem that is certified with your provider and gives you the fastest speed to the router, and that your router gives you the fast speed to your devices, i.e. everything is gig for hardwire and AC on wireless.

    On 720/1080 content things should be fine (I have an ATV2 hardwired and it's fine), the hardwire route may be a slow down for 4k content, but... hey that's not an issue! :)
     
  10. AstroDrew thread starter macrumors regular

    AstroDrew

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    #10
    That totally make sense, thank you for explaining that.
     
  11. CaptTCS macrumors regular

    CaptTCS

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    #11
    I also feel that, if I'm also going to be using the WiFi for other devices (Phones, Macbooks, etc.), that hard-wiring the Apple TV will ensure that there won't be any video streaming issues while I'm using the WiFi for other devices. After all.. WiFi might be better than Ethernet, when your just connecting one device... But how is it, when you are also connecting 2 iPhones and 2 MacBooks?
     
  12. timmahh macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Depends on your WiFi network. If you're on an older network, i.e. 54mbps Wireless G, you may use enough bandwidth with all of your devices active (i.e., both iPhones, both Mac books, and an ATV are all streaming or pulling down a decent chunk of data). If that's not the case - and typically it's not, it'll probably be totally fine, and again, local streaming (AirPlay) will get more bandwidth over AC.
     
  13. aesc80 macrumors 6502

    aesc80

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    #13
    It's not so bad. When you consider that the "pipeline" for 802.11ac is in the gigs, a share is simply taken from it. Having an 802.11ac Wifi simply means your bottleneck is now, for certain, your broadband carrier.

    For example, I've been running a Netgear 802.11ac router, along with 5 other devices. 4 of them are AC capable. By running 2 "speedtest" connections, I can see that it retains my bandwidth from my broadband carrier. If I attempt 3, then I start to see competition. Its not within my network, but with trying to request data from my broadband carrier. You'll be fine, so long as all the devices aren't requesting data all at once.
     
  14. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #14
    Not even streamed 4K content comes anywhere near the limits of 10/100 Ethernet. For example, Netflix streams UHD at ~15 Mbps. That's why the new Fire TV and Roku 4 also have 10/100 ports even though they support 4K.
     
  15. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

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    #15
    Seems to be a lot of flipping of "B" and "b" here...
     
  16. aesc80 macrumors 6502

    aesc80

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    #16
    That would be 1.875 MBps, though most transmissions are measured in bits (b).
     
  17. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #17
    The real bottleneck are the streaming providers. ;) And as far as local streaming is concerned, not even Blu-ray has bitrates anywhere near 100Mbps. So while higher bandwidth may shorten the initial buffering by a few seconds, the Ethernet port is more than fast enough for sustained streaming of any content that might be relevant for the ATV.
     
  18. aesc80 macrumors 6502

    aesc80

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    #18
    LOL ... true that!
     
  19. mellofello macrumors 65816

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    #19
    I have 300 Mbps Internet. I wonder if the Ac would be faster downloading apps.
     
  20. TurboPGT! Suspended

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    #20
    The max size app allowed on the tvOS App Store is currently 200 MB. At those speeds, theoretically the largest App on the store would download in 5 seconds.

    If you hardwired and got "only" 100 Mbps, you're looking at 15 second.

    I think you'll survive either way. Neither is going to better or worse for streaming, not by a long shot.

    This assumes your WiFi network is well configured.
     
  21. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

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    #21
    Well damn. I have a GBPS internet and was going to hardwire. Granted a constant 100 is fine with me.
     
  22. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Wired Ethernet unless you have a modern 802.11ac router, to 100Mbps Internet connection, and your router is in the same room as your ATV, and you live far from neighbors and any possible WiFi interference.

    WiFi has too many variables, wired Ethernet is fast and reliable.
     
  23. southerndoc macrumors 65816

    southerndoc

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    #23
    I don't think WiFi can come close to the low latency of a hardwired connection. If you have several AppleTV's or other WiFi devices, your transmission speeds may be significantly less than ideal.
     
  24. ZackVLion macrumors member

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    #24
    One thing not mentioned yet in favor of ethernet is you don't have to deal with inputting your wifi password or network name or anything. you literally just plug it in and it works. One less thing to deal with....one less thing to go wrong.
     
  25. kjm18 macrumors 6502

    kjm18

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    #25
    Using mine on wifi as have the most recent time capsule with ac wifi
     

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