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  1. #1
    Streaming speed is atrocious
    Hi, folks.

    I got an Apple TV a little over a year ago and I've had intermittent (but frequent) problems with extremely slow streaming speeds; lately it seems to be even more frequent. This happens with Netflix, HBO, Showtime, whatever. The Ookla SpeedTest app often gives me download speeds of well under 1 (one, uno) mbps. This is happening right now. The last test gave me 0.32 or something like that.

    I'm getting a full five bars of Signal Strength when I look under Settings > Network.

    At the same time, I get nice speedtest results of 16-20 MB on my MacBook and 8-10 mbps on my iPhone. Those devices are in the same room as the ATV, within five feet of it, and I'm in a two-room apartment, with the wi-fi router in the other room, about 20 feet away, tops. So it's not a problem with my internet, it's something in the ATV unit itself.

    It's gotten incredibly frustrating. I get the impression from some internet searching that this and similar problems are common with the ATV, but none of the troubleshooting suggestions seem particularly useful or applicable to my case.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Streaming speed is atrocious
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yohei72 View Post
    I get the impression from some internet searching that this and similar problems are common with the ATV, but none of the troubleshooting suggestions seem particularly useful or applicable to my case.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
    With almost any electronic device...one possible solution to consider is rebooting/restarting the device. I don't think you mentioned doing this...if not...give it a shot.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201836

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    Thanks, Pigoo3. Oh, yeah, I know the first rule of electronics troubleshooting. Doesn't help in this case.

  4. #4
    Streaming speed is atrocious
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yohei72 View Post
    Thanks, Pigoo3. Oh, yeah, I know the first rule of electronics troubleshooting. Doesn't help in this case.
    Ok...good deal.

    Here are two other thoughts. You mentioned having intermittent problems for the past year:

    - Have you tried a different cable?
    - Download speeds were mentioned for your MacBook (16-20 MB) and iPhone (8-10 mbps)...these really aren't terrifically fast speeds.

    - If you have cable modem type of internet service (from your cable TV company)...it's possible that some of your neighbors internet use could be effecting your speeds at busy times of the day.
    - If your family is using multiple devices at the same time as you're watching your Apple TV...this could effect things.
    - Streaming video to your TV (especially higher quality video)...takes a lot of bandwidth...and this could also effect your streaming video quality.

    If the issue is not the Apple TV...if the issue is not the Apple TV cable...and if your other devices work fine...then I'm thinking you may not have enough internet bandwidth to support video streaming on your Apple TV 100% of the time (peak usage times during the day/night).

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5
    Thank you for the detailed response.

    Yes, I have internet through my cable company.

    Not sure what you mean by different cable. Do you mean an ethernet cable to connect the ATV to the internet? Mine is connected via WiFi (and an ethernet cable isn't really an option - the router is in the bedroom, I don't really see any place to hook it up out here in the living room, and I'm not moving my television in there).

    My MacBook just speedtested at 45 mbps, my ATV at 0.75, my iPhone at 1.89. Then I did my MacBook again a few minutes later and it only got up to 4.57. So there are wild discrepancies at different moments, which would seem to suggest an internet problem. It's just me in the apartment, but I do have neighbors on two sides, above, and below, so interference from them has occurred to me as a possible factor.

    But the wild discrepancies between devices are the part that confuses me. Why in the same minute would my MacBook be downloading video just fine and my ATV be pretty much useless? And the ATV is consistently the worst performer - I'm lucky if it gets up to 6 or 7 mbps, and I've never once seen a speedtest get out of the single digits. The picture fuzzing and pixellating while viewing is a routine experience.

    Is it time to talk to my cable provider?

  6. #6
    Streaming speed is atrocious
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    What router do you have? How many devices are connected to that router? What is your Internet plan? Have you reset the router recently? Are you using 2.4Ghz or 5GHz network? How many other access points are within your signal space?
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  7. #7
    Streaming speed is atrocious
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yohei72 View Post

    But the wild discrepancies between devices are the part that confuses me. Why in the same minute would my MacBook be downloading video just fine and my ATV be pretty much useless? And the ATV is consistently the worst performer - I'm lucky if it gets up to 6 or 7 mbps, and I've never once seen a speedtest get out of the single digits. The picture fuzzing and pixellating while viewing is a routine experience.

    Is it time to talk to my cable provider?
    Sounds like we may be narrowing things down a bit...that maybe the main issue is the internet connection...or the internet equipment.

    Definitely respond to all of Raz0rEdge's questions...and that should help us more.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8
    Streaming speed is atrocious
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I agree with Nick. The very fact that even your MBP speed is all over the board shows something is wrong somewhere either Internet or the Router. I have a late 2011 MBP and my speed every single time I check it is 25Mbps which is what I am paying for and it's more than enough for all that I do. Same with all my other systems. Only thing I do not own is an ATV so I can not comment on that.

    As far as I can remember though my iphone checks full speed here on my high end Dlink 5Ghz router as well as both my ipads.

  9. #9
    Thank you, everyone. Sorry I haven't had a chance to respond... couple busy/late nights. I'll try to follow up tomorrow evening.

  10. #10
    Heh. "I'll try to follow up tomorrow evening." That's a sample of my procrastination habit, particularly when it comes to technology issues.

    About a week ago, I finally tried an utterly obvious experiment: I temporarily moved my fairly modest-sized TV and my ATV into my bedroom, where the router is. Presto, 30+ Mbps speeds, consistently. That's what the desire to see the latest Game of Thrones episode can drive a man to do.

    I also took the ATV with me when I went to visit family, and hooked it up to my mom's TV. Same experience with the speeds.

    So that pinpoints the main issue – as you all suspected, my wi fi signal isn't adequately reaching the ATV in my apartment. The router is only about 20 feet away, but it's through two walls of an old prewar apartment building, as there's a small bathroom between my living room and the bedroom (the router at my mom's is further away, but that's in a 1970s apartment complex of less solid construction).

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    What router do you have? How many devices are connected to that router? What is your Internet plan? Have you reset the router recently? Are you using 2.4Ghz or 5GHz network? How many other access points are within your signal space?
    -Netgear N600 router – the same one Cablevision brought and hooked up when I first moved in here, September 2013. Terribly outdated, undoubtedly.

    -If you mean how many devices am I using on the wi fi, there's my MacBook Air, my ancient iMac, my iPhone and my Apple TV.

    -My internet plan is for a max of 200 Mbps, but as you can see here, I never get close to that.

    -By “reset,” do you mean reboot it? It's been a while, though I tried it multiple times in the past before to no discernible effect.

    -Not sure which network I'm using, nor how I'd check that. I tried for a bit to figure it out from the manual I found online, but didn't have any success.

    -If I understand the question correctly, I only have one access point – the wireless router itself.

  11. #11
    Streaming speed is atrocious
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I think we have found a large part of the problem. The 20 foot distance between the router and ATV isn't normally an issue but hvng the wall in between coul be a major issue depending upon the comosition of the wall. I was beginning to suspect that the Apple TV mght be signing in to a neighbor's network father than yours.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  12. #12
    Streaming speed is atrocious
    pm-r's Avatar
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    -Netgear N600 router – the same one Cablevision brought and hooked up when I first moved in here, September 2013. Terribly outdated, undoubtedly.

    Hmmm...???:
    N600
    WiFi Router
    802.11n Dual Band
    Strong and Steady. Speedy and Secure.
    WNDR3400 | WiFi Routers | Networking | Home | NETGEAR

    The Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Router WNDR3400 is a great dual-band router for any home at an affordable price. Its lack of Gigabit Ethernet might steer enthusiasts away, however.
    Internet experience. This router delivers high performance wireless speeds of up to 300+300 Mbps and is a better router for medium to large homes.
    etc. Sure not the worst of reviews for a router by a long shot I'd say.


    - Patrick
    ======

  13. #13
    Actually, now that I've narrowed the issue down to the wi fi signal, I guess it would make sense to go make inquiries at a Netgear forum.

    Thanks for holding my hand while I work through this, everyone.

  14. #14
    Streaming speed is atrocious
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    FWIW, I have an Apple TV 4 in my bedroom. It's about 10 meters (30 feet) from my AirPort Extreme router. There are two steel-reinforced brick walls between the ATV and the router. I never have any throughput problems. I regularly stream Netflix and CBSN and Plex.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratsima View Post
    FWIW, I have an Apple TV 4 in my bedroom. It's about 10 meters (30 feet) from my AirPort Extreme router. There are two steel-reinforced brick walls between the ATV and the router. I never have any throughput problems. I regularly stream Netflix and CBSN and Plex.
    Thanks for the additional input, Ratsima. I guess it varies a lot depending on multiple factors.

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