Streaming video to apple tv 2 is laggy

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I just bought an old dell tower on ebay that I converted to a media server with Plex media server. I am trying to store all my media on it and stream it to my apple tv 2. the only problem is, it is not streaming fast enough and the video (720p) keeps buffering every few seconds. Any ideas on how to speed up the connection? I've heard that a faster ethernet card helps, but I don't know anything about ethernet cards. I'd appreciate any suggestions.
 
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20" Intel iMac 2.4 Ghz/3G Ram/320HD, Snow Leopard. PBook G4, 1.5Ghz/1.5 Ram/250 HD, Leopard 10.5.6.
How fast is your broadband connection? Streaming requires a pretty fast connection if you are using wi-fi in the equation somewhere.
Can you give us more details of the exact set-up, that is what connections etc.?
 
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How fast is your broadband connection? Streaming requires a pretty fast connection if you are using wi-fi in the equation somewhere.
Can you give us more details of the exact set-up, that is what connections etc.?

I am using wifi for the apple tv. The dell tower is connected via ethernet to a netgear router (non wifi), which is connected to an airport express. the airport express is connected wirelessly to the apple tv. One of my roommates set up our cable/internet, so I don't know what our bandwidth is; probably around 2 mbps. I also have the plex server program installed on a macbook pro (2011 model), and that was streaming:

mbpro wifi to airport express-->wifi to apple tv. That streamed just fine, without any lagging or constant buffering.
 
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Ok, that's not that fast a connection, but I suspect that the issue will actually be with PLEX. Good that it is (excellent in fact), it's quite a processor heavy programme, and it may be hindering the streaming if you are doing multiple tasks on the Macbook.
That said, if the express>ATV streaming was good, it could also be a lack of processing power in the Dell tower.
 
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Ok, that's not that fast a connection, but I suspect that the issue will actually be with PLEX. Good that it is (excellent in fact), it's quite a processor heavy programme, and it may be hindering the streaming if you are doing multiple tasks on the Macbook.
That said, if the express>ATV streaming was good, it could also be a lack of processing power in the Dell tower.

You don't think it would be the network card in the dell tower? If it's the processor, I guess the dell tower would be worthless?
 
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20" Intel iMac 2.4 Ghz/3G Ram/320HD, Snow Leopard. PBook G4, 1.5Ghz/1.5 Ram/250 HD, Leopard 10.5.6.
It could well be the card, yes. I'm not PC savvy as such, but if it's a slow card then it will of course restrict the connection.
Do you have any specs for it?
 
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I concur with Kevirano here. The Dell Tower is likely the culprit, either the Ethernet card or the CPU is simply lagging (quite possibly both). Your internet connection would only come into play if you were streaming something like Netflix and having an issue, everything you described is internal to your network in your home. Buying an old/cheap PC to run as a media server is not a recipe for success...
 
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I assume you have jailbroken the ATV and are using Plex? The problem is almost certainly Plex, or at least a big part of it. Even on a Mac mini, I had constant issues with streaming video to Plex. It was more problematic with MKV files that had DTS audio (which has a MUCH higher bitrate than AC3), and videos that were encoded in something other than h.264. I believe it is going to be worse on an ATV 2 because ONLY MPEG-4 compliant videos can be played on it, if I'm not mistaken, so Plex has to transcode anything that isn't compliant on-the-fly.
 

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