Skip to main content

AppleTV Video Stuttering - Solved

In a recent post, I mentioned that our viewing of "Birdman" on the AppleTV was so juddery that it was essentially unwatchable. 

Last night, my son and I rented "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in HD on the AppleTV. 

And good news - the video problem has been resolved. 
Our AppleTV 3, it appears, is one of the units that was eligible for a recall due to wi-fi issues. 

In the past, we definitely had problems with video loading over wi-fi, or losing the connection to our network. 

We solved THAT particular problem by connecting the AppleTV to an Airport Express unit via Ethernet. 

(As we finish our basement this year, we're running CAT6 ethernet cable throughout the first floor and basement - so we won't be relying on wi-fi-to-Ethernet in the future.)

But in the last few weeks, we noticed issues with streaming video. The frame would stick - sometimes for a second, sometimes longer - while the audio continued with no issues. 

It was a serious problem when watching "Gone Girl" and then "Birdman". Pausing the video to let it buffer helped, and the problem would get less apparent as the movie went on - presumably because the video was done downloading and was appearing from flash memory. 

Still, a very subpar experience. 

In the Apple Forums, people recommended doing a restart, or even a restore, of the AppleTV. 

And that's where I found a bigger issue - I hadn't updated my AppleTV iOS in a year. 

After a lengthy update process, I was looking at new fonts, and a TON more channels. Too many, actually. 

But would the software update fix the video stuttering problem? 

In a word, YES. 

Our viewing of "Raiders" was perfect. It was in crystal clear HD, and never had an issue with video or audio - even when we stopped halfway through (it was a school night) and re-started a day later. 

Some more good news re: AppleTV rentals. 

As we all know, you have 24 hours to watch your movie. once you start. 

BUT if you're watching the movie as that 24-hour period expires, they let you finish watching the movie

I was fully expecting the movie to stop, and for Apple to ask me for another $3.99. That never happened. 

Now, AFTER the movie, we went to exit during the credits, and the AppleTV warned that the rental period had expired and we wouldn't be able to re-start. 

But letting us finish the movie on Night 2 was a VERY customer-friendly way to handle movie rentals. Thanks, Apple. 

We're going to keep putting the AppleTV through its paces... trying out Netflix and HBO GO streaming, for instance. 

But the fact that an iTunes rental actually met our expectations was a giant leap forward. We're happy customers again. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Not All AirPort Extremes are Created Equal (UPDATED)

I'm looking for a used AirPort Extreme. In all the usual places - eBay, Craigslist.  I'll probably get one this week. Why? It's a long story.  A while back, I picked up an AirPort Express A1084 router on Craigslist, and found that it was incompatible with my AirPort Utility and wireless-n network, even though it looked *identical* to the current model of AirPort Express.  So, I wrote a post on this blog about the different types of AirPort Express routers, noting that if you're looking for used Airport Express routers to extend your AirPlay network, you'd better seek out model A1264. In the months that followed, Apple updated the AirPort Express again, changing the form factor (it looks like a little white AppleTV now), adding simultaneous dual-band support, and giving it model number A1392.  ASIDE: I'm not totally convinced that the form-factor change was an improvement. The A1264 plugged directly into the wall, which was incr

Review: NuCore Flooring from Floor & Decor

This NuCore flooring review will also function as a Basement Update: We're finally, officially moving forward on the Phase 2 finish work.

Review - WOW Ultra TV vs. DirecTV HR34 Genie

Here in the Chicago suburbs, we had two options for whole-home DVR services. We initially went with WOW Ultra TV, and after about 4 months, we switched to DirecTV's HR34 Genie system. (Neither Verizon FIOS nor AT&T UVerse were available in our area, so we can't review those. I haven't used Dish's Hopper, either. This is a straight compare/contrast review of WOW vs. DirecTV.) Both Ultra TV and Genie have their plusses and minuses. Both offer 1080p output, but that's primarily for the menus, as most TV content is provided at lower resolutions.  Both systems have a similar design architecture - a central hub, with multiple tuners and a large hard drive, recording and storing all TV shows, and distributing them to televisions around the house upon request.  Both systems also bring a number of "add-on" apps and have ways of accessing "on demand" content.  We've had each system for enough time to really put them through