10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 13, 2013 1:51 PM by Winston Churchill
old_town83 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I purchased ATV3 at Christmas 12/25/2012.  It began to have issues last night 1/11/2013.  Streaming began to drop out at a rather intolerable frequency on the ATV3.


  1. Music over homesharing began to stutter, or not able to buffer properly and stop periodically.  It would stop for 5 seconds every 10-15 seconds.
    • My iphone was still working just fine accessing itunes on the same machine.
  2. Movie over Netflix needed to buffer for about 30 seconds almost every 5 minutes (i put up with this for about 30min).
    • I switched to my network capable DVD player to access netflix to continue the movie.  It is right next to my ATV3, and both are wi-fi.  I had absolutely no issues streaming netflix with my DVD player.
  3. Airplay icon went missing on my iphone, as if the ATV was not available, at irregular intervals while trying to use airplay and/or mirroring.  the ATV3 would seem to try to buffer youtube videos for minutes, but when switching Airplay back to the iphone streaming worked fine on the iphone.
  4. This morning after rebooting my PC, logging out of homesharing at both end and logging back in, and still having the same problems only with the ATV3, I unplugged it for 1 minute.  After plugging it back in, it once again worked as expected.


With this, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that it is the ATV3 device and nothing else on my network.


I believe that the ATV3 may have a memory leak.  There is a Software or Firmware fix that is needed.  Until then I expect to see this again in a week or so depending on my usage.



ATV3 could possibly have a memory leak. If streaming on the ATV3 is giving you fits, unplug the device for 30sec to 1 min and then plug it back in.  Repeat as necessary until Apple provides a SW/FW update - the system will need to be manually rebooted until fixed.


Please post here if you experienced similar issues and is was resolved similarly.



  • 1. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (14,045 points)

    Intermittent issues usually involve interference on the network so I would check for that first.


    You can verify with istumbler (Mac) or netstumbler (PC)

  • 2. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    old_town83 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have 5 other devices on the network: laptop, iPhone, ipad, DVD player, WII.  These all stream perfectly fine.  If it were interference, I would have issues on other devices.  And like I mentioned the DVD player (network capable w/Netflix) is in the same area - only one is on ever at a time.  Also, nothing has change in the house for the 2 weeks it worked.  Certainly if from the outside, other devices would have been effected.


    Also, unplugging it brought the ATV3 back to normal, 1.5 days now with no issue.


    So, no, not interference.


    Thank you for the interference detection suggestion may come in handy another day.



  • 3. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (81,985 points)

    Streaming issues which are corrected temporarily by restarting are often as a result of interference.

  • 4. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (14,045 points)

    Not necessarily.  Best to check for interference first

  • 5. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    old_town83 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    I am not sure how rebooting the ATV would remedy any interference.  I assume that the "interfering" transmission is from another source other than the ATV itself.  would you care to explain further...


    • How does restarting the ATV suppress / rid the local area of the interfering transmissions?
      • why would this be isolate to the 1 out of 5 wireless devices on my network (3 are apple products)?
    • why would the interference be so 'temporary' yet discreet?
      • remember the issue cleared immediately after the 30sec of being unplugged.


    Also, per the suggestion above, I used inSSIDer to evaluate any interference.

    • operating on 2.4ghz (my router is single band),  no 5ghz detected in the area.
    • My signal near the ATV is more than 10db better than the next closest in signal strength -
      • And that one is on a different channel.
    • There is only that one signal that is close.
      • I am more than 20-30 db better than every thing else - also all on different channels.
    • My network is practically the only thing that registers on the channel I am on - one signal fades in and out of delectability (I am about 35db better than that one).wi-fi.jpg

    Thank you.

  • 6. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (81,985 points)

    Restarting the Apple TV doesn't clear interference, it clears any corruption caused by interference which can then re-occur as any interference causes further problems.


    Interference can be caused by lots of things not just other networks.

  • 7. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    old_town83 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I completely understand that.  Perhaps you could recommend a consumer level RF spectrum analyzer?


    What exactly might get corrupted within the ATV3 because of a noisy signal? 

    Are you suggeesting that the ATV3 might go out to lunch when the incoming signal is corrupted?

    Sould a consumer grade wi-fi capable product be suseptable to this?

    Why have I not seen this on any other wi-fi capable product on my network?


    Something just doesn't seem right with an interference explination.


    I could understand an intermittent interference causing the signal integrity issue, but then I would expect that to persist, and not be 'temporarily' resolved by a reboot.



  • 8. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (81,985 points)

    You seem determined to believe its some sort of problem with the Apple TV.

  • 9. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    old_town83 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Far from it, I spent $99 on this thing, and was mostly happy for 2 weeks.


    I am no hack.  I think I have done a reasonable job eliminating the potential causes that I could initially identify, and provided reasonable rationale as to how and why.  If there is an issue I can fix, I would like to do so.


    It was suggested that a noisy/bad signal could corrupt the ATV.  I have done a reasonable fist test (see above).  Is there a consumer level RF spectrum analyzer to take that further?


    If I am going to further evaluate whether RF interference is an issue, I would like to understand how RF broadcasts could corrupt the SW/FW of a receiving device.  And why just this device?  I enjoy a few other apple devices - no real problems.


    Testing for overall RF interference probably is not cheap as far I can figure.  So, it would behoove one to have a reasonable level of confidence that it is plausible.


    If you want to add value to this discussion, please do, I will welcome any insights you may have; otherwise, I have no hard feelings toward you or the other 7 billion who have declined to attempt an answer to few questions.


    Please, have a very nice day.



  • 10. Re: I believe ATV3 has memory issues.
    Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (81,985 points)

    I've never used any hardware for investigating interference, I wouldn't be able to recommend any. Most people tend to resolve interference from other electrical equipment by a process of elimination, i.e. turning off the microwave, baby monitor, I even saw one poster isolate it to a fan. Moving the unit about would also be worthwhile.


    I didn't say the firmware was corrupted, indeed firmware isn't reinstalled when the device is turned off and on again, so I doubt it has anything to do with firmware, it's essentially data from volatile memory that is flushed when the device is restarted. Other devices have different locations and are unlikely to be used for large multicast streams as the Apple TV is.


    i believe that one valuable test is to try it in an entirely different location. It isn't impossible that its a faulty unit, but generally speaking the vast majority of problems people have are not.