3 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2008 2:05 PM by bilbo_baggins
bilbo_baggins Level 4 Level 4 (2,230 points)
I've been using my Apple TV with my Gigabit Airport Extreme, and with all the recent updates it has actually (finally) become quite reliable. I've been using 5GHz exclusively 802.11n (but in the UK I think this runs at half speed due to wireless laws?).

I'm about to wire my house with Cat6 cable for gigabit ethernet - but am surprised to see that the Apple TV is still only 10/100 baseT. Presumably the hardware is due to be updated, but does anyone know how the Apple TV performs on Ethernet compared to 802.11n. I only have the 40GB model, so most of my content is streamed from my Mac Pro. It works ok, but there is often a 10 second black screen before video starts to play (buffering presumably?) and fast forwarding doesn't really work with streamed content, it forwards a minute or two then starts playing again.

Presumably the Apple TV would perform significantly better if it was upgraded to a gigabit connection?

Mac Pro 2.8Ghz 8-core / MacBook CD 2.0Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 8GB RAM, GeForce 8800GT / 2GB RAM
  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (84,625 points)
    bilbo_baggins wrote:
    ..... I've been using 5GHz exclusively 802.11n (but in the UK I think this runs at half speed due to wireless laws?).


    Try changing your wireless options location, I know this can change the number of channels you have access to, it may well allow you to run 5 Ghz at full speed.

    I'm about to wire my house with Cat6 cable for gigabit ethernet


    Unless you are making provision for 10G Ethernet you can use cat 5e cable.

    Presumably the Apple TV would perform significantly better if it was upgraded to a gigabit connection?


    I personally doubt it
  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,080 points)
    bilbo_baggins wrote:
    Presumably the Apple TV would perform significantly better if it was upgraded to a gigabit connection?


    I doubt it too.

    AppleTv only has a small amount of RAM (256MB from memory), and a relatively slow hard drive.

    It might already be limited in terms of data transfer by the speed of the internal drive and low memory so I don't think we'd see much gain.

    If there was a hardware update and all the other components were improved you might see better performance, but even then perhaps not.

    Also, you may not even be utilising full 100Mbps ethernet or n wireless rates if iTunes cannot feed the data fast enough from the file storage location.

    AC
  • bilbo_baggins Level 4 Level 4 (2,230 points)
    I'm using Cat6 cable as it seems pointless using older cable. OK, by the time something faster than gigabit becomes commonplace maybe it will need better than Cat6, but it's cheap enough to go for the latest cable type.

    My iTunes library is on an internal 1TB SATA drive, so there should be no performance issues with that. I do notice a delay if the drive has spun-down, but with 4 internal drives I opted to let them sleep to save energy (and perhaps heat generation).

    Will be interesting to see if Fast Ethernet performs any better than 802.11n. Streaming performance has always been good, with the exception of the fast-forward/rewind function which is virtually unusable when streaming.