2 Replies Latest reply: Oct 19, 2010 6:43 AM by Glorfindeal
lauber1322 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hey guys,

I’ve been encountering some issues when trying to playback iTunes content stored on my Time Capsule using my Apple TV – it works, just not very well and I’m looking for some more insight into what might be wrong and how to fix it.

First off, I have two Time Capsules on my network – one 1TB which I use to create my wireless network, and one 500GB that resides on the same network. I use the Time Capsules both for regular Time Machine backups as well as for offloading media content purchased from the iTunes store to avoid filling up my MacBook’s hard drive. I delete the SD versions and store the HD versions. I would say the 500GB TC is pretty much full of media content while the 1TB TC has primarily been used for backups up to this point and only recently have I begun storing media content on it.

Before I purchased the Apple TV I had my iTunes set up so that for every TV show or movie iTunes referenced the correct filepath on the Time Capsule. Then when I played the content back I guess it would “stream” itself over from my Time Capsules to my MacBook. Nothing new I’m sure.

So now I’m trying to do the same thing with the new Apple TV. It references iTunes on my MacBook for my media which then references my Time Capsules and plays the content back on my Apple TV. The issue I have been having is that the buffering and streaming is extremely slow. I just got the Apple TV yesterday and wasn’t positive I could even have my Apple TV play content stored on my Time Capsule in such a way so I was relieved when I tested it and it worked, although problematically. I was playing back an HD episode of House, MD (probably a gig total in filesize) and upon playing it, it took the Apple TV maybe two minutes to begin playing, then played for a few minutes, then stopped to buffer again for several minutes. Looking at the playback bar on the bottom of the screen it was apparent that the Apple TV was not buffering very far in advance or very quickly. When renting content, everything was immediate and a quarter of a similar hour-long HD TV show was buffered instantly and ready to roll. Why am I not seeing such results when playing content back from my Time Capsules?

It’s maddening that I’m having these playback issues when virtually all my content is on the Time Capsule and I am interrupted every five minutes for five minutes at a time for the Apple TV to re-buffer the playback.

Could this problem possibly be solving by running an Ethernet cable between any of my devices – MacBook, Time Capsules and Apple TV? Which ones?
If I hooked up an Ethernet cable between any of the devices would my Apple TV then not be able to rely on WiFi anymore?

Is the content being streamed directly from the Time Capsule to the Apple TV, or does it have to go by way of my MacBook in between?

Should I check out the “channel” that my network is broadcasting on to make sure its not oversaturated by surrounding networks?

I think the culprit may be the POS AT&T Microcell I just bought to combat my crap reception in my apartment. I’m about to throw that thing out the window. Ever since I introduced it to my network my Time Machine backups, iTunes downloads and other Internet-related tasks have taken much, much longer. Could this be the issue? Is it possible that its “channel” is interfering with my network or just straight-up hogging my bandwidth?

If anyone has any ideas or solutions regarding any of the above I would really appreciate it. Sorry this is so long, just want to be thorough.

Thank you.

Late 2008 Unibody MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPhone 4 & 3G iPad
  • 1. Re: Time Capsule Playback Issues on Apple TV
    temac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Very in depth and informative post.

    Unfortunately I do not have an answer for you but I am trying to do the same thing.

    I am looking to purchase a 1 or 2 tb time capsule to store my media on their rather than on my laptop as I am running out of space. But I dont want to purchase one if it will not work.

    If i do purchase a time capsule can i access media files via my macbook pro? if so is there any lag in this like the one you are experiencing with the apple tv

    Did you have any progress with your problem lauber 1322?
  • 2. Re: Time Capsule Playback Issues on Apple TV
    Glorfindeal Level 6 Level 6 (9,330 points)
    One issue you have is you are getting a double hit on your network by storing on the time capsule. The file has to transfer on your network from the time capsule to your Mac, then it has to stream back on your network to the Apple TV. You might get some relief using ethernet since everything in the chain should support 1gigabit. N is only 300 mbit at the very best, normally much slower than that. I have my iTunes content on an external firewire 800 drive connected to my iMac and have no issues streaming at all. I encode at a fairly high bitrate also.

    Glor