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Apple TV HD Rental Streaming Problem

359556 Views 761 Replies Latest reply: Mar 2, 2014 4:02 AM by vazandrew RSS
  • Level 6 Level 6 (11,035 points)
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    Dec 5, 2010 8:07 PM (in response to TWalkerPolk)
    Well, reading through all the posts, I saw one person indicate he changed his router DNS settings. I was using Google DNS 8.8.8.8 (and an open DNS setting). Sure enough, I changed it back to Time Warner Roadrunner DNS and all is fine. That was the variable.
    ATV2, iOS 4
  • mbrownp1 Calculating status...
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    Dec 7, 2010 1:04 PM (in response to Ptrotsky)
    How nice for you. Now go away.
  • narenpublic Calculating status...
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    Dec 7, 2010 8:21 PM (in response to TWalkerPolk)
    Stop what you are doing and make absolutely certain that your router or apple tv is NOT using the Google DNS servers: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4

    This has been killing my downloads for months. I replaced my appletv and then replaced my airport extreme and neither had any impact.

    For me it was 100% those Google DNS servers.
    macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • Curvature Calculating status...
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    Dec 8, 2010 4:37 AM (in response to jpr76)
    I have just had the same issue.

    10MB service but only getting 2MB.

    Upgraded to 20MB and now regularly getting over 18MB.

    I need to rent another film now to see if it has made any difference.
    MacBook Pro, Other OS
  • punkassjim Calculating status...
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    Dec 8, 2010 4:35 PM (in response to TWalkerPolk)
    I spoke to an AppleCare rep today, and I got nowhere. They tested my network speed, deemed that it was slow, but failed to explain why "four hours until your rental is ready" is anything even remotely like "instant rentals." Honestly, I think they're just playing along with some kind of ridiculous restriction that the media owners want. There is no reason why I can start an SD rental within 10 minutes (it'll play while buffering), but an HD rental won't play for four hours — the time it takes to download the whole damned thing.

    "Rent Instantly" my ***.

    To make matters worse, I rented my SECOND movie today (this whole experience has soured me to almost the whole device, with the exception of the Netflix app). I watched Inception after letting it download overnight (I learned from last time to turn off the screensaver and set "sleep after" to "never"). When I was done, I wanted to go back and watch parts of it again. They say you can watch it as many times as you want in 24 hours, right?

    Not so. Even though the entire movie had been cached, and I'd had no problems with pausing, fast-forwarding and rewinding…as soon as I wanted to watch it again, the entire download session had to start over from scratch. Four hours, and you'll get to watch your rental again.

    To make matters worse, I also tried to rent in HD from my iPad last night, but it encountered an error within a half-hour of starting the download. And, since HD rentals aren't allowed on anything but the iPad or AppleTV, I'm not given the option of kick-starting the download from my Mac.

    This really is ridiculous. I get my laughs in with the ridiculousness of GoogleTV, when the truth is my AppleTV, outside of excellent Netflix functionality, is just as much a piece of junk. All of this, combined with the fact that AirPlay is a far cry from what they promised, and I'm feeling duped out of a hundred bucks.
    AppleTV second-gen, iOS 4
  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (12,980 points)
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    Dec 8, 2010 4:47 PM (in response to punkassjim)
    HD needs more bandwidth and if you have a slow connection it makes sense that it will take longer. Continue watching SD if you have no problems with it.

    If you want it watch it again, you have to stream it again..simple
    iMac 2.8GHz 2GB RAM ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Apple TV 2G
  • punkassjim Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Dec 8, 2010 5:14 PM (in response to vazandrew)
    vazandrew wrote:
    HD needs more bandwidth and if you have a slow connection it makes sense that it will take longer. Continue watching SD if you have no problems with it.

    If you want it watch it again, you have to stream it again..simple


    Dude, I'm not an idiot. And you're missing the point: ten minutes of waiting will BUFFER an SD movie, not download the whole thing. That's how streaming works.

    Four hours' wait doesn't buffer the HD rental, it downloads the whole damned thing. So, the point, in case you missed it, is that AppleTV does not stream HD rentals. *This is not streaming.*

    Plus, how can you say that it's reasonable for me to have to wait another four hours to watch a movie that has been fully saved to NAND memory and I just finished watching it? _+This is okay with you?+_
    AppleTV second-gen, iOS 4
  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (12,980 points)
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    Dec 8, 2010 6:27 PM (in response to punkassjim)
    That's what happens with HD too. I can watch them after 5 seconds, the whole movie downloads to the flash drive after maybe 45 minutes

    4 hours wait means you have a slow connection (although there are other things that will cause this), it needs to download enough to the drive so that you can play with little to no buffering, it won't start until it has reached such a point.

    It will be cleared, as the drive isn't meant to store content. Yes this is ok with me, that's how streaming works.

    Message was edited by: vazandrew

    Message was edited by: vazandrew
    iMac 2.8GHz 2GB RAM ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Apple TV 2G
  • punkassjim Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Dec 8, 2010 9:07 PM (in response to vazandrew)
    vazandrew wrote:
    That's what happens with HD too. I can watch them after 5 seconds, the whole movie downloads to the flash drive after maybe 45 minutes

    4 hours wait means you have a slow connection (although there are other things that will cause this), it needs to download enough to the drive so that you can play with little to no buffering, it won't start until it has reached such a point.

    It will be cleared, as the drive isn't meant to store content. Yes this is ok with me, that's how streaming


    So your theory is that a "slow connection" causes my HD rentals to require a 100% download (technically not streaming), and that, because I'm streaming (it's not streaming at all), I shouldn't count on the AppleTV to retain the movie that it had 100% downloaded, even though I had just that very second finished watching it and decided to watch it again. You blame all of this unfortunate behavior simply on a "slow connection," knowing nothing about my connection speeds, and in spite of there being 15 pages of complaints from people about these very sorts of problems.

    No offense dude, but take your 729-post-count somewhere else. You may think you're addressing a problem, but you're really not. This is a widespread problem in households with very common broadband ISPs with reasonable download speeds, and you can't just brush it off like you have been.
    AppleTV second-generation, iOS 4
  • newagemac Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
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    Dec 9, 2010 12:03 AM (in response to punkassjim)
    Sorry but he's correct. You simply have a slow connection. I am able to start watching HD movies on the Apple TV in about 5 seconds as well. In your case, it is not downloading fast enough to be able to play all the way through without being interrupted for more buffering. The Apple TV will not say it is ready until that is determined to be true. If the connection were better you wouldn't have to wait so long and you can be watching your movie in 5 seconds like the rest of us.
    2010 Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Djonas Calculating status...
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    Dec 9, 2010 5:39 AM (in response to newagemac)
    The apple tv rental service does'nt work on my 10 mbps dsl. I stream flawless HD content on my IMAC, so the problem has to be the apple TV.
    Apple you better be working on a solution.
  • newagemac Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
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    Dec 9, 2010 6:19 AM (in response to Djonas)
    Well is your Apple TV in the same place as your iMac? And are they both on the same type of connection. Like for instance if your iMac is using ethernet while your Apple TV is using Wifi then obviously you are not making an equal comparison between the two devices. Or if your iMac is in a location where it is getting a better Wifi signal than your Apple TV. There could be other factors involved. It's not as simple as you put it.
    2010 Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Borja Marcos Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
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    Dec 9, 2010 6:40 AM (in response to punkassjim)
    Let me explain why.

    Depending on its resolution, a movie requires more or less bits per second. For example, a SD movie can be 1.5 Mbps (1.5 million bits per second) and an HD one can be three times that quantity.

    In order to be able to start immediately, the data transfer must be higher than the video bit rate. The higher capacity is used to buffer some video ahead of playing it, reducing the effects of a brief disruption. (Some connections aren't that reliable, especially if you are using a wireless connection and it's not perfectly set up).

    What happens if the available throughput is lower? Well, you can guess. It is impossible to stream a video over a slower than needed link. In that case you need to download enough video to pre-fill your buffers *in advance*.

    Technically that pre-load doesn't always need to download the whole movie, but maybe Apple is playing it safe and they consider that having your movie watching interrupted is far worse than waiting for it.

    For example, I tried the device in Spain. SD rentals started immediately, HD didn't. Why? The reason is trivial: I have a 3 Mbps ADSL line. Great for SD, not enough for HD. And no, my ISP isn't throttling anything, I am the security officer of the ISP and I know we have absolutely no nasty stuff like that.

    And it's not just your DSL/cable/whatever connection throughput. Apple, like many others, streams through the Akamai network, a network of distributed caches, and generally your streaming will be served through a cache "close" to you in network terms. The cache is selected based on the DNS servers you use. In case of problems, and provided your line is fast enough (miracles don't exist), check your DNS settings. You should be using your own ISP's servers and it should work well in most cases. If it doesn't, try to change to Google or OpenDNS. But your ISP's servers should be your first choice. Google or OpenDNS will surely direct you to sub-optimal servers; use them as a last resort.

    That said, Akamai sometimes fails and trying alternative DNSs, again, provided your line is fast enough, can yield better results in that case.

    Where Apple is really failing (and I don't understand why, it's silly) is by stating the recommended line speeds for the streaming to work. Of course there are other variables, but this is likely to be the bottleneck.

    Message was edited by: Borja Marcos
    Macbook Pro 13" and Mac Pro 4C (2010), Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (12,980 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 9, 2010 9:47 AM (in response to punkassjim)
    I think your answer has been given. I don't care if you believe it or not, was simply trying to help.

    There are many factors to consider when you are having a problem like this, but if you have a slow connection..

    What is your speed then, I don't thnk you gave a number but judging from yur posts and what tech support told you..you need at least 6-7mbps to have a good experience with HD streaming.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1577?viewlocale=en_US
    iMac 2.8GHz 2GB RAM ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Apple TV 2G
  • alondono Calculating status...
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    Dec 9, 2010 5:07 PM (in response to Borja Marcos)
    Hey, that was a very good explanation Marcos, thank you for that.

    I just would love that ATV2 retained the cache of downloaded movies a bit better.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
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