12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 29, 2011 1:46 PM by vazandrew
Phil McFarlane Level 2 Level 2
Hi gang,

I have an Apple TV (new version ... fully updated software). The user experience is great. Viewing the list of movies is instantaneous, same with trailers. However, when I rent a movie, the download time is crazy. Anywhere from 3 to 21 hours. I've tried with WiFi and with Ethernet. Ethernet is faster, but still incredibly slow.

The Apple TV is using bandwidth poorly. For example, while the Apple TV is hooked to my WiFi network and slowly downloading a rental (22 hours to go), I can pull 45 Mb/s on speedtest.net on my laptop from the same WiFi network.

Any suggestions?


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • nyseans Level 1 Level 1
    Hi Phil - I can empathize. Tried using my Apple TV (new version as well) for the first time last night to rent Salt. I have been watching movies streaming from Netflix with much success and no problems since Christmas. Unfortunately, I got 12+ hours message before I could view it. Since this was going to kill the movie night we watched a Netflix movie instead. Streamed through the same exact Apple TV and network while Salt continued to download. After the Netflix movie I checked and Salt was ready to play. It even started for a second before I stopped it since it was too late to watch.

    We went back to watch the movie tonight and it wanted to start the download over again. Luckily, only 5+ hrs this time. Bad news is that 5+ hrs would push us past the rental expiration time since I started the movie for less than 10 seconds the night before.

    Now I am peeved both at what appears to be a major technical problem with Apple's rental service AND with their billing that doesn't take into account any possibility of such technical issues!

    This all makes me very sad as it performs nothing like Steve Jobs demo at the Apple TV launch... I hope you are finding better luck now.

    ATV2, many ipods, multiple MBPs
  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6
    Apple TV
    See if this helps, if you haven't already looked at it. Ethernet will be more stable so i'd stick with that

    Also look into ISP throttling
  • nyseans Level 1 Level 1
    I tried Ethernet and it didn't make a significant difference. It also doesn't make sense that Apple's streaming for rentals is so significantly worse than Netflix. It seems like they chose the far inferior streaming technology/protocols.
  • Phil McFarlane Level 2 Level 2
    Even stranger.

    My daughter rented a movie on the Apple TV this morning and it played right away. Meantime, the movie we tried to rent last night is still not done downloading!

  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6
    Apple TV
    Netflix does in fact use a different protocol. They will stream instantly but degrade quality based on your connection. Apple/iTunes will load the movie to the cache and only start once enough has loaded so it can play uninterrupted.

    IMO it's not inferior because I expect a higher quality when paying for each rental.
  • Mulderscully Level 1 Level 1
    Tried renting a movie tonight. Says it will take 9 hours to load. Forget it--very disappointing!

    Just wondering if I click to stop the download, will I be charged?
  • MacDave1967 Level 1 Level 1
    Well, its shocking i am an apple fan and totally dissapointed

    Looked at http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3623

    I have hardwired Ethernet, 1GB switch, 12Mb Download speed (6 sustained), unlimited bandwidth by provider over night and decent during the day, all DNS settings correct

    Rented 4 movies on monday, watched 2 by friday as they were still downloading on thursday, other 2 are still downloading says 4-5 hours per movie, thats a week to download.....

    Had i know this i would have never wasted my money
  • Irish Dave Level 1 Level 1
    Hi guys

    I was struggling with slow movie rental downloads up to 2 days ago. I have 2 Apple TV boxes. One is the older larger unit and the second is the new smaller black unit. Once I fitted the newer unit, neither would download movies from the i Tunes Store instantly. One minute it was saying 4 hours to download and the next it was 8 hours or 23 hours. I discovered the reason was that the settings were set up for HD Downloads on the newer apple TV box.
    So go to ‘Settings’ on your Apple TV, then ‘General’ then ‘i Tunes Store’ and finally ‘Rent High Definition’
    set to ‘Off’ and Hey Presto movies download in minutes. I hope this helps some of you.
  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6
    MacDave1967 wrote:
    Rented 4 movies on monday, watched 2 by friday as they were still downloading on thursday, other 2 are still downloading says 4-5 hours per movie, thats a week to download.....

    The fact you rented 4 movies may be the issue (it would not have been on the older unit which has a hard drive).

    AppleTV 2 has 8Gb of solid state memory which will be shared between miscellaneous system uses, movie rentals and photos for slideshow.

    As most HD movies are 3-4GB it would be impossible for them all to be downloaded simultaneoulsy to the new AppleTV - they may be in a vicious cycle of downloading/data being flushed by another movie wanting to use the space.

    This may not be the case, but once you get through this patch, if you're up to it try a single rental to see if you get a fast start.

  • deanhargreaves Level 1 Level 1

    I am also experiencing very slow HD movie download speeds via Apple TV. Internet connection is ADSL2+ with a sync speed of 22 Mb/s. Generally achieve around 16 Mb/s during daily use. Tested download speed during HD movie download and achieved 15 Mb/s from MacBook Pro. Before and after the speed test Apple TV reports a download time of 55min.

  • carrifromlos angeles Level 1 Level 1

    We have renamed our unit CRAPPY TV.  As small as the unit is, it is a complete waste of space, unless you are using netflix, which is the only viable content besides youtube etc.  Apple was not in any way helpful, nor have they fixed the problem.  Too many ruined evenings.  Bad for customers... Long run, damaging to Apple's rep. 

  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6
    Apple TV

    Issues like this are either a result of a slow network, interference, using another DNS etc. You have to look at your setup.


    Netflix is variable bit-rate, Youtube is highly compressed.