Skip navigation

taking too long to download a movie

3813 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2013 9:49 PM by Jeffrey Herzfeld RSS
1 2 Previous Next
randifrompasadena Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 14, 2011 9:29 PM

Rented a movie and it says it will take over 2 hours to download. What's the problem?

Apple TV
  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2011 2:28 AM (in response to randifrompasadena)

    Most likely you internet connection speed.  Even if advertised by your provider as fast or 'up to X Mbps' in practice it is often less.

     

    Go to speedtest.net from your computer browser and test sustained transfer speeds - you're probably getting 2-3 Mbps.

     

    HD movie rentals are huge 3-4GB in size.  Sd is much smaller, starts faster.

     

    In AppleTV's settings got to itunes Store and change from HD to SD rentals - won't work with currently made rental, only future ones which are a little cheaper in SD

     

    Netflix etc work differently and adjust quality to your network speed whereas Apple rentals are constant quality.

     

    Also - be aware that if your download speed is slow then AppleTV 2 is effectively unusable for anything else in the interim, as if you do it frequently flushes the rental so when you go back to check download time it will start from scratch and redownload even the portion that had previously been downloaded.  This is stupid memory management which IMO could be handled better for slow connections by protecting rentals partially dowloaded and warning the user if an action would delete it.  Feedback to:

     

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/appletv.html

  • joeriz Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 10, 2012 12:30 PM (in response to Alley_Cat)

    I am having the same problem. Wanted to watch a movie the other night... Apple Tv say's loading then it will be available in 8 hrs. . I left it on but switched to satellite input to Tv . A day later checked and Apple said the movie would be available in 3 hrs. Same deal . Left it on . Checked today and it will be available in 2 hrs. At this rate I could make a movie. It is almost as if I have to sit there and prevent the screen from going to screen saver and watch the time slowly pass.

    My internet is bad but it is around 2mbps.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 10, 2012 12:37 PM (in response to joeriz)

    At 4 Mbps HD takes around 40 mins for me - you might better off renting SD which will probably start much quicker.  You can change the setting in Settings for the store on the unit but it will only apply to new rentals.

     

    Also, using AppleTV for other things and maybe changing to another source if it sleeps, can wip[e the buffered video or potentially pause buffering respectively.

     

    Renting in itunes and streaming over the LAN from there is another option though file has to fully download and selection may differ.  It is then viewed on AppletV under Computers>iTunes name>Rentals.

     

    AC

  • Charmiepoo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 10:00 PM (in response to randifrompasadena)

    This is one of the first things I've noticed after purchasing my Apple TVs. Downloading movies or TV shows is painfully slow.....even though I have a high speed internet connection.  All other downloads elsewhere are very fast. It is only when I download from the iTunes store that it takes 2 or 3 hours to download a movie. What is really annoying is that Apple TV will not allow you to start viewing the movie until it is almost nearing completion. It is frustrating to see so much content already downloaded but be unable to view it.

     

    I've been reading comments all over these forums stating that it is due to a slow internet connection.....but mine is definitely not a slow connection. Surely there must be something that Apple can do to improve performance in this area!

  • jon8979 Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 11:14 PM (in response to Alley_Cat)

    I bought my ATV2 to use as an audio Airplay bridge to my stereo, and as I don't use it for video, I've always been puzzled by threads like this. Can someone clarify how this works? What happens when you rent a movie or TV show? Does it download to your computer and play back from that local content? Assuming you have a reasonably fast connection (I have 20 Mbps), how soon would it be available to play? Surely it would start in just a few seconds and be like streaming, right? If not, how is this even remotely a substitute for things like PPV and On Demand? Is the ATV capable of streaming any content Netflix-style from Apple? Or is it all based on downloading files to the PC with iTunes as the intermediary?

  • Charmiepoo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 12:41 PM (in response to jon8979)

    jon8979.........The whole purpose of Apple TV is not to have to go through the hassle of loading the movies on your computer first.  The Apple TV connects to an HDMI port on your TV and connects wirelessly to your router, so the movies are downloaded directly to the Apple TV.  I also use the Apple TV for Netflix and Netflix movies play instantly, however they are streamed differently from Apple movies. The problem is downloading a movie purchase or rental from the iTunes store. Even on my high speed connection, as I stated before, the movies and/or TV shows download painfully slow from the iTunes store. As I also said in my previous post.....you can't start playing the movie until it is almost fully downloaded, more than 3/4 of the way, or until after a couple of hours or more. I don't understand why they don't allow live streaming in he same way Netflix does. Movies from the iTunes store don't really stream at all. And that is my beef. Surely they could do this in a faster way. When I download movies via my computer from other sources (not the iTunes store), even when they aren't live streaming, they download fully in 20 minutes to a half hour. Only from the iTunes store is it so slow......so I really think it has very little to do with connection speed.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 1:04 PM (in response to Charmiepoo)

    Charmiepoo wrote:

     

    jon8979.........Movies from the iTunes store don't really stream at all. And that is my beef. Surely they could do this in a faster way.

    By compromising on quality like Netflix...

     

    There should be no reason why it takes longer to download to AppleTV and start than to your computer unless your wifi connection to AppleTV is the rate limiting step.  If you could connect temporarily by ethernet that would help determine if wifi is the issue for you.

     

    What do you deem a high speed connrection?

     

    (I get no more than 4-5 Mbps, but an HD movie is ready to watch in 30-40 mins).

     

    AC

  • jon8979 Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 10:01 AM (in response to Alley_Cat)

    Both of you are talking about "downloading to the Apple TV", and that's part of the confusion. To "download" is to receive a file from the Internet onto persistent storage such that it is available until deleted. The ATV has only got 8 GB of Flash, and my understanding is that it does not really "download" anything. It uses the Flash as a buffer and cache. OTOH, you actually do download rented and purchased video from the iTunes store to your PC. I see Alley_Cat wrote earlier that this iTunes video must download in its entirety before you can view it. So please tell me if this is correct, talking about Apple's content:

     

    1. You can use iTunes to download rentals and purchases, and they must download completely before they become usable. Only then you can use the ATV to stream them. (You cannot initiate any streaming from iTunes; it's purely downloading.)

     

    2. When you initiate the rental or purchase from the ATV, it's purely streaming. The PC's iTunes is never involved, and the files are never downloaded. It's expected that a streamed file is to begin playing immediately, but if you can't sustain, say, 8 Mbps, it can take 30 minutes or longer before it becomes available to watch. (So you might as well have downloaded it to your PC with iTunes, as you can't get any immediate satisfaction, which absolutely is expected of streaming. Can you ever convert a streaming purchase into a download?)

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 10:31 AM (in response to jon8979)

    jon8979 wrote:

     

    Both of you are talking about "downloading to the Apple TV", and that's part of the confusion. To "download" is to receive a file from the Internet onto persistent storage such that it is available until deleted.

    Semantics I'm afraid.  I know what you're saying, but whether you call it partially downloading or caching/buffering the problem is the same.  If you want to call it a cache/buffer then its size varies from title to tile and even during the process if the connection rate changes. 

     

    AppleTV does not stream in the conventional sense from iTunes Store.  iTunes Store files are fixed size.

     

    AppleTV analyses connection rate (many places where this can fall down), then knowing the fixed file size for a particular rental or purchase it determines how much it must download (or cache) to local storage in order to playback withoiut interruption as the rest of the file downloads/caches in the background.

     

    So on a very slow connection it may need to download/cache 90% of the file size to allow continuous playback.  With a faster connection it only needs a brief part of the stream to start playing.

     

    I use the term download, as in my experience, provided I have not finished a film to the end I can then navigate freely back and forth without the 'buffering' restarting - so if it is a buffer it seems to increase in size rather than acting in a fixed or FIFO manner.

     

    Once a film has finished OR I use AppleTV for something else, I often find the process has to restart - the downloaded media/cached media/buffered media - whatever you choose to call it has gone.  I think this is partly poor memory management and should be configurable to retain a rental while powered on, or warn you using some other feature will wipe it - this would make life easier for those on slow or limited connections.

     

    1 - Yes you can download to permanent storage on a computer.  You can also cache a whole movie (ut's downloaded in full) to volatile storage on an AppleTV 2/3.

     

    Interestingly - in the past before you could stream to AppleTV from local iTunes, the file had to be downloaded in full.  This may have changed, at least for playback in iTunes (not tested with AppleTV), as I redownloaded a TV episode in 1080p the other day and in an AppleTV like manner it announced it was ready to play within a few seconds when it inreality had over 30 mins left to fully download to iTunes.

     

    iTunes does stream to AppleTV, just across your LAN not the internet.   I see no real difference between Apple's server streaming across the internet an entire file (they call a stream which may or not need prebuffering) and iTunes streaming the same file across the LAN.  Just generally the LAN speed is faster, or used to be for most.

     

    2 - It's downloaded to the AppleTV's volatile memory, semantics again i'm sorry.  If you want a permanent download do it in iTunes.  No one has suggested (at least I haven't) that when renting from AppleTV, that  iTunes gets the file directly then hands it to AppleTV .

     

     

    Apple has published minimum internet speeds for SD, 720p and 1080p for near instant 'streaming' - if you get those speeds then it's either Apple's end playing up, your network, maybe AppleTV for some odd reason, or some other unfathomable cause.

     

    While I agree with you might as well downoad to iTunes if yiu have to wait to start, sadly Apple does not always offer the same rental options in iTunes compared to AppleTV or iPads - eg many movies in UK only in SD in iTunes but SD/HD on AppleTV.

     

    Have you sent feedback?

     

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/appletv.html

     

    AC

  • Charmiepoo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 11:14 AM (in response to Alley_Cat)

    Okay...i guess I'm not making myself clear.....it takes hours to download any movie or TV show from the Apple iTunes Store, regardless of what device is used. It takes just as long on my computer, which I have tried after getting frustrated with the Apple TV. Even standard definition takes a couple of hours or more. And again, I do not experience this anywhere else. My download speed is pretty consistently around 100.0 Mbps.  If this were an issue with my download speed I would be experiencing such lags everywhere, not just from the iTunes Store.

     

     

    As for the term "downloading".....I think Alley_Cat has already said it all. A movie is stored on the Apple TV's memory until the next movie you download, which overwrites the old one.

     

     

    I watch HD movies from Netflix.ca all the time, and don't find much if any compromise in video quality. It would be nice if Apple at least gave us a choice to either download or live stream.

     

    I run a computer help forum, one section of which is devoted to Apple products. I've had many folks on the forum complain about this same issue.

  • Charmiepoo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 11:20 AM (in response to Charmiepoo)

    Forgot to answer....yes, I have sent feedback about this issue.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 11:40 AM (in response to Charmiepoo)

    Charmiepoo wrote:

      If this were an issue with my download speed I would be experiencing such lags everywhere, not just from the iTunes Store.

     

    Might be worth checking your ISPs terms, just in case they throttle connections to certain serevers.

     

    There was a DNS issue described some time ago - if people had set custom DNS settings eg Google, openDNS, they were slowing access to Apple's serevers for some reason.  Are you using custom DNS?

     

    It could be a problem with Apple's servers of course, not sure which country you're in but if that was the case, you'd expect many complaints from that region.

     

     

    Charmiepoo wrote:

     

    I watch HD movies from Netflix.ca all the time, and don't find much if any compromise in video quality. It would be nice if Apple at least gave us a choice to either download or live stream.

     

    I agree actually, while Netflix is rate adaptive, it is actually pretty good on my slowish internet and tends not to have some of the more annoying iTunes encode artefacts.

     

    You've probably hit it on teh head - maybe Apple should offer some kind of rate adaptive service - trouble is they're not doing it now, so I would imagine a huge overhaul would be needed to set that up.

     

     

    Charmiepoo wrote:

     

    I run a computer help forum, one section of which is devoted to Apple products. I've had many folks on the forum complain about this same issue.

    I think this is this is pretty much Apple's slick advertising, hiding recommended download speeds in the small print.  All teh companies do this kind of thing and the average user is told they've fallen foul of having not 'researched their purchase' or read the small print.  The requirements should be more plainly stated I feel.

     

    AC

  • Charmiepoo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 11:59 AM (in response to Alley_Cat)

    No...no custom DNS. 

     

    I'm in Nova Scotia, Canada. Personally I feel it is more likely a problem with their servers. I think the closest to me would be in Ontario....not sure about that though.  Even a music album takes about 15 minutes from the iTunes Store, but I've downloaded albums from other sites in just a few minutes.

     

     

    I just find the whole thing annoying when everything else I do via the internet is lightening fast.  Feels like I'm back in the old dial-up days.

  • jon8979 Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 12:33 PM (in response to Alley_Cat)

    Nah, I haven't sent feedback as I just use the ATV as an audio Airplay bridge. I just wanted to understand all these threads talking about "downloading" causing long delays. I get now that all these complaints are due to failure (for whatever reason) of the Internet connection to keep up with the streaming throughput requirements so that the video can play uninterrupted throughout its length. The delay is not due to waiting for a download to complete, and the only thing that can download, iTunes, is not involved when initiating a rental or purchase from the ATV, which can only stream content from various sources.

1 2 Previous Next

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.