Only way I could resolve this in the end was to disable windows firewall totally. Just Playing with Bonjour in windows firewall settings didn't help. But having no firewall is just madness. So as movies and music is important to me, but security matters too, I decided to bin windows 8 for my server and I upgraded to a mac mini 2013 and put my entire itunes library on there. Apple Tv has never failed since.
I was fed up with windows 8 for many reasons so binning it was a great pleasure. Wish I had binned windows starting with windows 3.11! Almost 20 years of my life filled with stress and blue screens of death thanks to awful hardware and software not working together. Whereas I'm sure apple macs have frustration points too, but I simply cant fault it at present. I think with apple the hardware quality is great, the os is great, and clearly the hardware developer guys actually communicate with the software guys - which is something ms never made possible.
I keep expecting something to break on the mac mini too, but I'm beginning to realise that it's not going to fail as often as windows 8.
I have to say, the mac mini is just awesome as an itunes server. It just works. I leave it on 24/7 and it goes into power save like it should, and resumes from suspend like it should. Brilliant. Apple tv automatically wakes the mac up from suspend when you try to access the home shared library. Brilliant!
I appreciate this isn't the answer for everyone, but using the right tools for the job made my life far less stressful and for £500 I think that's amazing value! Mountain lion gets a big thumbs up. Looking forward to the new surf board OS11 or whatever its called.
I started having home sharing problems as well.
I start watching a movie, it plays for, say, 30 minutes, then, the connection is dropped and I get the message to turn home sharing on. At this point, I have to restart both my Mac mini and AppleTv. It will work for several minutes then, drop connection again.
I use a Mac Mini 2012, three Aiport Express and one Time Capsule.
I usually end up watching Netflix. This is where Apple is losing: why buy more movies and TV shows from iTunes when I'm having 'such a hard time playing anything?
To every one with this problem, have you tried to change the frequency on your router? I did and I don't have as many drop outs now, but if it carry on I will hard wire the Apple TV to my router, problem will the go away, so I was told by apple support, I went back to the apple store 3 times to change the unit, apple support told me that the problem with the unites is the wire fire cable inside and a Bach of faulty units was out there, and the problem is not the software upgrade you all are talking about but the unit it's self.
Note: this is for Windows users & although you may need a different route, Im sure this will fix MAC too..
This has been driving me mad for a while & this very moment I have solved it just b4 I was about to remove Bonjour
I thought b4 I removed it I should make sure it was running ,well it was so all ok there & I left it as is.
B4 I exited the services, I scrolled through the "startup" services & found that one called APPLE PUSH was unchecked, I checked it, exited & rebooted, voila, all is hunky dory
For those who do not know how to access startup config, click START & in search, type MSCONFIG (capitals not needed) then when open, click on STARTUP tab & make sure you check & do as I did, reboot & I now hope all is well
Good luck peeps
Late reply, but I also have 5 atvs - my system works pretty well and one of the key steps is as follows and you need to do it for each Apple TV and also have your streaming computer on whenever you want to use home sharing on the apple tvs.
On your appletv go to settings and set it to never go to sleep. Do the same for the laptop/minimac or whatever you are streaming from.
The other tips I have found are -
Major problems are usually solved by restarting the atv causing the problem and/or downloading the latest appletv software to your atv and iTunes software to your sharing computer.
Get to know your settings on atv - eg check your wifi connection under settings - is it as strong as it could be? I re-arrange my airports and tvs occasionally to improve wifi connections and ensure atvs are connected to best available airport router.
Lastly know the limitations of your home wifi bandwidth. I'm finding that it is best for me not to download HD movies of 3 gb or more if I want multiple atvs to be able to play them all. If you are trying to create a multi atv network on a limited wifi home system be content with 1-2gb movies in low res. if you just have 1 atv on at a time in the household I imagine that HD is fine, but not in my multi viewing setup.
Apple has no idea of how to fix this problem!!
Still having the same issue after my ATV was exchanged for new one!
To everyone that gets this problem - check if your airport express is showing an amber light when it says Home sharing is not turned on... it lasts for about 10 - 15seconds each time!!!
For a forum on an Apple website they sure do know how to ignore people experiencing problems with their products.
Any Apple moderator actually reading this forum? Care to comment?
I had a lot of trouble with my home sharing as well.
It was very frustrating; would work one day and the stop until I would restart itunes.
I had a look a at the allowed programs in the firewall setting for my windows 64 computer with the itunes installation
There was an entry for bonjour but for some strange reason only public networks were allowed and my home network did not have the ticks next to it!
Once I ticked these boxes everything was fine and I had no more problems.
No idea why this occurred; other people might have the same issues
I found that I had to start iTunes on my computer to get AppleTV to see I was home sharing. I came here to see if there was a driver or something that I could start instead of running iTunes all the time. Guess I am not alone and since Apple doesn't have an answer they just don't bother to write any response to this issue.
I didn't read all the issues people are having; maybe some of you are already running iTunes and still can't get home sharing to work, but if you aren't running iTunes when you start Apple TV give it a try. POS workaround.