I would have to agree with Winston. Even though wireless 802.11n is faster on paper, there can be many things that interfere with the signal (distance, walls, other radio signals e.t.c.). The biggest problem with Wi-Fi though, is that it can be considered as one single pipe for all wireless traffic. If you stream something from your iPhone to the Apple TV, you actually send it wirelessly to your router which then sends it wirelessly to the Apple TV. This means half the bandwidth for each device. If there is any other traffic on your wireless network, the bandwidth is shared by even more devices.
So, wired networking is probobly better even if you're comparing 100 Mbit to 802.11n.
Ethernet is also just one single pipe. The more devices using it the less bandwidth per device. As for interference and other adversities you mention they may or may not be present nor even relevant. Furthermore, running Ethernet cable throughout a house may be extremely inconvenient compared to adding one or two Airport Expresses to extend a network to maintain speed.
Fact is I stream wirelessly throughout my house with more than adequate bandwidth. I even stream from my home in Florida to my home in Canada. Even under these adverse conditions the TV shows stream tolerably well.
Just because you can imagine a problem does not mean it will exist. My Florida home is wireless because it was not possible to run Ethernet cable. We run from two to four computers, an Apple TV, a SlingBox, and telephones all from wireless. Ethernet only connects the incoming pipe to the main modem/router.
Sure Ethernet is also a single pipe. The difference is that every client has its own pipe all to itself, so there may be a big difference compared to every client sharing the wireless "pipe". Especially if several clients use the network at the same time.
The question isn't if it is more convenient to use Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The question is which is best, so I have to assume yalmanza has the option to use both. Both options will in most cases work, but if you have the option, Ethernet is the better choice. If Ethernet is not an option, or if it is difficult or ugly to run the cables through the house, I would definately use Wi-Fi though.
Message was edited by: Mattias Malm (spelling)
Regardless of the debates about which is or is theoretically faster, the Apple TV is not capable of receiving and writing the data as fast as either, so in actual fact neither is faster. Indeed both methods are significantly faster than what is required for smooth playback of even the highest datarates the Apple TV can handle, so the whole issue of speed is somewhat irrelevant.
I also have 6 of my 7 Apple TV's connected by wifi and never have any problems, however I would estimate that over 90% of the problems reported here in this community result from a less than perfect home network, and 95% of that 90% relate specifically to wifi set ups.
So when offered the choice (crawling under floor boards, drilling holes and knocking clips in your skirting excluded), I'd suggest ethernet everytime, even if home networks were less common than they are. However after nearly 5 years in this community, it's quite obvious that problematic home networks are far from uncommon.
> Ethernet is also just one single pipe. The more devices using it the less bandwidth per device.
This is wrong. Ethernet devices are almost always connected to a switch (or a router, which has a switch built in). Each port of the switch is capbable of sending & receiving at the full bandwidth of the switch (usually 100mbps these days, 10mbps if you have an old switch, or 1,000mbps if you have a modern one). Most network cards these days are "full-duplex" meaning you can send & receive simultaneously at full speed. Wi-fi, on the other hand, is a "single pipe". The more devices using it, the less bandwidth per device.
The Apple TV 2 menu will not give the option to connect to wireless network if your Ethernet cable is in. In my opinion this is Apple answering the question. Wifi is really almost as good though(especially if you have a good router) so I wouldn't go through a big ethernet connecting schlep if wifi is an option
If you have stable wifi with good connectivity it should work fine - in reality many people struggle with wifi.
I was plagued by interference issues with wifi whenever the microwave was used and would always use ethernet now as my first preference for stability.
As the house is not wired for ethernet several years ago I tried mains powerline network adapters that are made by many companies.
I use these from Devolo currently:
They are excellent and you can create a wired network in minutes without running long lengths of cable.
As with wifi they never achieve the highest rated speeds and are dependent on the wiring quality but are more than adequate for HD streaming to multiple AppleTVs.
Many other manufacturers produce these eg Belkin, Netgear etc as well as lesser known brands.
All the answers to this question are theoretical. I'd love to know if someone has tested it. As soon as I have the hardware to test direct from my iMac to AppleTV, I'll report my findings? Any suggestions on a good test?
I'm especially interested if AirPlay mirroring will be any better quality over a wired connection.
There is no question, that Ethernet when it come to Apple TV is better. I have personally test tested the apple tv with 5 routers and i can say from hand on experience that Ethernet will be better even if you are limited to 10/100. reasons being.
1. If you plan on streaming your monitor or playing games from a mac ping will be greatly lowered less than 8ms guranteed increasing the response time, with on ther other hand wireless sky is the limit.
2. throughput to display and image for one second will be less than 2 megabytes per second if mirroring or extending a display, therefore bandwidth is a non issue in this case.
3. Ethernet 100 Base T will give you a varying download from 9-12.2 Megabytes per second.
The only way wireless could be better is if you need better download speed for large files not Latency/Ping and this is only achieved on the apple tV if you have a "ac" router using 5 GHz channel connecting the apple tv at its max of n. No "n" router will use more than 100 Mbps unless you live on the moon, and the only way that this can be an advantage if you want to stream files in the range of 1 GB per 5 mins. but remember your latency will be affected becouse wifi always have wose ping, therefore affecting you ability to airplay your monitor with no noticible lag. and you will notice unless you are doing very basic things.