I share the problem of home sharing disconnecting during play from a host Mac to an Apple TV client. A movie or music or a podcast plays for 5 or 10 or 15 minutes, then stops. The Apple TV then can't see the host Mac until home sharing there is restarted, or until iTunes on the host Mac is restarted, or until the host Mac reboots, or until the Apple TV is restarted. After one or more of those steps, home sharing works but may well fail again after a few minutes.
I've tried to read all of the many, many threads about this. Contributors offer some solutions -- use wired connections only, use wireless only, update software, revert software, open some other connection to Apple, close all other internet activity, and so on. My own experience is that some of the solutions appear to work in the short term, but none of them works in the long term. I also have enough equipment to do some interesting troubleshooting. I see the problem on multiple computers of different generations and different OS versions, and on ATV units running both the original iOS version and the current update. Wired, wireless, Apple router, third-party router, etc.
When the problem of connect -- play -- fail -- restart something - connect -- fail -- etc starts, other services like file sharing work fine. In particular, I can Airplay from a host Mac to the ATVs all day. It's homesharing that acts differently.
Since turning on homesharing requires a sign in and the dropped home sharing connections occur after fairly regular intervals, I wonder if home sharing phones home (every five minutes or so?) to reauthorize the connection? Does anyone know for sure?
My internet service is slow. Theory: Reauthorization times out because it's tuned to the fast internet service that many -- but not all -- users have.
Other people with this problem, would you call your internet service excellent / some problems / slow or poor?
Follow up and, perhaps, closure to my issue. Wiring computers and ATVs rather than using wifi makes everything work exactly as advertised -- three full days now with no problems. ATV and iTunes connections stay up overnight; video and audio plays perfectly without disconnections.
Wiring just a computer or just an ATV did not solve my problem.
Wifi appears to be the problem, for me at least. I use a Digicomm DSL modem, router, wifi router box. It's cheap. It's also not an 802.11n router.
+ The cheap router isn't doing wifi "right" in some way. The stayalive packets that go between iTunes and ATV every minute or so are being corrupted or lost. (But posters of some of the home sharing trouble reports that sound just like my problem say they are using Apple routers.)
+ The stayalive traffic has short timeouts and/or limited re-try packets -- it assumes an excellent, fast (802.11n?) network. (People reporting problems who have Apple routers may have older equipment that don't do "n" standard.)
+ Interference on wifi from cordless phones, microwaves, etc.
Those things can combine, of course. Interference and limited re-tries, for example, could be the answer.
Any thoughts? I'll submit this as feedback but would like to have as complete and correct a report as possible.