13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 4, 2015 3:22 PM by Globet
rvashko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello.  Sorry if this issue has been asked and answered, but I am having a hard time getting a consistent answer.


I just got a new Apple TV device.  Setup was a breeze.  I quickly linked the Apple TV to my home wireless network, and Home Sharing setup with my PC (also connecting wirelessly) was equally easy.


So while everything set up just fine, I've noticed that Apple TV sometimes lags a bit in terms of streaming content, i'm guessing due to the fact that it's connecting wirelessly to my DSL router/modem.  The lag isn't terrible, but it's enough to be noticeable.


Now I am wondering if I need to connect Apple TV physically to my router/modem with an Ethernet cable.  My hypothesis is that doing so would a.) let Apple TV access the much faster bandwidth of a physical vs. wireless connection, thus solving my lag problems; and b.) relieving the "pressure" on my wireless throughput that my home PC and other iOS devices use.


My question is this: if I hook up Apple TV to my network via Ethernet, how does this affect how it communicates with all of my other devices which use a wireless connection?  For example, if I want to Home Share with my PC (which connects via wifi), will Apple TV still be able to do this if one device is connecting wirelessly and one is wired?  Will Apple TV still recognize itself on the same network as the wifi devices, and still "talk" with them?


Or if I want to Home Share with my PC, must it and Apple TV be using the same connection method (i.e., either they both have to be wifi,or,they both have to be wired)?


Thanks in advance for any and all help.

AppleTV 2
  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (84,595 points)

    My question is this: if I hook up Apple TV to my network via Ethernet, how does this affect how it communicates with all of my other devices which use a wireless connection?

    It won't make any difference whatsoever.

  • rvashko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks much.  My follow-up question: if I hook up Apple TV to Ethernet, is there any need to use the device's wifi?  Or can I just "de-couple" Apple TV from its current connection to my wifi network?

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (84,595 points)

    You can't use the wifi, if you have ethernet connected, the Apple TV will turn wifi off automatically.

  • rvashko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    But AirPlay and Home Sharing connectivity with wifi devices should remain intact, right?  Apple TV will connect to those devices using the modem/router as a bridge, yes?

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (84,595 points)



    If you are using ethernet, wifi will be disabled, everything will work over ethernet. It's one or the other.

  • chris-topher Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi rvashko,

    to be clear, once you connect your router to the ethernet port on the appleTv the appleTv will switch off its wifi feature but STILL connect to your other devices connected to that router EVEN IF they are wifi or ethernet connected to that router.

    I Hope this helps.

  • LBMingles Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Hello all, based off the above thread i have ethernet connected to my ATV2 but i still see wifi as being connected both at the ATV2 and at my router. How can i tell if im connected over ethernet or wifi on the ATV?


    Thanks much in advance.

  • ScottS916 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    If your Apple TV was connected via Wi-fi, then all you did was connect the ethernet cable, you will still be on Wi-fi.  You need to restart your Apple TV.  Then it will detect your ethernet connection and turn off the Wi-fi.

  • Harry Tajchman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So I've been struggling with long buffering times from other devices on my wireless network to my AppleTV.  For example, streaming 1080p video content from iTunes on my iMac.  I had to wait so long to play a video it was almost not worth it.  I was also having video and audio stutters when mirroring my iMac on my AppleTV and using MobileMouse to control the iMac from the living room.


    I found a forum on how to check speed of the AppleTV using the Airport Utility.  The most my AppleTV was getting is 65 mbps and the worst was 19 mbps.


    I solved this problem by plugging the AppleTV into the Airport Express LAN ethernet port.  Now the AppleTV can communicate to the base station at 100 mbps (max speed of ATV 3 ethernet port) and since the iMac is doing 144 or 180 mbps, buffering is almost no time and airplay mirroring looks really realy good with only a little bit of loss of quality.


    To confirm, if you have an active ethernet connection to your ATV there is no option to join a wireless network.  If you go to Settings > General > Network, you'll see that you are connected to ethernet not wireless.


    With over 10 "i" devices in my network and two base stations and two other wireless and wired clients, I think giving the AppleTV an ethernet connection is a great way to solve slow buffering and airplay mirroring slow downs.  At least it will help you isolate the issue.


    BTW, the AppleTV never had much issue playing video from the internet, only from the local network over wifi.


    Good luck.


    OH, I should add, all of the features avaialble on wifi are available on ethernet: Homesharing, using the Remote App on iPhone, Airplay from iPhone, iPad or Mac. etc.


    If you are having losing visibility of the ATV from other devices on your network, it may be that you have put some sort of wall between your ATV and everything else.  For instance, maybe you connected your ATV to your cable providers router, but the rest of your devices are connected wirelessly to your Airport Base Station which is also connected to that router.  If the Airport Base Station isn't in bridge mode then you won't be able to see any devices not connected directly to the base station.

  • shuffleq Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have become increasing annoyed with ATV. I have it wired via Ethernet to the system in my house. An Ethernet  switch/hub by the TV has the ATV, my amp, a Mac mini plugged in. That switch goes to another switch/hub in my network. My router is an Apple time capsule which connects to my Comcast modem. I have two apple tv's. One for travel and one for home. I have tried them both and get frequent timeouts when I rent iTunes movies. Fewer timeouts when I watch netflix shows but enough to be annoying. ITunes movies are nearly unwatchable. I have had comcast out to review my system. Rebooted everything numerous times.

    I get 56 Mbs down and yet many timeouts. I like the idea of plugging in an AirPort Express near the tv and hard wiring the Apple TV. Would the express be setup in bridge mode?

  • MrVas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've had a similar issue while streaming videos via AirPlay from OSX and iOS devices, where ATV3 (6.0.2 6646.81.1) was buffering for extended periods of time (over a minute), sometime failing (no error, but 3+ minutes was enough for me), without the buffer progress bar moving at all (or very little).  The videos played fine while being viewed directly in OSX or iOS. This has started sometime after the last upgrade in October/November and has gotten progressive worse. What resolved it for me, was resetting ATV3 (Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings).


    Hope this helps someone out.

  • big_andy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've been having issues with apple TV buffering for months.  I have an an Airport extreme with good quality Cat 5E shielded ethernet cables running to the apple TV (1m cable) and my iMac (10m cable).  It has barely been able to buffer SD let alone HD content.  As a last resort I bought a new set of Cat 6A ethernet cables and while routing these about the room I connected my imac to my AEBS via wifi.  With the apple TV wired and the iMac using wifi it buffered a full HD film in a few minutes.  Since I had wired up the new ethernet cables I tried them too and while they were a fraction better than the old ones they were nowhere near as good as with wifi.


    I cant explain why this is the case but for me at least the problem is solved.  I have looked at the network utility and it lists the ethernet as 1Gb/s with 90 million packets sent and only 9 errors (no idea if this is good or not but sounds ok to me).  10m doesnt seem that long for an ethernet cable, perhaps I have a bad ethernet port?

  • Globet Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Coming a bit late to this discussion, but for what it's worth...


    I have ATV2 and BT Home Hub 5 which is a dual-band WiFi router.  Obviously that doesn't benefit the ATV at it's only single band.  I ran for about a year and although buffering wasn't a major problem I did get regular drop-out of service, which was annoying.  I have a lot of connected devices these days and as commented in an earlier post WiFi is a single pipe, so struggled to service everything Even though bandwidth was good.  I put in a powerline Ethernet system; the points are 500Mbps, each with 3 100Mbps ports, with the whole system driven from one of the 4 Gigaset parts on the router.  This allows me to run my network hard drive and other shared devices direct from the router and mobile devices from the now freed-up WiFi.  The ATV is now Ethernet-wired to one of the powerline points at 100 Mbps and is fast and reliable; as per an earlier post the Ethernet connection switches out the WiFi connection, but there's no loss of functionality as long as the other devices are also linked to the network, whether by WiFi or Ethernet.