13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 21, 2015 1:44 AM by bfisher666
zelesnikar101 Level 1 (0 points)

I work at a school with 37 Apple TV's.  They are all on the same network, some of them are wired while others are wireless.  The problem I am having is that airplay works and then doesn't work for some unknown reason.  The Apple TV's are connected to the network and internet when they are experiencing this and I believe that the issue is bonjour. Does anyone know any way of solving this issue.

Apple TV (3rd generation)
  • pounamu170 Level 1 (0 points)

    I also work at a school and have just installed 25 apple tv's over the past 2 weeks. We have a great new wireless system. Ours are all on the same network too but all running wirelessly using ipads to connect. Everything was looking good until after the first 6 or 7 apple tv's were installed, we then started having problems with connectivity with the image just dropping off our LCDS. This is just even with trying to view a few photos from the ipad. My query - does apple tv require the internet to work? We do not yet have fibre-optic cabling to our school so traffic is slow. Could this be our problem? Or is there something else we have overlooked?

  • zelesnikar101 Level 1 (0 points)

    Apple TV's do not necesarilly require internet, but they do require a wireless network to connect to.  Keep in mind that your schools connection to the internet will not affect your ability to mirror an iPad to an Apple TV.  That falls onto your schools internal network, but the faster your internet the better.  In the school I work at we have 46 access points on a gigabit network, the access points are enterprise level and have 2.4 and 5 ghz frequencies with up to 450 megabit of bandwith.  Apple TV's use Bonjour which is a zero-configuration network protocal that allows you to connect an iPad, iPhone, or a Mac to it for airplay and/or mirroring.  Keep in mind bonjour uses a lot of that bandwith, which is some of the issue you are experiencing as I am.  If you have the ability to connect the Apple TV's with a wired connection they are much less likely to have disconnection issues, this is from my experience.  The best advice I can give is that the Apple TV is a great device and it can do a lot, but it requires a lot of patience and restarts.

  • pounamu170 Level 1 (0 points)

    Appreciate your advice but don't know if we can help with yours! We have now wired our Apple TV's directly to cut down on our wireless usage, updated our wireless network to the latest version and updated our apple TVs also. At this stage all seems to be running ok, but time will tell. Still have 7 more to install so will let you know if we have further issues. Does yours just drop off or is it slow in streaming? Are the problems you are having only when you are internet connected?

  • zelesnikar101 Level 1 (0 points)

    We have experienced both random drop offs and slow streaming.  Some the streaming issue we can trace back to a web source such as youtube, but we do have issues with some fo the local traffic at times as well.  Understanding how streaming works with iPads is important, for example if you were to stream a video from youtube on your iPad to an Apple TV the video would have to buffer twice.  First on the iPad and then again on the Apple TV.  This second buffer doubles the bandwith being used on the network.  If you have a lot of users this can effect your network traffic.  The single biggest issue we are experiencing here is disconnects when mirroring, followed by airplay with the Apple TV disappearing for several minutes following the disconnect.  I am not sure that there is an easy solution to the issue we are experiencing here it would just be nice to know that we are not alone in experiencing issues with having large numbers of Apple TV's on one network.

  • sheitz01 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have 4 apple tvs so far in my school, just trying them out.  Two work perfectly, two do not, no matter what room I put them in.  They usually work for anywhere from a few minutes to a few days if I move rooms, then they won't stay connected to the internet.  We have a Cisco network.  Do you have multiple VLANS?  That is the problem with me wiring them via ethernet.  My wired network is separate VLAN from my wireless and therefore won't allow Airplay from iPad.  The two that work, are working great, but they are still running firmware 5.0.  I started having problems with one Apple TV in October after updating it to 5.1.  So, the two that are working are running 5.0 and the two that aren't working are completely up to date as of yesterday (2/27/13).  I don't want to update the two that are working if that is going to make them useless too.  Any help from someone who is running many ATVs in your school is appreciated!

  • zelesnikar101 Level 1 (0 points)

    We do have multiple VLANS.  What we have done with our wired Apple TV's is running a connection out of a spare LAN port on the back of the Access Points and just configuring it for Access and setting it to the appropriate VLAN.  For the rooms that do not have an Access Point it is a little more complicated.  We have smart switches that all of our machines plug into and we just configure that particular port for a particular VLAN.  The other thing that you could try is to see if your Cisco network has a bonjour gateway.  A bonjour gateway allows you to direct bonjour traffic, which Apple TV's use to different VLANS.  We do not have this ability here, but if you one this might be the easiest way to solve the issue.  My experience with the updates available for the Apple TV's are mixed.  All of our Apple TV's are running the most recent version 5.2, but it does seem that everytime an update comes out that old bugs are fixed and new ones appear.  The biggest issue with updates for me is that when an update comes out it prompts the user to update it and the teachers tend to update them even after I have told them not to many times. 

  • tcsadmin Level 1 (30 points)

    Yeah, I think wiring them is the only solution to this problem.


    We've only got three (well, had one and bought two more this summer - that's when the trouble started).


    The first one I got had trouble connecting with the wireless network, so Apple support said to reboot the main router. That is, shut down the entire network while we reboot for one Apple TV. So...OK, I get it, Apple is a CONSUMER company and we're trying to use their products in a school...in spite of that, so far, it has been worth the effort.


    But YESTERDAY I got that message about too many devices on the network and to "disconnect a device..." (you know the rest).


    So, I called Aruba, knowing that it was a wireless issue and that I've had issues with them and, particularly
    Bonjour. Aruba appears to be a Windows only network - would that I would have known that three years ago. But Aruba TAC has NO CLUE what the issue is. So I called Apple Tech Support and they have NO CLUE - weren't even aware of this posting, what, six months ago? (Shows you how much they read and value the forum - we're on our own, boys and girls!)


    So...I wired the front of the school Apple TV to a nearby wireless access point and now it's a steady as a rock. But prior to that I actually stood in front of the ATV and watched as it connected, then disconnected, then connected, then disconnected (ad nauseum). Interferrence? Well, maybe, there are only about 150 rogue networks detected in the immediate vicinity - but Aruba ASSURED ME that their WAPs were sophisticated enough to recongnize that and filter them out. (Maybe not?)


    So the ATV at the front of the building ocassionally just drops off the network. I can tell because we run a Flickr slideshow on it all day long with announcements and stuff. When I go by the TV and see the thumbnails and no slideshow, I know it has dropped off the network. Usually I can reconnect it. But that's not good enough.


    Finally, yesterday, a teacher called me who has an ATV (long story on how she got that) and said she was not longer connected to the network. A shudder ran through my body as I expected (and realized) the worst.


    So, my installer is coming tomorrow to wire her ATV into the WAP in her classroom. But TODAY, I have to call Aruba and enable the additional port since it's not enabled by default.


    I'll tell you, every day, I get this horrific feeling in the pit of my stomach that this whole world of technology we have built is held together with bailing wire and duct tape and that it just has to blow at some point.


    Then I watch Bob Ross do his paintings (and a NEW KID on the block - watch out for him - Kevin Hill - this kid takes Bob Ross to the next level and he's only 18 years old) and think - "What the heck am I doing here, anyway? Why am I not home painting?" But them I start feeling guilty that I'm leaving the school in the lurch. Who will stand up to these bozos who don't have a clue what's going on and, further, don't seem to care, yet, get this, think they are doing a GREAT JOB! I'm telling you, I'm living on Superman's Planet Bizarro!

  • zelesnikar101 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just to give you an update on our current issues with the "Apple TV's" in our school... We now have 42 Apple TV's, 5 of them are wired and the other 37 are using wireless (5ghz, not 2.4). Up unitl the Apple TV 6.0 software update we had random dropouts on the ones using wireless.  After the update a new issue appeared when anyone would try to connect to one, the message "Someone Else is Using this Device" would be displayed even though no one is connected to it.  It is really random in occurance, but a reboot quickly resolves the issue. It is still better then what it was and I have "Hope" that things will only improve as time goes on, just as they have.

  • SingaporeJames Level 1 (0 points)

    That's not entirely correct.....What most don't know or realize is the difference between streaming and the mirroring...you know the difference between selecting the "mirroring" icon at the top on the menu bar next to wifi, clock etc.(MAC computers of course) and the airplay icon inside itunes..or how Ipads and Iphones do it......Streaming using UDP (broadcast)traffic(no packet checking) while the "mirroring" uses SSL connection(packet and error correction) Thats why you can not play a DVD using VLC through your apple tv....you get audio usually and gray checkered board for video....Now streaming from ipad using podcast or youtube, what's suppse to happen is that the apple tv pulls the stream from the internet not from the ipad....your ipad just hands off the URL..unless of course you have downloaded and the content is actually on your ipad....


    The connection between ipads/iphones are Steaming mode only....UDP broadcast no packet checking, that's why there are fewer DROPS using ipads or iphones.....


    We have about 300 ATVs in stalled and we created a hidden seperate wireless network exclusively for the ATVs and are having all kinds of drops...most are from users who try to use the mirroring mode to show youtube videos....or there internet videos ..again..packet checking eats cpu cycles on both sides not to mention the traffic that has to go back and forth between the computer and the ATV.....so educating the users is a big issue in resolving some of this..


    The other issue is our school wide 2.4 GHZ network...yep same frequency range of our hidden ATV network..and with about 3000 users connected to our main  network...thats a lot of interference not to mention that the 2 wireless networks have to be bridged for computer and devices to have access to the ATVs. I have been advocating hard wiring our ATVs as most of our classrooms have WAPs but the powers that be...as I am just a tech and not in Network engineer group at this school..they dont want to have to reconfigure the network to A) A new vlan, or B) worried about some security issues...


    I would think that perhaps moving the apple tv to 5ghz would improve performance due to the all devices that are going to connect to any particular ATV are within 30 feet of any WAP....

  • jckelley Level 1 (0 points)

    A simple question. On your 300 ATVs can you stream locally stored video from one iTunes account. Or do you need to set up one iTunes account for each ATV?

  • SingaporeJames Level 1 (0 points)

    Our techers use there own I tunes account to stream from there macbooks...they don't, for the most part use itunes on the apple tv itself....we do not setup itunes account on the apple tvs..


    Futher more the issue isn't apple tv playing videos on its own or streaming them from the internet...it when our users are connecting via their computers to apple tv for Presentations, showing video content via a website using a web browser etc....


    Usually we see very little issue when actually streaming form a computer to apple tv via itunes application.


    Mirroring and showing presentations with video clips or the fact that when connected to the ATV.

    Another issue apple could fix is to stop the computer from going to "sleep" when connected to ATV....many of our users just aren't attentive enough to know to turn off screen savers or hybernation mode when using ATV.  If there are questions or long periods of discussion and the computer goes into hybernation or even screen save mode and puts the HD or screen to sleep..the connection becomes unstable...often time requiring the  user to disconnect and reconnect...


    Anyway there are a lot of variables and so far, with the amount of ATV's we have put out there and number of daily trouble calls for the issues I have stated....ATV's are just not ideal for large rollout in an enterprise network...

  • SingaporeJames Level 1 (0 points)

    oh to reply to your question..Apple TV2 the new ones do seem to count against the total number of devices(limit being 10) so no we could not have all the ATVs use one account.

  • bfisher666 Level 1 (0 points)

    Here is Cisco document outlining how to setup their devices to forward traffic to multiple VLANs:


    http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/wireless/technology/bonjour/Bonjour74/Bonjo ur_Deployment.html