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Apple TV (1st generation): Content sync performance over an 802.11b or an 802.11g network

Learn about content sync performance over an 802.11b or an 802.11g network.

You may notice slow wireless performance when you sync large amounts of content (gigabytes) over an 802.11b or an 802.11g wireless network. A few hundred megabytes of content (e.g podcasts) usually sync quickly.

To improve wireless performance you may choose to upgrade to an 802.11n wireless network, or try one of the the following solutions.

Solution #1

The simplest solution to make content sync faster is to use an Ethernet connection between your Apple TV and your computer.  This can be done by connecting Apple TV and/or your computer to your network via Ethernet, or by using the same steps below to create a direct connection between the two and leaving the connection in place.

If you can connect your Apple TV to your network or directly to your computer via an Ethernet cable, follow these steps:

  1. Connect Apple TV to your TV.
  2. From Apple TV, connect an Ethernet cable to your computer's Ethernet port.
  3. Set up Apple TV to pair with iTunes 7.1 or later.
  4. On your computer, open iTunes and select Apple TV in the Devices list.
  5. Choose the specific content you want to sync (e.g. Movies, TV shows, photos, podcast, etc.).
  6. Select the Sync button to start the process over Ethernet. You should notice a significant increase in performance.
  7. Once the sync is complete, disconnect from Ethernet.
  8. Use your Apple Remote to view the content on your TV.

Solution #2

If a permanent Ethernet connection is not a possibility, a temporary Ethernet connection should be set up between your Apple TV and computer to temporarily improve the content sync rate.

If you can't connect your Apple TV to your TV while connecting to your computer's Ethernet port, follow this procedure:

If you have a Mac

  1. Connect Apple TV to your TV, pair for syncing with iTunes on your computer and begin a sync. Unplug Apple TV from your TV after the sync process begins.
  2. Make sure the Ethernet port on the Mac is enabled. Choose Apple > System Preferences and then choose View > Network.
  3. If you don't see Built-in Ethernet listed in Network Status, choose Network Port Configurations from the Show pop-up menu and check the Built-in Ethernet checkbox.

  4. Disconnect the power from Apple TV.
  5. Move the Apple TV near the Mac and connect it to the Ethernet port of the Mac then reconnect to power. Note: There is no need to have a TV or display connected to the Apple TV. All that should be connected to your Apple TV is power and an Ethernet cable to the Mac.
  6. On the Mac, open iTunes.
  7. Select Apple TV in the Devices list.
  8. Click a tab, for example, Movies.
  9. Select the content you want to sync to Apple TV.
  10. Click Apply. You should notice a significant increase in performance.
  11. When the sync is complete disconnect the power to Apple TV, disconnect the Ethernet connection, and move Apple TV back to your TV.
  12. Reconnect Apple TV to power and the TV. Use the Apple Remote to view the content on your TV.

In the future, you can perform small content updates via the wireless network connection. For large content syncs, you may choose to repeat this procedure.

If you have a PC

  1. Setup Apple TV to your TV, pair for syncing with iTunes on your computer and begin a sync. Unplug Apple TV from your TV after the sync process begins.
  2. Disconnect the power from Apple TV.
  3. Move Apple TV near the PC and connect it to the Ethernet port of the PC and reconnect the power. Note: There is no need to have a TV or display connected to the Apple TV. All that should be connected to Apple TV is power and an Ethernet cable to the PC.
  4. On the PC, open iTunes to see the Apple TV in the Devices list.
    If the Apple TV does not appear in the iTunes Devices list (wait about 1 minute), the PC Ethernet port may not have a function called Auto-MDIX. Note: The Auto-MDIX feature enables the use of a standard Ethernet cable to connect two computers together without the use of a hub or router. If your PC is missing this feature, you may need to acquire a special Ethernet cable called a "crossover cable." Use the crossover cable in place of the standard Ethernet cable to connect the Apple TV to your PC. Or if you have access to an Ethernet network switch or hub, use the hub or switch to connect to the PC and then connect the hub or switch to the Apple TV.
  5. Select Apple TV in the Devices list.
  6. Click a tab, for example, Movies.
  7. Select the content you want to sync to Apple TV.
  8. Click Apply. You should notice a significant increase in performance.
  9. When the sync is complete disconnect the power to Apple TV, disconnect the Ethernet connection, and move Apple TV back to your TV.
  10. Reconnect Apple TV to power and the TV. Use the Apple Remote to view the content on your TV.

In the future, you can perform small content updates via the wireless network connection. For large syncs, you may choose to repeat this procedure.

Important: Mention of third-party websites and products is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of information or products found at third-party websites. Apple provides this only as a convenience to our users. Apple has not tested the information found on these sites and makes no representations regarding its accuracy or reliability. There are risks inherent in the use of any information or products found on the Internet, and Apple assumes no responsibility in this regard. Please understand that a third-party site is independent from Apple and that Apple has no control over the content on that website. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Jul 14, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jul 14, 2014
  • Article: HT1784
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