Get help playing or streaming content on your Apple TV

If you need help with video quality or can't play a game, listen to music, or stream content, learn what to do.

Test your Internet speed

To stream content, we recommend a broadband Internet connection and these connection speeds:

  • 8 Mbit/s or faster for 1080p HD (high definition) content
  • 6 Mbit/s or faster for 720p content
  • 2.5 Mbit/s or faster for SD (standard definition) content

There are several ways to check your Internet speed:

  • If you have an Apple TV (4th generation), you can find bandwidth-test apps in the App Store.
  • If you have an earlier model of Apple TV, use an online bandwidth test on a device that's on the same network as your Apple TV.
  • Ask your Internet service provider.

If you have the recommended speed and still need help, follow the next steps.

Check your Internet connection

If you use an Ethernet connection, make sure that your cables are firmly connected and undamaged. If you use Wi-Fi, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your Wi-Fi router is 802.11a/g/n/ac compatible. If possible and you have an Apple TV (4th generation), connect your Apple TV to a 5GHz Wi-Fi network instead of a 2.4GHz network.
  2. Move your Apple TV closer to your Internet router and check for interference.*
  3. If you still need help, connect your Apple TV to your Wi-Fi router using an Ethernet cable. You might need to update your Wi-Fi router or check its settings. Contact the router's manufacturer or your Internet service provider for help.

* To check your signal strength on an Apple TV (4th generation), you can go to Settings > Network. For Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation), go to Settings > General > About.

Check the activity on your home network

If family members or friends are using the same Internet network, ask them to pause their Internet activities temporarily. Then check whether your performance improves.

When multiple devices use the same Internet network for intensive activities (gaming, video streaming, backing up, and similar tasks), it might slow down your local network speed. Contact your Internet service provider for more information.

Check for issues with the app and restart your Apple TV

  • If you have an Apple TV (4th generation), double press the Home button and swipe left or right on the Touch surface to find the app with the issue. Swipe up on the app to close it and press Menu to return to the Home screen. Then reopen the app.
  • Contact the content provider or visit their website or social-media accounts to check for provider issues. For example, sometimes providers experience network slowdowns and outages during popular events or peak viewing hours. 
  • Restart your Apple TV.

Update the software on your Apple TV

  • Apple TV (4th generation): Go to Settings > System > Software Updates > Update Software.
  • Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation): Go to Settings > General > Update Software.

Switch to Standard Definition

Switch from High Definition (HD) to Standard Definition (SD):

  • Apple TV (4th generation): Go to Settings > Apps > iTunes Movies and TV Shows > Video Resolution and select Standard Definition. 
  • Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation): Go to Settings > iTunes Store and select Standard Definition. 

Now your iTunes Store purchases and rentals will display in SD. You might be able to switch between HD and SD content in third-party apps. Check the settings within the app or contact the developer for help.

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