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We're having problems with airplay machines. We've got a pair of Apple TVs as well as multiple Macbooks. Airplay is not used much, but when it is, it likes to randomly disconnect. It doesn't seem to matter which devices happen to be connected, they'll just randomly drop, anywhere from within 5 minutes of starting playback up to a half hour. I can't recall them ever lasting more than half an hour without failing.

Any troubleshooting suggestions? I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't at least attempt a reconnect on its own, is there a way to tell it to auto retry connections that drop?

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I've had this issue when using a high-latency connection. Are you using WiFi? What type? – zwerdlds Mar 20 '13 at 18:49
Yes, WiFi. We'd much prefer to go wired for better bandwidth, but the airplay stuff all vanishes if a wired connection is hooked up. Appears to require WiFi. As far as the WiFi itself, it's an 802.11n, with multiple high-end HP APs running back to a controller (for seamless roaming between APs). – Brian Knoblauch Mar 20 '13 at 18:55
Failing on wired might be a router port blocking issue. If your packet loss is low I can't help. Sorry! – zwerdlds Mar 20 '13 at 19:04
AirPlay works over a wired network as well. It uses the mDNS protocol, so it only matters that devices are on the same subnet. Have you tried looking at the router or AP logs? Does the MacBook still see the Apple TV when it disconnects (as in, does it still show up in the menu bar)? – bispymusic Mar 20 '13 at 19:12
Hmmm, on the MacBook side, going to wired makes airplay disappear, no longer an option. Is that because it can't see any devices? Is there any way to specify an IP for airplay to use if a device is in another subnet? In our case, wired devices are in a different subnet from wired computers. – Brian Knoblauch Mar 20 '13 at 20:12

I had the same problems with airplay dropping out randomnly.

I changed the resolution to 720p instead of 1080p and now it plays flawlessly without disconnecting once.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

We found (through trial and error) that disconnecting the AP in one area solved all our disconnect issues. Despite having full signal strength and quality to it, there were a lot of lost packets when on that one. Same AP works fine elsewhere, best guess is something odd about the location interfering with wifi signals.

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One thing to consider in your WiFi environment is excluding 5GHz channels 149 and 153 from your APs. Airplay uses these channels and you may see reduced wireless performance or Airplay dropping a connection if these channels are in use.

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