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Hi – I have a really frustrating issue with my Apple TV(s). I have two of them, and several iOS devices, and this issue exists for all combinations.

The issue: I'll be streaming something in Safari, YouTube App, etc. and AirPlay it to my TV. It works fine for awhile, but then all of a sudden, the video will stop playing. On my iOS device, I get a message that says the connection has been dropped (or something along those lines).

Like I said, I have this issue on both Apple TVs. One is hardwired to the router, and one is operating via WiFi. At this point, I have to believe that it's something happening on my network causing packet loss.

My main question is how to troubleshoot this issue. Anyone have any idea where I can get some sort of log from the Apple TV, or perhaps the iOS device? I could go through my router settings and just guess at stuff (which I already did) to try to improve network quality, but I really need to be able to narrow down what the issue is.

Any insight on how to troubleshoot this issue would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • it should be recorded in your console, look there and publish results – Ruskes Jun 29 '14 at 9:52
  • i had a similar problem. Due to weak wifi signal my devices sometimes lost connection to the router no big deal with that, but after the reconnection they didn't see them anymore. I found out that after i just started/restarted my router (a older one by zyxel) all my devices see them like expected. So in my case the Problem was the Router to be exact a bulit in Firewall which blocked some of the Ports needed by the bonjour and airplay protocolls. why it worked when i restarted i think in the direction of the Firewall was slow at startup. – konqui Jun 29 '14 at 11:06
  • by the way i didn't have the possibility to do any thing to my Routers Firewall so i just replaced it with a Airport Extreme. – konqui Jun 29 '14 at 11:09
  • So I think my issue may have been with iOS, believe it or not. It seems that when the app (Safari in this instance) drops out of the background, the AirPlay connection drops. Makes sense, but I though iOS managed that a bit better since Safari was the last app to be opened. I tried force quitting all apps, except for Safari, and that seemed to work. So far... – SeeMeCode Jun 30 '14 at 20:59
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There are multiple tools available on your Mac.

  • open Console and look around the time stamp of the event (lost connection) to see what is it reporting.

  • Use Ping to test the connection speed and stability

Apple TV: Go to the Settings menu on Apple TV, select General > Network -note the IP address (you will need it later).

  • Start Network Utility

Ping your Apple TV IP, you might want to run a continuous ping to see if it changes significantly over time.

ping

Read more "how to" here:

Testing TCP port connectivity between computers and devices

  • That makes sense. I was looking for more of an error log to go back to for when the connection dropped, but I guess this could help. Not sure that a ping and video are the same thing in terms of size? But I guess if I do have packet loss, I should see an occasionally ping not make it to the device? Thanks for your help. – SeeMeCode Jun 30 '14 at 21:01
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One of the issues I had with AirPlay was very similar to yours, and it was solved by changing my wifi router.

Buscar's suggestions are great - try them and see if they give you any useful diagnostics. (please post a comment to tell us what you found.) I've personally found that tweaks to the router settings rarely yielded more than a bit more time before the same failure would occur again (including trying to locate interference-free channels etc.).

A way to test this in hardware may be borrowing a higher-quality router from someone for a few hours to see if that helps. In my case, after weeks of software/router tweaking, changing from a cheap Belkin router to a Netgear wnr2000v (a friend's) caused all the problems to vanish - none of my devices lose connection anymore.

You did mention that one of your Apple TV's is cabled to the router. However, I imagine you're still streaming from a computer over Wifi. In either case, it's also possible that the router doesn't handle long streams of data even over the cable...

  • Thanks @Demis. I actually did add a comment to my original post with what worked for me – it actually ended up being the fact that I had too many apps open, and Safari was falling out of the background. iOS is supposed to manage this accordingly, but I guess it isn't smart enough to realize that I'm streaming via AirPlay. I didn't even close Safari, but I guess it falls to the background when the device 'sleeps'. Hopefully they fix this in iOS 8 – I'm not one to go through all my open apps to manually close everything. – SeeMeCode Aug 25 '14 at 15:23
  • Well that's still a lot better than buying a new router! Thanks for posting your fix. – Demis Sep 12 '14 at 19:30
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I had the same issue with an Apple TV 3. The signal would drop intermittently (every couple of minutes).

I read various forums ad nauseam and tweaked my router (the settings were fine, and it is located 5 feet from the Apple TV). I ended up unplugging the Apple TV 3 from the Monster Power strip and plugging it into a completely separate outlet.

Voila! It appears that there was interference between the power strip and the Apple TV 3.

Luckily, it's an easy thing to check.

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In my case after running a ping test for a minute, I observed variable lags and fluctuations among ping times. Results were in 30-600 ms range. After reading Zach's response I moved apple tv and the wifi router to the same power strip and isolated power supply from my computer .. Voila! :) Ping times are now in a stable 3-8 ms range and streaming is smooth. In my general opinion, Streaming Issues are mostly rooted from power line electrical noise issues.

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It was driving me mental when songs would drop out when i change tracks on airplay through Apple TV 3 - but no problems at all with any of my other wifi speakers.

This sorted it for me... on your apple TV, Go to Settings > Airplay and turn off 'Play from itunes in the cloud'. Solved it for me instantly seems 'the cloud' struggles with my music. like my missus. Why this is even an option is beyond me.

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