Experience already tells me the answer is 'yes', but I'm curious if anyone has a reference.

Recently, my cable internet went out. I think: no problem, I've got all kinds of purchased movies and TV shows already downloaded, so I'll watch them until the internet comes back!

I can see the library from my (3rd gen) Apple TV, and choose an episode, but when I try to play it, I get the loading spinner. It just hangs until the screensaver comes up.

Meanwhile, I am able to play (DRM-free) music over AirPlay from the library. And Home Sharing appears to be fully authorized--I can control the Apple TV from my phone, I can see the full iTunes library, etc.

Can it be that the Apple TV is trying to phone home every time I play I locally-downloaded, purchased item?

  • I had a similar problem on my network and the cause turned out to be the iMac that was sharing the content was hardwired to the router while the Apple TV was connected via wireless. Attaching the iMac to the same wireless network as the Apple TV solved the problem. – Dave Nelson Feb 18 '15 at 13:14
  • Wild! I have a similar network setup. I will have to try untethering it! Thanks! – Ben Mosher Feb 18 '15 at 16:47
  • I did not have to unplug the Ethernet from the iMac, just having it also connected to the same WiFi network as the Apple TV did the trick. Good luck! – Dave Nelson Feb 18 '15 at 21:26
  • My Mac is on Ethernet with Wifi turned off, but all 3 ATV's run off Wifi. No issues with that for me. But, I have experienced what you mention - with Internet down the ATV can't "phone home" for iTunes-purchased content. I haven't done a full debug of the scenario, but it's happened a couple times, which "convinced" me that this must be the case. Only for iTunes-purchased content, though. Personal content seemed to play fine. – jimtut Feb 21 '15 at 4:01

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