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skip22h

Apple Tv

38 posts in this topic

Hey everyone

I was wondering if someone could explain Apple TV to me like I am a 6 year old.

What is it? What can be done with it? How it is connected? Is it worth purchasing?

I was also wondering about Presto that I get through my Samsung Smart TV. It really sucks. It buffers, its pauses, it stops and I assume is has to do with the poor quality of my Telstra internet I have at home. Is this correct?

Will an Apple TV do anything to remedy this at all?

Any help at a 6 year old level is greatly appreciated

Skip

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Bed time young man! :)

The quality of your internet connection will affect everything else so some questions on that first:

1) What suburb do you live in?

2) Do you have cable internet? Or are you on an ADSL plan?

3) Do you have a PC connected to the internet?

4) Is your PC and TV connected to the internet via a wireless modem or do they connect to you modem via a cable?

If you go to www.speedtest.net what are the download and upload figures it reports?

If you can answer those questions we should have a better idea of your situation.

To answer your questions:

1) AppleTV is a streaming box. All it needs is a connection to the internet and you can use it to stream many services like Presto etc. It also connects into the Apple store so you can buy series and movies to watch (for example Game of Thrones costs $3.50 an episode). Cost is about $200 I think.

2) There are many streaming box options, AppleTV is esp good if you already have iphones and ipads etc. A better option for you might be the Telstra TV Box which does a similar thing but its main use would be getting Presto, Stan, Netflix, ABC iView etc. Cost is about $100. Read a little about it here

3) You'll need to answer the questions above and we can decide if a streaming box solution is possible for you (if your internet is dodgy then AppleTV will not make it any better). I have some suspicions of what might improve your setup but will wait for your answers first.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

Edited by pgdownload

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OK firstly thanks Peter for replying

We live in Rathmines, Lake Macquarie/Newcastle, NSW

We are on ADSL

I have one computer directly connected to modem at download speed of 6.99 Mbps and upload of 0.93 mbps (I don't watch streaming on this computer

All other devices are wifi

The tv where I do most of my streaming is a Samsung TV that I use one of those wifi internet usb sticks. It is a little distance and in a different room from the modem itself.

(Would it be possible to connect the Apple TV or other streaming box directly to this TV with the usb stick?)

is there any other info you need?

Thanks

Skip

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Hi Skip,

Ok, That's sort of the setup I suspected. 7 Mbps isn't fantastic but it should be very usable for streaming. Netflix recommends 3Mbps for SD and 5Mbps for HD. So you qualify but you don't have a lot of wiggle room.

First thing I would suggest is you test out the streaming rate on the PC directly. Just log into your browser on the PC (Internet Explorer) and go to the Stan site and see if you can stream a movie down at SD or HD quality with no stuttering issues. You might also like to try Netflix - Free to sign up for a month and you can cancel the subscription any time during the month (or beyond).

As another test grab a few 1080p YouTube and see if you can play them at HD quality. Hit the little COG at the bottom of the windw to change the video quality. Try this one: Youtube 1080p test

Once we've established you can stream TV to your home (i.e. the internet is working ok) then we can move on to getting it from your modem to your TV.

Can you give me the make model number of your modem and the make model number of the usb stick you use on your TV.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

PS As a just put it out there thought, Do you reckon you could run a cable from your modem to the room where the TV is? The cable is cheap and you'd just poke it under the floor? through the wall? up into the ceiling?

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I now use powerline networking, I found it much better than crawling round in the roof fixing mouse eaten cabells.

I think it may be OK for you too, you will probably get a better result than wireless, depending on the distance of your wireless from your modem.

JB

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I now use powerline networking, I found it much better than crawling round in the roof fixing mouse eaten cables.

Always forget powerline. Might be a good option if the above tests work.

NB Skip. I realise you're probably eager to get onto the AppleTV part of the project but until you sort your network any possible streaming solution will provide the same results as you currently have (i.e. not watchable)

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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Ok thanks so far for your continued help

I tried the YouTube test and had no problems streaming the video ( 4 mins but longer may cause problems I don't know) with no buffering problems (man, could they make that video any less exciting lol?)

I didn't want to eat into a free trial of Stan and/Netflix while there could be any issues to solve so I didn't sign up for those yet. You obviously have to sign up to test quality yeah?

I don't think running a cable from the existing modem into the other room would be applicable in our situation

Modem Telstra TG797nV3

USB is a Samsung wireless adapter not sure of the serial number though where would I find that?

Muddying the waters or making them clearer?

Its a new house and we had data cabling built into the house but not sure of its uses. Could it help? We have a phone line in the room.Would another modem in there help or cause interference?

What is powerline networking for a 6 year old?

Huge thanks

Skip

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Just reread your first post. I meant test with Presto, not Stan. Should be able to do that on your PC. That said I think you've confirmed your internet connection is up to scratch.

Your issues streaming to your TV could be because of modem configurations (although most likely its just sending the signal through a wall). The USB stick might be only 'g' speed instead of 'n'. etc. Its probably too difficult to try step through all the options to confirm so option two is to sort a direct connection instead of wireless.

Powerline is a modern solution that can be great. Basically it use the power cables in your walls to transmit data between rooms. Not as good as a dedicated cable but much better than wireless. You'd want something like this. You would plug one in near you modem and one in near the TV. It would replace the Samsung adapter.

That said, you mention the house has been cabled for data. That's great! Where are the outlets? You should have something that looks like a big phone socket plug in various rooms. Any chance you have one near the TV and one near the modem?

Another modem in the other room is not a straight forward solution. better to see if we can get the connection between your current modem and a TV up to scratch.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

PS Just to check your modem isn't in 'eco mode' is it flashing a blue light?

Edited by pgdownload

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I tried Presto on the computer that is connected to the modem via Ethernet cable. It seems to work fine

Eco light is a solid green light

I mentioned the data cables as I thought I had an outlet in the offending room. On inspection there isn't one in that room grrrr!. Just in the living areas of the house and the room where the modem is (study)

With all this being said is the Wi-Fi the problem? Does that mean Powerline is the most appropriate solution to the problem or are there other non -invasive solutions?

Skip

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I'd say the wifi is the issue. What's not sure if its the modem, the usb stick or the walls between them.

I did read that eco mode can greatly reduce the modems bandwidth power. Solid blue means eco mode is NOT on and the modem should be working at full power.

I would suggest Powerline is the best option. Should cost between $50 and $100 or so. Buy one at jbhifi or office works (or my link above). There's a (small) chance it won't work based on your wiring in the walls but its pretty small, and at these stores you should be able to return it easily enough..

You should check your TV has a Cat5 socket for connecting to (You don't give a model so I can't check) - if its less than 5 years old then the answer is almost certainly yes.

You will also need to buy two short cat5 cables (cat6 or cat5e all fine). Something like these. Any store with the powerline devices will have standard cat cables available.

So to setup you plug a powerline near the modem and join the two with the cat5 cable. Then in the TV room plug in the other powerline and connect the TV to it with the other Cat5 cable.

Make sure you remove the USB stick from the TV while your setting up the new connection.

You might need to go into the TV settings but more likely just unplug the TV from the wall once you have got the cables all set up and then plug it back in and it should find the internet (and presto) fine.

Then see if Presto is working better.

Once you get this sorted then we can start talking about AppleTv etc. :)

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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We may just have 1 more problem

I have just looked at the offending TV. I would be surprised if the tv was anything over 5 years old (it could be though) but I don't think there is anywhere to plug Cat5 cables. Just seems to have 2 USB ports

The TV model is Samsung UA32EH4500

Also

A mate tells me Netflix has some sort of way of gauging signal strength of some description and automatically downgrades its quality to suit. Is this correct? Would Netflix be a better choice than Presto?

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Hi skip,

Difficult to find specs on that TV. There's definitely a model with that model number with a LAN (cat5) port. Might be a variant though. Have a good look back, sides, bottom (flaps?) - I suspect there is a Cat5 input.

Alternatively hit the MENU button on the remote and go to the 'connectivity' 'internet' sub menu. It should have a wired / wireless option?

Your mate is right, Netflix will automatically up or down your picture quality (data) based on your connection. So in your current instance it might give good SD quality while Presto stutters trying to keep giving HD.

As mentioned, you can grab a free Netflix trial for a month and see if it works with your current setup.

Double check on the LAN plug on your TV. If its not there then the solution is a streaming box (like the AppleTV) - but to get the streaming box working you'll need the powerline plugs.

Double check on the LAN plug on your TV. :)

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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Hey Peter

I managed to get the offending TV off the wall and it does have an input marked LAN on the back

I have taken photos of the back of the TV, the modem and a cable (that I have lying around that fits the TV input). I have put them in the Attachments forum

The modem has vacant outlets coloured black, green, orange and yellow. Which, if any, would be where I connect the powerline?

The TV I think also gives me the option to connect to a wired internet

"Armed with this information" do you think Powerline might be able to be connected and improve the streaming situation?

Thanks

Skip

Edited by skip22h

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Things looking good. For one thing I just found out we have an attachments area of this forum. 12,000 posts and still learning things from a 6 years old :)

1. The spare yellow spot in the back of the modem is the one to use. Modem => cat5 cable => powerline => power plug in the wall.

2. On the TV room Powerplug in the wall => poweline => short cat5 cable => TV lan plug.

May need some setup tweaking to get the data to flow, but you'll need the hardware (powerline and cables) first

Regards

Peter Gillespie

PS what is the other bit of equipment you have connected to the TV - a DVD player?

Edited by pgdownload

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If you do use powerline the advice is do NOT plug into powerboards as they have a filter inside which will interfere.

The trouble is that most of the powerline plugs are so big they cover both sockets of a wall plug.

I got round the problem by buying a cheap ($3) pidgeon pair double adaptor; but any older ones should do.

JB

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Yeah Peter an old $30 dvd player. 6 year olds can be informative sometimes haha

How do you mean tweaking?

Skip

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Hey Peter

Well its all been happening and not all good

I went out and bought a Dlink AV500 wireless Npowerline model DHP-W311AV. I was able to find and connect to the network

I connected it up. The powerline connection LED lights (3rd light on the router connected unit and the middle light on the tv unit) failed to come on.

After a few trial and errors I rand DLInk who tell me the units are not communicating with each other. They guess maybe the two rooms are not on the same electrical phase

Any suggestions from where to go now?

Skip

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Hey Peter

Well its all been happening and not all good

Any suggestions from where to go now?

Skip

:( This is the main unknown (until you plug it in) downfall of powerline connections (power outlets on a different circuit board.).

Try any other power outlets in the TV room and Modem room (especially any on an adjoining wall between the two?)

Do you have an extension lead you can run from the modem room to the TV room? Not as a permanent solution but just so you can get the other tech up and running and confirm the plugs are working and when working the streaming works?

There are other options but finalise this one first.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

Edited by pgdownload

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The Dlink woman had me take both units (not connected to the modem though) into the TV room to see if they communicated, The correct lights were on so that were doing that but obviously without it being connected to the modem I couldn't see if the streaming was any better

Also

In my fumblings I tried a Wi-Fi extender that I had lying around the house and tried to connect back to the Samsung Wi-Fi stick that I had originally in the TV. I was able to connect to the extended network but it didn't improve the quality of the streaming at all???? I'm assuming a Wi-Fi extender cant be used as a modem at all?

Edited by skip22h

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The wifi extender can't replace a modem, only extend an existing one. They also usually work by halving your bandwidth to extend the range. Given your situation that's probably not helpful.

Ok, so you have an easy way to test connectivity of the power extender. So now methodically try various power sockets in each room (eps the adjacent wall?) you might get lucky and find a combination works.

Note you don't have to try both outlets in a double wall plug (they both use the same wire).

NB As an alternative, was stringing a 20m cat5 cable between the rooms an option? under the floor boards? That would cost about $10 and be a 100% solution.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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Ok so I will disconnect the Wi-Fi extender if that is only halving the bandwidth and connect back onto the home wi-fi

I cant see a simple connection route using the 20 m cable as the rooms are not adjacent and the only powerpoint available in the tv room is at the opposite side of the room.

In trying to explain we have the study then another room. The tv shares the wall to that adjoining room with only a double powerpoint (behind the tv) that only has room for one tv plug and the small powerline adapter. The opposite wall to the tv is where a spare powerpoint is located. The cable would have to go up the study wall (where the modem is located) across 2 rooms and down the tv room wall to connect to the available powerpoint.

Skip

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I'm a bit surprised the extender had no impact. I wonder if your modem wifi settings are good. Not sure if you are able to go into your modem settings and list the wifi settings here?

In general with diagnosis I try to simplify things down to where its all working then start adding complications.

In your case I would suggest move the TV into the modem room and using a wifi connection between the modem and TV see if the streaming works. Once that's confirmed we can rule out lots of other potential issues.

Its annoying but probably your next best move. You could also pay an electrician to run the CAT5 cable under the floors, through the roof / walls etc. but that's probably a $200+

Regards

Peter Gillespie

NB My suspicion is that the Samsung USB stick, stuck behind the TV and 3 rooms away just isn't up to scratch (to be fair its a big ask of any wifi setup).

Edited by pgdownload

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They guess maybe the two rooms are not on the same electrical phase

I think it would be unusual for a new house to have more than one incoming phase, unless the property has a high current draw.

I use EoP devices regularly for smart TVs, I have come across a couple of issues where something plugged into the existing power of the house is generating noise that overrides the ability of the adapter to decode the OFDM signal being transmitted over the power line.

Try the adapter where the TV is, & disconnect everything else in the room from the power points to see if the adapters connect. If they don't, go around the house & unplug everything from all your powerpoints to see if this offers a remedy. (That includes unplugging the modem.)

If that doesn't work, try the adapter in other power points in the house to see if it can connect, although, apart from indicating that some power points may function, it may not be a solution.

(Case study: Currently working on a house that has had major renovations. EoP feeds 3 rooms & an outbuilding 200 metres away. One room has very poor QoS connected to a Humax 7500T, the only reason I have postulated is this part of the house is original & the electrical wiring has not been upgraded. The electrician has been back & can't find a problem with the existing wiring, he is about to run Cat6 cable back to a power point in another room that works fine. Running back to the router is not an easy option, owing to the house construction.)

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I use EoP devices regularly for smart TVs, I have come across a couple of issues where something plugged into the existing power of the house is generating noise that overrides the ability of the adapter to decode the OFDM signal being transmitted over the power line.

QFT. Spent part of last weekend sorting out an issue with a D-Link gigabit powerline kit - worked OK when tested between 2 rooms at one end of the house, but failed to even pair-up with both units at the other end of the house. As usual first guess was different phases - but only a single-phase feed to the house, split at the switchboard in the middle to 4 separate runs.

Turned out to be the dozen or so cheap chinese switchmode plugpacks - phone chargers, RPi, LED table lamps, knockoff chromebook, etc - that were scattered around the house. Any 1 of them was enough for a noticeable speed hit between rooms on the same run, or to wipe out comms totally between runs. Any more than 2 or 3 plugged in at once, which was the case in the living room, completely wiped out comms on that run.

They're now looking at a few hundred bucks just to replace all the shitty "China export" plugpacks with good linear or quiet switchmode ones...

Edited by Malich

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