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Westbo Jun 11, 2013 12:02 PM
Apple TV, Netflix and DSL
Hi all,

I currently have a Samsung 42" Smart HDTV which is connects to Netflix via a wireless DSL router. Downloading a Netflix movie has been painfully slow with continual freezes and buffering. Yet when I download and view directly to an iPad 1, the movie runs great.

If I download and run via Apple TV on the Samsung, would it be similar as with the iPad, or as slow as if directly via the Samsung?

ibook_steve Jun 11, 2013 08:27 PM
The first thing you need to do is check your Internet connection speed to see if you are getting what you are paying for. Go to on a computer or use the Speedtest app on the iPad to see what your connection speed is. Also, what speed are you paying for from your ISP?

You may also want to connect a computer to the router over ethernet and run speedtest that way to rule out issues with your wifi network.

Netflix to an iPad is different from Netflix to a TV or any other devices, probably requiring less bandwidth. You need to know what your connection speed is. If you are not getting the speed you are paying for, complain to your ISP to get it fixed.

Westbo Jun 11, 2013 09:03 PM
Thx for your reply, Steve.

It is my understand that we are at the end of the DSL. Fairpoint (our ISP) DSL service is problematic at times. It unfortunately is what it is. Testing from a MacBook Pro and the iPad, average download speed is 4.5 Mbps.

If Netflix via Samsung Smart TV does require more bandwidth, would running Netflix through Apple TV to the Samsung TV, or connecting the iPad directly to the Samsung be a solution?

Thx again.
-Q- Jun 11, 2013 10:14 PM
Ran into an issue like that and it appeared to be a result of my using OpenDNS on my router rather than the local one provided by my ISP. Because the streaming service didn't know my approximate location, it didn't know how to optimize the stream effectively, resulting in stutters and starts for HD content, especially. Once I changed the AppleTV to use the local comcast DNS (the router still uses OpenDNS), the picture quality and streaming improved dramatically.
Westbo Jun 12, 2013 09:22 AM
Thx -Q- for your reply. I wish Cable was an option. Unfortunately DSL is it. Back to my original question, if I connect to Netflix through AppleTV or via an iPad connected to the Samsung TV, will I get better results?
-Q- Jun 12, 2013 10:15 AM
It wasn't really a cable vs. DSL thing more than ensuring your DNS settings are correctly set for your locality so akamai and other CDNs can optimize their streaming.

Your iPad 1 isn't HD, so Netflix is likely defaulting to 480p content, streaming file sizes significantly smaller than the TV. I'm betting the AppleTV would try and use 720p or 1080p content (depending on vintage) and would likely run into the same issue as the TV.

That said, the Samsung Netflix app could be very poorly coded and that could be the culprit, rather than bandwidth constraints.

I'd try both the iPad and the AppleTV. You can't break anything by doing so.
Westbo Jun 12, 2013 08:36 PM
Following up...

It was determined that my DSL max is 4 Mbps. Netflix recommended changing from "best quality video" which requires 1 GB per hr. to "good quality video" which requires up to .3 GB per hr. This seems to have done the trick.

Thx all for you help and input.
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