1. Dave Marsh's Avatar
    Just a head's up. While attempting to watch a recently downloaded movie from the iTunes Store last night, it began stuttering (brief pauses/play cycles) every few minutes, or less, making it basically unwatchable.

    This behavior doesn't affect all iTunes movie purchases, and only started last night, after a week successfully playing other iTunes movie purchases. I spent a couple of hours on the phone diagnosing the issue with AppleCare, including a factory restore on a one week old device, which didn't help.

    Initially, I thought I was having a local bandwidth issue, but when I played these same movies from my old Apple TV (3rd gen), they continued to play just fine. They also played fine directly on my iMac in iTunes, and when I streamed them directly from Apple's servers to the new Apple TV. Why there's a buffering issue playing a local copy, but not with a cloud copy, is a puzzle.

    Apple is shipping me a replacement to see if that resolves the issue.
    11-20-2015 04:34 AM
  2. robertk328's Avatar
    Thanks for posting!

    When you say "some" are you referring just to yours or have you seen others having the same issue?
    11-20-2015 07:13 AM
  3. Rob Phillips's Avatar
    No problems here and nobody else has been reporting your issue. If you experience the same issue with your replacement you might want to try swapping out the HDMI cable. It might sound silly but HDMI carries a digital (data) signal to your television and a bad cable could cause some stuttering.
    11-20-2015 07:19 AM
  4. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    Thanks for the heads-up, Dave, and keep us updated when your replacement device arrives.
    11-20-2015 07:36 AM
  5. Dave Marsh's Avatar
    No problems here and nobody else has been reporting your issue. If you experience the same issue with your replacement you might want to try swapping out the HDMI cable. It might sound silly but HDMI carries a digital (data) signal to your television and a bad cable could cause some stuttering.
    Actually, I found an Apple Forum thread addressing this issue at https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7314597

    So, I'm not alone, but the issue is new, so I'm not sure what's happening. It's odd that streaming from the Apple servers works flawlessly, but streaming from a local hard drive has this issue with some movies, at least those sent to the new Apple TV. They play fine on my old Apple TV, so it's not the source material, nor the LAN. I'm not sure how the HDMI cable would play a role, since the data is coming into the new Apple TV over Ethernet, and the TV is just a display device, but I will definitely try this if the new box has the same issue. Everything points to the new Apple TV as the epicenter of this issue.

    There is another hardware wrinkle that may be relevant. My old Apple TV's audio was connected via an optical connection to my old Sony receiver. It will probably be replaced in the next few months because one of its channels is starting to fail. However, in the meantime, I'm using an HDMI to HDMI/optical splitter to get the audio signal to this old receiver. So, that's a HDMI cable to the splitter, then an output HDMI cable to the TV and the optical to the receiver. So, my next step may be to simply replace the old Sony receiver with a new Yamaha unit with HDMI inputs and get rid of the splitter.
    robertk328 likes this.
    11-20-2015 08:24 PM
  6. Rob Phillips's Avatar
    Actually, I found an Apple Forum thread addressing this issue at https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7314597

    So, I'm not alone, but the issue is new, so I'm not sure what's happening. It's odd that streaming from the Apple servers works flawlessly, but streaming from a local hard drive has this issue with some movies, at least those sent to the new Apple TV. They play fine on my old Apple TV, so it's not the source material, nor the LAN. I'm not sure how the HDMI cable would play a role, since the data is coming into the new Apple TV over Ethernet, and the TV is just a display device, but I will definitely try this if the new box has the same issue. Everything points to the new Apple TV as the epicenter of this issue.

    There is another hardware wrinkle that may be relevant. My old Apple TV's audio was connected via an optical connection to my old Sony receiver. It will probably be replaced in the next few months because one of its channels is starting to fail. However, in the meantime, I'm using an HDMI to HDMI/optical splitter to get the audio signal to this old receiver. So, that's a HDMI cable to the splitter, then an output HDMI cable to the TV and the optical to the receiver. So, my next step may be to simply replace the old Sony receiver with a new Yamaha unit with HDMI inputs and get rid of the splitter.
    I'm glad you're narrowing things down. Luckily you're getting a new AppleTV anyway. A bad HDMI cable can absolutely cause video stuttering, but it would be present regardless of whether or not video was being streamed or played locally. Let us know what happens!
    11-20-2015 09:02 PM

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