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Apple TV is usually a reliable set-top streaming device. It relies on dependencies such as your Internet connection or a content channel’s servers. There are many possible points of failure as data stream from the data center to your Apple TV. This article covers how to fix “An error occurred loading this content”.
Picture this: you’re relaxing in the evening with a bowl of popcorn, enjoying your favorite movie or TV show. All of a sudden, you are presented with a black screen and a vague error message: “An error occurred loading this content”. You hit the menu button, press play and try again. Sometimes this works, but often you will see the same error over and over. Although the exact problem is unclear, having used Apple TV for almost 4 years now, I am familiar with both what this means and how to fix it. Keep in mind, you might not be able to fix it. The causes of this error are sometimes beyond your control.
What Does “An Error Occurred Loading This Content” Mean?
“An error occurred loading this content” simply means that your video or music could not be loaded. It could mean your Internet connection is too slow. The servers that deliver content to your Apple TV could also be having problems. There could be a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on servers delivering content to your Apple TV. Basically, it is a generic, catch-all error message that means your content can’t be loaded now. Apple critics have pointed out how simplistic and useless their error handling is. I can’t argue with that. You can solve this problem, in most cases. Let’s take a look at some things we can try to fix this problem.
Turn Off Subtitles
If you’re like me, you like to have subtitles on when you watch TV. It helps me comprehend the dialog. I have no hearing impairment, but the audio track on movies and TV shows has a wide dynamic range. Sometimes you can barely hear an actor speak, and in the next scene, music is blaring. Instead of constantly fiddling with the volume, I turn on subtitles.
Unfortunately, turning on subtitles increases the data demands on Apple TV. Subtitles add to the overall data bandwidth requirements for a video stream. If your Internet connection has slowed, this extra data may cause your video stream to fail. Most of the time I can fix “An error occurred loading this content” by turning off subtitles.
When my Internet connection is slow or a content provider’s servers are having problems, turning off subtitles almost always works. You can do this by going to Settings > Audio & Video > Subtitle Language. Now return to your video and it should work. If not, let’s look at some other possible solutions.
Decrease Video Quality
Apple TV makes the assumption that you want to watch everything in HD. The better picture quality is preferrable, but if your Internet connection is too slow, SD is better than nothing. You can change Apple TV’s overall video quality by selecting Settings > Audio & Video > TV Resolution. If you are at 1080p, try reducing it to 780p. Most Apple TV channels should scale down to the required bandwidth accordingly. (continue…)