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Test Network Connection and Broadband Speed
You can test your network connection by going to Settings > General > Network and selecting Test Network. This runs a test and makes recommendations for improving bandwidth. If you have a slow ISP, you might consider upgrading or moving to a different broadband provider.
Speedtest.net provides an online tool to test broadband speed. Use a computer that’s on the same network as your Apple TV. Keep in mind, if your Apple TV has weak WiFi reception, it may have less bandwidth than your computer.
Turn Off Send Data to Apple
If you don’t have the best Internet service provider, your Apple TV may pause to buffer video. By default, your Apple TV is sending diagnostic information to Apple to improve product quality. It’s great that they’re using telemetry to make Apple TV better, but this can affect streaming. You can turn this off by going to Settings > General > Send Data to Apple.
Limit Ad Tracking
Apple TV is analyzing your viewing habits to target advertising. If you are concerned about privacy, you can turn this off. Go to Settings > iTunes Store > Limit Ad Tracking. You will still see advertisements, however, the ads will not be based on your viewing habits. It stands to reason that ad tracking could also consume bandwidth, but probably not a lot.
Check iTunes Store for New TV Episodes
Apple TV is a robust device. For the most part, it just works. There is one small issue that occasionally surfaces — new TV show episodes don’t show up on the show’s screen. They will eventually be displayed, but it may take a day or so after release. This only seems to happen with a few shows.
You can typically expect a show to be available a few hours after it airs on TV. At the latest, you should be able to view it on iTunes the next day. If the new episode doesn’t appear on the show’s page, scroll up to the top of the screen and select “More on iTunes Store”. You should see the new episode and you can play it right from this screen. Just move the cursor on the episode and press the play/pause button.
Stop iTunes Downloading
If you started downloading an iTunes movie or TV show on your Apple TV, it can tie up the device for some time. This can make it difficult to watch other programming, such as Netflix or Hulu Plus. You can stop iTunes purchases from downloading by going to Settings > iTunes Store > Stop Loading. This setting is grayed out if you are not downloading anything.
Download iTunes on Another Device
Although you can download iTunes purchases directly on Apple TV, I find that it’s not the best option. It ties up your Apple TV and you can only watch the program on that device. It’s a better idea to download iTunes purchases on an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or computer. You can then play the purchase over AirPlay or watch it directly on your iOS device or computer. This also allows you to keep the downloaded program (unless it is a rental). Apple TV only has 8GB of storage space, so you can’t fill it up with iTunes movies and TV shows. I always download iTunes movies and TV shows onto my iPad. (continue…)