Channels app on Apple TV works great wired, but not wireless

I have 4 Apple TV's in my home. The ones that are hard wired with ethernet, the HD Homerun I use to bring in broadcast channels, work great. The ones that I don't have access to ethernet, so I run off my 5G wifi network, the footage are choppy, and freeze a lot.
It can't be attenna placement, as it looks fine on my wired apple TV's.

Has anyone else experienced this?

no. my apple tv's on wifi work perfectly fine.


Which 5G channel is your network on?

I’ve found that the non-DFS channels are very congested where I live, but the DFS channels work great.

Actually I just looked at my Apple TV again, and it's on my NON 5G network, and I've been told for a long time, that unless you are close to your router, NOT to use 5G, just use the normal 2.4 network.

It's really weird too, because it looks like it's the station itself that is getting pixelated, like the antenna isn't turned the right way.
But when I watch the EXACT same channel on the wired Apple TV, picture looks fine.

How can that be?

Here is a very simple test. There are more complicated testing but this is very simple and easy to do.
There is a FREE SPEEDTEST App you can down to ALL of your Apple TV's.
It will measure you Internet Speed not the speed to your DVR but will be very helpful.

Compare the results for all of your Apple TV's and compare that to your purchased Internet Speed from the ISP.

If your WiFi Connected is much less then you have a WiFi setup problem and need to address it.

If you have the Apple TV 4 and not the 4K then your Wifi Speed could be faster then your wired speed which of course is a good thing for Wifi and not really a problem for the wired since they will max out at 100gb which is fine.

Normally when you have a problem with Wifi is because you have a poor connection (always or sometimes).

Again, whenever you have a problem do the SPEEDTEST right then to see if something changed from when it was good.

1 Like

The Wi-Fi network is not fast enough so some packets are dropped which results in pixelation. You need reliable high throughout low latency network access at each Apple TV

You guys are both right. Only getting 20 Mbps on my Apple TV upstairs.

I have WOW and am paying for 125 Mbps.

The 20Mbps you are seeing is internal to your home network, and completely unrelated to your internet service. (The only way WOW may be responsible is if they are providing your wireless access point. And if that's the case, then you really ought to update your home wireless access points.)

Was very interesting. Changed to 5G and I’m getting much faster data rates.
Which i found interesting only because i've been told that if you're farther away from the wifi router, and have walls in between, you should use the 2.4GHZ network.
But, it's working now, and no glitches. Sorry to waste everyone's time. This was a pretty easy solution!

You did not answer what you were getting on EACH Apple TV. And if your Apple TV's are the 4 or 4K.

I understand @tmm1 position and you want to WIRE all that you can because that is the best and most reliable. Especially the DVR itself and the HDHomeRuns.

But there are times that is simply not practical to run a WIRE even though it would be best.

In those cases where you have to use WiFI for a "client" then you need to make sure you are getting the best signal possible. Wifi 5ghz vs 2.4ghz. 5 can be faster if you are not going thru walls but 2.4 can be better if you are. Again, do various testing using SPEEDTEST as a start and try to get close to your Internet Speed and you will probably be fine. Also, remember the TVE (mpeg4) Streams are much much smaller then the MPEG2 streams.

I am using Wifi on some TV's (I have 8) but mostly running wired and my Wifi TV's are working for my use case.

I looked at my main Apple TV 4K, which is hard wired in the living room, and I'm getting 125 Mbps or so.
Same with the wired Apple TV 4 in the basement.
I just need to check the other wireless Apple TV 4 in my Florida room to see what that's getting.

I live in a condo with two floors and my Ubiquiti UniFi AC AP Pro is upstairs and about 25 feet north from my only Apple TV 4K. The house is wood frame construction. A site survey shows there are about 12 wireless radios within range. I had constant freezing when using the Apple TV over Wi-Fi and finally resorted to powerline ethernet. Have not experienced the same frustrations since. YMMV.

It's worth noting that it is sometimes possible to make Channels work reliably over WiFi, even in congested areas. The key thing is to make sure you select underutilized WiFi channels that are not already congested.

I live next door to a new apartment building with over 250 residential units. As tenants started moving into the new building, I found that my WiFi performance was severely degraded.

After checking channel congestion using iStumbler, the problem became pretty clear: the non-DFS 80MHz-wide WiFi channels (36–48 and 149–161) were all massively congested:

This wasn't too surprising. Most WiFi routers, particularly those issued by ISPs, will auto-select channel 36 or channel 149. In the United States, regulations don't require DFS to use these channels, and both are wide enough (channels 36–48 and channels 149–161) to support an 80MHz width for higher maximum upload/download speeds.

My WiFi router at the time couldn't be configured to use DFS channels, so as an interim solution, I configured it to use channel 165. Channel 165 is typically less congested because it falls just past the spectrum used by a 80MHz-wide WiFi network on channel 149 (which spills over to channel 161). The problem is that there are no channels above channel 165 to spill over into, so a network on Channel 165 is limited to the minimum channel width of 20MHz. This reduced my maximum bandwidth to about 100mbit/s but it also made the connection extremely stable and reliable. That change was enough to make apps like Channels work perfectly, and I was able to do it without having to buy or replace any equipment. This strategy would also work even in places where DFS channels aren't available due to nearby weather radar.

Now, I use a better WiFi router (a Synology RT2600ac) that can be configured to use specific DFS channels. I configured it to use channel 100 with a 40MHz width. You can actually see my network in the iStumbler screenshot above—it's the tiny bit of congestion on channels 100 and 104.

With this setup, I reliably get my full internet speed over WiFi. For a while, I was even using WiFi to connect my Mac Mini DVR server to my network. With tuner sharing enabled, this setup still worked flawlessly for me... despite having over 250 next door neighbors. I ended up running a wired ethernet connection to the Mac Mini just for peace of mind, but I probably didn't have to.

1 Like

If you are replacing cable boxes with appletv's .. I advise that you install some MOCA 2.0 ethernet bridges and not use wireless at all for the appletv data connection. These moca boxes run "ethernet over coax" and will eliminate all the entropy that wireless connections induce. The 2.0 spec boxes will push almost 1gbps of data error free over your existing cable wiring. Actiontec and "motorola" brands are available on amazon.

1 Like