Guide slow, input lags and video stuttering

I have been a long time AppleTV Channels user since the original release and for the last year or two I have seen a slow decline in overall usability.

The app when entering the guide always hangs for a long period of time. This occurs with or without PIP enabled.

Browsing the guide will randomly hang as well... user input is ignored as if the app has locked up... after a period of time has passed it then responds to input but only after processing all previous input commands as if they were buffered.

Playback stutters with default decoder.... have to manually specify legacy.

Overall the user experience has declined. I have tried deleting the app and reinstalling it from scratch.... made no difference.

Also with the default driver I am not seeing dropped frames but it stutters... not smooth at all.

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Please offer actual details. I have never encountered these issues on Apple TV.

If you have specific issues and combinations of hardware that are creating problems, the developers should be made aware. However, without details everything is the same as a hand-wavy statement of "Trust me, me brother's friend's mother's cousin told me it's true!"

I will provide a video showcasing the issues I'm encountering. I have 3 AppleTVs which exhibit the same issues.

AppleTV 4th gen non 4k
HDHomeRun Prime 3 Tuner
Verizon Fios

10gbe wired home network.

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Submit diagnostics and provide your device id so we can find it, since you aren’t a dvr subscriber.

I can tell you that, over the years, tvOS has generally gotten slower on the original 4th gen HD Apple TV. Across the whole OS. But what you’re showing is very odd and not even anything we’ve seen reported.

So send the diagnostics and we’ll see if they show anything interesting.

Diagnostics have been uploaded. Device id 13165FD5

Was there anything useful found in the upload logs?

I finally replaced my last non 4K appleTV, it just got too slow over the years of tvOS updates.

I'm guessing whenever the guide is entered some network requests are occurring.... but I would have imagined those requests would have been done in an asynchronous manner.... instead it's blocking until a response occurs or times out. It would explain the somewhat consistent behavior.

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I get the same hanging behavior in the guide, it will be unresponsive for like 3-5 seconds, then the UI “catches up” to all the scrolling gestures I did while it was unresponsive. This hang occurs 100% of the time after launching the channels app or switching back to it from another app, and occurs about 50% of the time when switching from watching a channel to the guide.

I agree it seems like a longer running network request is blocking the UI thread like maybe while it’s fetching the thumbnail image for a show or something. This behavior started some months ago.

One key element is that when the guide is unresponsive like this the highlighted channel in the grid is usually different than the thumbnail and description on the top of the screen, as if the thumbnail and description haven’t caught up yet. Maybe there are too many concurrent network requests outstanding and they are queuing up instead of running in parallel. This could be explained by a tvOS change, but the behavior is a bad user experience.

I am using:
AppleTV model A1625,
tvOS 16.3.2,
Channels app version 5.5.11
Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Prime
Wired 1GB Ethernet infrastructure


Is anyone seeing this issue that is using the DVR? If so, if you could download the latest Testflight app and then go into the Debug menu and enable Report Performance Telemetry it may shed some light on what's going on.

Been seeing this on my M1 iPad Pro and 1st & 2nd Gen Apple TV 4Ks, all of which are still on iPadOS/tvOS 15. All devices (except the iPad) are hardwired via Gigabit Ethernet and my server is a base model M2 Pro Mac mini!

I've been experiencing terrible sluggishness & unresponsiveness for quite a while now. Usually 5-15 seconds between pushing a button on the remote & action on screen. It's been quite bad for me both in the guide/library and during playback when trying to jump forward/back or scrub.

I was able to mitigate things to some extent. The only thing that worked was deleting old recordings and removing nearly all my Virtual Channels and Local Content (went from 30,000+ library entries to ~16,000... I have a lot of Game Shows! :sweat_smile:). It seems like 20,000+ is where it really gets bad.

That said, while I still need to play around with it some more, the latest TestFlight update seems to have significantly improved both startup time & general responsiveness.

One concrete example: I have a custom WS4000 simulator Weather Channel streaming locally 24/7 via RTSP & it used to take almost 10 seconds to buffer, despite being on the same Mac mini as Channels! Now, it loads nearly instantaneously! (I looked for Report Performance Telemetry but didn't see it in in the Debug menu, so perhaps you don't need it anymore?)

Quite optimistic that perhaps my long, localised nightmare is over... :wink:

This is really great! We've rolled out a new version of our diagnostics that gives us insight any time the app hangs for more than 2 seconds. It's been uncovering a number of performance issues we hadn't been able to track previously.

We'll continue to tackle them as more pop up.

Thank you SO MUCH!

The new TestFlight you pushed while I was typing all that up seems a bit faster, too. From cold startup to the On Now screen in about 5 seconds! I'm just so excited.


You were totally right about the "Report Performance Telemetry" not being available. I had forgotten it was a secret option. I've started a new Testflight build that will expose it. If you'd be willing to turn it on for a little bit, it may give even more insight into any remaining slowness you have.

I'm not seeing the new build yet, but when it shows up, will do!

It's up now.

As a non DVR user would I be able to test these changes on my end via TestFlight?

The TestFlight beta is only available for DVR subscribers.

Holy crap, finally. What an improvement! Been suffering with that lag for a loong time. Great job!

Now that there has been a noticeable improvement to the overall experience as reported by the DVR users, will there be an update pushed for us non DVR users? The reason I ask is because this issue has been present for a long time and it would be nice to get any fix which speeds things up in general.