Apple TV performance enhancements

The iOS app on iPad vastly outperforms the Apple TV version. As an Apple developer I have to believe this is a Tablo software issue not a limitation of the Apple TV hardware.

  1. Guide takes forever to load. It’s nearly instant on iPad.

  2. Skip ahead takes forever (5 seconds or more for a ten second skip). The iPad does a 30 second skip in a second or so.

  3. No 30 second skip. Probably Tablo cut it to 10 seconds because the performance was so bad.

Those are my biggest complaints. I hope getting performance up to par with iPad is a top priority.

General features that seem like low hanging fruit to me:

  1. Sort options for Recordings. I would prefer newest first over alphabetical.

  2. Limit number of recordings to a user entered max. Delete the oldest when limit is reached.

Oh one more: an onscreen clock!

I actually find the Apple TV way faster than the iPad or iPhone apps. The ATV’s guide load is near instant whereas the iPad and iPhone take anywhere from 15-30 seconds to boot up. Same with skipping ahead, the ATV buffers in about 3 seconds where the iDevices can take up to 10 seconds or so. Once connected I find changing channels takes the same amount of time regardless of device (usually 5-10 seconds).

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Thanks a ton for the feedback and feature requests, you guys! The team’s got lots planned for future releases. I’ve sent this their way.

Interesting. This is definitely not my experience at all with the Apple TV, and I’ve been using it as my primary means of watching content going back to the original release on June 17th.

I’m wondering what your network configuration is? I feel like that’s probably more of a determining factor than the Apple TV app itself. I’ve got a 802.11ac Airport Extreme sitting within 10 feet of the Apple TV, and my Apple TV uses the 5GHz band. The Tablo is in another room, but on the same floor of the house, may 30 feet away through a single wall. I’m using the default 5Mbps streaming setting.

The guide load can be a bit sluggish, but nowhere near “forever” — maybe just 2-5 seconds, and that seems to depend on how recently I’ve opened the app. Generally when I’ve opened it already at least once on the same day, the guide shows up instantly. Skip-ahead and skip-back are just as instantaneous for me as they are in any other Apple TV app, and I suspect the only reason the skip is limited to 10 seconds is that it’s the Apple TV “standard” for just about every app (and if you think about it the Siri Remote doesn’t really provide any other buttons anyway).

Well yeah that is interesting. Good to hear that others are seeing decent performance.

I have an older Airport Extreme that doesn’t do 802.11c. It might be my wireless network, but I never have a problem streaming at 1080 highest setting.

The Apple TV shows 5 “bubbles” for Signal Strength, and Airport Utility shows its connection as “Excellent” on 802.11a/n with a data rate of 300 Mb/s.

The Tablo is also “Excellent” according to Airport Utility, also on 802.11a/n, with a data rate of 180 Mb/s.

Internet is 50+ megabit, 10 second ping, although I don’t think that’s involved.

Both devices ping in 3 or 4 ms, so if it’s not bandwidth and it’s not latency, what is the problem? Seeking and displaying guide data should require a lot less network demand than streaming 1080 video.

Yeah, that doesn’t sound far off from what I’m getting. The Tablo-to-Airport connection is showing a 243 Mb/s here on a 5GHz 802.11a/n connection, while the Apple TV is getting 866 Mb/s on an 802.11a/n/ac. I’ve seen the Tablo’s data rate as low as 162 Mb/s, however, so I still don’t really think that’s it. I’ve got 250mbps Internet, but I’d agree with you that it should have no bearing on the Tablo-to-Apple TV streams.

You’re also right that I wouldn’t think that displaying guide data would be an issue with regard to network performance — unless your performance was really bad (in which case you’d see that everywhere else too).

The latest 2.2.11 beta has improved the guide loading time a lot. Nice!

Now my number one request is an option to display recordings newest first.

Come on guys, this should be super easy! It doesn’t sort alphabetically by itself - just add one silly little option to sort by date rather than by title.

Still wish there was a 30 second skip but I’ve learned to rely on Siri for skipping through commercials.


I am now reading this, if you are using Wireless N and your WiFi connection is rated at 300 Mbps, it is engaging in channel bonding (aka 40 MHz band) which uses 2 Wireless N channels at the same time. While in theory this can increase WiFi speeds, the use of channel bonding doesn’t do well over long distances with Wireless N. You likely will get better wireless throughput using the 20 MHz band, aka only 1 channel at a time.

Wireless AC on the other hand was designed differently and handles channel bonding very well.

See Fix #5 for a better explanation:

Thanks for that.

I’ve discovered that skip works pretty OK actually for me now, at least on recorded content. With “live” content that’s been paused it’s still less than buttery.