4K Buffering on ATV 4k

First off, thank you in advance to anyone who can bothered to read this and assist me. It’s greatly appreciated.

Short story: experiencing massive buffering issues (apple spinning wheel) with almost all 4k movies. Not 1080p. Higher the bitrate, longer and more frequent the buffering.

Love infuse. Currently using the pro version on my apple tv 4k. Have a 2013 MacBook Pro connected to large external hard drives as my Plex server. The mac is currently wirelessly connected to my ISP provided router (nothing too fancy, but capable of over 1Gbps on 5GHz band). The apple tv is also wirelessly connected to the same router. (Have ordered some ethernet cables, but want to try and figure this problem out as wifi should be fast enough to allow proper 4k streaming.) No other devices in household use this wireless network; they all use a network with a different SSID produced by mesh extenders connected to main router via ethernet.

Logged into plex in the infuse app. Everything works beautifully, all movies and tv shows play great…except for 4k content. Infuse has a very useful feature which allows me to “speed test” my plex share. I did so for different films on my external hard drives. Achieved poor results. At first I thought that perhaps the router was the bottleneck in some way, so i created a separate 5GHz SSID and connected both the server and ATV to it. No improvement. I then thought that perhaps the read speed of the drives was the bottle neck, so copied two HEVC 4k films from my ext drive, to a folder on my MacBook’s internal SSD, and added that folder to my Plex “Films” library. Film 1 was a lower bitrate HEVC file (13.75GB (13.2Mbps)) and Film 2 was a higher bitrate HEVC file (37GB (35Mbps)). I disconnected my external drive, and performed the speed test again for each of these files, effectively forcing Infuse to measure the speeds for the Macbook based files. I got roughly 17.8 Mbps for the Average speed, and 9.8 for the Minimum speed results.

I’m no whiz when it comes to this stuff, so definitely open to having misunderstood something. But this makes no sense to me. Why are the speeds for these files so low, if everything is playing over my home network? Don’t think infuse is trying to play them over the internet, as these speeds are actually slightly higher than my current internet connection which only reaches about 9 Mbps.

Have i just configured everything very poorly? Am definitely open to just enabling SMB file sharing on my mac and connecting to my files that way, instead of through Plex. But obviously would much rather use Plex as i have meticulously organised it and there’s all sorts of useful metadata.

As mentioned, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much


Quick update. Plugged ATV directly into router using ethernet cable stolen from mesh extender. This improved speeds monumentally. Solved problem.

However, I would really like to figure out the cause of such low speeds over Wireless network as this is a preferable setup in certain environments.


It could be something as simple as turning the wireless router or the ATV a little or seeing if something metal has been placed near by. Also if any other wireless electronics are close they could also be causing the problem.

If you can find a way to keep the Ethernet that would probably be your best solution.

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Ive has problems in the past where my Apple TV would somehow not be connected to ac wireless and only n this greatly limiting speeds. Restarting the atv fixed the problem.

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Your option is to play with the various different channels. Really though, wireless (despite throughput claims of 802.11ac) networks will struggle with decent quality 4K unless your setup is really optimal. Proper 4K rips need at least 100-150Mbps of actual throughput (as measured in infuse) to prevent buffering in my experience. I found FTP much quicker than SMB or NFS but really your issue is going to be your network IMHO

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Thank you all

Those speeds are pretty bad! It’s definitely your wireless network. I’d try the suggestions noted, and if you can get speeds in Infuse up closer to 100 Mbps, then, do change over to FTP and it will magically go 5-9 times faster than that even.

For me, I wouldn’t put the server on wireless as you said you did, keep it wired. Just the Apple TV needs to be wireless (if you prefer that). I regularly get 900 Mbps in Infuse tested speeds using FTP and 5GHz to a Linux server that is wired via Gigabit. On 2 different Apple TVs in 2 different rooms. I never use wired. My router actually has double 5GHz networks with 8 antennas, so, 1 is used just for the 2 Apple TVs so a lot of bandwidth is dedicated just to them. Properly working, it’s super fast. One Apple TV is in my theater room closet a few feet from the router (obviously no issue), the secondis about 25 feet away, but through a double sheetrock wall insulated, then some coats), then another wall.

But I did splurge for a semi expensive router. Asus RC-AT5300 using Merlin firmware.

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