4th Gen Apple TV - Higher bitrate video stutters


Since moving from GDrive to a Synology NAS, I’ve been experimenting with bluray remuxes.

The handful I’ve tried have had stuttering video (but no problems with audio). Have tried a couple of downloaded files as well as a file I made myself using MakeMKV, and the problem is consistent.

I’ve done a speed test using one of the problem files, and get an average speed of 62.72Mbps and minimum of 54.07Mpbs.

That particular file’s bitrate is only 23Mbps, but a different problematic file is higher at 33.9Mbps. But nevertheless, it seems like the connection should be able to handle them.

Is it a problem with the older generation AppleTV not being able to play higher bitrate files? Or are there any trouble shooting steps I can take?

Is the file you’re having problems with by any chance a HEVC or x265 compressed file?

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No, I found some references in the forum to ATV4 not supporting HEVC…

Just checked 3 files that I’ve had trouble with and they are all H264.

One of the often seen culprits for stuttering is the network connection. If you’re using WiFi, just as a troubleshooting test, try an Ethernet cable if possible just to see if that helps. If you’re already using Ethernet then try swapping to a new cable and test.

You might also want to just as a test try lowering your quality a little on the rip like to 720 instead of 1080 and see if that makes any difference.

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Thanks. I am connected by ethernet, but will try a new cable tonight to see if that helps.

I re-encoded one of the problem files with ffmpeg - not to change the resolution, but to compress the bitrate. With a lower bitrate (came out at 9.8Mbps) the episode played smoothly.

I’ll report back after trying a new ethernet cable :+1:

A few other things to note.

On the ATV4, the network speeds over Wi-Fi can actually be faster than Ethernet, since the Ethernet port is only 100 Mbps.

Are any of the videos interlaced by chance? Some high bitrate interlaced videos can push the ATV4 to its limits, which may be what you are seeing.

Maybe you can post a mediainfo details on one of the problematic files

Yup, that’s it! Common factor between all my problematic videos is that they’re interlaced! :man_facepalming:


Deinterlacing the affected episodes is clearly my solution - but just out of interest, does the extra power of the 4k ATV overcome this problem in your experience?