Setting Up AirPlay with Apple TV Connected via Ethernet

After acquiring a new Apple TV, I opted to connect it via Ethernet to my Time Capsule to alleviate the strain on my home’s wireless network. My Wi-Fi, powered by an older Time Capsule model, has never been stellar, especially with all devices being 802.11n-compatible. Introducing a high-demand device like the Apple TV, which streams 1080p video from my Mac, seemed likely to exacerbate the situation. Based on discussions with knowledgeable friends, I anticipated that a wired connection would cut the streaming bandwidth in half.

However, I soon encountered unexpected issues.

While streaming music and other media directly from the Apple TV interface on my HDTV posed no problems, attempting the same from my Mac through iTunes was futile. The Apple TV appeared as an option in iTunes’ AirPlay device list, but selecting it only resulted in a perpetual “Connecting” message. Efforts to resolve the issue using the Remote app on my iOS devices were also unsuccessful.

This discrepancy in streaming functionality was puzzling. After some research, I discovered that disabling IPv6 on the Mac through the network settings in System Preferences resolved the issue, enabling AirPlay across all devices.

For those using OS X versions prior to Lion, disabling IPv6 is straightforward:

  • Open the Network pane in System Preferences.

  • Select AirPort from the sidebar.

  • Click “Advanced.”

  • Navigate to the TCP/IP tab.

  • Set “Configure IPv6” to Off.

  • Click “OK,” then “Apply.”

In OS X Lion, where the GUI no longer offers an “Off” option for IPv6, the Terminal provides a workaround.

Open Terminal and enter these commands to disable IPv6:

networksetup -setv6off ethernet

networksetup -setv6off wi-fi

If your network setup requires IPv6, or if you encounter issues with these changes, it might be best to revert to a Wi-Fi connection for your Apple TV. However, for most users, disabling IPv6 should pose no problem. In my case, using an Ethernet connection for the Apple TV proved to be the most effective solution.

My own tests confirmed the benefits of an Ethernet connection. A 1.38 GB movie loaded completely on the Apple TV in just 7 minutes and 30 seconds when connected via Ethernet.

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Thomas is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing insightful news and updates about Apple products to readers. With a deep understanding of the Apple ecosystem, Thomas covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to MacBook innovations and Apple Watch features. His clear and engaging writing style helps readers stay informed about the tech world. Thomas’s expertise and enthusiasm for Apple products make him a valuable contributor to the TUAW team.