Fix Apple TV wireless syncing

We have a helpful crew here at Macworld. For example, not only did Chief Gemologist, Dan Frakes, propose a terrific Mac 911 question, but a couple of days later, answered it as well. We begin with the question:

My Apple TV is having loads of connection problems. Unfortunately, over the past few weeks I changed my network configuration in the house and applied the Apple TV [2.0.1] update, so it could be due to either. Essentially, the Apple TV appears to be connected to the wireless network, and shows up in iTunes; I try to sync, and it appears (in iTunes) to start syncing, but it eventually drops off the network and out of iTunes. When I go to the TV, nothing has been added to the Apple TV, and it claims it’s not connected to the network. So I connect it to the network again. Rinse, repeat.

After a “Huh, let me look into it” response from yours truly, he came back with this:

If your wireless network is set up as a 5GHz network using wide channels, the Apple TV can’t maintain a connection. I disabled wide channels (which, unfortunately, reduces performance) and the Apple TV was able to join the network and, more important, maintain the connection.

To earn my day’s pay, allow me to add some details. Specifically, to do as Dan suggests, launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, make sure the AirPort item is selected in the toolbar, and click the Wireless tab. With the Radio Mode pop-up menu set to 802.11n Only (5 GHz), click the Wireless Options button. In the sheet that appears, disable the Use Wide Channels option, click Done, and then click Update to do just that to your AirPort Base Station.

But hang on a sec, one tmartine in the Apple Discussion Forums contends that you can fix the problem without disabling wide channels. He suggests that while in the aforementioned Wireless tab, you hold down the Option key, click on the Channel pop-up menu, select 161, and click Update. Others have offered that any channel over 40 will work just as well.

If you’ve had this problem and discover that tmartine’s solution is the goods, please make your voice heard by putting the Comments link to good use.

Subscribe to the MacWeek Newsletter

Comments