Fixing Apple TV Movie Rental Download Speed

If you’re suddenly finding that your Apple TV download speeds are too slow then you might want to try this quick fix. When I originally purchased my first generation Apple TV, renting a movie was not only easy but it was instant. Suddenly things changed a few weeks ago, making the home theatre experience nothing less than painful.

The problem: When I would select the movie I wanted to rent and began the download, it was no longer allowing me to watch the movie before it was completely downloaded to the TV (which often takes hours). Prior to this problem occurring, the TV allowed me to begin watching the movie as soon as it hit 2-4% of download completion which usually took no more than 3 minutes. For those of you that are also experiencing this problem, you understand how frustrating this can be. After reading endless forum discussions, disconnecting the device (and powering it off), updating software, etc the problem was not going away. Until I tried this:

Solution: Go into iTunes. Click on Apple TV under devices in the navigation panel on the left of the page. Make sure the the sync setting is toggled to “Automatic”. Click Sync. This fixed the problem for me instantly. I began watching the rented movie within 2 minutes of making the change.

Note: You may also want to check the speed of your internet connection using SpeedTest and PingTest. Your ISP (internet service provider) can also affect how quickly you are able to download content to your tv.

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  1. Tammie
    Tammie 14 January, 2012, 19:05

    I for some reason do not have apple tv in my devices area on my home computer??? We watched one movie the 1st time when we set it up and it started in seconds. This time trying to rent a movie (one week later) it says 36 hour (keeps changing up and down) wait time? Any help would be great.

  2. Ivan
    Ivan 4 January, 2014, 11:14

    I was very doubtful this would work, but it did!
    I couldn’t sync the Apple TV when connected to my computer ( no option available on screen) via cable, however I updated/restored option which took ten mins or so, reconnected to my tv imputed all my details (yawn) etc and hey presto I can watch my previously purchased movies instantly.
    How frustrating is apple tv!!!!!
    Great when it works but sooooooooo annoying when it’s playing up, what a product this could be if the problems are sorted out. Feel free to contact me to share problems/ solutions etc.
    I really really want this device to work as well as the other apple stuff I own.

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