Although the second generation AppleTV is certainly sexy, it’s not quite as “magical” a device as we’ve come to expect from the wizards at Cupertino. Not only are the media offerings a bit limited compared to the competition, but the new AppleTV is prone to some technical problems… most notably reports of bog slow downloads.
It looks like a potential cause for those tortoising downloads on the Apple TV has been identified, though, and it’s not Apple’s fault: it’s Google’s.
According to Joe Mailer, who was having to wait forever to stream new rented movies through his Apple TV despite his 20 Mbs connection, the problem was that he was using Google DNS.
Basically, iTunes streaming content is hosted by Akamai, which uses different local servers to route downloaders to the fastest available connection. Services like Google DNS, or other generic DNS providers, are trying to route all users the same way… the equivalent of trying to cram a few thousand people through a single door at the same time.
Mailer solved the problem by switching from Google DNS to the servers provided by his IP, and iTunes rentals, even in HD, are now ten to twenty second affairs. If you’re having problems streaming content through your new AppleTV, you might very well give it a try.