I recently experienced an issue with my Apple TV 2 where I could no longer use the Netflix streaming service even though other video streaming such as YouTube and iTunes Home Sharing worked flawlessly. This was extremely frustrating seeing as the only reason that I purchased my Apple TV 2 was to use Netflix streaming video on our upstairs television. Fortunately however, the fix which I am going to share with you is very easy to implement.
After much troubleshooting and research, I had found some information suggesting that OpenDNS, a third party DNS provider, might be the reason that Netflix streaming isn’t working properly on my Apple TV 2. I of course have my router configured to use OpenDNS as I like having the extra anti-malware protection that they offer. Needless to say, I was not going to disable OpenDNS. Here’s what I did instead;
Use Google’s Public DNS Server To Fix Apple TV 2 Streaming Problems
1. Start your Apple TV 2 and navigate to Settings => General => Network and click on Configure TCP/IP.
2. Select “Manually” next to Configure IP.
3. Click “Done” on the IP Address screen and do the same for both the Subnet Mask and Router Address screens.
4. Configure the DNS Address screen with the following IP address: 008.008.008.008 and click “Done.”
You should now be able to stream Netflix on your Apple TV 2.
What we did here (in network admin speak) was to set the Apple TV 2 to use a static IP address. Instead of using OpenDNS or the ISP’s DNS servers, which would be “handed out” by DHCP, we specified that the Apple TV 2 should use Google’s Public DNS server (126.96.36.199) which fixed our Netflix streaming problem on the Apple TV 2. On a business network you would never configure a static IP address within a dynamic range, but in a home this shouldn’t create a problem. I would also like to point out that this fix should also be tried even if you are not using OpenDNS because some ISP’s DNS servers might not be as reliable as they should be.
Update: March 2nd, 2011
I just setup an Apple TV 2 for a friend who uses Time Warner Cable Road Runner for his ISP. Netflix streaming didn’t work properly right out of the box and my friend did not have his router configured to use OpenDNS. Setting the Apple TV 2 DNS address to 188.8.131.52 immediately fixed the problem with Netflix streaming!
Update: March 17th, 2011
It would appear as if the iOS 4.3 update for the Apple TV 2 fixes the Netflix streaming problems that so many have experienced. I updated my Apple TV 2 to iOS 4.3 and then tested Netflix streaming using both DHCP and OpenDNS. Low and behold both worked! I think I’ll stick with using Google’s Public DNS on my Apple TV 2 due to the randomness in which these Netflix streaming problems seem to occur, I just wanted to report back however that Apple’s iOS 4.3 update seems to resolve issues with streaming Netflix.