Fix Apple TV 2 Netflix Streaming Problems

Fix Apple TV 2 Netflix Streaming Problems post image

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.

Summary

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 (8.8.8.8) 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 8.8.8.8 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.

Written by |

Mike enjoys computers and technology, playing the piano, selling stuff on eBay, playing video games, cooking, and eating at Teddy’s Pizza. He started CompuNoodle in 2009 and loves to hear from his readers.

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    I just purchased my Apple TV two days ago and was going to return it immediately because the Netflix quality was so poor. I searched through dozens of articles that tried to assess blame but did not really help.

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    FWIW, I’m on a university campus and my ATV suddenly ran into the Netflix unavailable issue. Using Google’s DNS settings worked.

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  • Jean Verronneau August 12, 2013 at 11:16 am edit

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I received an Apple TV unit for chrismast 2012 and did install it early Januare 2013 and in February change my cable provider to Telus. From day one, the Netflix streaming , connectivity to my network and internet was extremely poor. Talk to Apple people and all they could come up with is buying their router ($100.00 approx.). Talk to Telus and the same solution . I finally bought a wireless -n300 extender to boost the existing coverage, not much improvement.
    Finally found your info because all of my other wireless devices work very well I decided to try your suggestion . Did make the adjustment to the Apple TV DNS to .8.8.8 and voila ALL OK. My wife and I watch four (4) movies one after the other and what a joy NO streaming problems NO other problems.

    Again thanks you
    Now I have to figure out how to set up the US Neflix on the Apple TV.It works well on my laptop.

  • Jerry February 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm edit

    Apple TV ….did work fine but now Netflix buffers every 40 secords or so,my Wii plays Netflix without a problem,music streams fine,ATV says its the server,Netflix says its ATV,Wii says its the ATV.So will talk with Netflix again and then ATV. :(
    Tried switching from wifi to ethernet but didn’t make a difference except allow me to make changes to the configurations,but don’t really know what I am doing there and what changes to make.So does anyone have any ideas about what is going on with the Wii working flawlessly.

  • Scott August 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm edit

    I am having the same issue with my Netflix viewing on my ATV. It works sometimes and other times it buffers forever. I have spoke with my internet service provider and Netflix. My WiFi and cable all work fine with every other device. Netflix said that I am getting 0.24mps. I too bought the ATV specifically to watch Netflix. WTF! How has a company like Apple not resolved this problem? I am looking at how long these posts have been getting posted and it is ridiculous that the supposed “IT Supercompany” can’t figure this out. Or do they just not care because they continue to sell so many products? I am pretty frusturated with them! I am going to try the Google DNS and see what happens, but Apple should be fixing this, not it’s customers…

  • Heidi April 24, 2012 at 11:13 pm edit

    Lots of good info. I am so tired of trying to watch Netflix and having it buffer every 2 minutes. I am now updating software on my Apple tv 2. I am skeptical it will solve the problem. I see that there are other solutions, but to be honest I am afraid that I am clueless to the acronyms and will mess up the entire system. I live in a small town with a local wireless carrier and I am clueless whether the previously mentioned directions of resetting to .8.8.8.8 etc etc google etc will work or be worse. I am technically inept but am tired of paying for streaming movies that are buffering more than playing. Any clearer info for those not understanding the jargon? What am I dealing with. I do pay for high speed Internet, but it does not feel like it is doing anything.

  • Caryn April 24, 2012 at 11:53 am edit

    Thank you, finally a solution to the annoying problems with Netflix on our ATV! Happily catching up on my viewing!!

  • Scott April 20, 2012 at 12:51 am edit

    Thank you! Moving DNS to google 8.8.8.8 fixed the netflix streaming buffering problems immediately! I also took the time to setup the new router on openDNS.
    I’m on Time Warner Cable SoCal, iOS 5.0 (5.1). Netflix playback would buffer every few minutes, for a minute or two at a time. I have ard wired ethernet on the Apple tv, and PCs on the same router (wired and wireless) stream netflix just fine on my ISP’s DNS.

  • 2fers April 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm edit

    Yea, this doesn’t work nor does resetting, restoring, or unplugging. I have no idea what happened, netflix worked flawlessly, then updated, now doesn’t work at all. WTF!!!

  • Leonid April 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm edit

    same problem exist even on latest atv 2012. i changed to 8.8.8.8, lets see if it will help.

  • marz March 16, 2012 at 10:37 pm edit

    Had the same problem here, cannot believe this is not better advertised… was frustrated until I found your site. Returned my Apple TV 1 last week ( since 2 came out, I still had 10 days left ) and the new ATV2 just didn’t want to stream netflix where the previous version did it flawlessly.. maybe the new resolution ? I just don’t know but I am happy I found this… thanks

  • scrooks February 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm edit
  • t3chm@n February 21, 2012 at 12:26 am edit

    I implemented the same fix and it appears to have fixed my issue as well.
    For those of you that wish to use OpenDNS and have custom DHCP fed address to ATV2, you can do the following:
    1) set up a DHCP reservation for ATV2 with custom DNS settings for google DNS servers.
    2) allow the rest of the DHCP clients on your network to use OpenDNS.

    That fixed it for me! ;)

    If you use DDWRT or better commercial grade firewall ( Sonicwall / Fortinet, etc ) this should be an easy fix

  • Ray February 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm edit

    Had same problem – on Telus Optik in B.C. – Tried this and it seems to have fixed the problem.

    Thanks!

  • Spence February 2, 2012 at 10:19 am edit

    Same problem. Didn’t work for me either !

  • nik February 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm edit

    Doesn’t work. It’s an ATV2 issue. This product is a complete fail…

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