Hacking the LAN for AppleTV

If you’ve stumbled upon my Twitter feed, then you probably already know that the arrival and installation of my much-anticipated Apple TV was less than trivially easy. Our old television wanted nothing to do with the component output from the device (sound, no picture), so plans to obtain a new HDTV were moved up.

We ended up going to Costco for a 32-inch Samsung LCD, which has been a real pleasure so far. Once the AppleTV was hooked up, however, a new problem emerged. The network really was unkind to the AppleTV, and frequently dropped the connection between it and iTunes. No synchronisation was possible, and both iTunes and the AppleTV frequently got confused.

After some examination of the Apple discussion boards, it quickly became clear that the problem was my old Linksys wireless router. It limps along enough to provide ADSL connectivity and wireless access at home, but the ethernet ports on it are fried, and both ADSL and wireless have their bad days. The solution (reached after far too many trips between the ground floor and the attic) was to pull out an unused Airport Express, use the Mac mini as a bridge from the wireless connection to the router to its ethernet port, and set up the Airport Express as another wireless network to which the AppleTV connects. Ahem. So, put another way:
AppleTV —wlan-> Airport Express —e’net-> Mac mini —wlan-> Linksys —adsl-> Internet

I hope this is just a temporary measure, but it seems to have solved the problem for now. I now have a working AppleTV.