AppleTV (Airplay) with the Asus RT-N66U

I finally took the time to re-work the AV set-up in my house over the last few weeks (a project that was years overdue). We have two TV watching areas (living room and basement) that are now equipped with the same basic kit:

  • A/V receiver
  • Sony DVD/Blu-Ray (also does Netflix, Amazon video, etc.)
  • AppleTV
  • Harmony remote

I also added an AppleTV to our little workout room as a headless Airplay receiver (there is an old TV in there but it doesn’t have HDMI). I had everything configured working, but I was having all kinds of trouble getting Airplay to work properly to the various AppleTVs. It would play for a while, then stall, stutter, drop-out and eventually not do anything until I rebooted.

Behavior was different from different devices. My laptop would stream from iTunes much more reliably than I could from my iPhone, but one of my main use cases was wanting to Airplay podcasts from my iPhone to the AppleTV in the workout room.

I had upgraded my wireless router recently and figured that might be a compatibility issue. This thread had the tip that got things working for me.

If using 5 GHz, try using a manually selected channel on the router, and use one of the low-numbered ones.

Sure enough, when I explicitly set the Control Channel to 40, everything started working quite nicely.

Control Channel 40

The other thing I tinkered with was the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz networks on the ASUS router. I had previously had them both set the same SSID name and hadn’t experienced issues, but one forum thread indicated this might be a problem with Airplay. I’ve got them on different SSID names for now, but may experiment further when I have additional time.

Hopefully this is helpful for the next person struggling with a similar configuration.