No, that’s not redundant. Apple yesterday released Apple TV update 2.0.2, which according to my research fixes the 5GHz network connectivity issues introduced by the previous 2.0.1 update.
To recapitulate events, on Friday, March 28th Apple released Apple TV update 2.0.1. This update to Apple TV “Take 2″ supposedly “improved stability” and added a few minor features, like a Genres option under My Movies.
In addition, this update also pretty much bricked the Apple TV for video playback.
As I recounted in Apple TV Update Brings New Problems on March 31st, after installing 2.0.1, my Apple TV constantly lost its 802.11n network connection. It dropped off the network at least a half-dozen times while in the middle of streaming movies, and twice while browsing titles.
I notified Apple, wrote the aforementioned article, and began looking for a solution. Scanning the web, I noticed that other users were reporting the same issues. Evidently it wasn’t just me.
Later that afternoon, one commenter told me that it was a “known problem”, and that “this is a problem only for those using 802.11n over 5 GHz with “Use wide channels” enabled.”" The solution? Don’t do that.
Later that evening, I tried following his advice, switching off wide channels on my AirPort Extreme base stations (significantly impacting performance, by the way). And after doing so the Apple TV no longer dropped off the network. Wonderful.
But my enthusiasm was short lived, as now I had a new problem. The Apple TV continually paused and attempted to resync with the streaming server during playback. In many cases a dozen times or more. Effectively bricking the box once again.
Browsing several forums, including Apple’s Support Site, I noticed that this new problem was attributed to “network interference”, and that the recommendation was now to back everything down from the 5GHz “N” band to the 2.4GHz band shared by all of the other “G”-based routers in my neighborhood. A move that would cut WiFi network performance even further.
But it worked. The Apple TV resumed working flawlessly. No network drops. No mid-movie pauses.
Case closed. Except for the slow network speed. And the time and trouble spent tracking it down.
But yesterday Apple release Apple TV update 2.0.2. With no documentation. It was an update that, according to many, did nothing.
But I’m the suspicious sort. So after installing the update I decided to try an experiment, switching all of my AirPort routers back to 5GHz with Wide Channels enabled.
Bingo. The 2.0.2 update works flawlessly. No dropouts. No pauses. No problems.
Now, it could just be an amazing coincidence. It’s possible that I experienced an amazing bout of network interference that only impacted the 802.11n 5Ghz band and that it immediately appeared the second I installed 2.0.1. And it’s possible that, for some reason, it went away, and that I’m only noticing it after I installed the 2.0.2 update and decided to conduct my experiment.
But, see, I have a SECOND version 2.0.1 Apple TV. And, oddly enough, it began experiencing the original set of glitches now that we were back to 5Ghz. And that THOSE glitches went away AFTER installing 2.0.2 on THAT unit…
Amazing coincidence? I doubt it.
So it’s pretty obvious that Apple introduced a 802.11n networking bug with the March 28th 2.0.1 update, and the new 2.0.2 update, released just 18 days later, updates the update, and fixes the problem.
That’s a wrap. Cut and print.