Problem With Netflix on Apple TV 2? Maybe It’s DNS

Many owners of the latest iteration of Apple TV are having trouble playing shows and movies from Netflix. When users attempt to play a show they’ll get the familiar “spinning daisy” as the show is loading, however, the show will often take many minutes, sometimes over an hour to start playing. When the show does start playing, it may quit unexpectedly.

A quick look at Apple discussion board revealed that the problem existed for some users early on, while others discovered the issue after updating their Apple TV with the latest iOS version (iOS 4 for Apple TV). The problem, they claim, relates to the DNS entries the Apple TV is relying on to find streaming servers for services like Netflix.

For the uninitiated, DNS numbers are Internet addresses for the servers that work as a translater for actual IP addresses for Web sites into URLs that end users can remember., for example, points to, and it’s the DNS servers that make sure you can see Apple’s Web site without forcing you to remember long strings of numbers.

If the DNS server your Apple TV is referencing is causing problems with Netflix streaming, there is a work around, and it’s easy to administer:

  • On Apple TV, go the General > Network settings > Configure > Manually
  • Move past the IP and Subnet setting by clicking on “Done” for each
  • In the DNS setting you’ll find four sets of numbers, set each set of three numbers to “008.” When you’re finished your DNS setting should read, which is a Google public DNS address. If you have access to other public DNS addresses, you can try those, too.
  • Insure that you’ve made the change by checking the TCP/IP settings screen.
  • Put the Apple TV to sleep with the Sleep Now command in Settings
  • Unplug the Apple TV
  • Wait ten seconds
  • Plug the Apple TV back in
  • Check Netflix

Apple TV DNS Fix

Set DNS Manually to

If all goes well you should be streaming Netflix shows.

Be aware that if you are using Apple’s Remote app on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to control your Apple TV, you may lose gesture control once DNS has changed. We’re not sure why this is, but you can get gesture control back by resetting your device. To reset your iOS device remote:

  • Open the Remote app
  • Select Settings
  • Choose a library other than Apple TV. (I have two libraries, Apple TV and Vern’s Music. I select Vern’s Music) If you have only one library, tap Edit, then tap the red Delete icon next to your library’s name. You can re-add the library after you delete it.
  • Now select Apple TV then select Done

Now you should be able to use gestures again with your iOS remote app.