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New Member
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎07-10-2018
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AirPlay problems after move to UniFi

[ Edited ]

TLDR: Everything looks great with the exception of what is becoming a major issue with AirPlay throughout the school. Looking for any help you can provide as I'm not even sure what settings to look at.

 

More details: Overall having nothing less than a great experience with our small-school network, upgraded this summer to an all UniFi equipment network (except for a handful of simple, unmanaged gigabit switches that have to be dropped in high-density areas). Screen shot of models and firmwares here (we have 10 of the nanoHDs):

 

image.png

 

It's a very basic network since it is a small school. No vlans, just a single network on the 192.168.0.1/23 subnet. Migrated from an older Netgear switch and Airport Extremes.

 

In all tests things look to have nearly identical overall performance, which is as it should be. The Nanos are far better at handling multiple clients of WiFi, but overall performance between a individual clients remains the same over both WiFi and Ethernet. Again, exactly what we hoped for; excellent performance with better WiFi coverage and better WiFI performance in high-density settings.

 

BUT, one new little snag: I always put our Apple TVs (3rd gen) on Ethernet, because, of course, the less equipment on WiFi the better. Used to work fine.

 

Now, with the new UniFi eqiupment, our Apple TVs on Ethernet experience momentary dropouts during streaming. Not just Airplay Mirroring (frequently used), but even the more basic forms of streaming such as directly streaming a movie from iTunes, Stream to Me, or in Safari (YouTube videos, for example). Often the glitch is audio only, but not always. Switching the Apple TVs from Ethernet to WiFi seems to "fix" the issue, but this absolutely should not be necessary.

 

Not even sure what settings to begin looking at, since I only have a few months of experience with the UniFi equipment. In no other way do I see performance issues. For example, copying files from an ethernet client to a WiFI client or doing the reverse goes full-tilt and consumes far more bandwidth than streaming to an Apple TV, without any pauses or problems whatsoever.

 

New Member
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎07-10-2018
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Re: AirPlay problems after move to UniFi

[ Edited ]

I have edited the initial post as some of my initial observations were incorrect (it tends to be an intermittent issue - making troubleshooting problematic).

 

I *believe* I have now tracked down the issue specifically to the Airplay protocol alone. It looks like we can successfully stream even very high data-rate media over the LAN/WLAN without issue using, for example, Serve to Me / Stream to Me (as well as over the WAN via. Netflix etc.)

 

But it all goes to heck, randomly, when we try to use Airplay. Unfortunately it is critical for us that this works correctly, since every classroom relies on an Apple TV and Airplay for a huge variety of tasks. Sometimes things will work just fine, othertimes even a low-quality stream, let's say from a 480p YouTube video shared to an AppleTV via. Airplay using Safari's ability to stream only a video (in other words, this issue not only happens in high-bandwidth scenarios where a teacher is mirroring an entire laptop display, but also when Airplay is being used in low-bandwidth scenarios, such as when streaming a specific video, not the entire screen).

 

This happens regardless of whether the AppleTV is on ethernet or WiFi. We can be absolutely confident that the problem is in the new UniFi hardware as this has never been an issue previously with the purely SOHO-grade equipment we previously used (and nothing else has been swapped-out).

 

Things we are NOT using include Airtime Fairness (not yet supported on the Nanos), DPI (recently turned off to see if it could be causing the problems, but looks like that didn't help), and we are not blocking any LAN to WLAN Multicast / Broadcast data.

 

We are using multicast enhancement (IGMPv3), and I have not yet tried turning that off as I can't think of any way it could be causing this issue.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I believe a mob of angry teachers may lynch me any day now... Uhoh, here they come...

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Re: AirPlay problems after move to UniFi

I can't speak to the compatibility with the Nano but I have a number of AP-AC-Pro that have no issues with Airplay 1 and 2. Airplay is used often without interruptions. The wireless environment is fairly clean with little contention so perhaps you are experiencing conflicts with the frequency space or interference. Have you looked at the spectrum for the areas you try to stream from? I didn't note if you specifed the channel width or configuration but I'm using defaults for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz here.

 

That may not be of much help but it might provide more data points for debugging.

New Member
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎07-10-2018
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Re: AirPlay problems after move to UniFi

[ Edited ]

Good to hear this is working properly on other UniFi equipment, and thanks for the tips! Our environment is extremely clean. It's a suburban setting with a lot of trees and plenty of land, plus a cinder-block building clad in exterior metal means that we can't even *detect* any external WiFi whatsoever inside our building (and also get close to zero cell-phone signal, unfortunately). Also, we have zero overlapping 5ghz channels internally (reasonably good luck using DFS so far), so no issues there either. We use 40mhz 5g channels - our 5g network and 2.4g networks are on their own SSIDs, with the 2.4g side of things used only for guest devices.

 

I'm going to work on setting up a test-environment where I can dig-into the issue further. It's difficult to troubleshoot during the day as the equipment (and the classrooms) are so frequently in-use.

New Member
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎07-10-2018
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Re: AirPlay problems after move to UniFi

[ Edited ]

Is there a way I can move this to the WiFi section of the forum? I initially thought the problem was at the switch end of things (see first post), but it does now look like the issue may be specific to the Nanos.

 

Yesterday I managed to get some time to set-up a test:

 

- Apple TV (3rd gen) on Ethernet, connected to UniFi switch (see first post)

- 15" Macbook Pro connected to Nano 01 @ approx. 600 Mbps (10 ft. from Nano with no obstructions)

- Same 15" Macbook Pro was also tested with WiFi turned off and connected to Ethernet via. thunderbolt adapter

- Airplay in full-screen mirroring mode, playing a 1080p movie

- Very little other activity happening on the WAP at the time, possibly some light web-browsing by one staff member.

 

Results:

 

I was able to reproduce the occasional random "hitching" of video and audio when the laptop was on WiFi. It happened rarely and sporatically, and once dropped all audio for about a minute while video continued to play.

 

When switched to ethernet the problem went away completely. So looks like the issues is specific to being on WiFi (again, this wasn't a problem last year when using Apple's Airport Extremes).

 

Of particular interest is what I saw when monitoring the WAP in use:

 

The RF environment appears to be extremely clean, as previous tests have suggested (pic 3)

 

When pushing a very large zip file to the Laptop on WiFi (Nano 01) from a MacPro on Ethernet using ARD (Apple Remote Desktop) the WiFi gets pretty saturated, as it should. Monitoring that transfer with ARD, Activity Monitor, Network Utility, and Menu Meters suggests that the transfer is pushing as much data as it can, reliably, with no issue and only small fluctuations in speed. (pic 2)

 

However, when utilizing Airplay the WAP reports huge amounts of " interference." I switched back and forth between between Airplay protocol and pushing a file via. ARD and the same thing happens each time: the file copy shows up normally, but when Airplay is in use the Nano reports a significant amount of interference. (pic 1)

 

Thoughts? Guesses? Slap it with a rubber chicken?

 

Nano 01 - Airplay.jpgAirPlay from laptop on WiFi (Nano 01)Nano 01 - File Copy.jpgBasic file-copy from MacPro (ethernet) to same laptop on WiFi (Nano 1)Nano 01 - RF environment.jpg

Veteran Member
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Re: AirPlay problems after move to UniFi

I've seen this in other threads. The nano appears to have multicast problems, and just general problems. Have you tried different firmwares for the nanos? Maybe you can find a stable one
Regular Member
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Registered: ‎10-21-2016
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Re: AirPlay problems after move to UniFi

I may have become very polarized in bias against the NanoHD due to my first test HD for HD-WLAN deployment arriving virtually non-functional and while a request is open on it (bought directly from the UBNT store) and in the beta forums a UBNT employee is helping out since virtually every firmware has not worked and the AP has been nothing but a paperweight.

 

I have AC-HDs and AC-Pros; you are better off with them. Or really, anything other than the NanoHD. The NanoHD is taking a lot of heat for a lot of different issues - nothing as severe as mine but HDs and Pros have been trusty. The SHD has a security radio which is the only difference really. The XG gives you 10G but neither of those sounds like they'd be appropriate. 

 

I know one thing: I would advise anyone considering a NanoHD to not buy any and I completely regret even the test NanoHD purchase and I have never regretted a test device purchase because I've never bought a device I put into test which couldn't even perform its function in even the slightest capacity (it doesn't even transmit RF).

New Member
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎07-10-2018
Kudos: 5

Re: AirPlay problems after move to UniFi

I've decided to repost this in what now appears to be the correct forum:

 

https://community.ubnt.com/t5/UniFi-Wireless/Airplay-issues-with-Nanos/m-p/2562417/highlight/false#M...

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