Airplay, wi-fi and related questions before purchasing an Apple TV

tvOS and Apple TV Apps
I'm thinking about using an Apple TV as an airplay device to play audio from my iPod Touch over the PA system at gigs so that everyone won't have to hear VoiceOver and the audio constantly auto-ducking for it. The problem I have is that most of the places we play do not have wi-fi, and from what I understand, airplay only works with wi-fi. I've thought about using the personal hotspot feature on my iPhone so that there could be a wi-fi connection between my iPod Touch and an Apple TV, but I only have 300 MB of data a month with the plan I'm on, so I don't know if this is an option. I won't be using the airplay mirroring feature since I only need the Apple TV for audio. My questions are: 1. How much celular data would I be using on my iPhone if I used it's hotspot connection to airplay audio from my iPod to an Apple TV? 2. Is it possible to use the wi-fi from a router that isn't connected to the internet for airplay?



Submitted by DPinWI on Monday, March 3, 2014

While I haven't done this exact scenario, what you suggest should not use any of your cellular plan's data. The communication is all over WiFi. The only hitch I see is whether the iPhone's WiFi hotspot insists you have cellular data turned on. I've considered doing this for the exact reason you suggest. Getting audio to a PA, while having access to Voice Over. The few times I've done Airplay from my iPod Touch 4 to an Apple TV, I had issues with brief drop outs. I wasn't able to figure out why. It's not something I would want to deal with on a show, so I mention it. But hopefully it's not an issue for you.

On the iPhone, celular data has to be turned on in order for the personal hotspot to work, otherwise the button is dimmed. That's why I'm concerned about data usage. I've noticed the signal drops on my dad's Apple TV, but he shares a wi-fi with his neighbor, and the signal strength of the wi-fi at his Apple TV is poor, so that could explain it. I may try the iPhone's hotspot with Dad's Apple TV the next time I'm over there, to see if there are still signal drops, and to see how much if any celular data it uses when airplaying audio.

Hello. using airplay shouldn't generate any traffic at all to the external network as it is only local. You should count in though, that while cellular data is turned on, your phone probably accesses it (all the services like push, location services, update checks etc) go out there to download information. If you connect your apple tv to your phone, the tv accesses the web as well. I am not shure of how much traffic is generated, but I am afraid you can't stay at 0 with this configuration.

I've done a little research on the personal hotspot feature on the iPhone, and from what I've found, it seems to be a little slow, which is not good when dealing with audio. I do have another idea, but I need to be 100% sure it will work before I do it. I'm thinking about getting a wrouter, and setting up what I call a dummy network, that is a local wi-fi network without an external internet connection. If this idea works, it would prevent the Apple TV from checking for updates, etc, and using up my 300 MB of celular data. I could log my iPod Touch and the Apple TV onto the dummy network and still airplay my iPod Touch even though no internet connection is available. Can I be sure that this idea will work?