Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Apple TV 3rd gen using tethering data for local files


Apple TV 3rd gen using tethering data for local files

I noticed that my tethering data plan was consumed when playing Disney Plus from my iPhone to my Apple TV 3rd generation with content I downloaded into my iPhone using WiFi into the Disney Plus app. 


As you know there is no Disney Plus app on a 3rd gen Apple TV and in order to play it to your Apple TV you must use local WiFi or peer to peer connection. 

Last night I played some downloaded content in my Disney Plus app on my iPhone and connected my Apple TV to my iPhone with tethering in order to locally play the downloaded content on my tv. 


This is morning I noticed my 2GB data was completely used up from locally tethering my iPhone. Even thought none of the data was ever downloaded over tethering hotspot or cellular but was local ally downloaded on my iPhone device from my friends WiFi. Again, Apple TV 3rd gen can not play Disney plus except thru airplay from iPhone device. 


I understand how local data works and streaming data works and how airplay works and streaming works. 

Example, if I wanted to play Netflix from my iPhone to my Apple TV tethering or mirroring won't work but the Apple TV requires that I use the Netflix app on my 3rd gen Apple TV to play. Yes that would use tethering data because the Apple TV has to download or stream data from my iPhone tethering account. Not so for airplaying videos and photos that are already downloaded into my iPhone. 


I've never had trouble before. I made sure that the Apple TV wasn't trying to connect to updates or iCloud or other services.  I have done this in time past between iPhone and computer copying GB of data between iPhone and computer without using tethering data because the connection is local and doesn't even need to travel to the cell tower and copy speeds between devices are like 30mbps speeds or higher way beyond my poor single bar cellular connection which speed tests show as 1mbps. 


Since when does Sprint now charge for copying local data that is already downloaded into my iPhone to a computer or in this case Apple TV via local WiFi? Airplay is using WiFi connection and not cellular connection. 

The only tethering data that my Apple TV would be using is minuscule amounts for movie thumbnails or checking activation of my device or keeping the clock in sync. I'm not signed into any cloud or apps or accounts so no caching is occurring. 


Please explain Sprint

Sprint Social Care

Re: Apple TV 3rd gen using tethering data for local files

Hello! I get what you're saying, if you were using Wi-Fi, your data should not be used, and also if you were able to make sure that your data was off while trying to download the content. Sometimes happens that when streaming from the phone to the TV, it can use data, but I'd like to access your account to help you with this. Send me a private message with the account holder's name, phone number, security PIN or the answer to the security question. Click on my name and select "send a message". 

Sprint Social Care

Re: Apple TV 3rd gen using tethering data for local files

Did some more experimenting. Looks like the problem is a bug in Apple TV 3rd gen so your off the hook Sprint. 


I have a tethering account with my work iPhone from a different carrier. I connected my Apple TV 3rd gen to that iPhone and used an app called AWidget to monitor cellular data. 

Like I said when the Apple TV starts it uses a few mb to load the screen and then it's quiet. 


I open my other iPhone on Sprint network  and WiFi airplay some downloaded content and it starts playing immediately because it's on my device but the other iPhone from the other carrier shows data being used at the same time; around 700kbps so for some reason the Apple TV is double dipping the data.  


So I deleted the downloads on my Sprint iPhone and started streaming again and the quality was very poor since its video content is no longer on my device and the other iPhone on the other carrier starts using data again but this time showing the lower bandwidth content all pixelated. 


Must be be some type of caching bug where the Apple TV 3rd gen thinks it has to download content simultaneously to playing downloaded Disney plus content.


Since where i live live there is no cable internet provider I have to use my hotspot just for email and pc usage. Been using my cellular data for quick streaming (poor quality) and using WiFi downloads from a friend house for videos to play offline later. 


For whatever reason the Apple TV won't airplay content without internet access even though the content is on my iPhone.  I could understand it using a small amount just verifying that I have permission to play the downloaded drm file. 


So I'll just turn off the Apple TV and go back to using my hdmi iPhone connector. That never gave me any trouble whether playing downloaded content or streaming and I don't need to turn on tethering. Just a hassle to use wires and plugs. 

Community News

Need Help? 
Please try Searching the Community, we have many questions already answered, you can also check out the Knowledge base.
If you have an account question you can create a post and one of our Social Care Agents will help you.
If you need immediate assistance please visit Sprint Chat