Now that streaming video has become one of the most popular cable TV alternatives, your choice of streaming device is even more important than your choice of TV manufacturer. Different streaming devices tend to have a few special tips for avoiding buffering.
Depending on which device(s) you use for video streaming, try these tips for a smoother experience.
One commonly reported issue with the Amazon Fire TV Stick is it overheating, which causes slow, interrupted video streaming. To correct this problem, pull out the Fire TV Stick and let it cool.
If your Amazon Fire TV Stick is buffering, there are a few specific tips to improve your device’s performance:
- Check for Fire TV device updates (Settings > My Fire TV > About > Check for System Update).
- Restart your Fire TV device (Settings > My Fire TV > Restart).
- Clear the cache and data of the app (Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications, select the app > Clear Cache, and then Clear Data).
- If your device is still buffering, you could consider resetting the Fire TV Stick to its factory defaults. This will remove all in-app purchases and other downloaded content. To do a factory reset:
a. Safely eject expandable storage (if needed).
b. On your remote, press and hold the Back arrow key and the right side of the navigation circle together for 10 seconds.
c. The TV screen will ask you to choose to Continue or Cancel the factory reset. Choose “Continue.”
d. If you do not choose “Continue” or “Cancel,” after several more seconds, the device will reset automatically.
Roku devices host multiple channels, so if you’re experiencing buffering, try a different channel and see if the issue persists. If the buffering seems to be happening only on one channel, try this:
- Remove the channel from the Roku home screen.
a. Go to the channel tile.
b. Press the * key on your remote.
c. Choose “Remove channel.”
d. Restart your Roku device at Settings>System>System restart.
e. After your Roku device restarts, add the channel to your Roku home screen again.
2. If the channel is still buffering after the restart and re-adding, contact that channel provider directly and ask for support. Many channels on Roku are maintained by those other channel providers, not by Roku.
If your Roku device is buffering on multiple channels, try restarting the Roku or resetting to factory presets.
Apple TV users don’t report many buffering issues. In general, Apple TV devices only buffer if your internet connection is too slow to keep up with the demands of the streaming video.
If your internet speed is lower than required for the Apple TV stream, Apple TV content will not automatically adjust its quality. This is different from other streaming services like Amazon or Netflix, which offer automatic video quality reduction for viewers with slower internet service.
So if Apple TV content is in HD or 4K, and your internet service doesn’t have enough speed to show that content, Apple TV will not reduce its video quality to accommodate your internet speed. Check your internet service and make sure it has the right speed to support Apple TV.
If you’re streaming video on a laptop, many of the tips to stop buffering are the same as mentioned previously in this article. Find the instructions for your computer’s manufacturer (Apple, PC, etc.) and try these possible fixes to stop buffering on your laptop:
- Close extra applications, programs, and background tasks.
- Reduce video quality to lower resolution.
- Check for viruses and malware.
- Clear out your browser cache, cookies, and history.
- Update your video system’s graphics card drivers.
- Plug in your laptop to an Ethernet cable.
- Reset your router.
Android phones face the same challenges as any devices that use mobile data for video streaming. Try these quick fixes to stop buffering on your Android:
- Use Wi-Fi instead of mobile data (if possible) for faster speed.
- Close other apps that are using data behind the scenes.
- Reduce the video quality.
- Disconnect other devices that are sharing your Wi-Fi network.
- Keep your Android phone software updated.
- Check the Google Play Store for updates to the video streaming app.
- Clear the video streaming app’s cache and data.
There are a few suggested tips to stop buffering on your iPhone:
- Try watching similar videos on different apps. For example, is the video buffering only within a certain video streaming app? Or is it also happening to videos on the Safari mobile browser?
- Try watching videos on your Wi-Fi network, as well as on cellular data. It could be a network-specific issue.
- Restart your iPhone.
If restarting the iPhone does not solve the buffering issue, try these other general fixes:
- Check for iPhone software updates.
- Check the App Store for updates to your video streaming apps.
- Check your internet connection, available cellular data, and internet speed.