I am experiencing a lot of buffering when streaming
Buffering can be caused for different reasons. We first want to mention this cool tip, that a lot of people don’t know about. With some streams, the system will purposely buffer before playing the video. This is so it can load up a few minutes of the video in advance before playing. This tactic is so that the system ensures that the video will never stop or disrupt your viewing experience. BUT you can bypass this feature. If you have a good internet connection, you don’t really need to utilize this feature, so when you click on a video and find it to buffer before playing, simply click the PLAY button on your remote control, by doing that, it will immediately stop buffering and play the video straight away. Most stock remotes that come with these boxes do have a play button, but some do not. If yours does not, you will need to purchase an aftermarket controller from our store (we recommend them either way as they have more features and will make your experience much more enjoyable). HOWEVER, if the video stops to buffer DURING PLAYBACK, then please read on: First step is to check the speed of your internet connection. You can do this by going to www.speedtest.net, we recommend aMINIMUM speed of more than 7mbps for SD streams, and atleast 12mbps for HD streams. If your speeds are below these recommended minimums, then you should expect buffering issues. The MINIMUM connection in Australia for streaming is ADSL2+ (NOT standard ADSL). We recommend switching Internet Service Providers if you have ADSL2+ but are getting low speeds (in our past experience with some customers, some of the cheaper ISP’s such as DoDo and BELONG had slower speeds than ISP’s such as iiNet). Alternatively you can upgrade your connection. For example, if you have ADSL2+, check if there is CABLE BROADBAND available in your area, if not, check if the NBN is available in your area. These are faster internet connections (some customers think “unlimited” means the best internet, but that’s not true at all. We also recommend using an Ethernet cable rather than WiFi if you have a weak internet connection, for a better experience. (if you choose to use Ethernet, then you need to go back to the Android settings, and DISABLE WiFi, then ENABLE Ethernet, otherwise even if you plug the ethernet cable to the box, the box will still use WiFi). Another reason some video streams may buffer is due to the host of the stream. (outside of your control). For example, some apps that search the web for streams will give you a list of ‘hosts’ to choose from, in different resoultions such as SD HD 720P 1080P. Some hosts are better than others, infact, some HD 720P hosts stream FASTER than SD hosts. If you see a host that says “GVIDEO”, then please choose it – this is the most reliable host. It is more of a trial and error to find out which hosts are the best and most reliable. If one is not working well, simply move on to the next host. If you have ADSL2+ then you should not be trying to stream anything higher than 720P – this will ensure you will have no buffering at all. If you continue to have issues, please restart your internet router/modem (this does wonders) and can make your internet run faster. Simply pull out the power cable for your internet router/modem, wait 1 minute, then plug it back in. Once you plug it back into the power, you will not have internet straight away – you need to wait a further 5 minutes before your internet is up and running again. So don’t try to stream anything until 5minutes later. Another reason why buffering can occur is due to your internet dropping out/unstable connection. This is very hard to notice to the blind eye, as normal web browsing, facebook etc will still work fine on all your devices, and YouTube will still work fine on all your devices (this will give you the assumption that your internet is fine but the box is not working). This issue can only be noticed if you are trying to stream from a third party source. One way to see this issue for yourself, is, if you go to www.speedtest.net, and do an internet speed test, you will see that your download speed will go up then down then up again, then down again (not one stable CONSISTENT speed), this indicates a connection/drop out issue with your internet. All you need to do is call your ISP, who can check and confirm if you have a drop out issue OVER THE PHONE (for free), and depending on who your ISP is, they usually fix it for free. There are 2 reasons for drop out issues, the most common is a faulty internet router/modem, and the second is a LINE issue. At DroidWorld, we have had our router replaced by Optus 3 times in the last 2 years, as it was deemed faulty on 3 separate occasions. On all 3 occasions Optus sent their tech and tested our Line and replaced our router for a brand new one absolutely free. Though smaller ISP’s may or may not replace it for free, you will need to check with them. We were having buffering issues on a 100mbps cable connection (which was resolved when we got the new router). It is best to buy your own NETGEAR branded router/modem. The internet modem/router which your Internet Service Provider gives you is NOT DESIGNED FOR STREAMING, and of low quality. Buying a proper modem/router will do wonders for you. We now stock our favourite NETGEAR models in our online store – feel free to check them out.
Please note, all of the above information regarding buffering is mainly referring to ON-DEMAND VIDEOS. If you are having buffering issues with LIVE TV CHANNELS, some of the above information will still be applicable. But, the other factor which comes into play for LIVE TV CHANNELS, is where the stream is hosted, for example, if an Arabic Channel is coming from a Middle Eastern server, then, sometimes even if you have a good internet connection speed, it can still buffer, depending on the quality of their server, how many people are watching at the same time etc. Though most channels appear to play well really well, especially the USA, UK, Greek and Turkish channels. But it is not uncommon for some channels from other countries to occasionally have a buffering issue.