Buffering

What is Buffering?
Buffering is the pre-loading of data. One common form of buffering occurs when your internet connection is too slow to stream a video in real time. So your computer will buffer the video data — starting playback when there is enough to prevent video lag. If you see this happen often, it might be time to upgrade your broadband speed or that you have too many things downloading at once.

When streaming video…
Different video streaming services often don’t use the same video quality to stream. For instance, Netflix has many adjustable rates where some of the lower speed internet connection can stream the video that Netflix offers. But if you try to stream SlingTV with the same slow connection you were using to stream Netflix, you going to have some issues. Below are some examples of what kind of Internet connection you need to stream specific types of video.

Streaming Provider
Minimum Bandwidth
Recommended Bandwidth
Netflix (http://www.netflix.com) 1.5 Mbps 3.0 Mbps
Vudu (http://www.vudu.com) 1.0 Mbps 4.5 Mbps Sustained
HULU (http://www.hulu.com) 3.5 Mbps 7.0 Mbps
iTunes / AppleTV (http://www.itunes.com) 3.0 Mbps Sustained 6.0 Mbps Sustained
Amazon (http://www.amazon.com) 3.0 Mbps Sustained 6.0 Mbps Sustained
SlingTV (http://www.sling.com) 5.0 Mbps Sustained 25 Mbps Sustained

Adjusting the Video Quality
Some streaming services allow you to adjust the quality of Video. For example, iTunes through Apple offers 2 different options when streaming a video through their services that will severely impact the performance of the video with your internet connection. Choosing SD (Standard Definition) over HD (High Definition) is going to require far less bandwidth than the HD and will load a lot quicker and buffer a lot less. This applies to Amazon and other video purchasing / streaming services.

Netflix has the option to force the video quality depending on what kind of internet connection you have. You can select which quality you prefer by going into:

Your Account > Playback Settings and adjusting it between the Low, Medium, and High qualities.

We recommend the Low setting for low bandwidth subscribers to prevent buffering.

Other things to Keep in mind
Buffering can come and go depending on what’s going on with the Internal Network. Multiple users streaming different movies at the same time can cause Buffering as well as other downloads happening at the same time the video is trying to stream. For instance, someone downloading a game for Xbox while someone else is trying to watch a movie off Amazon might buffer if you do not have the bandwidth for it.

I’m the only one on and it is still Buffering!
Proceed over to the Speedtest Page for more helpful troubleshooting advice.