How to improve TV streaming quality on Netflix, Hulu and more

Popcorn is ready, everyone is settled, the movie is lined up…and nothing. A spinning icon in the middle of the screen tells you to wait, and then wait a little longer. Movies start in moments, minutes, never? There is no way to know.buffer problem stream media Video is a common problem that can cause unfortunate pauses in the middle of a show, a significant drop in quality, and sometimes even cause you to completely refuse to watch a show or movie.

This problem is exacerbated if multiple people are trying to watch different shows or someone’s games on different devices soaring meetings, etc.

Before slow loading and low resolution send you back to cable (Seriously, don’t do that), try these simple fixes. The faster the internet, the better the quality of your streaming, but there are many ways to make sure your device has the fastest internet connection possible.whether you are Xbox, game station, iPad, six six, fire tv, Apple TV or your app Smart TV. More here Settings changed on your streaming device and How to strategically cancel a streaming service To save money.

Upgrade your internet speed for better streaming

This is of course the most obvious, but when was the last time you asked how fast your provider is offering products now? If it’s been a few years, it may have a new service (maybe even fiber) that can greatly increase your download speeds.

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You need a download speed of at least 15Mbps 4K streaming, but really, you want a lot more than that. Other companies in your area may also have new providers or services. When I moved into my house, the phone company had the best option: a very fast DSL that was much better than the local cable provider. Now, cable companies are said to be offering six times the speed at 60 percent. I was able to save money and greatly increase my internet speed.

This is definitely the first place to start. If you stay with the same provider, it can often flip the proverbial switch without sending a technician to your door. After that, you will have faster internet. For example, if you switch your supplier from cable to fiber, the new supplier may have to send someone to your home to install it.

read more: Best Internet Service Providers in 2022

Upgrade Your Wi-Fi Streaming Hardware

The Wi-Fi router you get for free from your internet provider can be terrible. I upgraded my router the day before I installed the new Internet service, so I got 20% faster.Many providers even charge for their basic routers, so if your provider allows it, you can Save some money by buying a good long-term Reduce your bills thoroughly and monthly.

With an upgraded router, you may also get better coverage and a better signal in your home. So if you always have a bad connection at the back of the house, a better router might help.

A new or different router may also give you the option to connect over the 5GHz range (“normal” Wi-Fi is 2.4GHz). 5GHz is generally faster and less likely to be interfered by other devices. However, it also doesn’t go through walls. Our favorite all-around budget option is the TP-Link Archer AX21.

read more: The Best Wi-Fi Routers of 2022

Worth considering if your house is particularly large or if the walls appear to be lined with lead Mesh Wi-Fi System. These use multiple devices spread across your home, not a single device. CNET’s favorite mesh system is TP-Link Deco W7200.

read more: The Best Mesh Routers of 2022

Switch to Wired Ethernet

While convenient, Wi-Fi can be slow on some networks, especially if multiple people are streaming at the same time. Wired internet, aka Ethernet, is much faster and has no issues with walls, interference, or distance (well, not in the house anyway). While wiring can be annoying, it provides the most reliable connection and is at least worth using on your main TV.

Side view of the Roku Ultra

The Roku Ultra is one of our favorite streamers with built-in Ethernet.

Sarah Tu/CNET

Check your equipment if you want to use wires.Most streamers lack the ethernet port needed for a wired connection, but an inexpensive $15 USB adapter is available for Chromecast and Google TV and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. Unfortunately, most Roku devices don’t work with Ethernet.The exception is Roku Ultrawith built-in Ethernet port and Roku Express 4K, Roku Express 4K PlusStreambar and Smart Soundbar Pro, which all work with optional Ethernet adapters.

Streaming with built-in ethernet that doesn’t require an adapter is usually more expensive, but if you want a simpler connection or prefer Roku’s system, they’re probably worth it.Our favorite streamers with built-in Ethernet are Roku Ultra and Apple TV 4K.

Other options include Roku Ultra LTstandard Apple TV and Nvidia Shield TV. Most smart TVs and game consoles also have Ethernet.

move your router

Simply changing the location of your Wi-Fi router can help a lot. If it’s on or near the ground, or in a closet or on the far side of your house, you may be limiting signal and speed without realizing it. Wi-Fi can go through walls, but it makes a difference at heights and with fewer walls between the router and the streamer. If the router has an antenna, Positioning them correctly can also help (one vertical and one horizontal).

The same goes for the other end. It also doesn’t help if you keep the streamer in a cabinet. In a perfect world, the streamer would have a direct line of sight with the router. Of course it’s not necessary, but everything you put in between will degrade the signal and possibly slow down the speed.

Another version is to get a Wi-Fi booster, or run ethernet to a second Wi-Fi router (or the mesh option listed above). If your house is long or large, there are many options beyond the scope of this guide.

Limit the number of people using Wi-Fi

Think of your internet connection as a pipe full of water. There is only so much water around. If you’re trying to stream in the living room and the rest of the family is trying to stream in other rooms, there may not be enough “water” to move around. Everyone has problems.

Who takes precedence in this case, I’ll leave it to you. There is no way I can touch that.

That said, moving some devices to wired rather than wireless may help this aspect of your overall home network performance.You can also try downloading your favorite shows and movies to your device, such as Telephone and tablet You can watch it at home when streaming is unplayable due to a poor internet connection.

Test your streaming speed results

One Internet speed tester like speed test or Netflix fastnet Lets you know what you’re working on right now.if you use android or iOS version, make sure to keep your phone or tablet close to your streaming device for the most accurate results. For every change you make, test again and see how it affects the signal.

Many streaming issues can be resolved with these steps I describe. The point is to get the device the fastest possible internet by any means necessary.

For more information, check out Roku Tips and Tricks to Up Your Streaming Game and How to get rid of your old TV.

In addition to covering TV and other display technologies, Geoff takes photo tours of cool museums and locations around the world, including nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriers, medieval castles, epic 10,000-mile road trips, and more. Check out Tech Treks for all his travels and adventures.

he wrote a Best Selling Science Fiction about city-sized submarines, and sequel. You can follow his adventures Instagram and his YouTube channel.

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