After days of intermittently searching for a way to stop the video stutter when playing HD videos, I concluded that all of the advice online, just simply went in far too many different directions - all ineffective.
After the frustration subsided, I eventually decided to surrender and just leave my PC alone to stutter, and pause its' way through streaming videos.
Then it happened – As I was doing my research and testing for the ultimate PC and Internet Optimizer, I was thrilled to finally discover a solution for my video buffering problem. All of a sudden my videos were playing much more smoothly after using the highest rated Internet optimizer software.
IMPORTANT UPDATE - The Internet Explorer browser has been replaced by Microsoft with the newer Edge browser. Please understand that using an older web browser, such as Internet Explorer, may be a security risk and leave your PC vulnerable.
Smoother HD Video Streaming with Less Buffering
Regardless of your browser preference, there is much to learn with the following “connection per server” registry edit to improve buffering. Whether you’ve always wanted to learn the basics of the Windows registry or even wondered why the hexadecimal base is an exciting component of computer programming – here’s your chance to fulfill those dreams.
OK, maybe I’m more excited about this than you are, but you will probably learn something by reading this post and that is something far too much of the web can not say.
If you still use IE, this tweak may help you to improve your video streaming stalls, pauses, and annoying timeouts. It may also help when you are using IE to download a multitude of files at the same time.
Registry Tweak to Improve Video Streaming
What does this tweak do? It opens more connections to improve video streaming and downloading of files through the older Internet Explorer browser. This may have been advantageous with older versions of IE that only kept two connections open.
In truth, today’s browsers have certainly adapted to the online media frenzy and have defaulted to a higher number of open connections.
However, for the sake of clarity, let’s see what this tweak actually changes. Maybe, we can learn from this registry tweak to understand today's current browser's handling of video streaming. If you’re still using an older IE browser or you somehow wrongly configured your current IE settings, either manually or through software, maybe this registry tweak can help you.
If you’re inspired to change anything in your Windows registry, or you just want to find out the reality of registry tweaking, please read my registry tweak warning. I performed this edit on my older Windows 7 64-bit computer, successfully re-booted, and easily reverted back with no problems.
However, your registry settings may vary from mine. You should always backup your Windows registry before making any changes. Any corruption may destroy your PC’s ability to boot-up.
Important: This registry tweak is only intended for the Internet Explorer web browser. On a personal note, I prefer other browsers such as Firefox, and Google Chrome. I am a former user of IE. After all, it was the most popular browser and I wanted to experience the web the same way the majority of my web site visitors did.
However, since the new version of IE switched the Favorites over to the right side, it has driven me away. How did they expect 10 years of habit to just fade away? At least give me the choice to plant the Favorites back to it’s normal left side position. Regardless, other browsers have caught up and are just as popular now.
Open RegEdit (Registry Editor) which is included with every version of Windows by typing RegEdit in the Windows search field (Start Icon bottom right of desktop) and select it. Once open, navigate to the following location in RegEdit.
FEATURE_MAX CONNECTIONS PER SERVER
Right-Click on “FEATURE_MAX CONNECTIONS PER SERVER” and mouseover “New“, then click on “DWORD”. If you have a 64 bit operating system, it will show “DWORD (32-bit) Value“. Do NOT choose “QWORD“.
In the right-pane, your DWORD entry will appear. Name it iexplore.exe and hit return. This is simply the image name of the Internet Explorer process (program). Now double-click on your newly created “iexplore.exe” and follow the instructions below.
When the “Edit DWORD Value” box opens, simply type in the letter a. Make sure the Hexadecimal Base is selected. Of course, to confuse the matter more, but for the sake of learning, you could also click the Decimal Base and use the value of 10 which is the decimal equivalent to a. Now, simply click OK and your value will be added into the Windows registry.
same procedure applies to the following registry location. Simply
create the same DWORD (iexplore.exe) and fill in the same values as
above in the
(FEATURE_MAX CONNECTIONS PER 1_0 SERVER) key – which is just above the first one (FEATURE_MAX CONNECTIONS PER SERVER) we did. If you look closely, the only difference is the 1_0 in the key name.
FEATURE_MAX CONNECTIONS PER 1_0 SERVER
Hold on there partner! Don’t close your registry editor just yet.
Before you close RegEdit, add both of these locations to your “Favorites” (in the RegEdit top tabs) so if you want to rollback your changes, you can easily delete the added DWORDs.
I prefer to name the RegEdit favorites with details such as “FEATPER added iexplorer.exe” and “FEATPER1 added iexplorer.exe” for the Favorite name when prompted. In this case, FEATPER is a short name I devised for FEATURE_MAX CONNECTIONS PER SERVER. Of course, this makes it easier to remember what changes I made to the registry – this tip may keep you out of trouble in the future.
Final Step: Close RegEdit and restart your PC for the changes to fully take affect.
Quick Learning Tip:
What is Hexadecimal?
Take a sip of coffee, please focus and follow closely – this is difficult to explain :-)
In short hexadecimal starts from 00 to 0F with 00 to 09 obviously the same as the decimal equivalent, however 0A – 0F are equal to #10 – #15 in decimal format. So 0D=#13, 0E=#14, 0F=#15, etc. Then the next hexadecimal number 10 would be #16 in the decimal base.
Hexadecimal gives programmers an optimized solution to code with numbers that range from #0 to #255 with a maximum of two digits instead of three, 00-FF vs 00-255. It starts to become valuable at the 3-digit decimal number of #100, which has a 2-digit hexadecimal value of 64. At #200 decimal, the hex value is C8 – so you can see we are saving a digit of code with every value over 100 decimal.
Basically, it means more streamlined code to communicate with the computer on a byte by byte level such as via assembly language using mnemonics. I love assembly language programming that optimizes the code to a super fast machine language level. Anyways, that’s basically what hexadecimal is and that’s why we programmers just love it. Now you probably sense where I get my passion for optimization software.
Back to the Video Playback Stutter Problems
It seems we have 3 options when trying to improve video streaming slowdowns.
1 – Have patience and pause the video until the file is fully loaded onto your PC.
2 – Try various changes to your video player settings, web browser, and even go as far as tweaking the Windows registry.
3 – Download a quality PC and Internet optimization program to improve the speed of everything you do online. As a machine language programmer, I have come to appreciate the massive amounts of optimization that can only be accomplished by a software solution – safe and easy.
I ran out of patience and went with option 3. It has been smooth streaming video performance ever since, as the buffering process stays well ahead of playback. Of course there are many other advantages to using a safe and effective optimizer, including faster surfing, downloading, gaming performance, and much more.
To get right to the point, everything installed on your PC and everything you do online is faster. Does it sound like I love Windows tuneup solutions? Well my PC is over 5 years old and I’m loving the new speed boost – just wish I had installed it sooner.