How to Fix Video Streaming & Movie Buffering Problems
You are trying to enjoy a YouTube, Netflix, or any streaming movie / TV show service, but the video streaming's slow buffering lag is beginning to drive you mad. Of course, we all know the simple solution is to press pause and let the video finish buffering until it is fully loaded onto your computer. Well, I don't know about you, but that long wait is almost as unbearable as the video stuttering problems.
The only way I was able to stop buffering problems was to optimize and repair my Internet settings. Even though I have high speed Internet, this was still necessary.
Unfortunately, these are locked and hidden settings within Windows and can only be fully optimized through a downloadable program. Be careful though, there's more than a few malicious optimizers out there. I tried many, but there was only one Internet optimizer that ended my buffering lag. It stopped the video lag completely out of my movie buffering problem. It works on any service you are using because it changes the core settings on your PC, along with optimizing your browser for movies. Now I can watch my streaming videos, TV shows, and movies without any of those frustrating pauses and low buffer issues.
Here is a list of 6 things you can try to improve streaming video playback problems. Of course, you will usually have video stops and pauses if you're on an Internet plan which provides less than 2 Mbps of bandwidth - in such cases, you may want to consider upgrading your ISP's plan. Regardless, you should try all of the steps below, as you may improve your video playback enough to stop the annoyances. If these do not work out for you, consider adjusting your Internet settings with a downloadable optimizer as discussed in my update above.
Turn Off Hardware Acceleration in Flash and your Browser
This option may only give improvements if you have really slow hardware that actually hinders the display of the video - in these cases, the software acceleration may provide less video stutter and fix buffering problems. If you do have a low performance computer or video card, right-clicking within the video (Flash) will give you the option to turn off hardware acceleration. There will be a similar setting within the advanced settings of your web browser which may also help with buffering issues.
Right-Click in your video and select "Settings".
Then uncheck "Enable hardware acceleration".
Update your Web Browser and Video Card Driver
On a few video sites, Adobe's Flash Player is the driving force behind the streaming videos. Make sure you have the latest version of the FlashPlayer download for your web browser. Of course, HTML 5 is becoming the primary browser video solution on most sites. Make sure you have the latest version of your web browser - if it's not set on auto-updates already, consider doing that. Especially important if you're having video buffering problems with Google Chrome, microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox.
Just as important, you must have your most recent video card driver. It works in conjunction with your video streaming software to allocate resources on your PC, and you certainly do not want any video stutter inducing conflicts between them. After updating my Nvidia 1080ti driver, it helped the buffering problem a fair bit, but I didn't get it fully resolved until I optimized my entire PC and Internet with the top PC optimization software on that list.
Reduce the Quality of the Video
Not an ideal solution for those with large HD monitors, since you probably bought the large screen to enjoy HD video at full 1080p glory. However, if your monitor is under 24 inches, you probably will not be able to see much difference with a 720p feed compared to 1080p. The lower quality feed you choose, the less stress on your Internet connection to pull in the data, and that means less video stuttering and stopping.
If you're prone to watching the videos in the small on-page box within your browser, the quality should be set to 480p or lower. In these cases, viewing the video in an HD resolution is not going to improve quality enough to risk buffering problems and delays.
Isolate the Video Streaming
Stop any other Internet activity such as downloads, or open web pages and apps that may be continually updating such as sports scores, etc. Close any messaging or other programs that may be reducing your Internet speed.
If you have other devices hooked into your network such as gaming consoles or modern web-interactive BluRay players and televisions - they may be using some of your Internet bandwidth. This may cause slower than normal connection speed for the computer or device trying to stream the video.
Go a step further and close any running programs whether they use the Internet or not. Any interruption to your computer's processing cycles may cause video stuttering and buffering problems.
Use a Wired Connection when Streaming Video
You will usually get better streaming video performance from a direct wired connection as opposed throug WiFi. Of course, due to location circumstances, that is simply not always possible.
If you have to use wireless, try to locate the streaming device as close as possible to the wireless signal source because walls, floors, and other obstacles can greatly reduce the signal strength. You can also try adjusting the channel number within your wireless router settings to achieve a better connect.
The latest modems also have various bandwidth options such as 2.4 GHz (up to 600 Mbps) and 5 GHz (up to 1300 Mbps). While 5G is faster, it can struggle the further away you get from the modem, making 2G the better WiFi choice that's more reliable over longer distances. Its' longer band waves will go through walls more easily.
How I Completely Solved My Video Buffering Problem
Well, one thing I learned from my video buffer problems... it really is intolerable. So much so that I became obsessed with finding a permanent fix to eliminate them completely or at least reduce them to a much more tolerable level.
Software installs gone wrong or simply adding a toolbar to your browser can corrupt your Internet settings within the Windows' registry. Whatever does it, the corruption can stall your Internet speed and cause slow sluggish web surfing and video playback mayhem.
After researching the problem, one thing became clear, well many things actually. There are so many different configuration combinations for all of the Internet variables that it is almost impossible to manually find solutions for one specific PC.
Researching the Configuration Variables;
Take into account these variable when trying to eliminate video stuttering. Let's start with the different web browsers. If you've ever designed a web site, you know the tremendous task it is to make your site look similar in all of the popular web browsers. It took me a month just to adjust the code for this web site to work properly with the popular 5; Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Opera. The web browser you are currently using is just one of the variables that affects streaming video performance.
Other variables include your type of Internet connection (Cable, DSL, Dialup, etc.) and which ISP plan you are using. Then there's the hardware and its' settings. Varying differences in modems, routers, and Network Interface Cards (NIC). Add in the different Windows Editions and various versions, different Windows service configurations, and completely unique settings per user. There are no identical computers on the planet once we start installing, adjusting, and using our PCs. They are fingerprint unique after an alarmingly short period of time.
An Effective Solution for all of us;
So given these vast configuration differences, it's practically impossible to manually set our very unique computer to the most optimized state for the fastest and most stable Internet and computer performance. Unfortunately, it would only be mere luck if we were to stumble upon the exact settings needed, and that would be after many long boring days of research. It's becoming apparent, this is truly a job for a software solution that will be able to communicate with our computers on a byte by byte level.
My video buffering problem was solved thanks to a downloadable Internet optimizer with a built-in network optimization function. Now I can play full HD videos straight through while the buffering bar stays well ahead. A vast reduction in video stops and annoying buffering stutter. Just smooth perfect playback on just about every video. Best of all, there was a positive side effect, my entire PC is faster overall with quick responsive performance. Of course, my newly optimized Internet improved streaming video performance immensely, but it also helped with web pages loading faster, download speeds improving, and even my files upload faster when I update this web site.
A full PC and Internet optimization can automatically safely repair and adjust all of the relevant settings to the most positive state for your particular hardware and software setup. This includes the locked files on boot-up and others which can only be accessed and changed through software.
Learn to Fully Optimize your Unique PC Variables;
It only took me a few minutes to fully optimize my PC and Internet. It's been months of smooth performance ever since. Can't say I didn't have my doubts when I downloaded the optimizer - because I certainly did. Especially after testing various other ones that were shamefully inadequate.
Update: I recently bought a new PC for 2019, and using optimization software, I was able to eliminate any buffering pauses. Someone asked me if it's also needed on the newer computers, and the answer is a definite yes - the default PC settings are set for a wide range of uses including many services which most users never heard of. Software that includes both a PC and Internet optimizer will improve the important settings for perfect playback of streaming movies and videos, faster web surfing, improved downloading speeds, and boost overall system speed.
The great thing is the optimization is continual and remains until your PC is retired for a new one. Which brings up a good point. My old PC was over 7 years old and with a good optimizer installed, it ran like a champ until I recently got a newer one. However, even the new one benefitted greatly when I installed my Wise Care 365 Pro optimizer. So whether your PC is old or new, optimizing makes it much faster, more stable, and able to play videos and movies without buffering problems.