Judy has a ten-year-old Sony Bravia TV with an original AppleTV. But it buffers a lot. Would a newer Apple TV eliminate that? Leo says it's more likely your internet connection, but it could also be your wifi connection to the Apple TV. There could be a lot of congestion on that 2.4 GHz band. It's time for a new Apple TV, for sure. How does she enable subtitles with her TV? Leo says you have to do it in the Apple TV as well.
Steven has a wireless HDMI connection to stream from his computer to his TV. Some times it "hiccups" or even crashes. Leo says that wireless HDMI really isn't that good. What's happening is that the video packets are being dropped and the TV just moves forward if he doesn't get it all in order. So it may wait until it gets the latent packet, or just move on without it. That's why streaming tends to buffer up to 30 seconds in order to wait for a dropped packet. When the buffer drops to zero, it'll rebuffer to get back ahead.
David is having trouble with constant buffering with Netflix on his PS3. But it doesn't do it with subtitles. What gives? Rich says the first thing to look at is what has changed before the buffering began. Often, a change can cause those things. Rich also recommends going to FAST.com and test your internet speed. Rich also recommends uninstalling the Netflix app from David's PS3 and then reinstall it. Also, make sure that the PS3 is updated. Rich suspects that an update may not have been completely installed and uninstalling and reinstalling usually clears things up.
Sharon has a problem listening to streaming audio and video at home and suddenly, the stream stops for 30 seconds and then comes back on. What's going on? Leo says that's usually a buffering issue. If the internet connection drops out or isn't keeping up, then users get buffering. The internet wasn't really designed for heavy streaming and as such, buffering can occur when the stream needs to catch up. But it's gradually becoming a thing of the past. But another issue is that if she is signed up with DSL, she may be too far away from the central hub and that's causing the buffering.
Brian upgraded his WiFi router network, but he's still running into buffering and congestion. Leo says first check to see if your connection is the issue by bypassing the router and wire the modem directly into your laptop. Run a speed test and see how it works. Once you've eliminated the cable connection, then you can look to your hardware. But it could also be good old fashioned neighborhood congestion. If you look at your wifi connection, you can see how many wifi devices your router sees. It's not only everyone streaming Netflix anymore.
Louis is watching baseball games streaming online and sometimes the feed stalls. Leo says that's called buffering, and sometimes a packet drops and the feed will wait to see if it shows up out of order. Then it will insert it and move on. Sometimes, though, it just gives up and continues. There are some causes of this, including congestion from a wireless connection. But Louis can get a dual band router and use the 5Ghz band, or just connect to the router with an ethernet connection. The stream will be more reliable that way.
Midnight Rider is having trouble streaming video on his phone, but he can watch the stream on his laptop. Leo says there are different ways to watch the TWiT stream. He could watch through Ustream, YouTube Live, Twitch, etc. For Mobile, Leo recommends the YouTube app.
Neil has cable based internet with 300 Mbps down, which should be great for streaming. But when he tries to use live TV, he finds the buffering makes streaming unwatchable. It's not the same with video on demand, though. Leo says that 300 Mbps is the "ideal" rate and it's always "up to" that amount. Leo recommends running a speed test from SpeedTest.net to see what he's really getting. DSL Reports has a really accurate speed test as well.
Mike is frustrated that his internet access is going through a lot of buffering, especially when he's streaming. Leo says a router needs to control his ethernet connection, not a modem. It's the one assigning IP addresses. Then he can put routers all over the house, but have them set in bridge mode so that they just pass the bandwidth along. Mike should try using different names for his routers, too. That way, he can join the nearest ones directly. Getting a mesh router is also be a good idea. They aren't cheap, but they definitely solve the problem.
Bret says that watching the TWiT Stream on his tablet buffers while his desktop doesn't. Leo says that the tablet is likely not powerful enough and has to buffer. It fills up the memory with frames so he can stay ahead of the stream, and if he's watching a higher resolution stream, that takes up even more room. His PC has larger memory buffers to handle it with no hesitation, but it can buffer as well, depending on the network traffic. Both will also get dropped packets.