Buffering Solutions – Open

What causes buffering and what can you do about it? Read on!

1. What internet download speed is your tv box or Firestick getting? 

Run a speed test on your tv box or Firestick to both verify that it’s connected to the internet and to learn what download speed it’s getting. You may have a fast internet package but that doesn’t tell you what kind of download speed your tv box or Firestick is getting as that can vary depending on several factors. You may have run a speed test on your phone and gotten a fast speed but tv boxes don’t have the same wifi cards as phones do and usually won’t get the same speeds a phone can. This is troubleshooting and if you ignore this important first step, other tips won’t be effective.

What matters here is the speed your tv box or Firestick is getting so run the test on your tv box. It’s easy and will only take a few minutes.

On your tv box, open Chrome (which can be found on the main screen or under Apps) and type in fast.com. If you have a Firestick, scroll to Apps and look for Internet or Silk Browser. Open it and type in fast.com.

That website will run a speed test and give you your download speed. If you get an error message, your tv box or Firestick is not connected to the internet. Of course, if you’re not connected to the internet, nothing will play as all shows are streaming from the internet. For troubleshooting on why your wifi connection is dropping, click here.

Ideally, you want to see a minimum of 15 Mbps download speed, slower connections still work, but not as well. If your speed is lower, Real Debrid will help.

Know that download speeds are not set in stone and will vary as different factors come into play. If you are using wifi and someone closer to the router starts using wifi, the tv box’s speed may drop, if others are using a lot of internet in your household, speed may drop, if it’s a high internet usage time in your neighbourhood, speed may drop.

Generally, it’s ideal to hardwire your tv box using an ethernet cord to the router if you can. For a Firestick, you can get an ethernet adapter from Amazon.

Wifi is good but it’s not the best connection. If you can’t hardwire with ethernet but want a better internet connection, you can get one using a power line ethernet adapter. This is a device you can buy from Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, etc. Click here for more info on how a power line ethernet adapter works.

2. Next, do you have the most current apps and add-ons?

If you’ve purchased or completed a full update using the instructions under Customer Info in the last month, you can skip this paragraph and go on to the next one

If you don’t have up-to-date programming, you’re connecting to old, unmaintained links.

It’s easy to check and see what the current apps are and which version they’re at on our website.

Both TV Box Downloads and Firestick Downloads have a complete listing of the apps we’re currently using and their version numbers. You can compare these version numbers to what’s on your tv box or Firestick.

For a tv box, start on the main screen of your tv box, open Settings (may be a picture of gears). Scroll to Apps and click it. There you’ll see a listing of apps on your tv box. If you click an app, it will display its version number.

To check what version of apps you have on a Firestick, start on the main of the Firestick and scroll to Settings (the icon is a gear wheel). Arrow down to Applications and click it. Arrow down to Manage Installed Applications and click it. Scroll to an App and its version number will be displayed on the right.

If the version number of the app on your tv box or Firestick is lower than the one on the download page or you have apps on your tv box that are not on the download page, they’re out-of-date apps and should be uninstalled.

To install the latest apps, you can either follow the instructions under Customer Info, bring your tv box or Firestick to us, or book a remote update (tv boxes only). Android apps and Kodi add-ons can change from day to day, we don’t have any control over when they go down or update. Usually, they don’t, but it can happen.

3. Watch File Sizes

When using a Kodi add-on, you typically choose the top link and work your way down until you get a good link to play.

Some of the links in the streaming apps are labeled with a file size. Some aren’t so it’s good to know that a 4K file is going to be 4 times the size of a 1080 file and a 780p file will be smaller than a 1080p file. The more info that needs to flow to your tv box to display the show you want to watch, the more chance of buffering.

Choose a smaller file – If there is a link that says [2 GB] and others that say [500 MB], [400 MB], [350 MB], [250 MB], you can see that the [2 GB] file size is much bigger than the majority and the [2GB] in this case is not going to be a good choice for streaming.

The following numbers apply to non-Real Debrid links. Real Debrid links will be larger than non-Real Debrid links. If you have Real Debrid, you still need to watch the file size. I’ve seen Real Debrid links that were 63 MB. That’s a ridiculously big file!

1 GB is equal to 1000 MB, GB files are much bigger than MB files.
A typical movie will be 1.5 GB, a one-hour tv show should be 400-500 MB and a half-hour tv show about 200 MB.

4. Watch File Names

If a link doesn’t work for you or doesn’t play well, try the next one down. Be aware that the same link may be repeated several times in a row so look at the name of the link to make sure you’re not choosing the same link again. You can see in this photo that the top three links are all from the same source but have different file sizes. If the first link didn’t play well, don’t choose another link from the same source.

5. Try a different app or Kodi add-on

Our programming contains several streaming apps and Kodi add-ons for you to use. Can’t get a show to play on one app or add-on? Try another one!

6. Sign up for Real Debrid

If you have verified that your tv box or Firestick is getting a good download speed and has the latest apps and add-ons, you’re ready for Real Debrid! Real Debrid is a premium streaming service subscription that makes streaming a dream.

A 6-month subscription is 16 euros which is about $24 CAD. That breaks down to a cost of $4 a month for fast and easy streaming.

These days more and more people are streaming meaning more are connecting to the same public links resulting in streams that buffer and links that won’t play. This is where Real Debrid comes in. Real Debrid is a premium streaming service with its own pool of links accessible only to subscribers. Not only do you get access to links others don’t, but Real Debrid also pushes their content to you faster than free sources do, meaning shows start quickly and are much less likely to buffer.

Real Debrid links are easily identifiable as they show up coloured instead of white (in the streaming apps) or are labeled RD, Real Debrid or Premium (in Kodi add-ons) which takes the guesswork out of which one to choose.

For those wondering if they should sign up for an IP blocker, there’s no need to with Real Debrid. Real Debrid functions as a VPN (virtual private network). This means when you connect to a Real Debrid link, your ISP (internet service provider) can only see that you have connected to Real Debrid’s servers. They do not see what you are streaming.

You will need to have the latest programming on your tv box or Firestick. Nothing will make out-of-service apps work. If it’s been a while since your tv box was last updated with the latest streaming apps and Kodi add-ons, update before syncing your tv box with Real Debrid.

To update, you can use the step-by-step instructions under Customer Info, bring your tv box or Firestick to us to update or book a remote update (tv boxes only).

Contact us for info on how to sign up for Real Debrid and connect your Real Debrid subscription to the apps and add-ons on your tv box or Firestick.

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