What causes buffering and what can you about it? Read on!
1. What internet download speed is your tv box getting?
Run a speed test on your tv box to both verify that it’s connected to the internet and to learn what download speed it’s getting. It’s not helpful to say, I have a fast internet package or I did a speed test on my phone and it was fast there or my box used to work fine. 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 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 (can be found on the main screen or under Apps) 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 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.
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 week, go to 3. Get Real Debrid
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.
Download Page B has 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.
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.
If the version number of the app on your tv box is lower than the one on Download Page B or you have apps on your tv box that are not on Download Page B, they’re out of date apps and should be uninstalled.
To install the latest apps, you can either follow the instructions on Customer Info, bring your tv box to us, or book a remote update. 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. If you’re using the Kodi add-ons Tubetime or Magic Dragon, sign up for Real Debrid
If you have verified that your tv box has 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 labelled 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. 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 to us to update or book a remote update.
Use this link to learn how to get Real Debrid and connect your Real Debrid subscription to the apps and add-ons on your tv box.
4. 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 labelled 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 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.
If a link doesn’t work for you, 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, 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!