January 17, 2021
How to improve TV streaming quality on Netflix, Hulu and more

How to improve TV streaming quality on Netflix, Hulu and more


d-link-dir-867-router-promo-shot

Is your Internet straining with everyone locked down at home? Maybe it’s time for a new router.


Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Most of us are finding ourselves at home a lot more right now. One small consolation of coronavirus stay-at-home orders is being able to catch up on all the great TV and movies we’ve been meaning to watch. Unfortunately, if everyone in the house is trying to watch their own stream of Netflix it’s possible, perhaps even likely, that you’ll suffer buffering, pauses and reduced video quality. 

Before slow loading and low resolution make you go all Jack Torrance, there are some steps you can take to improve the quality of your stream, be it on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or anywhere else. These tips work whether you’re streaming on an Xbox, PlayStation, iPadRoku, Fire TV, Apple TV or the apps in your smart TV.

For the most part, the faster the Internet, the better your streaming quality. But there’s lots of ways to make sure your devices have the fastest possible Internet.

fast-com-netflix.png

Netflix’s Fast.com site lets you quickly test your connection speed.


Screenshot by Josh Goldman/CNET

1. Upgrade your internet speed

This is certainly the most obvious, but when was the last time you asked your provider how fast its offerings are now? If it’s been a few years, it likely has new services (maybe even fiber) that could greatly increase your download speeds. 

You need at least 15Mbps download speeds for 4K streaming, but really, you want a lot more than that. It’s also possible there are new providers or services from other companies. When I moved into my house, the phone company had the best option, a pretty fast DSL that was way better than the local cable provider. Now, said cable company has six times the speed at 60% of the price. I was able to save money and increase my internet speed quite dramatically.

This is definitely the first place to start. If you stay with the same provider, usually they’ll be able to flip the proverbial switch without sending a tech to visit your home. Afterward you’ll have faster Internet. If you switch providers, from cable to fiber, for example, they’ll probably have to send someone to your house to install it, and most companies likely won’t be able to do that right now.

Read more: Stuck at home watching TV? Here are the best streaming devices to help

2. Upgrade your router/hub

The Wi-Fi router that you get for free from your Internet provider is likely terrible. I upgraded my router the day before my new internet service was installed, and I got a 20% boost in speeds just from that. Some providers even charge for their crappy routers, so you could save some money long-term by buying a good one outright and reducing your bill a bit each month.

tp-link-ad7200-router-0499-001.jpg

Nest Wi-Fi is our favorite mesh router system.


Josh Miller/CNET

You’ll also likely get better range and better signal throughout your home with an upgraded router. So if you’ve always had a bad connection in the back of the house (or wherever), a better router might help that.

A new or different router might also give you the option to connect via the 5GHz range (“normal” Wi-Fi is 2.4GHz). 5GHz is generally faster and has less chance of interference from other devices. However, it doesn’t go through walls as well.

Here are CNET picks for the best Wi-Fi routers. Our favorite all-around budget option is the D-Link AC1750 ($100). 

If your house is particularly large, or the walls seem to be lined with lead, it’s worth considering a mesh Wi-Fi system. These use multiple devices spread around your home instead of one single device. CNET’s favorite mesh system is Nest Wi-Fi ($270). 

3. Switch to Ethernet

Though convenient, Wi-Fi can be quite slow on some networks, especially if multiple people are streaming at once. Ethernet (wired internet) is a lot faster and doesn’t have issues with walls, interference or distance (well, not in a house anyway). Though running wires can be annoying, it provides the most reliable connection. And now that you’re stuck at home it makes a good weekend project.

roku-08.jpg

The Roku Ultra is one of our favorite streamers with Ethernet built in.


Sarah Tew/CNET

If you want to use a wire, check your device. Most streamers are lack the Ethernet port required for a wired connection, but cheap $15 adapters are available for Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. Unfortunately Roku doesn’t sell an official adapter itself.

Streamers with Ethernet built in, no adapter required, are generally more expensive but could be worthwhile if you want a simpler hook-up or prefer Roku’s system. Our favorite streamers with built-in Ethernet are the Roku Ultra ($100) and Apple TV 4K ($180).

Other options include Roku Ultra LT, the standard Apple TV and the Nvidia Shield. Most smart TVs and game consoles have Ethernet, too.

4. Move stuff

I don’t mean your TV, but moving your Wi-Fi router could help a lot. If it’s on or near the ground, in a closet, or at the far end of your house, you could be limiting the signal and speed without even realizing it. Wi-Fi can go through walls, but being high up and with fewer walls between the router and streamer will make a difference. If the router has antennas, positioning them correctly can also help.

The same is true on the other end. If you’ve got the streamer in a cabinet, that’s not helping either. In a perfect world, the streamer would have a direct line of sight with the router. This isn’t necessary, of course, but everything you place between the two of them decreases the signal and potentially lowers the speed.

An alternate version of this would be to get a Wi-Fi booster, or run Ethernet to a second Wi-Fi router (or the mesh option listed above). If your house is long or large, there are lots of options beyond the scope of this guide.

5. Kick the kids (off the Wi-Fi)

Think of your internet connection as a pipe full of water. There’s only so much water to go around. If you’re trying to stream in the living room, but the rest of the family is also trying to stream in other rooms, there might not be enough “water” to go around. Everyone will have issues.

Who gets priority in that case, I’ll leave up to you. No way I’m touching that one.

That said, moving some devices to wired instead of wireless might help that aspect of your overall home network performance. You might also try downloading your favorite shows and movies to devices such as phones and tablets to watch around the house when a balky internet connection precludes streaming.

Test your results

An internet speed tester like Speedtest or Netflix’s Fast.com can give you an idea what you’re dealing with now. If you use the Android or iOS version, make sure you place the phone or tablet near the streaming device to get the most accurate result. With each change you make, test again and see how it affected the signal.

Many streaming problems can be solved with these steps I’ve described. The key is getting the device the fastest Internet possible, by any means necessary.


Got a question for Geoff? First, check out all the other articles he’s written on topics such as why you shouldn’t buy expensive HDMI cablesTV resolutions explainedhow HDR works and more.

Still have a question? Tweet at him @TechWriterGeoff, then check out his travel photography on Instagram. He also thinks you should check out his best-selling sci-fi novel and its sequel.





Source link

107 thoughts on “How to improve TV streaming quality on Netflix, Hulu and more

  1. You could definitely see your expertise in the article you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.|

  2. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your web site in web explorer, could test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a big component to other people will pass over your wonderful writing due to this problem.|

  3. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, excellent blog!|

  4. Thank you for any other wonderful post. Where else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal manner of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the look for such info.|

  5. Hi, i feel that i noticed you visited my blog thus i got here to return the prefer?.I’m attempting to to find things to improve my web site!I guess its good enough to use a few of your ideas!!|

  6. This is the perfect web site for everyone who wishes to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic which has been discussed for decades. Great stuff, just excellent!|

  7. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re wonderful! Thanks!|

  8. Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol|

  9. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will come back very soon. I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a nice afternoon!|

  10. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!|

  11. Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!|

  12. After checking out a number of the blog posts on your web page, I honestly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my web site too and tell me how you feel.|

  13. Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new tothe blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any html coding expertiseto make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  14. When employers move / allow their employees to go a private exchange, does that mean that the employer then pays the fine for not offering coverage? If they also provide a defined contribution, does that somehow satisfy the play or pay issue?Thanks,

  15. obviously like your web-site but you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts.A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to inform the reality on the other hand I’ll certainly come back again.

  16. Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! Whathost are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  17. 5 stars –based on 23165 reviewsBalayageVrei un BALAYAGE De ce sa nu arati ca in revista? La Salon Jovial ai garantia ca parul tau va arata mai bine ca niciodata!balayage cu suvite, balayage ombre, balayage pe par natural, balayage bucuresti, salon balayage+40748149599Strada Sfanta Vineri 25Bucuresti,RO030205Romania$$__________________________________________________________

  18. Hey there I am so happy I found your web site, I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Yahoofor something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a marvelous post anda all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all atthe moment but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when Ihave time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please dokeep up the great job.

  19. テラスハウス セックス セックス 見 られ た アナルセックス 男性アナル 性感 帯 中高年の性生活 二次エロニュース 出会い 系 割り 無料 アダルト 動画 世界 のセックス 動画 エロ ガンゲイル 痔 セックス デート セックス 二ちゃんねるまとめ 面白い カップル 子作り 結婚条件 ランキング マッチングアプリ グラマーアダルト動画 貧 マッチングアプリ 仕組み 夜の営み夫婦 無料 素人 sex 夫婦 セックス 楽しみ方 マッチングアプリ 顔出しなし 人を探すアプリエロ 安全 マッチングアプリ ライン お尻 セックス 彼女 性欲 アナルセックス 東京 女装 セックスおすすめ アプリ 外人 潮吹き オナニー日本人 アナル アナルセックス xvideos 2穴挿入 友達 セックスアダルト動画 vr 腹筋崩壊 画像 無料 安心 av がぞーまとめ えろビデオネット 人を探すアプリ アダルト動画 投稿 収入 ナビアプリ 比較 セックス jk まとめブログ 課金ランキング アプリ アダルト動画 ブックマーク スマホ 出会いアプリ えっち まちこ 絵ログチャンネル

  20. Great work! That is the type of info that should be shared around thenet. Disgrace on the search engines for no longer positioningthis submit higher! Come on over and talk over with my website .Thanks =)

  21. best dating website for south asian catwoman sexiest dating sites that are really free usdating sites review hidden emoji meanings sexual best secret dating sites top dating sites in america sex sentme to the er tlc best phone sex looking for free dating sitethe porn dude sex fantasy dating site for france expats wealthy man dating site latinas porn online dating conversation starters with a girl toronto onlinedating reviews real sex hbo episode guide sudanese sex international dating sites for men young christian dating apps foreign dating site what is best online dating site watskysloppy seconds album weed ruins sex drive hairy sex german dating sites freeonline dating in ireland free thai porn dating websites online free sex styles to satisfy your husband sex panther cologne gif sextortion webcam top lesbian dating sites usa datingsex website sex questions to ask a guy rough porn videos sex in public charges tx ginger man dating site golf dating site how to sign up for online dating east london dating app best dating site to get laid girl girl sex adventures in group sextruckers dating site lupe fuentes porn intimate porn cheap christian dating sites cuckold porn largest dating website in the world

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *