Support Center Student Technical Support How to improve video playback

How to improve video playback

If you are experiencing choppy video playback or spending lots of time waiting for videos to load or buffer, these steps may help improve your ability to watch videos.

If the computer you are using is more than ten years old and has not been upgraded with more RAM or a better processor, then this is likely the cause for the video playback issues you are experiencing.

A slow internet connection may cause the issue as well. If you have a slow connection, it may not be enough to buffer the video in real time while you are watching it.

The first thing to test is your internet speed to see what kind of bandwidth you have available. You can do a free speed test at: The minimum download speed to stream video reliably is about 768 kilobits per second. This is equal to 0.768 megabits per second. We recommend a download speed of at least 5 megabits per second for an optimal experience. If upgrading internet speed is an option with your provider, it may be worth increasing your bandwidth.

A second test is to see if you have the same problem streaming video from other websites. Try watching a video on YouTube or a similar website to see if you have the same problem.

Here are some steps you can take to help improve your video experience:

  1. Restart your computer or device. Over time computers tend to pile on lots of background processes that can consume both RAM and bandwidth. If it's been over a week or if other programs seem slow, try a full restart.
  2. Try a different browser. In many cases, simply switching to a different browser fixes problems with streaming video. Options include: Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.
  3. Conserve hardware resources. Close all other browser tabs and windows. Close all non-essential programs.
  4. Conserve local bandwidth. Turn off all other devices, like smartphones, tablets or other computers that are sharing your internet. Bandwidth is a limited resource; each device can take up a share and most are always connected unless powered off.
  5. Use an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi. Hard-wire your internet connection using an Ethernet cable plugged directly from your computer into the internet router. A hard-wired connection (as opposed to a wireless connection) will significantly improve your speed.
  6. Let the video buffer. Click the play button on the video; then, immediately click the pause button. This will start the video buffering process, which you can watch happen on the control bar. This actually downloads the video to a temporary location in your browser, so you can let the video fully buffer and it will work as if you had downloaded the video onto the computer. Depending on your internet speed, sometimes just letting a small portion of the video buffer can be enough.

It may help to update your browser to the latest available version. See our browser support policy for more information.

We hope these steps will help improve your video watching experience. As always, please contact your Student Advocate by emailing if you have questions or need help.

Related Article: Troubleshooting Course Video Issues

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