You’re in the middle of an episode of your favorite TV show when all of a sudden, the video starts buffering. Finally, it comes back to life – but without sound. For the next few minutes, you’re only hearing pieces of an important conversation between the two main characters because your audio keeps cutting in and out.
Streaming problems can be frustrating. These four tips can help.
I know, I know – you hear it all the time. When anything goes wrong with electronics, the first thing you’re told to do is restart everything. And as cliché as it may be, it works. It doesn’t work all the time, but there may just be a glitch in the matrix that’s causing your streaming snafus. A quick restart may be all that’s needed to fix the problem.
Here’s how to restart some of the most common streaming devices:
Using your Roku remote, navigate from the Home Screen to System. Select System Restart. Select Restart.
If your system is frozen, you can restart through your remote by:
It may take a few seconds for the system to initiate the restarting process. Wait a few minutes for your Roku box or stick to turn off and on.
There are a few ways to restart your Apple TV. The simplest method is to go to Settings > System > Restart. This method will work on all generations of the Apple TV.
You can also restart using your remote.
Alternatively, you can unplug your Apple TV, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in.
The Amazon Fire Stick can be restarted by unplugging the device, waiting for 30 seconds, and plugging it back in.
You can also restart using your remote:
Alternatively, you can navigate to Settings > Device > Restart from the Fire TV menu.
There are two ways to reboot a Chromecast device.
The first method is through the Google Home app.
The second method is through the power source.
There are a few ways to restart Android TV devices.
The first method is using the remote.
The second method is through the TV menu.
The third method is to unplug the power cord.
If restarting your device doesn’t work, try checking your Internet connection. Maybe your Internet is down, or the modem/router got unplugged somehow. If you’re having bad weather, there’s a good chance that your Internet is down or will be slower than normal.
You can check your internet connection on the modem itself, or you can check to see if you’re still connected through your smartphone.
If your Internet is still up and running, it may just be a slow connection. A slow connection will make it difficult or impossible to enjoy smooth streaming. Try an online speed test (AT&T has one) to see if a slow connection is causing the problem.
Also, check to see how many devices are connected to the Internet and are in use. If you’re trying to stream a movie and your roommate is trying to download a game on Steam, you may have trouble streaming. You can try disconnecting some of your devices if that’s the problem.
If your Internet connection is fine and restarting doesn’t work, then it may be a problem with your streaming service. Maybe the service is having technical difficulties that’s disrupting your stream.
Check any other streaming services you may have to see if they’re working properly. Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube are pretty reliable. If you’re able to stream just fine on these platforms, it may just have been an issue with whatever streaming service you were using.
In this case, your only real option is to stop using the service for a while. Even the biggest streaming services have issues from time to time, so just be patient and try again later. If the problem persists, you may want to contact customer support to let them know there’s an issue.
If you’ve exhausted all of your other options, you may need to buy a new streaming device. I had this problem with a Fire Stick that was about five years old (first-generation model). Whenever I tried watching anything on Netflix or Amazon Video, it would glitch, skip scenes and the audio would cut in and out.
I thought it was my Wi-Fi, but as it turned out, it was the Fire Stick itself. I bought a new one, and I haven’t had the problem since.
Just like any other electronic equipment, streaming devices will eventually wear out. It may just be time to upgrade and buy a new device.
I hope these tips help solve your streaming video issues. If not, you may want to take a closer look at your Wi-Fi set-up. Maybe your TV is situated in a dead zone in your house. In this case, a Wi-Fi booster may help fix the problem.