Q. I like to watch videos from Netflix and Hulu on the Internet. But today I started getting really bad buffering while looking at the new season of Narcos on Netflix. The picture kept being interrupted by the buffering screen, you know what I mean? Is there anything I can do to prevent this? — Laurie, Chesapeake, Virginia
Laurie, Netflix and Hulu normally do a very good job of providing a reliable and consistent picture on their subscription Video on Demand services. But watching video streamed on the Internet is not like watching it on a cable or satellite TV service, or via a TV antenna. It’s more prone to picture interruptions because the Internet itself is more prone to technical glitches, either on your end or on the company server that is delivering the video.
But there are some things you can do to prevent frequent ‘bufferings.’ In fact, Netflix’s web site support page offers these three steps:
1. If you are on a work, school, public WiFi, cellular or satellite network, check with your network administrator or Internet Service Provider to make sure streaming services such as Netflix are supported, or try another network. If streaming is supported, your router manual, network administrator or service provider is the best resource for troubleshooting possible issues.
2. Powercycle your network: Turn off your streaming device (Smart TV, Blu-ray player, Roku, Apple TV, etc.) and unplug your router and modem for 20-30 seconds. Plug in your modem and let it fully power up, then turn your streaming device back on.
3. Improve your wireless signal strength: Walls and other electronic devices in your home, or other wireless networks in your immediate area, could be interfering with your router’s wireless signal. Try moving your router to a new location to improve the signal strength. If that doesn’t help, change the wireless channel your router uses. And if that doesn’t work, plug your device directly into the router with an Ethernet cord, which offers the best connection.
Laurie, hope that helps. Happy viewing!
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