TV Answer Man, I know people say the Sunday Ticket didn’t have streaming issues last week but I did and so did a lot of other people who posted complaints on Twitter and Reddit. The picture froze several times and had a little delay issues. What can you do to stop buffering during the Sunday Ticket? Please help. — Mark, Canton, Ohio.
Mark, YouTube had widespread buffering issues during week eight of the NFL Sunday Ticket but most people do say it was much improved during the last two weeks. As a Sunday Ticket subscriber, I would concur with that. I did not notice any picture freezing or black screens while watching the games. However, that does not mean the stream was perfect for all. Some fans did register their complaints on X and other social media sites, saying the buffering was as bad as it was in week eight.
Why would some fans have issues while most did not? It’s the nature of live streaming. Due to a variety of reasons, including server issues, faulty home Internet service, production glitches and others, a live stream is rarely perfect for 100 percent of homes. In fact, I can guarantee you that it’s never perfect for 100 percent of homes. So, if you have issues tomorrow (November 19) during the games, here are five things you can do to try to stop the buffering.
1. Change the channel.
Then, go back to your original channel or show. This will sometimes allow your original channel or show to ‘catch up’ with the data (programming) that’s being delivered to your home. In the case of the Sunday Ticket, just exit the live feed and then go back in.
2. Reset your home WiFi network.
You can do this by unplugging your modem and plugging it back in. Your Internet service may be operating erratically, causing the dips in picture quality. The reset can put it back on course.
3. Upgrade your Internet plan.
Every streaming service has a minimum speed requirement to watch it. For example, some streamers will say your home Internet service must consistently be at 25 Mbps or you will encounter buffering (yes, the dreaded spinning wheel). However, to be safe, I advise you get a plan with speed at least at 50 Mbps instead of one with 25 Mbps. That way, if your signal dips, you will still be above the required limit.
4. Delete and reinstall the app.
The live streaming app sometimes can get corrupted, creating a host of problems. A simple reinstall could eliminate the buffering and ensure a more reliable stream.
5. Move your modem/router closer to the TV.
You may have trouble with your stream if your Internet modem is located in a different part of the house, particularly if it’s on a different floor. Vizio, the TV maker, recommends that your Smart TV (or another Smart TV device) be positioned no more than 30 feet away from your Internet modem. Otherwise, the signal could be blocked by the walls or other obstacles in the house. Try using a TV closer to the modem, or moving the modem to the TV, if possible.
Connect your Smart TV (or device such as a Roku or Fire TV) directly to the modem with an Ethernet cable. That will bypass the WiFi network entirely and (hopefully, again) deliver a stronger signal to your set.
Mark, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than three decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television. See the bio for Phillip Swann here.