Watching Online Video Without the Stops and Starts
By Leo Notenboom
In the past few years video has exploded. Every so often you hear amazing statistics about the number of hours of video that’s being uploaded to YouTube every minute.
With the proliferation of video-capable mobile devices the explosion, both of video creation and video consumption, is continuing to grow.
As is some frustration.
It’s frustrating, to say the least, to have an online video playback play a little, pause, play a little more, then pause, then play a little more, then pause, then play a little more…
You get the idea. Heck, it was even frustrating to type, much less watch.
There are several reasons that this type of playback behavior can happen. I’ll cover a few of them, and a few of the ways that you might work around it.
The Number One Cause: Your Internet Connection
By far the single biggest reason for videos that pause periodically while playing back is the speed of your internet connection.
Or rather, the lack of speed.
Video can require a lot of data, and that data has to be transfered fast enough across your internet connection for the video to play back smoothly.
If a video requires, say, 3 megabits per second (just an example) to play smoothly, and your internet connection is only 1.5 megabits per second you are going to experience these stops and starts. The video player just can’t get the data fast enough for the video to play without interruption.
In that same vein, if some other program on your computer is simultaneously downloading something from the internet, then the available download speed that’s left over for your video to playback will be reduced. You may have the required 3 megabits per second1 connection, but if another program is simultaneously downloading something your effective speed might be cut in half, and your video once again begins to pause.
In addition, if another computer that shares your internet connection does the same thing, then the bandwidth available to your machine watching video is similarly reduced and pausing can once again happen.
This post is excerpted with permission from Leo Notenboom.
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