The rise in the activity on online streaming platforms should not come as a shock. With people always wanting to be in the know at every point in time, several stakeholders saw an opportunity to meet rising demand, and from there, online streaming services became a thing. With this increase in demand comes an increase in obstacles. This piece covers significant problems associated with using online streaming and how those problems can be surmounted.
Drawbacks associated with Online Streaming
- Limitation on Bandwidth: Network providers have continued to improve transmission speed for users, creating the 4G network – which transmits at about 5mbps. Video quality continues to sharpen to values as high as 720p, 1080p, and even reaching 4K resolution. Generally, online streams for 720p video quality transmit at 1.5mbps to 2mbps while 1080p transmits at a speed of 3mbps, or 3.5mbps. By this calculation, to stream in 4K resolution, the user would have to have a network speed of up to 12mbps. This, in turn, limits 90% of the populace to the video quality of 1080p.
- Latency Issues: Improved video quality translates to higher amounts of data being transmitted to the screen at once. The increase in the volume of data streams results in video lags, slow buffering, or even a complete shutdown of the flow.
- Geographic restrictions: Despite the prevalence of streaming services, some of the top online streaming services lack the required licenses and broadcasting rights to air in some countries, denying the residents within the said countries access to their content. These restrictions could also be due to price discrimination for the streaming service to rake in more profits.
Tips for a more enjoyable streaming experience
Problems encountered while making use of online streaming services can be annoying. However, there are simple tricks around them, some of which are highlighted below:
- Lower Video Quality: Optimal resolution is the desire of almost everyone streaming content on the Internet. Still, it is essential to note that a high volume of data stream pulls on the internet connection that may result in video lags. Reducing the video quality might suffice – however, the user must bear in mind that the video condition must not be too low to ensure a decent viewing experience.
- End Background applications: While streaming, all the bandwidth must be directed towards the streaming content. Many may not know this, but background apps continually pull on the network, reducing the bandwidth dedicated to the streamed content. This is why it is essential to close all background apps while streaming.
- Employ the use of VPN: Geo-restrictions are quite common these days, meaning that viewers are denied access to content based on their current location. One of the ways viewers can get past this restriction is to connect to different servers with a VPN, thereby transmitting a different IP address to the website, allowing the user to view the restricted content.
- Use Ethernet: Wi-Fi connections are all the rage now. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi connections can be shared with several others, resulting in loss of network speed. With Ethernet Cables, you can be assured of pure connection – the network speed being received from external services is the same the device is operating at, ensuring a smooth and seamless streaming experience.
- Check Hardware Acceleration: Hardware acceleration in a PC allows all video & streaming contents to make use of the system’s default hardware setting. In some cases, this default setting may be too low to enable proper and fast streaming service, which is why the hardware acceleration should be disabled before and after streaming to ensure optimum system performance.
Slow online streaming experience can be annoying, especially when it is a live stream. Although the problem may arise from the end of the transmitters, the tips mentioned above should help users achieve a better streaming service with little or no issues.