Internet Vs TV: The Technology Behind Buffering

Nowadays almost everyone has high-speed broadband and internet connection. So, when you are playing any video the chance of buffering becomes negligible.

But remember when YouTube or other videos tend to play for only 5 seconds and then 10 seconds of buffering. Yes, we still face it sometimes. This is because the speed of the internet is not sufficient to play the whole video.

But when it comes to watching a show or event or movie on Television, we never have faced buffering problems.

Do you know why?

Have you ever thought about why TVs don’t buffer?

Before answering these questions, you should know what buffering is.

What is Buffering?

Buffering is the cycle of preloading information into a saved area of memory that is known as a buffer. With regards to real-time video or audio, buffering is the point at which the software downloads a specific amount of data before it starts playing the video or music.

Internet vs TV – Why Televisions Doesn’t Buffer?

This is very simple. When you are watching videos on YouTube, Netflix, or any other platform, every individual at any given time using the servers of any platform and choosing their specific video, then there may be a case of congestion, delays, and buffering.

But when it comes to TV, we do not choose what to watch. Yes, we do choose the channels but what is streaming on that channel is not in our hands. These videos are being Broadcast i.e. only one signal for all the users.

This method is called the Distribution Method. When you are changing the channel on TV you are just changing the RF receiver to a new channel (spectrum).

But when the videos or streaming channels are changed on the Internet, it requires one to “request” the channel, exchange parameters, the remote end to begin transmission, and the Rx end to buffer and decode, and possibly adjust the bit rate.

So, when you talk about the internet vs TV, you won’t find any buffering in TVs.

But what causes buffering?

Yes, we know a slow internet connection is a common reason for buffering. But, is slow internet the only reason for buffering?

The answer is No. A slow internet connection is not the only reason for buffering. There are many reasons as well. Probably those are not the main reasons, but they may cause buffering.

Reasons for Buffering – How to Avoid it?

As mentioned earlier, a slow internet connection is the main and common reason for buffering. But apart from this, many reasons may cause buffering:

1. Background Apps or Processes

Apps, Processes, or downloads that are running in the background cause buffering. So, you must close all the running apps, processes, or downloads to stop buffering.

2. Restart Your Router

If you are using a broadband connection, you should restart your router. It will allow your internet connection to re-establish and it may stop buffering.

3. Disconnect Other Devices

Connecting multiple devices to your network or router causes buffering as it will consume your network’s bandwidth.

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4. Go for a Wired Connection

You should go for a wired internet connection as wireless connections are interrupted by problems with the signal, frequency, and physical obstructions, such as walls or furniture. So, it may somehow solve the buffering problem.

5. Watch the Videos in Medium Quality

If you don’t have a fast internet connection, you should avoid watching the videos in high quality. This is also a common reason for buffering. Try reducing the video quality.

6. Delete Your Browser’s Cookies and Cache Memory

If you are watching the videos in a browser, you must clear your browser’s cookies and cache memory. Sometimes it causes buffering.

7. Keep Your Streaming Apps Updated

If you are using an outdated version of any streaming app, then it may result in slower performance. Always keep your apps updated to avoid buffering.

8. Install the Latest Video Card and Drivers

Keep the video card drivers updated on your pc, as this can also cause buffering. You can download and install the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website.


So, if you want to avoid buffering, then you should keep all these points in mind and also upgrade to either a broadband connection or a fast internet network.

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