Cinema HD Keeps Buffering – How To Fix
Buffering is never a welcome phenomenon. It means a delay in watching your TV show or movie and having to wait around while the stream finds its way from the internet to your device. Some buffering cannot be helped but you can do something about some of it. This tutorial will walk you through the things you can do if a streaming app such Cinema HD keeps buffering.
Buffering is essentially video lag. The same as you get a delay in a web page loading or latency when playing a game, buffering is the same. As streamed content has no presence on your device, it cannot continue playing or doing anything useful while it waits, which is why the screen freezes and you see a loading icon or message.
How content streaming works
Apps, video streams, VoIP calls, video calls, games and most internet applications use the Internet Protocol to transport data. Large pieces of data are broken down into packets so it can transit long distances quickly and efficiently. Each packet is made up of a destination IP address, identifying data, the payload, i.e. part of the movie, and the originating IP address.
For example, a streamed TV show could be broken down into a million packets ready for transport. Each packet will be sent in order across the internet to your device. But because of how the internet and packet routing works, they may not all arrive in the same order they were sent. The identifying data has an ‘order number’ for want of a better term that tells your device in what order to rebuild the file and insert that particular packet.
When you stream content, the page or app will download a few seconds in advance so it has a little in reserve. It will then download more of the stream at a (hopefully) faster rate than you’re using it to watch. This builds up a buffer of data to allow for any delays in the stream or interruptions. It’s a neat system that allows flawless playback when it works.
When it doesn’t work so well, you see buffering messages.
Cinema HD keeps buffering
Even though I use Cinema HD in this example, the same principles apply for Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and any streaming service. There are usually three causes for buffering, your ISP, your device or the streaming service. You cannot do much about your ISP or streaming service except complain when it happens too often, so let us look at what you can do about buffering.
A device will usually buffer if it is too busy doing something else, has to share a network with other applications or has a poor signal.
Depending on what device you’re using, it may be busy trying to do something else while also streaming from Cinema HD. For example, a Windows PC may be trying to download an update or new driver while you’re watching your movie. You may also be running other applications or have something running in the background that takes resources away from media playback.
Look at what your device is doing. Shut down any apps or programs that are hogging resources and make sure what power your device has, is concentrating on playing your content.
Optimize for playback
If you’re streaming a movie and are also downloading a game or updating your applications, all that data will be wrestling for bandwidth on your connection. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have fiber, something has to give. If Cinema HD keeps buffering, take a look at what else is trying to use your internet connection at the time.
Look on your computer, phone or router to see what else is happening. If you live alone, make sure your device is not updating or downloading anything else. If you live with other people, check to see who is doing what. If you have access to your router, see what volume and type of traffic is going through it. Do what you need to do to ensure your stream has enough bandwidth to work without buffering.
Poor signal causing buffering
If you’re using a device on WiFi and Cinema HD keeps buffering, it could be down to a poor signal. If you have made sure the device isn’t doing other things and your connection isn’t busy with other priorities then checking your signal strength is the next thing to try.
If you’re on a phone, use a WiFi analyzer app to see how strong your signal is, what other WiFi device are using your connection and what other connections are using a similar WiFi channel to you. If your neighbor uses a similar WiFi channel you could be interfering with each other’s connection. Change the channel by two and see if things improve.
Buffering is an annoyance that you should rarely see now the internet is much more efficient than it used to be. With legit services, you should hardly ever experience buffering. With less-than legit services like Cinema HD, you have almost no control over the source but can influence your side of the equation. At least now you know what to check if Cinema HD keeps buffering. Hope it helps!