You may encounter videos which don't offer a "smooth" playback and instead stutter, buffer, or fail to load.
Below are some recommendations you can try to improve performance while streaming videos. While we can't guarantee that one of the below options will solve the specific issue you've encountered, usually issues with video playback are related to one or more of the below areas.
Perform an internet speed test.
Your network may be encountering slow network speeds. You can find websites that test your internet speed by searching online for "internet speed test" and selecting one of the resulting pages.A broadband connection with at least 500 Kbps is required for the best viewing experience. If your connection is not strong, you might encounter choppy playback.
Try an alternate browser or the PBS app on supported devices.
Different web browsers can have different interactions with websites and video players. We recommend trying to view videos using an alternate web browser to see if there's any change in streaming. If you're using a supported device, you can also try downloading the free PBS app for an improved experience.
If you find a web browser with improved performance, but would prefer to use your original browser, we recommend checking if your original browser is using the most up-to-date version, and that there are no extensions installed or processes running in the background which could interfere with video playback.
Restart your device.
Your device may have other ongoing processes that are impacting video playback. You can try restarting your computer browser, app, or entire device to fix the issue.
Restart your network.
Reboot your modem and/or router by turning it off, waiting a minute, and then turning it back on again. Once your internet access is restored and your device is connected to the internet, attempt to play a video again.
Update your browser or PBS app.
Check your browser's main settings to see if your browser is up-to-date. Most browsers will give you an option to update if they see you are using an older version.
To confirm your PBS app is up-to-date, uninstall and reinstall the app on your device.
Select a different streaming rate.
PBS Videos at pbs.org offer an option to decrease the streaming rate on the video in the lower corner of the video player where the gear icon is located. You can select this icon and select a lower number of kpbs to reduce the required network speed to stream the video. This will also lower the quality of the video, so we recommend checking the above options first for the best possible performance.
Important Note for the PBS Livestream and PBS App: The PBS livestream and PBS App do not offer the option for a different streaming rate and will auto-adjust based on your available network speed.
Contact your internet service provider.
Your ISP may be encountering temporary issues with service. They can also assist with checking your router to confirm it is properly connecting with your device.
Temporary playback issues can and do occur, and we recommend returning to the video at another time or day to see if playback improves. If you notice consistent issues with streaming performance, then we recommend checking the device and browser in use to make sure they are up-to-date and that your network speed is able to support video streaming.