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Understanding and Reducing Buffering

, By Patcoola

Buffering is the act to downloading a section of an Internet stream (Broadcast) in advance, this is often not seen, but many people do see a waiting for buffer event, this occurs when the stream does not download faster than the broadcast playback.


Understanding Why Buffering Happens

The Internet goes two ways but only in one direction at a time. The home Internet user pays for a down stream, this allows the user to primarily receive data. A website pays for an up stream, this allows the website to primarily send data.

Internet service providers offer many different Internet speeds, this speed determines how much data can be streamed per second. A home Internet user pays their speed and a website pays for their own speed as well. Internet speed is also referred to as Bit Rate, this means data per second.

Internet video streams are measured in Bit Rate, this value is often not made public. For video Bit Rate is the size of data per second of video, if the Internet is not fast enough for either the user or website a waiting buffering event occurs.

Understanding Bit Rate

Bit Rate means data per second, if a video has a Bit Rate of 800 kbps you will require an Internet speed of above 800 kbps to watch the video in real time with out ever seeing a buffering event. However, if a the video streaming website is not fast enough a buffering event will occur.

Bit Rate for video also means image and audio quality. Note that the video quality is only as good the original source video, the video streaming website takes the original video and makes different sizes and qualities for users to select, because a website does not state the Bit Rate we have to assume image size equals higher Bit Rate, example 240p means the video has a height of 240 pixels or 3.33 inches on a standard computer screen, a small image of 240 high will have a small Bit Rate resulting in little to no buffering.

Avoiding Buffering

To avoiding buffing we should watch video from fast websites and ensure your Internet service plan is very fast, otherwise, when viewing a video online change the video quality to a smaller size resulting in a lower Bit Rate and less buffer.




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