How to fix buffering on Kodi?
“I’m getting stuck on Kodi with “Buffering…0%” a lot. Is there a way to fix this? I can click play, but the video will be extremely choppy.”
So if you are facing the same issue mentioned above when you watch a movie or a live stream within Kodi. Now there’s a few reasons for this. It could be any number of problems, Below I will explain in greater detail the most common issues and a method on how to fix Kodi buffering issues.
Servers are overwhelmed
This is probably the most common problem users encounter. Just like your home internet connection where you’re limited to a certain speed at what data can be transferred you’ll find the servers that host any online content have to abide by similar standards. If you’re trying to stream a video from a server that has 10,000 other people also trying to access content on it then the speed that video can physically reach you will be much slower than if just 100 people were using that server. Remember many videos will be hosted on the same server, just because you pick a video that might not necessarily be that popular that’s not to say it’s not on the same server as some very popular videos that everyone wants to watch. Every video on this server will be affected by the amount of users accessing the server.
The easiest way to find out whether or not the server is the problem is start the video and then press ‘o’ on your keyboard, this will display a lot of text at the top of the screen. Don’t worry if it looks confusing, you just need to take a look at the bit at the bottom that mentions cache, if this keeps falling to zero then the servers has a lot of people connected and you’ll have to find another source to use. Another option is to download the video and watch at a later date or there is a great little workaround which you’ll see at the bottom of this post.
Check your download speed
If you want to successfully watch an SD stream then a minimum of 2mbps download speed is recommended (you may get away with a bit less depending on the stream quality), if you want to stream any HD content then it will be considerably more. It really all depends on the quality of the stream, as a very rough guide a low quality stream (based on a 40 minute TV episode) could be as little as 150MB but the same one in HD could be anything up to 50x that number! Go to www.speedtest.net and run the speed test to see what download speed you’re getting, if it’s showing a lower figure than you expected then it may well be your router.
If you intend to use Kodi for accessing online streams then it’s highly recommended to use a wired connection rather than wireless, this is especially true when watching live streams as you only need one dropped packet and the stream will stop. Some units have very good Wi-Fi antennas but most don’t, if you’re struggling with your Wi-Fi connectivity then you may want to consider using a ethernet cable connection method. If you absolutely have to use Wi-Fi then the only thing you can do is make sure you have a high quality wireless router and the higher you place it the better the signal (in theory!).
Reset the router
Quite often your Wireless router needs a reset. So if you’re getting low speeds unplug the power wire on the router and wait for 30 seconds and then plug it back in and give it a minute to reconfigure, run the speedtest again and see if you’ve got any speed increases.
Check for other processes running on your network
Remember whatever download speed you have is shared between anyone using the same connection, if someone else in the household is playing a game with their friends on Xbox Live then this will lower the speed you can get, the same goes with anyone streaming content in another room. Downloads (especially torrents) can use up a lot of bandwidth, if you’re having issues then consider pausing them or setting the download speed much lower.
So is there a fix for buffering?
The EASy way to go through a add-on called Maintenance tool(click on the link for a install guide).
What this add-on does is that it allows you to keep your setup constantly optimized, while giving you a wide array of functionality that’ll keep your Kodi up-to-date and running great. Now this add-on has a lot of different functions but we are just going to focus on 2 of them and thats the General Maintenance section and the System Tweaks section.
Once you clicked it the next screen will bring up another with several of other functions to choose from. The ones we are interested in are Clear Cache and Purge Packages. These are tools for cleaning space/memory from within Kodi. Every time you search, Queue or watch content, Kodi generates a file and stores it within. That takes up memory and space thus making the video you watching start buffering. Click on both of them to clear files from your system.
So after clearing your cache and purging your packages, go back to where you first found General Maintenance. Now look for the icon called System Tweaks and click it. Now click on Enable Zero Caching settings. This adds a xml file
By default Kodi will cache to RAM and for the most part this is great as RAM is designed for this sort of work and it’s very fast but there’s one big drawback and that is you’re limited to the amount of video footage you can cache. Using your RAM for the cache will only allow you to store a few minutes worth at a time so if the servers are slow the cache will quickly empty and then you’ll have to wait for the next part to download before playback will begin again. Although it’s not a magic fix for slow servers or slow download speeds what this will do is allow you to pause videos, go make a sandwich and then come back 5 minutes later to find you’ve got lots of video downloaded in your cache ready to play. If you leave it long enough it will cache the whole video meaning absolutely no chance of buffering problems at all!
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