Media: Playback Quality & Buffering Issues

The quality of your playback experience is largely dependent on how your ISP (Internet Service Provider, like Verizon) or mobile provider connects to the video hosting platform's playback servers. Keep in mind that your overall Internet speed can vary depending on many factors, including but not limited to: time of day, WiFi performance, other devices/ users utilizing your connection, and the strength of the signal provided by your ISP.

The following table shows the minimum speeds typically required for each playback quality.

240p 500 kbps
360p 1 Mbps
720p 3 Mbps
1080p 7 Mbps
2K 12 Mbps
4K & up 22 Mbps

Online speed tests

Speed tests can give you a general sense of the download speeds you’re receiving from your Internet provider, but it's important to note that the servers used in the speed test are different from those used by other services. The actual speeds being received by your device may differ. This is because speed tests are designed to ping the closest server to your location, while other servers may be further and more utilized.

  • If you are located on NYU's Washington Square campus, please use:
  • If you are not located on campus, please use:
  • Alternatively, Apple laptop users can click the AirPort icon on the taskbar while holding down the 'option' key to test wireless signal strength. Information will be displayed relating to the network to which the device is connected. The RSSI value is the received signal strength and should ideally fall into the -50 dBm - -71dBm range.

A typical high-definition video stream uses 5 Mbps. A speed test result of 10 Mbps or more is adequate for general purposes.

Frequent buffering during playback 

Frequent buffering can occur when the viewer’s Internet bandwidth does not support playback of the selected video quality. Try switching to “Auto” in the quality menu (the default), if available. If “Auto” is not available, switch to one of the lower quality options. Do note, NYU Stream uses Adaptive Streaming in its media delivery. Adaptive streaming adjusts video playback based on users' connection speed.

For the best user experience with NYU Stream, it is widely recommended to use a wired connection, preferably on campus, and Google's Chrome browser.

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