Video playback tips

NOTE: The latest release of the Firefox browser has broken the player playback on some of our videos. Please try a different browser: Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer all still work fine. We keep studying the problem to determine what they did that broke our player -- if we find any solutions, we'll let you know.
 
Things you can do to make TMTV video streaming play more smoothly.
 

If playback on TMTV is choppy, follow these steps.

  • Try the alternate player. Most videos have an alternate video player button. Try that since it defaults to standard video instead of HD video, so the video streaming demands are less.
  • Let the video buffer first. Load the video page in the browser window and press "Pause" after the video starts to play. Allow the video player in the browser to preload several minutes of video before pressing "Play." The more video you allow to preload, the fewer times the clip will stop and start during playback.
  • Be exclusive. If you are on a network sharing an Internet connection, shut down the other computers and mobile devices if you are able.
  • If you have cable Internet, your bandwidth could be affected by your neighbor’s habits. Try accessing the Internet when you know they are not using it.
  • Delete your browsing cache. By deleting your browsing cache, you provide more memory on your device for buffering a large high quality video data stream.
     

For Windows machines:

  1. Disable Video Acceleration. This will free up resources in your media player.
    • For Windows XP ...
      -
      Click Start
      - Click Control Panel, then select Display
      - Navigate to the Settings tab, then click Advanced
      - Choose the Troubleshoot tab
      - Drag the slider all the way to the left to disable hardware acceleration.
    • For Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10 ...
      - Click Start
      - Click Control Panel, then select Appearance and Personalization
      - Choose Personalization and then click Display Settings
      - Select Advanced Settings
      - Navigate to the Troubleshoot tab and click Change Settings
  2. Disable hardware acceleration. Turning off hardware acceleration will allow your video playback application to set the resource requirements, instead of using your computer’s predefined settings.
    • - Open Windows Media Player
      - Click the Tools menu
      - Choose Options and select the Performance tab
      - Move the Video Acceleration slider to None

For Macs:

The problem with video not working in browsers like Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome in Mac OS X mainly revolves around a combination of settings and compatibility issues with Adobe Flash Player, the software that enables these web based videos to play. Using the following troubleshooting steps, you should be able to get video working on a Mac computer.

  1. Uninstall and Reinstall Adobe Flash Player (make sure you are installing the latest version)

    This may fix the flash video issue and it may not, but it’s worth a shot. Start by jumping to the official Adobe website and downloading the Flash Player uninstaller for OS X. Launch the uninstaller and simply uninstall Flash Player from your Mac and restart the computer.

    Once your computer boots back up and you’re signed in, proceed to Adobe.com to download the latest version of Flash Player. Reinstall and check to see if the video playback is working.

  2. Reset Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Clear Cache

    If Flash Player is still not working properly, you may want to try clearing your browser’s cache, exiting the browser, and restarting. Some people have reported that videos will work properly upon clearing cache.

  3. Launch Safari, Firefox, Chrome in 32-bit mode

    This is a solution that works for most, as far as getting videos to play in Safari. Simply open a new Finder window on your Mac and launch the applications folder. From there, locate the Safari/Firefox/Chrome icon, and right-click to queue the context menu.

    Select Get Info from the menu. Once the pop up box launches, click to check the option Open in 32-bit mode.

    Close the box and exit out of Safari/Firefox/Chrome. Once the browser closes, click to open it and it should be running in 32-bit mode.

    Then try playing a test video.

  4. Disable Flash hardware acceleration

    While on the screen of the blank video that is not working correctly, right-click the area where the video would normally show up to bring up the Flash Player context menu. Select the Settings option from the menu. Unselect the option Enable hardware acceleration and click the Close button.

    Close out of the browser completely, relaunch and test video playback again.

 

For any Mobile devices:

  1. Use the alternative video player and select the gear icon on the bottom right. Set playback to 540p instead of 720p. The quality should still look good but playback will be improved because the video stream is smaller.

 

For Android devices:

  1. Uncheck video enhancement under multimedia
  2. Disable auto brightness
     

More Tips

  1. Be aware that video streams use about 1 GB of bandwidth per hour in standard definition, and double that in high definition. Check whether your ISP has introduced data caps if you still experience degraded streaming.
     
  2. Your ISP can be slowing your speeds down because it thinks you've used up too much bandwidth. This is common if you are using a mobile broadband connection.

    Currently Sprint is the only major mobile operator in the U.S. that doesn't cap. In many places, the data caps are euphemistically called "Fair Use Policies." T-Mobile doesn't cap, but does have "Fair Use" limits.

    If you're unable to get a straight answer from your ISP, use a speed-test website to see if your ISP is delaying or losing your packets on purpose. See: speakeasy.net/speedtest

    Look for at least 1 mbps, which is one megabit per second. Anything less is likely to result in choppy video when trying to play back higher definition.

    Also note that some providers make special exception for popular mainstream sites like YouTube, but will throttle other sites that are not as popular to save bandwidth. You may need to work with your ISP to see if they do any special throttling like this.

    If you see speeds much less than that promised by your ISP and paid for by you, call and complain. A service rep can run tests with you and remotely reset your modem. The company can also send a tech to check cables in your building and replace bad modems, and so on.
     

  3. If you connect to your router or broadband modem via a Wi-Fi connection, you can probably reduce buffering by using a wired connection rather than a wireless one. Wired connections offer more stable connections that don’t fluctuate as much as do wireless network links.

    While wireless connections may sometimes be faster than wired connections, variations in signal strength can cause sustained bandwidth rates to be much lower than connections made with a standard RJ-45 Ethernet cable.

    If you are using a cable or DSL connection and experiencing many buffer problems, connecting your computer to the router or modem with an Ethernet cable may resolve them. Of course for wireless mobile devices, this won't be an option.
     

  4. The surest way to reduce or eliminate video buffering is to upgrade to a faster Internet connection. Using the above steps can help reduce buffering somewhat, but video performance on the Internet will always be only as fast as the maximum bandwidth of your connection.