Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Windows Media Player Buffering.....

Discussed at a party,  some of my friends are having problem watching streaming movies using Windows Media Player. Particularly videos from ABS-CBN, a subscription video services showing TV programs from the Philippines ABS-CBN channel 2 network.

The symptom of their problem is the movie being streamed stops and the player says buffering, then starts again after buffering, or the player completely stops and freezes while buffering.
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There are many  possible causes and the most obvious is internet connectivity causing a slowdown of data exchange from the website server into their internet provider and finally unto their computer. Slowdown can be caused by heavy traffic, or too many users online within the internet providers, or too many users accessing ABS-CBN's server. Anything excessive from the two can make a slowdown. And here are simple remedies that can help.


  • Low Bandwidth and busy server


There's not much you can do with this but to adjust the way you access the video. Luckily for ABS-CBN users, there's an option for low bandwidth for smaller file size. This makes a significant improvement with lower bandwidth internet users. If this does not work, you can choose to click download. Once the file has been downloaded, the windows media player will play the file continuously. The file is usually found at the download folder, if you want to delete it later.


Sometimes  internet providers "trottles" the internet connection. This means they deliberately give  lower bandwidth, thus slowdown of connection. You can check the speed of your internet connection at the link below, and if it is lower than what you should have been getting then you can make a screen shot and forward it to your internet provider. To watch a streaming video, like the abs-cbn,  at least 2mbps or more is needed to enjoy it.



  • Slow computer


Sometimes, your computer, slows down because of a lot of things. In this "buffering" problem, I suspect that it is time to clear the internet cache. Internet cache  are stored bits and pieces of data from the websites you have visited. Your computer fetch these cached data for the websites to flash on the screen faster. But sometimes the cache gets confused especially when a website has just updated it's contents. What you will see when this happens are partially loaded web pages, badly formatted web pages, incomplete pictures, or in some cases, the wrong picture in the wrong place.

How to clear internet explorer by browser


Internet Explorer


Go to Tools from the Internet Explorer menu bar
Then click Internet Options
Then General Tab
Delete Files button in the Temporary Internet files section

Firefox


Goto Edit from the Firefox menu bar
Then click Preferences
Expand the Advanced menu by clicking the plus sign
Click Cache
Then Clear Cache button


Chrome

Click the Wrench Icon at the far right found on top of the browser
Select Tools
Click Clear Browsing Data
Then check tick clear browsing history, clear download history, empty cache
Then  Clear browsing data

Opera


Click Opera Logo at the top left hand
Then Settings
Click Delete Private Data
*Optional You can choose to click the dropdown(detailed options) menu to see what data are to be deleted
Then click Delete.



  • Modem


I've read an article about some modems that use Network Address Translation to forward  UDP pockets. Whatever that means, it is one of the reasons why windows media player buffers! So we need to disable this kind of handling of data from the windows media player.

Open up windows media player
Click Tools
Then Options
Then click Network
Untick RTSP/UDP
Apply then OK




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