Last Updated on June 21, 2022
After a long day of work, all you want is to sit back and relax. Perhaps a little bit of TV would be nice. Just as you start playing a movie on your Kodi Fire Stick, it buffers. Now, that is possibly the most annoying thing ever.
You have spent a great deal of effort to make sure all the settings are correct and you have installed Kodi in the right way. Kodi is known for its premium video-playing quality. However, it requires meticulous settings down to the string for everything to work smoothly.
If you have been struggling with your Kodi Fire Stick playing speed, bookmark this article to get a glimpse of how everything works.
What is causing your Kodi to buffer?
There are various reasons why your Kodi may be buffering. In some cases, there is only one contributing factor. But in other cases, two or more factors are leading to your Kodi buffering. Check out these contributing factors and see which ticks your box.
Slow internet speed
Since Kodi serves as a video player for online content, a fast and stable internet speed is vital to the play speed. Different streaming platforms have their minimum speed requirements. Some streaming services may require a faster internet speed to load their content.
You can find the corresponding speed recommended on the official site of your choice. Third-party apps and programs that are not downloaded legally often require maximum internet speed. And that is why your Kodi is buffering.
The minimum speed required is only the speed that will get the service to start working. In most cases, you will need at least five times the minimum speed so the video doesn’t buffer all the time. For example, the most popular streaming service, Netflix, requires a minimum internet speed of 0.5 Megabits per second, according to their official website.
However, if your internet speed is at the bare minimum, then you will have a hard time enjoying the movie as it will likely take 30 minutes to load a five minutes clip. To watch Ultra HD content without having to pause it every 30 seconds, the recommended speed is 25 Megabits per second.
Pay attention to the minimum internet speed and the recommended internet speed. They are entirely different and will determine how you enjoy the content on the website.
A connection problem will also cause your Kodi to misbehave. If the internet is proven to be fast, then there may be a connection error. Oftentimes, your actual internet speed is lower than what you are promised on the contract. There may be a problem with the internet in the area or with your provider. You can run the internet speed test to see what your numbers look like. If the number is suspiciously low, then you have an internet speed issue.
However, if the speed is good but you still can’t establish a good connection, check if your cables are plugged in correctly and firmly. A loose cable will cause the router to malfunction. Likewise, a broken wire will lead to the broadband stopping the transmission.
Your VPN settings
A VPN is used to hide your internet location and reroute it to other countries and regions. Some streaming services or movies are not available in every region. Therefore, a VPN is a good way to utilize your subscription and watch shows from a different country.
Furthermore, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic, thus safeguarding your digital footprints and personal data. Most internet data and security experts will encourage you to use a VPN to surf online.
However, since you are using a VPN, it diverts your digital location for all your installed apps and programs. Hence, some programs that are forbidden or not sanctioned in the country will clash with your internet. It will go back and forth trying to get online while getting shut back down. This undoubtedly will cause your internet to take a hard hit and steal the speed from your Kodi Fire Stick.
Caches are stuffing up your storage
When you are watching a video and there is a tiny grey bar on top of the timeline showing how much of the video is loaded. Even if your internet suddenly drops out, your video can still play until the end of the grey bar before it stops. That part is called a cache.
When you are streaming, your device knows to keep a portion of the video in your local device so you don’t have to load every frame as you play. It is not like downloading the video as you don’t have the clip saved. But the caches, which should be automatically erased, can be stuck on your local device and take up space. The processing chip fails to clean out the unnecessary caches from time to time, resulting in a slow reaction from the device.
Caches are a major reason why your Kodi is buffering, especially if you have never manually cleaned it since you got the device. Don’t let it confuse you. Caches are not bad things. They are the portion of your video that allows you to smoothly fast-forward to five minutes later without pausing. The only problem is your local device cannot discard the portion saved after streaming.
It is a bad thing if your cache is too small as well. If your video will only load for several seconds at a time when you pause it, it means your cache is too small. It is not enough to store more of the video so you can enjoy a smooth streaming experience. Either way, you will need to optimize your cache settings so it does not overwhelm your local storage.
Incorrect HQ scaling
Sometimes, it is not the video buffering on Kodi, it is simply an illusion that it is buffering. When you stream a low-quality video, Kodi has a function called video scaling that automatically adjusts and scales up the video so it appears to be HD. This can take up too much power and cause your video to look choppy and buffering when it is just the device trying to give you an HD experience.
Dropping frames are not nice as the video will look like it’s detached from the sound. The HQ scaling may be set too high or just not compatible with what your local device is capable of.
How to stop buffering on Kodi Fire Stick?
Upgrade your internet
Check your broadband speed to see your current internet speed. If it is under 0.5Mbps per second, then it is definitely time to upgrade it as you can’t get anywhere with that speed. Contact your internet provider to upgrade your plan.
Even if it is performing decently at about 5.0Mbps, problems can still occur if you are exhausting your internet speed by sharing it with multiple devices. The family share plan offered by most telecommunication companies may seem generous at first, but most of them can’t support numerous devices being connected.
These days, providers are always offering discounts to customers upgrading or switching plans and utilizing streaming services. Ask your provider for more information. When you are upgrading your plan, make sure you inquire about the recommended speed for your most-used streaming services and how many devices it can support at once.
Run a connection/speed diagnosis on your router
Almost every router has a self-diagnosis function that allows the device to perform a self-check on its performance. It gives you an idea of what may be the source of the issue and where to start looking.
Although most of these self-diagnostic tests are not very effective in identifying the causes, they can usually tell you what the problem is, like whether it is a connection problem or hardware issue.
Replace your cables and restart the router
A loose cable may not be visible from afar. Gently hold the cable and shake it a bit to see if it is firmly attached. If you can, unplug the cable and plug it back in as technology sometimes needs a refresh to start functioning normally.
If you spot any broken or worn-out wire, replace it immediately. Not only do broken wires interfere with the transmission, but they are also dangerous to your household safety as they can cause an electric shock.
Restart the router a few times and see if anything happens. Some old routers will need several reboots to pick up the internet speed. Also, make sure the device is connected all the time. If it keeps disconnecting, there may be a deeper issue. You can contact your service provider to see what are the possible causes if the connection keeps dropping.
Change your VPN setting
If your Kodi is buffering because of a clash with the VPN and other apps, you might want to change your VPN. To choose a VPN service that suits your region and what you are looking for, you should pay attention to the compatibility with the programs you want.
A VPN shields you from vicious internet attacks as well. Your internet habits will determine which VPN service is the best. Every VPN provider has specifications that may or may not work well for you. It differs for each state since the law and regulations are different. Check to see which provider is the best in your area.
Clean out the caches stored on your local device
Use a wizard or a third-party app that runs a diagnosis periodically on your local device to clean out caches older than a certain period. The wizard should be easy to use and does not clash with your other apps installed. Check for compatibility before you download it.
Set up the wizard according to the instructions and run a self-diagnosis test to ensure it is working efficiently. You can optimize your cache with the wizard. Add the wizard file to your file manager and remember to choose the cache setting for maximum performance. You will find the recommended settings after the wizard runs a test on your local device.
Caches are necessary so your videos do not buffer. Therefore, you don’t want to be completely cache-less. Keep an appropriate cache volume so the video can play efficiently without compromising the quality.
Adjust your HQ scaling ratio
If everything appears to be in place, then maybe Kodi isn’t buffering after all. Go into Settings, under Videos, you will find the Player Settings. At the bottom, find “Enable HQ scalers for scaling above” in the Processing section.
By default, this section is set to 20% to bump up a low-quality video. The lower you set the percentage, the less image scale-up the chip will do, meaning all your low-quality videos will remain low quality. You might not want to turn it off completely. So, you can either turn it off or set it to 10% to see the results.
Sacrificing the image quality altogether is hard. You can drop the percentage bit by bit until you find that sweet point to land on. Alternatively, you can turn off Hardware Acceleration. It then puts a cap on your engine performance and allows for a smooth experience as there should be less stuttering on the video.
Do note that this solution should work only for low-performing systems with a weak engine. Those with a powerful engine or a fast-processing chip should not experience this. If you are running Kodi on a state-of-the-art device, your problem is likely from somewhere else and not the HQ scaling.
The HQ scaling should only be turned off if your system can’t handle it. Since it provides a positive user experience, you don’t have to turn it off unless it’s necessary.
Get an add-on for Kodi
There are hundreds of add-ons available for Kodi and some of them track the service speed in real-time and make adjustments according to prevent buffering. You can use an add-on with Real Debrid to alleviate the burden on the system, which can make the buffering problem less serious or go away entirely.
The add-ons you will need depend on your device and what kind of services you seek. But in general, any speed-related add-on will help with the performance as long as your device is compatible and powerful enough to run the add-ons.
Reach out to the technical support team online
If nothing listed above works, then there is likely a more advanced issue that cannot be solved by yourself. You will need expert help. Luckily, Kodi has a superb support team that offers call consultation sessions or email support.
You can message the team about your issue and the team will walk you through the potential source of the problem. You can trust the professionals to get down to the bottom of this. Advanced issues like coding errors, a misplacement of files, and glitches in the system can cause Kodi to buffer.
These advanced issues can only be solved by team experts who know the ins and outs of the program. These issues are only rare cases but it does happen sometimes. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you are still struggling with it. The support team always gives a prompt solution.
Is Kodi a good player option?
Of all the options out there, you may find Kodi to give the most satisfactory performance. Unlike a streaming service provider, Kodi itself is just a video player like QuickTime. But instead of playing videos on your local device, Kodi draws videos, audios, and other content online and plays them all for you in one place.
Therefore, having high compatibility with most other service providers and other add-ons is essential when you are choosing a player. Kodi is excellent as it is proven to work with most service providers. Whether it is the Amazon Fire Stick, BBC, or an unregistered third-party app, Kodi can run any video without a problem most of the time.
Besides, the abundant amount of add-ons further furnishes the capacity and enhances the user experience. Kodi is constantly updating the add-ons and adding new ones for users to download. There is literally something new every day. With those add-ons, you can integrate other streaming services altogether and prevent the video from buffering.
Kodi optimizes the videos for you automatically. It analyzes the audio and image sections with its unique program. Then, it uses an internal system trying to “fix” anything in the clip that may lead to a less satisfying visual pleasure.
You can use Kodi on most of your smart devices. From Android to IOS, from laptop to TV, from Amazon Fire Stick to BBC ONE, almost every video-playing device in your household can be paired with Kodi. It centralizes the streaming experience and unifies your content across all your devices.
Given a powerful device that can support Kodi to run, its features are impressive and stunning. The video quality significantly improved after being processed by Kodi. Moreover, Kodi takes up a very reasonable amount of speed and volume. You don’t need a TV that costs half a million to run Kodi. Among all the options out there, Kodi is a pleasant gift for everyone who just wants to watch something online and kick back with a glass of wine after a hectic day.
Is Kodi legal and safe?
Kodi is, without a doubt, totally legal and safe to use. Endorsed by millions of users, Kodi is highly rated on Google Play. Kodi is like the medium that lets you play any video you want. It is an open-media source with nothing that can be considered a content violation.
It is also completely safe to use, as verified by the numerous reports and user reviews. Kodi has a tight security system just like any other branded service provider. The chance of a possible data leak is low. Once you are connected, you are also protected.
However, what you do on Kodi may make it a legal issue. Since Kodi allows you to draw and play any content online, if you source a clip from an illicit site or app, this constitutes a violation as well.
Kodi does not protect you from legal issues. What you do on the internet will still come with legal consequences. So, it is not Kodi that is illegal, it is the actions users take with it. Choose official channels and do not stream from unverified sources.
You went for Kodi for a sublime streaming experience. It is understandably frustrating when you have to deal with constant buffering. Now, with these tips and hacks, you no longer have to scream in tears as you can easily fix this issue! It is time to enjoy your Amazon Fire Stick to the max!