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Why is my video/audio starting and stopping (buffering) during the webinar?
Why is my video/audio starting and stopping (buffering) during the webinar?
Updated over a week ago

Are you experiencing regular audio or video playback dropouts on your PC or mobile device when viewing live webinars? Is the webinar's video/audio "cutting in and out" while you attempt to view a live webinar? Does the webinar playback feel "choppy"?

If the above represents your live webinar experience, then you are highly likely to be experiencing an everyday media playback issue known as "Buffering."

Let's take a look at the common causes of buffering:

  • Insufficient bandwidth available within your viewing (office/home) environment

Buffering issues are usually symptomatic of a lack of local bandwidth availability. Your office/home network environment may allow you to successfully view live webinars (without issue) for most of the working day. Still, it could be susceptible to peaks of heavy demand, such as during lunch, when other users in your office could be consuming high-bandwidth content such as HD videos.

You may discover that a single user viewing a live webinar results in a successful, buffering-free viewing experience. However, if you begin to factor in additional viewers within your office, then bandwidth requirements can quickly escalate beyond your network's capabilities. Consumption of live webinars is ideally suited to a one-to-many distribution of users viewing from diverse geographic locations, i.e., multiple viewers aren't occupying the same physical/network environment. Your live webinar viewing experience depends on sufficient home/office bandwidth availability.

  • Poor quality connection to your Wi-Fi network

If you are not using a wired connection and rely on wireless connectivity to access live webinars, then the cause of your buffering could be due to a weak wifi signal or an indication of a problem with the wifi router that you connect to.

  • Your office employs a proxy/application layer firewall which sits between your computer and the public internet

When your IT department utilizes several technology layers between yourself and the public internet, you could find that your viewing experience is affected/limited as part of an internal IT policy. Your IT department can help you with some advice on whether you need to be aware of this and may be able to provide a solution.

Fortunately, several approaches can be taken to help alleviate buffering issues:

  • Try switching to a different internet connection/network

You can view webinars on your mobile device using a 3G/4G connection. You may also find that your home network provides a better viewing environment than a busy, high-demand office network. Perhaps you can tether your computer to your mobile phone to avoid using your office network.

  • Ascertain how many of your colleagues intend to watch an upcoming live webinar and arrange a meeting room

If you and your co-workers view together on a single computer (with a projector/large display), this will significantly reduce the bandwidth requirement within your office environment.

  • View the on-demand recording

If viewing live webinars is beyond the bandwidth requirements of your local network, then you will still be able to view the webinar on-demand at your convenience. On-demand webinars are delivered via HTTP and progressively download to your computer. Users experiencing live buffering issues often will not have a problem viewing the on-demand recording.

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