• BBC iPlayer
iPlayer Help Troubleshooting What can I do to help with buffering or playback problems?

What can I do to help with buffering or playback problems?

Buffering is caused by the internet connection between your router and your device cutting off and joining again, so to play a programme smoothly and without interruption, you’ll need a good internet connection.

However, if your internet connection isn’t fast enough you’ll see a message saying you have ‘insufficient bandwidth’ (bandwidth is the amount of data your connection can transfer). This could be because you’re either sharing bandwidth with other devices or you are connecting to your internet router via WiFi and the signal quality is poor.

What can I do to improve playback?

  • Disconnect other devices

    If other devices are sharing the same internet connection, try disconnecting them, or just turn them off to see if that makes a difference.

  • Switch to Standard Definition (SD)

    Try switching to Standard Definition as High Definition programmes will require more bandwidth and may cause buffering if your internet connection isn't strong enough.

  • Try a wired internet connection

    If you’re connecting via WiFi, try a wired connection to help rule out interference from another WiFi network. Or you could try moving your device closer to your internet router.

  • Try a different browser

    If you’re using BBC iPlayer with a browser on your computer, mobile or tablet, try using another browser to see if that helps. And if you have lots of tabs open in your browser, close them down as they could be affecting the device's performance.

Other suggestions

  • Take a look at our Internet Speed Checker FAQ for advice on how to check your internet speed.
  • There are two media players used across bbc.co.uk (Flash and HTML5). If we give you Flash player by default and you want to switch over to HTML5 head over to bbc.co.uk/html5 where you can easily check this and change to HTML5. If you don't see an option to switch to HTML5, it's because you're already using the HTML5 player.

Still having problems? Try downloading full TV programmes on your computer or via the iPlayer app on Amazon Fire, Android, and iOS if you are based in the UK. Take a look at some of our Downloading FAQs for further information.

If you're having issues with your internet connection, please contact your internet service provider, especially if channels and programmes from other broadcasters are affected. 

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