• BBC iPlayer
iPlayer Help Troubleshooting Computer What internet speed do I need for playing programmes?

What internet speed do I need for playing programmes?

High-quality BBC iPlayer programmes stream at up to 5 Mbps or megabits (5000 kbps) and our standard quality version is 1.5 Mbps (1500 kbps).

You'll actually need a little more bandwidth than this to watch programmes on BBC iPlayer. If you think your internet connection is slower than expected, please contact your internet service provider.

What should I do if the programme is buffering?

  • Try switching off other devices using your network at the same time as they will be competing for bandwidth and may slow down your connection. This is especially the case if devices are downloading or uploading anything. 

  • If you're watching in HD, try switching to SD:
    • On the website, select Turn HD off at the bottom right corner of the playback screen.
    • On connected TVs, go to Settings in the BBC iPlayer app, then Video Quality.
    • On the BBC iPlayer app for mobiles and tablets, the video quality will automatically adjust to your internet connection.
  • Take a look at our How do I check if my internet connection is fast enough for BBC iPlayer? page to find out if your internet connection is fast enough to stream programmes. 

  • Still having trouble with buffering? You'll find more advice on our What can I do to help with buffering or playback problems? page. 

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