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Joe asked: “About the Internet and the way that it is processing through my TV. I have a Fire Stick. One of the “better” Fire Sticks that processes better. I also have a little bit more high-end modem. But it still buffers and stops and starts. I heard I might need something that handles more megabytes or something. I have Xfinity and already have like 100 MBps coming through. My Fire Stick may not be able to handle as much as it should. That’s the only way I know how to present the question to you.”
Joe, we’ve found two common complaints about the Fire TV and streaming: the first one deal with specific software called Kodi.
Kodi is popular and technically legal, but it’s popular because it can be fed illegal plugins that it then uses to access normally paid pirated content. Some people install Kodi on Fire Sticks and it can be a little processor intensive, so some Fire Sticks do struggle to keep up. We don’t have much of a solution if that’s the case for you, other than maybe lower the streaming quality or go back to stock Fire TV software.
If your issue is with Fire TV as it came out of the box, there are usually two culprits to that: The first one is WiFi interference, sometimes the router is too close, other times it’s too far away or the signal is too weak but, whatever the case, the stick may not be getting the right signal.
Obviously, the solution to that is to try to improve the signal where your TV is either by moving the router, if possible, or even installing a repeater. Before you do that, we’d move the TV and the Fire Stick somewhere you know to have a good signal and see if it actually works better or not.
The second one is inadequate power. Fire Sticks get their power from regular USB chargers, but some users claim that they don’t work as well as they should when they’re not plugged into a 2A charger. We don’t have any first-hand experience with that claim, but if you’re having buffering issues, you might as well try, since it would be a really simple solution.
Right now your ISP shouldn’t be to blame, but keep in mind that with the death of Net Neutrality, your ISP will be allowed to slow down your video streaming or charge you more for it starting April 23rd. If any listeners have issues after that date, they should also check that the ISP is not the cause.