There are few things more frustrating than watching something on TV and it keeps cutting off playback or the app degrades the quality until you can barely distinguish anything among so many giant pixels.

The good news is that there are mainly two reasons why this may be happening to you and it won’t take you long to find out what the cause is and take steps to prevent it from happening to you anymore.

Check the speed of your connection

If your Chromecast or FireTV was working fine until now, you may have a problem with your connection, either in a general way (i.e. affecting all connected devices) or the signal may be quite weak on the Chromecast or FireTV itself.

You can check if that’s the case by doing a speed test from the TV, and you don’t even need to install anything. The Netflix app (which usually comes pre-installed) includes a speed test that you can access from the side panel, under Get Help, and then Network Check.

The Netflix speed test on Android TV is responsible for checking the connection with the different Netflix servers and doing a simple speed test. Best of all, you don’t even need to interpret the test speed results, as the app is responsible for dictating whether the speed is enough for Netflix or not, indicating it with a . ✔️

If you don’t have Netflix on your Chromecast or FireTV, then you can install an app like Internet Speed Tester, which is compatible with Android TV. This app shows you detailed data about download and upload speed, ping, and jitter.

You can compare the speed of these speed tests with the ones you get with other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network, to see if the problem is that the Wi-Fi network doesn’t reach behind the TV with enough power.

What if the internet connection is fine but still going awful? Then it may be the case that the Android on your Chromecast with Google TV or your Fire TV is updating apps in the background. These devices are a bit underpowered, so they tend to suffer if you try to watch something (especially if it’s at high quality) while you’re doing background tasks like updating apps or the system.

This is quite common when we have the Chromecast or FireTV in a drawer and we use it from time to time, because then it accumulates updates and can try to apply them as soon as we want to use it. In these cases, what you can do is turn it on before you’re going to actually use it and let it finish updating whatever it needs to update.

Possible Solutions to the Bad Connection

If the problem is that the internet connection isn’t reaching your Fire TV or Chromecast strongly enough, then you have several possible solutions. Among the free ones – that is, you won’t need anything additional – they simply involve connecting to the router’s 5 GHz network (which offers more speed but is worse if the router is far away), so that applications can use more bandwidth and that there are no stoppages.

If this isn’t an option (or you’re already connected to the 5 GHz Wi-Fi network), another option that won’t cost you anything is to change the location of the router to one that is more optimal, avoiding obstacles that don’t let waves pass through well such as metal, water or solid walls. Finding a good place for your router is a science, but it’ll be worth the effort if you can get the network evenly distributed throughout your home.

To cover long distances you will need the help of a Wi-Fi repeater, a Wi-Fi Mesh system or PLC. Unfortunately, this involves an outlay of money, unless you have an old router at home that you can reuse as a repeater.

One of the simplest options is to use a Wi-Fi repeater, which basically takes the Wi-Fi connection and extends it to go further. There are all types and colors for a price that starts at 20 euros and in many cases they are very easy to configure.

Wi-Fi Mesh system is somewhat more complex and will cost you a little more money, starting at around 70 euros. It will be cost-effective if you need to cover a large area, so you would need several conventional Wi-Fi repeaters.

Finally, we cannot dismiss the option of using PLCs, which are adapters that take our Internet connection to other places in the house through the electrical installation. The price starts at around £60, although you’ll need to make sure it’s a model that provides Wi-Fi connectivity and not just Ethernet, so you can connect the Chromecast or FireTV.

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