Why Is Streaming Video Pixelated?

By J.M. Chanel

Streaming video is a way to watch video clips over an Internet connection without having to download a video file. However, some streaming videos may appear pixelated or choppy. Several different factors can affect streaming video quality, such as Internet connection speed and the quality of the master used to create the stream.

Internet Service Speed

Streaming video files adjust their quality to best fit the speed of your Internet connection. If you are on a slower Internet connection, the audio and video quality of a video stream will be very poor and will become pixelated. You may want to contact your Internet service provider about switching to a higher bandwidth Internet package.

Other Programs Accessing the Internet

Other programs that are accessing the Internet use up your connection bandwidth and will prevent a streaming video clip from being played at the highest quality. This may result in streaming video playback that is pixelated. Close any programs that may be accessing the Internet and stop any downloads that may be occurring and the video quality should improve.

Wireless Routers

Wireless Internet users may experience low quality streaming video for a variety of reasons. Try moving the computer closer to the wireless router, as there may be interference that is preventing the video stream from the full bandwidth of the connection. If other users are connected to the router, their Internet activity will also cause your connection speed to slow. If problems still occur, you may want to try using a wired Internet connection and see if playback quality improves.

Update Video Plugins

Streaming video may be pixelated due to a computer that is running an out-of-date version of the required video plugin. Updating video plugins may help your computer stream video to its full potential. Some plugins you may need to update to improve streaming video quality include Adobe Flash Player, Microsoft Silverlight and Apple Quicktime Player.

Low Quality Video Source

If all of the above solutions have not resolved the pixelated video stream, it may be the streaming video file was sourced from a poor quality master copy, such as a video file with a low compression rate or resolution. This problem cannot be resolved, as it is a defect in the video file that is being streamed. If other streaming videos do not appear pixelated on your Internet connection, then this is likely the problem.