Why Is Your Chromecast Quality So Bad? 10 Fixes


Why Is Your Chromecast Quality So Bad?

Chromecast provides an excellent way to watch TV and movies without having to deal with cables. However, sometimes the quality can be pretty bad; it’s constantly buffering, the picture is fuzzy, or there’s just no sound.

Such experiences are frustrating, especially when watching your favorite movie or TV show.

Your Chromecast quality is so bad likely because the device is too far from your Android devices or due to poor bandwidth or high playback settings. The separation between your Chromecast and Android device should be 4 meters (15 feet) connected to the internet with at least 5 Mbps.

In this article, I’ll discuss the causes of poor Chromecast quality and ways to fix the issues. Keep reading to learn more.

Causes of Poor Chromecast Quality

Everything happens for a reason, and this can be said for poor Chromecast quality.

The possible reasons you have poor casting quality are discussed below:

Your Android Device Is Too Far From Your Chromecast 

The separation distance between your Chromecast and Android devices is a crucial consideration for quality casting.

Google’s Chromecast Support shared that the ideal separation is 4 meters (15 feet).

If they’re far away, the signal strength will decrease, and you’ll experience issues like buffering and fuzzy picture quality.

A rule of thumb when using remote connections is to ensure the devices are as close as possible.

That way, you’ll be guaranteed a strong signal.

You Have Low Internet Bandwidth

It’s worth noting that your device does two things in the background when streaming a video:

  • Downloading the content
  • Displaying the content for viewing

These two processes require more bandwidth provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for high-quality images and videos.

The minimum recommended internet speed for Chromecast streaming is 5 Mbps.

You can use Google’s Free Speedtest Tool to check your internet speeds. Click “Begin Test,” and the tool will automatically run a series of tests to determine your download and upload speeds.

If you’re not getting at least 5 Mbps, you’ll need to upgrade your internet package with your ISP or find a new one.

Your Internet Can’t Keep Up With High Playback Resolution

When Chromecast first came out, it only used the original playback resolution setting, which was perfect for most people. Currently, there are four different resolutions:

  • 1st Generation: It needs 2.4 GHz WiFi connections at 1080P with 30 fps.
  • 2nd Generation: It needs a 5 GHz connection.
  • 3rd Generation: It has an increased HD quality of 60 fps.
  • Chromecast Ultra: This uses 4K resolution for enhanced viewing.

The higher the playback resolution setting, the better the video quality.

However, it also uses more bandwidth, which may reduce quality.

10 Fixes for Poor Chromecast Quality

Some of the ways you can enhance the quality of your Chromecast are:

1. Reduce the Distance Between the Chromecast and Android Devices

Ensure the separation distance between the devices is as small as possible or within 4 meters (15 feet).

You can use a measuring tape to confirm the distance for accuracy.

A small separation distance prevents poor signal coverage.

2. Connect Your Chromecast and Android Devices to the Same Network

Connecting your devices to different networks may decrease the quality of your streaming.

That’s because each device will try to connect to different networks, causing lagging and buffering.

To fix this, connect both devices to the same network. 

The following is the procedure to connect your devices to the same network:

  1. Go into the settings on your Android device.
  2. Select network connections.
  3. Connect to the same WiFi network as your Chromecast device.

3. Ensure Your Internet Connection Bandwidth Is at least 5 Mbps

You need at least 5 Mbps for better streaming quality.

The best way to confirm this is by checking your internet speed using Google’s Speed Test tool.

Your bandwidth might be the cause of lagging and buffering if it’s below 5 Mbps.

4. Turn Off Other Devices on the Same Network

Connecting several devices to the same network can decrease your streaming quality.

To fix this, turn off any devices connected to the same network but are not in use for Chromecast streaming.

You can do this by going into the settings on your router and disabling the WiFi connection for those devices.

5. Restart Your Router

If you’re still experiencing poor quality after trying the previous fixes, consider restarting your router.

Here’s how to restart your router:

  1. Unplug your router from the power outlet.
  2. Wait for 30 seconds before plugging your router back in.
  3. Try streaming and check if your Chromecast quality has improved.

6. Update Your Chromecast Firmware

Chromecast firmware updates are released periodically and usually contain fixes for common bugs.

Use the following procedure to check if there’s a new firmware update:

  1. Open the Google Home app on your Android device.
  2. Tap the Devices icon in the top right corner.
  3. Select your Chromecast device from the list.
  4. Tap the three dots in the top right corner.
  5. Select device settings.
  6. Under the General section, check for a firmware update.
  7. Follow the prompts to install it (if there’s an update available).

7. Use an Ethernet Connection

Using an ethernet cable is one way to improve connectivity.

However, you’ll have to use an ethernet adapter because most Chromecasts don’t have an ethernet port.

Alternatively, upgrade to Chromecast Ultra, which has an internet port.

The cable should enable faster internet speed and enhance the casting quality.

8. Lower the Video Quality

Ultra HD videos may be the reason for Chromecast buffers.

That’s because they have a higher resolution, which requires more bandwidth.

If you’re having trouble casting an Ultra HD video, try lowering the quality.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Open the video in the Google Play Movies & TV app.
  2. Tap the three dots in the top right corner.
  3. Select Quality and choose a lower setting.

9. Cast Videos Instead of Streaming

Casting videos instead of streaming them can improve the quality of your Chromecast.

That’s because casting pre-downloads the video before playback reduces the chances of buffering.

However, you’ll need to download and install a casting program like VLC on your computer.

10. Close Unnecessary Apps

Simultaneously running many apps can consume your device’s resources and cause Chromecast lags. Close any apps that you’re not using to fix this issue.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Go into Settings on your Android device.
  2. Select Apps. From there, you’ll see a list of all the running apps.
  3. Select the app you want to close and tap Force Stop.

Why Is Your Chromecast Quality So Bad? Final Thoughts

Poor Chromecast quality can be frustrating, especially when streaming a favorite movie.

The first step to solving this problem is by identifying the cause.

When you know the reason, use any of the above fixes that are appropriate to the issues to restore your streaming quality.

Nelson Barbosa

I'm an engineer in love with smart home tech. On my website, I share useful tips and tricks to help my readers get the most of their devices and make their lives simpler by adding just a drop of technology in everyday routines!

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