Troubleshooting Playback Issues

My video is skipping, My video will not load, My video is freezing

Mark Weisberg avatar
Written by Mark Weisberg
Updated over a week ago

Playback issues can be affected by browser updates/system updates on a user's computer extensions/add-ons in the browser and connection-related issues.

Please note: That one customer experiencing playback issues is not necessarily indicative of an issue with Uscreen or your videos. We recommend trying basic troubleshooting with your customer. If you begin to see a trend with multiple customers, please contact us.


How Videos are Delivered

It's important for you to understand how your content is delivered to your viewers.

We utilize CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) to improve video delivery by storing copies of content on servers located strategically around the world. When a viewer requests a video, the CDN delivers it from the server closest to them, reducing latency. CDNs also use caching, load balancing, and intelligent routing to optimize delivery, resulting in faster and more reliable video streaming for viewers.

When a viewer requests content from a CDN, if the video is not already cached in the server closest to their geographic area, the CDN needs to retrieve it directly from the host server. While this may take a little more time compared to serving cached content, it is an integral part of how the majority of the internet operates. CDNs dynamically adapt to the demand by continuously updating and distributing content across their servers, ensuring that subsequent requests for the same content in that geographic area can be served quickly from the local cache, optimizing overall performance and efficiency.

Common Issues with CDN Caching

  • If you have a low number of viewers in specific geolocations, they may experience slight playback issues the first time they view a video as the CDN has to find the video on the original host server.

    • When the second viewer in that geolocation views that video, the CDN will now have the video readily available resulting in a smoother playback experience.

      • This is the same experience that industry leaders experience as well, such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.

        • The fewer viewers you have in a specific geolocation the more temporary playback issues those viewers may experience.


Poor Internet Connectivity

In some cases, your viewers may have a poor internet connection when trying to view your content. They may not even be aware that their internet connection is experiencing issues until they try and play a video.

Recommended Troubleshooting

  • For Apps, have your viewer try and download the video for offline play.

  • Make sure they are connected to Wi-Fi and not cellular data.

  • Have the customer try playing the video on a lower-quality setting.

    • The viewer might be trying to play the video at a higher quality than their internet or device can handle.


Android and Chromecast Devices

Due to the nature of the Android ecosystem, where Google does not manufacture all Android devices and Chromecast-enabled devices as Apple does with its iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS devices, fragmentation becomes a significant issue. This fragmentation contributes to variations in both hardware and software quality among these devices, resulting in differing levels of video playback quality. Certain devices may have lower power or run outdated software, leading to a less optimized experience for users.

However, we are continually working to improve video playback on as many devices as possible.

The differences in hardware capabilities, software versions, internet connectivity, and screen sizes contribute to variations in how well videos play on different devices. Some devices may struggle with certain video formats or encounter display issues due to older software. Nonetheless, we are continually working hard to enhance the playback experience, aiming for better compatibility and smoother performance across a wider range of devices.

Recommended Troubleshooting

  • If your viewer is running any battery drain prevention apps or native software, have them disable the app or setting.

    • Android apps like these can significantly impact the playback experience.

  • Try playing the video in a lower-quality setting.

    • The vast majority of app video playback is below 720p.

      • Such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc.

  • Check to make sure the device is up-to-date and that it is still supported by the manufacturer.

    • If the device is running an older operating system and is no longer supported by the manufacturer, they might experience issues that we're unable to resolve. Once a device or operating system becomes obsolete, support and development are also halted resulting in device issues over a long period of time.


Reporting Playback Issues

If you're seeing a trend with playback issues among multiple viewers please contact us. Please provide the following information to Uscreen Support:

  • Email used for the account in your Store.

  • Link/URL to the page they are having playback issues.

  • Computer/Device OS Version.

  • Browser Type.

  • Steps to reproduce the problem.

  • Any screenshots/video recordings that depict the problem.

  • Can you reproduce the problem using another browser? (for example Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari?)

  • Can you please try another device + network? (For example, a friend's computer using their internet connection, or a cellular device not connected to your home internet)

This will help Uscreen Support investigate further.

NOTE: Our team cannot investigate playback issues without the information provided above. To enable our team to investigate, you will need to obtain information from your end user.

Due to security and privacy, our team is unable to locate end-user-specific device information.

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