Troubleshooting a Lagging Smart TV: A Step-By-Step Guide (2023)

Troubleshooting a Lagging Smart TV: A Step-By-Step Guide (1)

Giving up cable TV and switching to Smart TV can give you more entertainment options while saving you money. Unfortunately, this option can potentially lead to other technological difficulties as well.

With satellite or cable TV, one of the service provider's decoders is connecting to your TV and the most likely errors are usually related to the service provider.

With a Smart TV, you stream video over the Internet, and you need to consider the quality of service from your streaming provider, the capabilities of your streaming device, Wi-Fi connectivity, and Internet speed.

All of these factors have their own potential reliability issues. This step-by-step guide to troubleshooting a slow smart TV addresses each of these issues.

As an affiliate, I may receive a revenue share or other compensation from links on this site.

How to Fix Slow Smart TV Problems

When you encounter problems like lagging Smart TV, poor video quality, or buffering, all these different factors make it difficult to troubleshoot video streaming.

Instead of trying random solutions, it is better to follow the step-by-step instructions to find the real cause of the problem and increase your chances of solving the problem yourself.

Below is our step-by-step guide to troubleshooting a slow Smart TV.

Step 1: Troubleshoot a slow network connection on your Smart TV

The most common cause of slowdown issues on your Smart TV is aslow network connection. Recurring network issues can turn your viewing experience into a buffering nightmare.

Inconsistent and slow internet connection can lead to wasted time and frustration while you probably expected a relaxing time to unwind.

Without fast internet speed, video streaming cannot work well enough to enjoy videos and shows. It is recommended to have at least 15Mbps download speed for each Smart TV you plan to use at the same time. For example, you need at least 30Mbps if two smart TVs are streaming at the same time.

If your service contract does not include enough internet speed, you can request an upgrade from your internet provider. If your internet speed should be good enough for streaming, but you're experiencing lag and buffering, there's probably another reason for the slower network, or there could be another lag issue with your Smart TV.

Most of the time, your network problems originate at home. But with the right tools, diagnosing and fixing these problems is relatively easy.

There are many common network connection problems that can be the result of your own settings or devices. This is important when troubleshooting a slow network connection on your Smart TV. Some of these questions include:

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1.Slow connection due to bandwidth saturation.

If you keep multiple browser windows open on your computer and are actively sending text messages on your smartphone while streaming on your Smart TV, you may be exceeding your bandwidth limits.

bandwidth saturationcan cause buffering of your video stream. Also, it is important to consider whether there are other users of the bandwidth that could contribute to bandwidth saturation. Some of them may include:

  • People in your home accessing services and websites at the same time
  • Game consoles that are constantly connected to the Internet
  • Automatic updates for desktop software and mobile apps
  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices
  • WiFi thieves, like a neighbor connecting to your home network without your knowledge

You can reduce or eliminate bandwidth saturation in many different ways, in addition to purchasing more bandwidth. A good place to start is to turn off all devices except your smart TV to see if that fixes the slowdown issue.

You'll know this is a solution if the lag on your Smart TV improves noticeably when all other devices are off. However, this will not appeal to devices you are not familiar with.

The best way to identify network bottlenecks is to use a tool that offers real-time visibility into your network performance. A good tool is PingPlotter, for example.

Rather than just guessing, this tool shows you exactly where network latency is occurring. This provides a targeted approach that follows the procedure mentioned above for checking a slow link for bandwidth saturation.

2.Solving problems with the local network.

If you've narrowed your problem down to a problem on your local network, you should try to fix it yourself before/instead of calling a service provider.

Resetting the router is the first try. To do this, switch the device off and on again. You can do this by unplugging the power cord and then plugging it back in after waiting about 30 seconds. In many cases, a slow network issue can be resolved simply by restarting the router.

Most routers have a factory reset feature. This works as a stronger reset option compared to power cycling the router. How to perform a factory reset on your router depends on your device model.

You can search the web for the steps to perform this reset option on your specific device. A factory reset restores all default settings including passwords.

Make sure you know the router's default password before proceeding with the factory reset.

If restarting or resetting the router does not resolve the slow network issue, the issue could be related to other hardware or a wireless network.


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To find faulty network hardware, you should try swapping out various network components. The most common network hardware components besides router are cable, hub, NIC, modem and switch.

If you don't have spare networking hardware components, ask a friend to lend them to you, or buy them from your service provider or a store that sells the hardware.

If your network performance improves after replacing a component, that component is probably defective and you have found the solution to your problem.


It is possible that other household appliances and devices sometimes interfere with your WiFi network. You can check if you have WiFi problem by connecting to Ethernet.

If the problem goes away, you have found the cause of the internet lag. If not, you probably need to test other solutions.

3.Troubleshooting outside of your local network.

If you've isolated your problem to something outside of your local network, chances are you don't have control over the faulty part.

The only realistic option at this point is to contact your ISP's technical support. This includes creating a case, contacting the technical support number assigned by your ISP, and explaining your problem.

Hopefully you can find someone who can help you quickly and fix your device/device connection. This video is also helpful.

How to fix slow internet problems on Smart TV

Watch this video on YouTube.

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Step 2: Try connecting to another streaming service

If your internet connection speed is high enough for video streaming but your smart TV is still lagging, you can try connecting to a different streaming service to see if the problem persists.

YouTube and Netflix are generally reliable; So if they play smoothly and the picture looks clear, you can move on to the next step.

If they don't ring clearly, that's probably not the cause of the problem. Contact the streaming service you're experiencing buffering on and complain later.

It is recommended to mention that you have already tried other streaming services without any problems. If lag and buffering persist, you may need to select an alternative streaming service.

Step 3: Check the connection speed on your streaming device

To check if the connection issues are coming from the streaming device itself, you need to run a speed test. Every device is different, so you'll need to follow the steps for your specific device. Here are some examples:

  • Once again. From the main menu, go to Settings > Network and select "Check Connection". After verification, select "OK", scroll to the right side of the page and look under "Internet Download Speed".
  • Amazon FireTV. Download Firefox for Fire TV and run the app. Then type "speed test" in the search box. On the search results page, select the Run Speed ​​Test button and wait for the test to complete. Check the results above for Mbps Download.
  • Apple TV. Download Ookla's Speedtest from the App Store. Run the application and at the "Help us improve" prompt, select "Don't allow" and "Go". After the test is complete, look for your results in the number under Download Mbps.
  • Chromecast. Download the application called SpeedCast from the Google Play Store. Run the app and click the blue cast button. After selecting your Chromecast, select the "Start Trial" option. The results can be found in the "Download" column.
  • TV android. Follow the Chromecast instructions above and select your Android TV device from the cast list. Alternatively, you can also download the NetSpeed ​​​​Test App from the Google Play Store. Run the app and select "Test Download Speed".

If your speed test results are 10 Mbps or more (ideally over 15 Mbps), then the cause of your problem isn't your streaming device's connection speed.

Step 4: Check the connection speed of your modem

If you have an internet modem disconnected from your wireless router, the smart tv lag issue can be caused by a slow connection from your modem.

To test the modem connection, locate the Ethernet cable between the modem and the router. Disconnect the Ethernet cable from the router and connect it to a desktop or laptop PC.

restart the modemand then search Google for "internet speed test". Click the "Run Speed ​​Test" button and compare the results to the speeds advertised by your ISP. For smooth streaming, they should be around 15 Mbit/s.

If your test results show slower speeds, but you pay for faster internet (per your contract with your service provider), contact technical support and seek a solution.

Step 5: Check the connection speed of your WiFi router

If your modem's internet speed is okay, but your smart TV is lagging, your WiFi router might be the weakest link.

To check your router's connection speed, run a speed test on a computer or phone within 12 inches of your smart TV. Again, the Download Mbit/s results should show at least 10-15 Mbit/s for a smooth streaming experience.

If it's worse than 10-15Mbps while paying for a faster service, you may need to buy a new wireless router. If the results fall within this range, there may be an issue with your Smart TV/Streaming device.

Step 6: Consider a new Smart TV

Once you've ruled out Internet speed issues, individual streaming services, and connection strength issues, you may need to upgrade to a new Android TV, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast device.

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Maybe you have faulty hardware or your device is more than a few years old. If you buy a new Smart TV, you'll have a smooth streaming experience as long as you don't face the same technical issues.

While there are many steps to follow when troubleshooting a lagging Smart TV, the main thing to remember is that you can try one option, but you should continue to try all options until you find the one that works for your device. Don't get impatient and just take each serving step by step.

related questions

What are the advantages of a Smart TV?

A smart TV can connect directly to the internet without the need for a streaming device or set-top box. Most smart TVs offer entertainment content available in their built-in app store. This allows viewers to easily download the content that is most relevant to them.

Content can be subscription-based services such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix, or on-demand content streamed from various apps such as the ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer, My5 and All 4. Some Smart TV models can also connect to your tablet or smartphone.

Smart TVs, similar to smart home devicesand smartphones, support a variety of applications and Internet connections. This provides access to a world of new entertainment possibilities, from streaming videos on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix to checking social media, playing games and controlling connected devices in your smart home, including devices that work with themGoogle homeand Alexa-enabled products.

Many new smart TV models now include voice recognition apps like Google Assistant and AmazonAlexato search programs and change channels.

Most smart TV models on the market today work with smart speakers, and some offer the same built-in functionality.

There is a growing trend for smart TVs to integrate smart home features. Many models are compatible with various IoT connected devices including portCastles, lights and sensors. Some smart TV models have dedicated control panels to control all the smart devices in your home.

How does a Smart TV connect to the Internet?

Your Smart TV can be connected to the Internet in two ways: with an Ethernet cable or wirelessly.

  • All Smart TV models have built-in WiFi. You can connect the device to your home wireless network through the network settings or during the Smart TV setup.
  • Alternatively, you can use a wired connection and connect your smart TV to the router using an Ethernet cable. The Ethernet connection tends to be more stable.

A Smart TV offers streaming video over your home network. It can use built-in Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet to stay connected to the internet. Most current smart TV models support the 802.11ac WLAN standard. Older models may still use the older 802.11n standard.

If you have a larger home, check your WiFi coverage. For example, if the smart TV is in the basement and your WiFi router is on the second floor, the TV may not be able to stream videos without lag issues.

If your Smart TV isn't receiving a strong enough wireless signal, there are a few ways to solve the problem. A good 802.11ac compatible Wi-Fi router can solve the problem if your current router is more than three years old. You can also try adding a Wi-Fi range extender like the ones from Netgear.

Mesh routers offer another option. You are able to extend WiFi coverage throughout the home. Linksys Velop and Netgear Orbi are two such devices.

Which companies make Smart TVs?

Today, all major TV manufacturers offer Smart TVs. The trend these days is to make all TVs smart. Higher-end models offer more navigation features, including gesture control and voice interaction.

Budget sets from Chinese manufacturers offer at least some smart features. The largest smart TV manufacturers include Panasonic, LG, Hisense, LG, Samsung, Philips, Sony, Sharp, Vizio, Toshiba and TCL.

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What do you need in addition to a Smart TV?

To get the most out of your Smart TV, you need a fast internet connection. On-demand movies and shows use your internet connection to stream them to your Smart TV.

The higher the speed, the fewer buffering and lag issues you'll have, and the smoother the viewing experience.

You might also want to consider other smart home devices that can pair with your smart TV. By building your smart home, your comfortable life will be configured little by little, while your peace of mind will also increase.


How do I fix my smart TV from lagging? ›

You can do a few things if you're wondering how to improve your Smart TV's performance.
  1. Clear your Smart TV's cache. If your TV is lagging, one of the best ways to improve it is to clear its cache. ...
  2. Check for updates. ...
  3. Restart your TV. ...
  4. Install a TV optimization app. ...
  5. Factory reset your TV.
Nov 7, 2022

What causes smart TV lag? ›

Your Smart TV or Odyssey Ark gaming screen uses memory just like your phone or PC. The more apps you run on your TV, the more memory it uses and when the memory gets low, it can start to run a little slow.

How do I fix my TV lag? ›

Depending on the make and model of your television, you can try different combinations of the settings, inputs, and modes. Please note that in most modern TVs, you can simply go to “System,” select “General,” and enable “Game Mode” or “PC” mode. Selecting this option will reduce input lag by 50%.

Why is my TV show lagging? ›

Why does my TV keep buffering? Possibly the most common form of buffering occurs when your internet speed is too slow to download the amount of data needed. In this scenario, your device will buffer the data for the video and then begin playing it when there is enough data downloaded to prevent lag in the stream.

How do I clear the cache on my smart TV? ›

To do this, go to your TV's settings and select “Apps.” From there, you can select the app that you want to clear the cache for and choose “Clear Cache.”

How can I improve my smart TV connection? ›

For more, here's settings to change on your streaming device and how to strategically cancel streaming services to save money.
  1. Upgrade your internet speed for better streaming. ...
  2. Upgrade your Wi-Fi streaming hardware. ...
  3. Switch to wired Ethernet. ...
  4. Move your router. ...
  5. Limit the number of people on your Wi-Fi.
Nov 8, 2022

What does lagging it mean? ›

delay, procrastinate, lag, loiter, dawdle, dally mean to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. delay usually implies a putting off of something (such as a beginning or departure). we cannot delay any longer.

Why is there a delay when changing channels? ›

There is hesitation when you change channels because your television is trying to match the frequency of the broadcast by scanning the frequency. You can reduce the delay by changing your input mode from HDMI to standard video component connectors that processes only one type of frequency.

How do I stop my TV from stuttering? ›

Motion interpolation is probably the best way to reduce stutter. This feature increases the frame rate of the video signal to a higher one. If you have a 120Hz TV and you're watching 30 fps content, increasing the frame rate can help reduce stutter because each frame isn't held on for as long.

Why does my smart TV keep buffering? ›

Two common reasons for buffering are 1) your internet connection is too slow to stream a video in real time, and 2) the speed at which your router sends the video to all your internet-connected devices is too slow.

How do I fix input lag on my LG smart TV? ›

Setting the TV to Game Optimizer mode can reduce the video lag.
Sets up the features for an immersive experience when you play with a video game console.
  1. Press the settings in the remote controller.
  2. Select Game Optimizer.
  3. Selecting On turns on all related settings. It only works with HDMI inputs.
Feb 1, 2023

Will a better router stop buffering? ›

Whole-home systems like mesh WiFi can improve the coverage in your home to stop videos from buffering.

How do you restart a smart TV? ›

Restart using the menu. On the remote: Press (Quick Settings) → Settings → System → Restart → Restart. Press HOME → navigate to Settings → About → Restart → Restart.

What does buffering look like on TV? ›

It is usually accompanied with a logo like an hourglass or an infinite loop. The reason for buffering is because your TV/ device can not download data fast enough to perform that task that you require it to do it must pause temporarily to gather more data before resuming the paused task.

Where is the Clear cache button? ›

In Chrome
  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More .
  3. Click More tools. Clear browsing data.
  4. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
  5. Next to "Cookies and other site data" and "Cached images and files," check the boxes.
  6. Click Clear data.

What does clearing cache on TV do? ›

Do you need to clear the cache on your Samsung Smart TV? Clearing the cache on your electronic devices can help make them run faster, protect them from malware and viruses, and improve app performance. You've probably heard about how to clear the cache on your web browsers, computers, and mobile phones.

How do I clean up my smart TV? ›

“Your best bet is to use a soft, anti-static microfiber cloth—the kind used to clean eyeglasses and camera lenses—and wipe in a circular motion,” says John Walsh, who cleans more than 250 TVs a year in his role as a CR photographer. (Some TV manufacturers will include a cloth for this purpose.)

How do you boost a TV signal? ›

Here are some tips for boosting a digital TV signal:
  1. Move the antenna to new location or height, if you're using an indoor antenna. ...
  2. Re-aim the antenna, if you're using an outdoor antenna. ...
  3. Watch the signal strength meter on the digital-to-analog converter box or television as you move or aim the antenna.

What is the best internet connection for smart TV? ›

To browse the web on your smart TV, you'll need a minimum of 2Mbps and 5Mbps or more for quicker loading times. To download music this speed will need to increase to speeds of 10Mbps or higher so that you won't be waiting an excessive amount of time for albums to download and playback.

What is an example of lagging? ›

Some general examples of lagging indicators include the unemployment rate, corporate profits, and labor cost per unit of output. Interest rates can also be good lagging indicators since rates change as a reaction to severe movements in the market.

Why is it lagging so much? ›

While lag is often caused by high latency, it can also be caused by issues related to the computer that's running the game. These include insufficient power in the central processing unit (CPU) or graphics card (GPU), or lower system (RAM) or video (VRAM) memory.

What is a lagging indicator? ›

: an economic indicator (such as spending on new plants and equipment) that more often than not maintains an existent trend for some time after the state of the economy has turned onto an opposite trend.

Why are some of my TV channels breaking up? ›

If your TV picture is breaking up, cutting in and out, or pixelating (looks like everything is a bunch of squares), then you probably are experiencing a weak signal. Check all of the connections from the wall to your cable box and from the cable box to your TV to ensure that all connections are tight.

Why does my channels keep freezing? ›

Most of the time, freezing and pixelations in TV happen when there is a signal disruption. TV freezing can be caused by many things like a broken TV antenna or loose cables. A lot of people have experienced that their television is freezing when there is bad weather or strong winds.

How long of a delay does live TV have? ›

Live streams are not actually live. There's usually a 20-120 second delay between the event actually taking place and the video streaming on viewers' screens. That's video latency, the delay between when a video frame is captured and when that frame is displayed to the viewer.

How do you deal with input lag on TV? ›

How to prevent input lag
  1. Turn on Game Mode. Designed specifically for use with video games, "Game Mode" is a setting that optimizes a TV's performance for gaming. ...
  2. Turn off any reduction features. New TVs come with at least a few reduction settings. ...
  3. Turn off motion enhancement modes.
Feb 27, 2023

What causes stuttering while streaming? ›

The main reason why you experience OBS stuttering is the encoding lag. While using OBS, all actions for every frame of processing must occur within the time constraints of a framerate, which seems to be the output because this software operates in real-time.

How do I stop my Samsung TV from stuttering? ›

Change Motion smoothing settings on your TV
  1. Navigate to Settings > Picture > Expert Settings > Auto Motion Plus Settings (Picture Clarity Settings).
  2. The default setting is Auto. ...
  3. Select Auto Motion Plus (Picture Clarity) to change the setting to either Off or Custom.

How do I stop excessive buffering? ›

How to stop buffering
  1. Close other applications and programs. ...
  2. Pause the stream for a few moments. ...
  3. Reduce video quality. ...
  4. Speed up your internet connection. ...
  5. Remove other devices connected to your network. ...
  6. Update graphics card drivers. ...
  7. Try a wired Ethernet connection. ...
  8. Clean up your browser settings.
Jan 30, 2020

Why is my TV buffering and freezing? ›

Re-buffering is caused by changes in your Internet connection speed. Also, multiple other devices on your home network which are consuming bandwidth at the same time can slow the entire network down. Try turning off the other devices to improve the streaming process.

How do I check my buffering speed? ›

Quick: Test for Bufferbloat
  1. Start a ping to You'll see a series of lines, one per ping, typically with times in the 20-100 msec range.
  2. Watch the ping times while the speed test is running. If the times jump up when uploading or downloading, then your router is probably bloated.

Is there a way to get rid of input lag? ›

If you're experiencing input lag, you can try to limit your game's frame rate to 59 frames per second. If this doesn't solve the problem, you can try pushing the frame rate up to 120 frames per second or higher.

How do I clear the cache on my LG Smart TV? ›

Clear All Cached Data
  1. From a Home screen, navigate: Apps icon. Settings. Storage & USB. (Device section).
  2. If applicable, tap. Internal storage. from the Device storage section.
  3. Tap. Cached data. .
  4. Review the notification then tap. OK. to confirm.

Why does my router keep lagging? ›

Walls, distance, and even microwaves can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. Weaker Wi-Fi signals mean slower speeds and frequent disconnects. You can tell if signal interference and weak Wi-Fi signals are your issues if your connection works well near your router but is extremely slow in the next room.

Does router affect lag? ›

Whatever this lag is, it's the base of your connection. A router can't lower it. In other words, that's the best possible latency level a good router can give you — in most real-world cases, it will be slightly worse. So, when it comes to lag, the router's job is to eliminate any extra.

Why is my internet fast but streaming slow? ›

Given that your modem's speeds are fine, but your streaming device's speeds are slow, there's a good chance your wireless router is the weak link. To check the connection, run a speed test on a phone or computer within a foot or two of your streaming device.

How do I manually restart my TV? ›

Turn off the TV. Unplug the television power cord (mains lead) from the electrical outlet. Let the television remain without power for 2 minutes. Plug the power cord (mains lead) back into the electrical outlet.

Does rebooting a TV reset it? ›

Restarting has the same effect as unplugging your TV power and then plugging it in again. To restart your TV, navigate to Settings > System > Power and then select System restart. Highlight Restart, and then press OK to confirm restart.

What is difference between buffering and streaming? ›

Buffering is the practice of pre-loading segments of data when streaming video content. Streaming — the continuous transmission of audio or video files from a server to a client — is the process that makes watching videos online possible.

How can I improve my streaming quality? ›

How to Improve Live Streaming Quality in 8 Steps (2022 Update)
  1. Invest in High-Quality Live Streaming Equipment.
  2. Optimize Your Live Encoder Settings.
  3. Use a Professional Online Video Platform.
  4. Choose a Powerful CDN.
  5. Use a Reliable Internet Connection.
  6. Transcoding and Multi-Bitrate Streaming.
  7. Choose the Optimal Resolution.
May 25, 2022

Should I turn on reduce buffering? ›

Always ON when you can. It reduces input lag. However it has a bug that may lock your fps at certain value and it won't get higher until you turn it off/on again.

Why does my TV keep buffering? ›

Two common reasons for buffering are 1) your internet connection is too slow to stream a video in real time, and 2) the speed at which your router sends the video to all your internet-connected devices is too slow.

What causes signal delay? ›

The two major factors that form the total propagation delay are the speed with which the signal travels and the total distance traveled. The speed can vary greatly depending on the type of signal and the medium through which it is traveling.

What internet speed required for smart TV? ›

To browse the web on your smart TV, you'll need a minimum of 2Mbps and 5Mbps or more for quicker loading times. To download music this speed will need to increase to speeds of 10Mbps or higher so that you won't be waiting an excessive amount of time for albums to download and playback.


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