Most content on IBM Video Streaming plays automatically. You should be able to view live streams and recorded videos without installing any additional software or doing anything special. If you are experiencing any issues watching content on IBM Video Streaming, please read the problems and solutions below.

Try watching at a lower quality

Many streams are now available in multiple bitrates. IBM's video streaming accounts allow for multiple bitrate broadcasting. If you are watching on mobile the bitrate will adjust automatically. If you are watching on a laptop / desktop computer, you can manually adjust the bitrate you are watching.

  1. Hover over the player
  2. Click on the text that says Best, 720, 480, 360 or 240
  3. Select 240 and try watching on that. You may notice a lower quality video image, but the stream should be easier for your bandwidth and CPU to playback smoothly. If it is smooth at 240, you can try the next step up and so on.

Update Browser

We recommend viewing IBM Video Streaming on an up-to-date version of Firefox or Chrome. Go here to get the latest version of Firefox or Chrome. 

Do not watch (monitor) the stream from the same machine you are streaming from.


Check Internet Connection and Bandwidth

You can only watch a live stream if you have a consistent internet connection. Shared wi-fi networks, like what you might find at a coffee shop, are often too unreliable to view a live stream without interruption. We recommend viewing on the best possible connection you can find.

You can run a speedtest here to determine your download speed. It can be helpful to run the test several times to see if you are getting consistent download speeds.  To view an 720/HD stream, you need download speeds at around 1.5-2Mbps.

When possible, plugging in via an ethernet cable can help you avoid the possibility of an inconsistent wireless connection.

Check Computer Resources

A possible cause of choppiness or pausing playback is insufficient CPU resources on the broadcaster or the viewer side. Older computer's graphics cards may have a difficult time encoding and decoding live and recorded video.  We recommend shutting down all other applications and browser tabs / windows while broadcasting and viewing if you are experiencing playback problems. 

Watching content on IBM Video Streaming can be fairly CPU intensive, especially the HD content. It is best to have a dual core system that is less than two years old that has a discrete (non-integrated) graphics card. Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 CPUs or the AMD equivalent are preferred. Netbooks or low power systems should be avoided. You can check the CPU load in the Task Manager (Windows) or Activity Monitor (Mac OS).

Disable or Enable Hardware Acceleration

Hardware acceleration means that your computer's graphics card is used to render the stream on your screen rather than decoding and rendering in software. The advantage is typically smoother playback, less battery drain and less overheating. In some cases, hardware acceleration does not function properly and the stream will go black or you will see a "stuttering" or "skipping" effect where everything is jittering. If you see this symptom or are seeing low frame rate playback, try enabling or disabling hardware acceleration using these steps:

  1. Right click on the player
  2. Choose settings
  3. Click on the far left tab that looks like a screen
  4. Check or uncheck the box that says "Enable Hardware Acceleration"
  5. Click close
  6. Refresh the page

Check that IBM Video Streaming content is not blocked by an ad-blocker, firewall, or being filtered on your local network.

Particularly if you are watching at a school or in a corporate environment, it is possible that a firewall or content filter is blocking IBM Video Streaming content. If you see a black screen instead of the live video stream, this is one of the possible causes. If you have any ad-blockers installed, disable those in your browser. If you can talk to your network administrator or control it yourself, this article explains which ports need to be enabled to allow IBM Video Streaming viewing and broadcasting through your firewall. If you are using a VPN, try disabling the VPN and viewing while not connected with a VPN.

Common Problems and Solutions

No video player, there is just a blank space where the player should be
Update browser
Stream is frequently re-buffering, looks "choppy," "laggy", "pausing" or "stop and go."
Watch at a lower quality
Check bandwidth
Check computer resources
Disable or enable hardware acceleration
Black screen instead of a live video stream, even though I see a red "live" badge in the bottom of the player
Check bandwidth
Disable or enable hardware acceleration
Watch at a lower quality
Check computer resources
Check that IBM Video Streaming content is not being blocked by a firewall or content filtering from your local network.
Stream is playing back at a lower than expected frame rate
Check bandwidth
Disable or enable hardware acceleration
Watch at a lower quality
Check computer resources

Mobile Viewing

Most streams on IBM Video Streaming are available for viewing on iOS and Android devices.


The following tips are recommended for mobile viewing:

  • Do not use private browsing mode on Safari on iOS
  • Use Wi-Fi rather than 3G or 4G connection whenever possible
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