How to Fix Chromecast Bad Video Quality With 11 Solutions

a poor-quality video is cast to a Chromecast connected to a TV

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What To Know

  • Improve Chromecast video quality by using Chromecast Ultra or 4K, adjusting app video settings, and placing Chromecast and router near each other.
  • Boost video quality by using a wall outlet for power, rebooting the router, switching to a 5GHz Wi-Fi band, limiting connected devices, and using an Ethernet connection.
  • Keep Chromecast and streaming apps updated, and consider alternative streaming devices like Roku or Fire TV stick if issues persist.

In this article, I’m going to show you 11 solutions that can help you fix the issue of poor video quality on your Chromecast.

Let’s get started!

1. Choose the Correct Chromecast Device for 4K Streaming

Chromecast HD and Chromecast with Google TV

When considering the ideal Chromecast device for 4K streaming, it’s imperative to make the correct choice. 

The Chromecast Ultra and the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) are specifically designed for this purpose, enabling you to cast content in stunning 4K quality. 

It’s important to note that while other models, such as the Chromecast HD and the Chromecast with Google TV (HD), offer significant functionality, they are limited to supporting resolutions up to 1080p

This means that for an immersive, high-definition viewing experience, particularly when streaming movies, TV shows, or engaging in gaming that demands higher resolution, opting for the Ultra or the 4K version of Google TV Chromecast is essential. 

These devices not only enhance your viewing experience but also ensure that you are utilizing the full potential of your 4K-compatible television or display.

2. Manually Set Video Quality in Streaming Apps

Experiencing video quality issues while using streaming apps such as YouTube on your Chromecast can be frustrating. But there’s a simple temporary solution you can try. 

First, disconnect the stream between your phone and the Chromecast.

Select This Phone to disconnect a ChromeCast and phone

Then, play the video on your phone and change its settings to a higher quality, like 1080p.

set a Youtube video quality to 1080p

After that, recast your phone’s screen to the Chromecast.

select a Chromecast in the device list to connect a phone and Chromecast

YouTube video is connected to the ChromeCast device

Remember, this fix isn’t permanent. Each new video will go back to the original settings because of a possible software issue. 

This method can help improve your viewing experience, even if it’s just for a short while.

3. Optimize Chromecast, Casting Device, and Router Placement

To optimize your Chromecast experience, it’s essential to consider the placement of your Chromecast, casting device, and router.

Ideally, your Chromecast and the device you’re casting from, such as your phone or laptop, should be within 15 feet of each other.

place an iPhone next to a Chromecast HD

This proximity helps prevent issues like stuttering or poor streaming quality. 

Similarly, ensure that your Chromecast or any TV with an integrated Chromecast feature is also no more than 15 feet away from your router.

This distance is crucial for maintaining a strong and stable connection.

If the distance between your router and Chromecast is too far, you can use an HDMI extender to close the distance.

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Plug your Chromecast into the female port on the extender and plug the male end of the extender into your TV’s HDMI port. 

4. Verify the Quality of the Original Video Source

When preparing to stream videos, it’s crucial to verify the quality of the original video source to ensure an optimal viewing experience.

High-quality, glitch-free videos are essential, especially when casting to larger screens like TVs. 

For instance, if you’re casting from a media player app such as VLC, make sure the local videos are in HD resolution (720p, 1080p, or higher) so that they will not appear stretched-out or blurry on the TV screen. 

information of pixels of a 4K video in a PC

You can cast from VLC on Android phones, MacBooks, or laptops. 

Chromecast was designed for videos streaming directly from the web. For this reason, it only supports some common web codecs. While you can cast local video files from VLC, they must be in the supported video formats such as MP4 or WAV. 

5. Power Chromecast Using a Wall Outlet

Many Chromecast users have discovered a simple yet effective trick for enhancing video quality: using a wall outlet or power strip for power instead of the TV’s USB port. 

powering a Chromecast HD with a power strip

This method provides a more stable and consistent power supply, which significantly improves the streaming experience. 

Switching to a wall outlet can be a quick and easy way to boost your Chromecast’s performance, particularly if you’re seeking better video clarity and smoothness.

6. Reboot Your Router

A simple reboot often works wonders for technological devices. It’s like a very quick nap that recharges. 

Restarting the router may give your network a much-needed speed boost. A restart clears the router and cache and allows it to reselect the best network channel, which may mean a stronger internet connection. 

Follow these steps to reboot your router:

  • Disconnect your router from its power source.a hand holding a plug in front of an asus router
  • Wait 1 minute for the memory to clear fully and all the power to drain out of the router.
  • Plug the power cable back into the router and wait for it to reconnect to the network.ASUS router Wi-Fi on a table

NOTE: This manual reboot method works for any kind of router. You can also check your manufacturer’s manual to find alternative ways to reboot your router. 

7. Switch Your Router’s Wi-Fi Band to 5GHz 

Depending on its settings, your streaming app may automatically adjust the quality of a video based on your internet connection speed. 

Most Wi-Fi routers support two wireless frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Both frequencies are primarily different in terms of speed and range. 

The 2.4 GHz band covers longer distances but transmits data at lower speeds. Alternatively, the 5 GHz band has a shorter range, higher speed, and is less susceptible to interference.  

Deco Mesh Wi-Fi change settings to 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands

Both frequencies have their strengths, but if you’re streaming high-resolution videos, it’s best to switch your router’s Wi-Fi band to 5GHz. You’ll need around 5 Mbps to stream high-quality videos smoothly and without buffering.

We have a comprehensive video tutorial on enabling 5 GHz Wi-Fi on ASUS routers as an example. Check it out below.

Quick & Easy: Set Up 2.4GHz & 5GHz WI-FI on Asus Routers

8. Limit Devices Connected to Your Network

Multiple devices on the same network can slow your Wi-Fi. You’ll notice that upload and download speeds are slower, and it may become difficult to stream videos. 

Sometimes, your router’s bandwidth may be too low to handle the number of devices connected, thereby straining the network system for all users.

If devices connected to your router aren’t in use, turn them off. This will reduce the strain on your network and aid in smoother streaming.

9. Use an Ethernet Connection for Stability

Wired connections are faster and more reliable than wireless connections because there is little or no interference, and the signal strength isn’t affected by distance. 

Using an Ethernet connection will improve your internet speed and prevent the occurrence of poor video quality.The ethernet cable is plugged to the CAT6 port on the wall

However, while Chromecast devices support Ethernet connections, they do not have Ethernet ports. You’ll need a Belkin Ethernet adapter to connect your Chromecast to wired networks. 

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Watch the below video for visual instruction.

Maximize Your Chromecasts Full Capabilities

10. Update Your Chromecast and Streaming Apps Regularly

Firmware updates improve the performance of your devices and provide bug fixes. As part of the troubleshooting process, update your Chromecast device to the most recent version.

We also advise that you update streaming apps (i.e., YouTube and Facebook). Apps running on outdated software are often slow, and glitchy, and can affect the overall performance of your Chromecast.

How to Update Chromecast:

  • Turn on the Chromecast device.
  • Open Google Home on your smartphone.
    open the Google Home app on the iPhone
  • Find your Chromecast’s icon and tap on it.
    tap on ChromeCast icon in Google Home Devices
  • On the overview page, press Settings.
    tap on the Setting icon of the Chromecast device
  • On the settings page, press the Menu icon (three dots) and select Reboot.
    tap on the three-dot icon in the Chromecast device setting select Reboot Chromecast device option

    confirm to reboot Chromecast device option

As the device reboots, it automatically downloads and installs any new firmware.

NOTE: This process works for all Chromecast devices except the ‘Chromecast With Google TV.’

How to Update ‘Chromecast with Google TV’:

You won’t find updated settings for your Chromecast with Google TV on the Home app, but you can update it from the TV. Here’s how:

  • Turn on the Chromecast with Google TV.
  • Navigate to Settings on the home screen.
    select Setting on Chromecast with Google TV home screen  
  • Go to System > About > System update.
    select System in Chromecast with Google TV Settings
    select About in Chromecast with the Google TV System
    select System update in Chromecast with Google TV About

NOTE: The LED light on the Chromecast device will pulse a steady red to show that the updates are still ongoing. It usually takes about 10 minutes.

11. Switch to Other Streaming Devices (such as Roku or Fire TV Stick)

If you’re consistently facing issues with low video quality on your Chromecast, it might be time to explore other options. 

Devices such as the Roku player and the Amazon Fire TV stick have gained popularity for their reliability and the quality of streaming they offer. 

Roku Ultra with the voice pro remote in front of the box

These alternatives provide a wide range of features and access to various streaming services, ensuring a better viewing experience. 

By making the switch, you could enjoy your favorite shows and movies with enhanced clarity and fewer interruptions. 

Remember, the key to a great streaming experience often lies in finding the right device that suits your needs.


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