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Chromecast Poor Video Quality: 11 Solutions

Chromecast Poor Video Quality: 11 Solutions

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Picture this: you’re all set up to cast House of The Dragon on HBO Max to your TV. Alas, instead of the immersive 4K viewing experience you were anticipating, you see a poor-quality video on your screen!

Chromecast is an excellent way to stream your favorite shows on your TV without the cluster of video cables. However, it is not without its challenges.

Poor video quality on Chromecast is characterized by pixelated images, buffering, and stuttering audio.

Depending on the reason for the poor quality, you can solve it by changing the resolution of the video stream, changing your TV’s display resolution, or improving your network speed.

This article will walk you through a list of solutions for poor video quality on Chromecast. But first, let’s explore the possible reasons for blurry images on your Chromecast.

Why Is My Chromecast Blurry Sometimes?

Sometimes, while streaming a video, you’ll notice that the video quality displayed on the screen from your Chromecast is frustratingly blurry and pixelated. 

man watching a blurry TV with foot over the table and bowl of popcorn

Blurry images are incredibly annoying if you’re in the middle of your favorite program and you can’t tell why it’s blurry. 

There are several possible reasons why your Chromecast displays blurry images. We have outlined them below.

  • The video you are casting on your TV is low-resolution (480p or lower) rather than the HD resolutions recommended for widescreen displays.
  • The app/site you are casting from is set to stream a low-resolution version of the video. This setting may be intentional (to reduce internet data usage) or automatic (due to a poor network connection).
  • The TV your Chromecast is connected to is set to a higher display resolution than the video stream, causing it to upscale the picture.
  • The video stream is experiencing some interference, often due to the distance between the Wi-Fi router and Chromecast. Interference can also be caused by the Chromecast’s proximity to other video cables or electronic devices.

How To Improve My Chromecast Video Quality

If you notice that your Chromecast displays videos in poor quality, there are things you can do to fix that problem. 

Below is a list of solutions for blurry videos, constant buffering, and stuttering audio. 

1. Cast High-Resolution Local Videos

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. 

media player VLC on a phone screen

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 codecs

2. Set Streaming Apps to High-Resolution Setting

Streaming apps or sites like Netflix and YouTube are commonly used with Chromecast.

They stream media directly from the internet and allow you to choose the display resolution you prefer. 

People may stream lower resolution qualities to avoid buffering or reduce internet data consumption. However, this contributes to a poor-quality video on your TV screen. 

We advise that you set the stream quality to an HD resolution.

How to Change Video Quality on YouTube

How to change the quality of a video you’re watching
  • Step 1: Open YouTube on your mobile device or laptop. 
  • Step 2: Find the video you want to cast and start streaming.
  • Step 3: On the video player screen, tap the Settings ⚙️ icon.
  • Step 4: Select Quality from the drop-down menu. 
  • Step 5: Go through the options available for that video and choose the one you prefer. 

NOTE: For YouTube on mobile devices, you’ll see options for Auto, Data Saving, Higher Picture Quality, or Advanced Settings. Go to Advanced and select the specific resolution you prefer.

3. Change TV’s Display Resolution

man holding remote to change TV resolutions

The native resolution of a TV describes how many total pixels the screen has. A higher pixel number equals a higher display quality, and most modern TVs have HD native resolutions.

However, the quality of the picture on screen also depends on the resolution of the source video. Lower-resolution videos have to be upscaled to fit onto a high-resolution screen. 

The TV’s processor will add more information to the image before displaying it on the HD screen. Depending on the quality of the TV processor, upscaling can affect the quality of your video and make it look blurry. 

It is best if your TV is set to the exact display resolution as the video you are streaming. Most TVs have settings that allow you to change the screen resolution.

How to Change Your TV Resolution:

  • Press the Menu button on your remote and navigate to Settings. 
  • Scroll until you find the option for Output Resolution. Click on it. 
  • You’ll find a list of different resolutions: 480p, 720p, 1080p, etc. (The options only go as high as your TV’s native resolution)
  • Navigate through the options and choose the one suitable for your video. 

NOTE: The steps may vary slightly for different TVs. You may find the Resolution settings under Display, Picture Mode, or Setup. 

4. Reboot Your Router

How to reboot your CenturyLink 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.
  • 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.

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. 

5. Change the Router’s Wi-Fi Frequency 

wifi router with 2.4GHz and 5Ghz frequency

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.  

Both frequencies have their strengths, but if you’re streaming high-resolution videos, it’s best to consider internet speed ahead of other qualities. You need around 5 Mbps to stream high-quality videos smoothly and without buffering.

You can use the Google Speed Test Tool to determine your device’s connection speed.

How to Set Your Router to 5 GHz: 

Change Wifi Band of any router (2.4Ghz/5Ghz) | 2-minute instant Tutorial

Most routers connect automatically to the best frequency for your device set-up, but you can choose the 5 GHz manually. Note that the process may differ for different brands.

  • Step 1: Enter the router’s IP address into your browser’s URL bar to log in.
  • Step 2: Enter your username and password.
  • Step 3: Go to the WiFi Network settings page.
  • Step 4: You’ll find options for the 2 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Enable 5 GHz.
  • Step 5: Click Apply to save your changes. 

6. Reduce the Distance Between Your Router and Chromecast 

The farther your Chromecast is from the network source, the poorer the signal strength. In this case, the router will reduce its data transmission speed to maintain a steady internet connection.

When internet speed is low, most streaming sites automatically adjust to streaming lower video quality to avoid buffering.

We recommend that the distance between your Wi-Fi router and Chromecast be 15 feet or less. Use a measuring tape to ensure this if you have to. 

If the distance between your router and Chromecast is too much, you can use an HDMI extender  to close the distance. Plug your Chromecast into the female port on the extender and plug the male end of the extender into your TV’s HDMI port. 

HDMI extender male to female adapter

7. Reduce the Number of Devices on 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.

8. Shutdown Other Applications

If multiple applications or programs are open on your source device, consider shutting them down. 

When other apps that run on internet data are open, they can affect your network bandwidth and cause your video stream to lag or drop to a low resolution.  

Close down other data-active apps on your PC or mobile phone while casting from a streaming site. 

Close down other data-active apps on your PC

9. Switch to an Ethernet Connection

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.

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

UGREEN Ethernet Adapter

Click image for more info

10. Move Chromecast Away From the TV or AVR

Chromecast devices are susceptible to interference from other wires or electronic devices nearby. Signals from the cables and devices can interfere with the Wi-Fi network signal for your Chromecast.

If your Chromecast is plugged into an AVR with multiple cable connections, we advise that you use an HDMI extender  to put some distance between the Chromecast and the AVR.

11. Update Your Chromecast & Streaming Apps

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, glitchy, and can affect the overall performance of your mobile device.

How to Update Chromecast:

  • Turn on the Chromecast device.
  • Open Google Home on your mobile device.
  • Find your Chromecast’s icon and tap on it.
  • On the overview page, press Settings.
  • On the settings page, press the Menu icon (three vertical dots) and select Reboot.

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’:

white Chromecast and remote in pink background

You won’t find update 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 
  • Go to System > About > System update.

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.  


Poor video quality on your Chromecast can be bothersome, but it is also easily fixed. 

The first step is to ensure that you are casting a high-quality video. If you cannot increase your video quality, set your TV’s screen resolution to match the video’s resolution. 

If you still notice blurriness, buffering, or audio lag, the problem may be from your WiFi network! Employ the solutions to a poor network outlined in this article and see which works for you.

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