Poor Video Quality Troubleshooting

 

Question: I'm getting poor quality video performance on my Ring device. How do I tell what's causing it and fix the problem?

Answer: Poor video quality is almost always caused by some sort of Wi-Fi issue. This article will explain how to test for, diagnose, and fix many of the most common video issues you may experience.

Test One -- Poor Wi-Fi Signal Strength

 

This first test is designed to see if poor Wi-Fi signal strength from your router could be the culprit for your video problems. You'll be bringing your Ring device close to your router in order to minimize any interference from your home's architecture or distance. (Note that this will only work for battery-powered Ring devices. For other Ring devices, move on to test two."

To run this test: 

  • Remove your Ring device from its mounting and bring it into the same room as your Wi-Fi router.
  • Open your Ring app on your smart phone, tablet, or PC.
  • Be sure you've turned off your cellular data and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Ring device. 
  • Select your device
  • Trigger an event on your Ring device. This could mean pressing the button on a doorbell or activating the motion sensors on a camera.
  • Answer the event and examine the resulting video. 

Possible outcomes from this test: 

  • Footage is crisp and clear: If your Ring device's footage looks good when it's next to the router, the culprit is most probably something that happens in the distance between your router and the normal location of your Ring device. In this case you can either try to move your Ring device a bit closer to your router (if possible, even a few feet it often enough to make a difference) or extend your Wi-Fi signal out to your Ring Device. To do this, you'll need a Wi-Fi extender such the Ring Chime Pro
  • Footage is heavily pixelated: If you're getting heavy pixellation even next to your router, this is usually due to slow Wi-Fi speeds. Do a Wi-Fi speed test:
    • Open your Ring App on your Smart phone or tablet
    • Select your device
    • Tap on the "Device Health" panel
    • Under "Tools" tap on "Test Your Wi-Fi."
    • Be sure you've turned off your cellular data and connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Ring device. 
    • Press "Start" to run a test that will measure your upload and download speed.
    • Both upload and download speeds should be 1 Mbps or greater, although anything above 2 Mbps is ideal.
    • Check the numbers on your Wi-Fi speed test. If either your upload or download speed are below 1 Mbps then you might consider replacing your router (especially if it's older than five years) or contacting your internet service provider to find out what they can do about providing faster internet service.
  • Severe pauses in Live Video: If your video pauses, stutters, or gets frozen and your Wi-Fi speed meets the minimum standards, you can try rebooting your router. Simply unplug your router, wait 30 seconds, and then plug it back in. It should take three to four minutes to reboot and then test your Ring device again and see if there's any difference.
  • Long delay before your video starts: This is also caused by slow Wi-Fi speeds. Assuming your Wi-Fi speed meets the minimum requirements, you can try rebooting your router and the mobile phone/tablet/PC you're accessing the video feed on and see if there's any difference when it's back on line.
Test Two - Traveling Signal Strength Test

 

This second test is designed to find where your signal is losing strength between your router and your Ring device. Once again, you'll be bringing your Ring device close to your router in order to minimize any interference from your home's architecture or distance.

To run this test: 

  • Remove your Ring device from its mounting and bring it into the same room as your Wi-Fi router.
  • Open your Ring app on your smart phone or tablet.
  • Trigger an event on your Ring device. This could mean pressing the button on a doorbell or activating the motion sensors on a camera.
  • Answer the event and examine the resulting video. 
  • Walk through your home slowly, carrying both the Ring device and smart device, examining the video as you move toward the location where your Ring device is normally mounted. Note the quality of the video as you move through the space.
  • When you leave your home with your Ring device, be sure to close your door behind you.

Depending on how far your router is from the location where your Ring device is usually mounted, you may begin noticing differences in your video quality as you move away from the router. This should give you a good idea of where the strength of your signal begins to drop off. Look around at that point and consider the path your signal has to take to get there. Have you turned a corner or is there a wall or a larger home decoration or electronic device that may be causing interference between the router and your Ring device? 

If you bring your device through an outside door and you lose the signal, that's most likely from the inner and outer materials that make up your walls. Particular materials that can cause problems are: 

  • Aluminum: Any variation of aluminum siding can block Wi-Fi signals or reflect them in unusual ways.
  • Brick, concrete, or stone: These materials can simply block Wi-Fi signals.
  • Stucco: Stucco has chicken wire inside it that can act as an attractor and blocker for Wi-Fi signals.
  • Security doors: These thick metal doors can easily block Wi-Fi signals. 

In these cases you can either try to move your Ring device a bit closer to your router (if possible, even a few feet is often enough to make a difference) or extend your Wi-Fi signal out to your Ring Device. To do this, you'll need a Wi-Fi extender such the Ring Chime Pro. Remember when setting up your extender to test it out in various locations to find where you get the best amplified signal. 

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If you are using a powered device that can't be dismounted from the wall. Try the following (note that this may require two people): 

  • Trigger an event while you have your mobile device near the router.
  • Move in 2-4 ft. increments through the home toward the Ring device, watching the video closely (be sure to close doors that would be normally closed as you go).
  • Stop wherever you find that your video starts to pixelate, lag or become poor quality.
  • Note your surroundings (brick, drywall, mirrors, etc).
  • This is the ideal place for a Ring Chime Pro.

 

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