We’ve all been there; that YouTube video stops loading, and you curse the service under your breath. To explain away the troubles, Google has released their Video Quality Report in the US, which gives us an idea of whether it’s Google that can’t get video to us, or (more likely) our Internet Service Provider (ISP) who is flatlining our cat videos.
Not only will the report tell you how your ISP is doing, it can give you a snapshot of how other ISPs in your area are doing. Google will also offer up best practices for viewing videos based on your ISPs capabilities. Maybe watching keyboard cat in high-definition isn’t such a good idea, you know?
Of course, it can’t all be blamed on your ISP. There could be other factors such as your home WiFi setup, or delivery interruptions from routine service. Google chooses the most direct path possible, but circumstances may warrant them circumventing it altogether. Other factors like shared signals or a dated browser can also affect your streaming quality.
To make sure you have your streaming setup in order, Google has shared a “best practices” graphic, which we included above. Before chatting with your Internet provider and yelling about YouTube quality, it’s best to run through those steps first.