Chances are your computer is not running optimally to stream movies quickly and seamlessly. Chances are also that you aren’t doing everything in your power to create the most magical home viewing experience possible. There are a few simple steps to take that can turn your computer into a movie-playing genius. If the movie streaming sites are calling your name, be sure you’re prepared with the best possible machine. When your computer is up to par for streaming the latest movies and shows, you’ll be free from irksome interruptions due to slow processing speeds or system crashes. Be sure you have all your bases covered to ensure an optimum streaming experience.Start by taking these five simple steps.
1. Update Video Drivers
A majority of streaming video playback problems can be addressed by a simple update to your video display drivers. Generally, you can visit your computer manufacturer’s website to check that you haven’t missed any recent driver updates. Installing or updating drivers is usually a quick, intuitive process. A quick Google search for “update video drivers” and the model name or number of your computer is a great place to start the process. Updating your video drivers will ensure uninterrupted streaming and prevent those annoying mid-movie system crashes.
2. Use a Media Center App
While many of the newest computer operating systems offer built-in features that help you organize all of your media, apps that are created for media consolidation can help you better navigate all the movies and music on your computer. The problem with having so much entertainment media on your machine is that it can get rather disorganized if not indexed properly. Media apps help to index all of your media and give you quicker access in your searches. Some of the top media apps require you to set up a free account, but in exchange you get access to ample streaming audio and video content. Media apps can also help viewers look up cover art, descriptions and reviews, all from one streamlined interface. Essentially, media apps simplify your streaming by bringing more order to your media collection.
3. Optimize Your Audio
Sound quality has the potential to make or break a movie for the viewer. When streaming movies at home, you can optimize your audio experience with a few simple moves. First, make sure all of your speaker components are placed in spots that are easy on the ears. You might need to experiment and move things around a bit. Next, try out your computer’s SRS (surround sound) features. If you are using Windows Media Center for playback, be sure to check in your sound settings that SRS is enabled. Surround sound technologies are built into most newer computers but often need to be activated through the control panel of your operating system or media player. Surround sound can vastly improve your viewing experience by bringing a more cohesive and lifelike sound through your speakers.
4. Care for Your Screen
Basic screen care will improve movie viewing. A dirty screen can distortthe picture and even cause eyestrain. Thoroughly cleaning most screens takes only a minute or two. Be gentle when you clean your screen with a dry, soft cloth. Microfiber cloths such as those used for cleaning eyeglasses work the best. Spray bottles of specialized cleaner for computer screens, flat screens and plasma screens are also available, and a solution of half vinegar and half water can achieve similar results. Always use an extremely soft material to clean a screen. Avoid using toilet paper, tissue paper and paper towels, as these are slightly corrosive and can potentially damage your screen. If your screen is still not performing as well as you’d like, make sure to adjust the color and contrast settings prior to viewing a film, and be aware that everyone has different preferences for screen brightness. Customize your screen to your own liking and enjoy a clearer picture.
5. Get Subtitles
Not everyone can understand Shakespearean English or the vast variety of other English accents represented in the film world. If you ever have the feeling that you’d like the actors to slow down just a little so you can actually understand the words, you might consider adding subtitles. Head over to OpenSubtitles.org and download apps that easily add subtitles to just about any streaming movie. Understanding the dialogue of a movie can greatly enhance your viewing experience and ability to follow a plot. There are many programs that add subtitles to streaming movies, so you can experiment and find one that works for your needs.