Reducing lag while watching HD videos on Raspbmc / Raspberry Pi

I’ve noticed some lag while playing HD movies on my Raspberry Pi with Raspbmc from my SMB shares. I’ve found an easy way to fix this by reducing video refresh rate during video playback (forum topic here).

In XBMC, go to Settings -> System Settings -> Video output -> Refresh rate. (this seems to be a Raspbmc-specific setting, so you won’t find it in XBMC)

Set this number to a lower setting. The ideal setting would be the highest refresh rate that still allows all or most of your videos to play without lag, so that you have the highest quality video output possible.  So you’ll need to do a bit of experimentation with your setup to find the best refresh rate setting.

3 thoughts on “Reducing lag while watching HD videos on Raspbmc / Raspberry Pi

  1. My raspbmc won’t let me change the refresh rate I’m using version 12 and it seems to work great for most videos but large mkv files…thanks!

    • Hi Jon,

      I just rechecked, the instructions above still apply to the last Raspbmc release candidate (I see Raspbmc final has just been released, but I haven’t upgraded yet). What do you mean by it won’t let you change the refresh rate?

  2. The best solution is to change to NFS. I haven’t diagnosed why but it solved my issues. Can play 16GB MKV’s no prob. I’m using Windows 2012 with NFS, before that I used the same server with SMB and I had the buffering issue.
    If you want to move your data, you’ll need to do a search/replace in MySQL database if you using the shared library.

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