How do you deal with livestream lag?

I’m watching the stream on my TV. I went to open chat on my laptop and found them reacting to things I couldn’t see yet. I turned on the stream video there and found the countdown timer was a full minute ahead of my TV.

Previously, when watching the premiere streams on my laptop, I found I was lagged behind some of the others in chat by about 15 seconds.

I know it’s not possible to perfectly sync everyone, but it’s distracting having people react to things you can’t see yet. Not to mention spoilery. The point of having a live event with chat is so we can all experience it together, and when you’re dealing with a fast-moving chat, a full minute is an eternity.

(It kind of reminds me of a 90s SNL sketch where a few friends were chatting together at a restaurant and one of them kept coming up with great zingers a minute too late, after the conversation had already moved on to a different topic. He delivers the line and the others just sit there and say “What are you talking about?” and he has to explain “No, remember, it’s a response to that thing we were just laughing about…” and everyone just shrugs because they already moved on. Until he goes to the restroom in the back of the restaurant and finds a time machine. He goes back to the beginning of the scene and suddenly he’s the life of the party because he always has his comments on the current subject ready to go.)

Have you had to deal with lag from the rest of chat? Does it bug you? How have you handled it?


Roku is consistently about 60-90 seconds behind true live. And it isn’t just for this, I’ve seen it on other Roku apps with live streams.

I don’t do the G-plex chat, but in the live thread here I just intentionally keep myself a few posts behind as well.


Makes sense. The open thread here seems to add new posts faster than I can scroll. I ended up moving to the Back Row channel of the live chat. Smaller group means a more comfortable pace for me. But it still wouldn’t really work if I hadn’t watched this episode twice already.

I suspect the lag is down to your device and which site you are using. I’m in the Virtual Theater on a desktop computer and there isn’t much lag (in fact I think I’m ahead of a lot of people!).

Keep in mind every time you add a new layer, you’re adding lag. So if you are watching on an app, and then casting or otherwise throwing that app onto something like a TV, there is going to be lag.

If that’s the case, there’s nothing the team can do about it.

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Watching the episode, I used the Roku app on my TV. No casting involved. (Roku is a type of “smart TV.” You can use it to watch live TV or take input from a cable box, but you can also install on-screen apps from a wide variety of streaming services. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Rifftrax, MST3K, etc. So my TV was directly picking up the stream from VHX.) The video was consistently a minute behind everyone else.

For the Q&A, I switched to the virtual theater on my Chromebook and that seemed to be close to what everyone else was seeing.

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Right. So there were three steps involved:

The VHX site sending the signal to the Roku box.

An app to then decode that stream.

And then outputting that decoded stream to your TV.

There’s nothing broken, perse, it’s only something you’re noticing because of the chat and/or forum thread.

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I’ve never been able to keep up with live stream comments and watch the show at the same time in the first place.


I only noticed a few seconds of lag last night, barely noticeable. Usually the chat is moving too fast to bother with during the movie.

Friday night I noticed a bit more lag and a bit of audio syncing issues (watching in the Gizmoplex on PC). Refreshing the page fixed it.

I’m aware there’s nothing broken, and nothing the Gizmoplex crew can do to speed it up.

(There isn’t a Roku box, for the record. My TV is basically an oversized tablet except that instead of running Android OS it’s running a very simple Roku OS. It’s plugged directly into my router with an ethernet cable.

I haven’t tried watching with the Android app on my Chromebook instead of just opening the Virtual Theater in Chrome, but theoretically it’s the same thing. There’s no third party involved. Just VHX streaming and different software and devices picking up that stream. Possibly there’s some transcoding involved so that the video is the right size and format for the screen, but I believe that’s done by VHX.)

I don’t mind the lag if I’m watching by myself. It makes no difference whatsoever, and it’s really cool to have all those episodes so readily available on my TV.

My question is for those in chat. If you find that, for whatever technical reason, you’re significantly behind the others in chat (or posting in the open thread on the forums here), what do you do? I enjoy watching with chat. Being able to talk to fellow MSTies as we watch together makes the live events extra special. But I don’t like being spoiled by comments about riffs and things I haven’t seen yet, and it makes it hard to be part of the conversation. I can’t reply to what people are saying if I don’t know what they’re talking about.

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Gently sobbing.

This is a good question. I also watch on Roku, and I’ve noticed the lag too. So far, it hasn’t been a problem for me during the livestream premieres because I shut off chat on those anyway - I like to be fully present.

If it’s an episode I’ve seen before, I’m less worried about being spoiled and don’t mind watching with half my attention elsewhere. The Space Mutiny and City Limits watch-alongs are good examples - some people in the open threads were definitely a few minutes ahead of me. I guess it worked better because the conversation was a little slower and more discursive, as opposed to reacting to every single thing that happened onscreen for the first time.

:brain::arrow_down:, sorry - bottom line, it’s a minor inconvenience for me but you’re not alone.


I struggle on a replay and wait for the download to be available. My internet connection is bad by default, so well aware of lag, disconnection issues etc. To echo a point, the more links in the chain, the more lag, so stream to phone then cast to TV is going to be more laggy than just watching on the phone or direct on the TV, just cos of the extra dot to join up. The better your speed in general, the less you notice.

As a gamer on rubbish internet I basically go wired connection, switch off the WiFi and it helps send all the bandwidth to the console. If your internet has similar issues try disconnecting everything else from your router, other than what you watch on, as a test and see if there’s a difference. If there is, this is why. :slightly_smiling_face:

I have the same setup you do – smart TV with Roku app – and the same lag (between 30-60 seconds).

I read more than I comment during the live shows so to some extent I just don’t scroll all the way down, and if I hit an obvious time warp I pause for 20-30 seconds . Mostly I just don’t mind that much, but one of these days I’m going to get ready in time to try something else, like casting from Chrome, and see if that’s better.


Most other things have less lag. I have a FireTV that has much less lag than the Roku, and I’ve also found a web browser to have much less lag.


I’ve found the same. I still watch from my Roku, though - I prefer the big TV without going to the trouble of hooking up my computer, but that’s just my setup.

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For what it’s worth I actually work in tech support for cell phone and broadband . If anyone wants to DM me for advice or an opinion or help with an issue, I’m on here at least once a day. Happy to help if I can :slightly_smiling_face: May not hold all the answers but can’t least point you in the right direction :cowboy_hat_face:


I’m taking you up on that, I’ve called my ISP and reset my router and my connection is still terrible. Is it worth it to get a wireless booster or should I call my ISP and ask them to run a second line so I don’t have to be wireless?

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My solution has mostly been alcohol.


Defo try a wired connection if possible. Makes a world of difference :relaxed:

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The cause of , and answer to , all of life’s problems :grin:

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