Some Samsung Smart TV users say YouTube app keeps buffering when playing 4K videos & defaults to 360p (workaround inside)

Some Samsung Smart TV users are reportedly facing issues when trying to play 4k content via YouTube. The video fails to play at high resolutions, keeps buffering, and automatically defaults to 360p.

As a result, there has been a slew of complaints on the official Samsung TV forums.

When I use the Youtube app on the Samsung TV, videos that have the 4K symbol next to them, when you go to set the resolution to 4K will not appear in the list. The max option displayed is always 1080p. If I connect a PC to the same videos, and access youtube, I’m able to play the same video select the 4k and stream it perfectly.
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Dear @YouTube your new update for Samsung tv sucks, the videos keep buffering and no it’s not my internet. Please fix it sincerely someone tired of this
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Affected models include Samsung Smart TVs Q9FN, Q8DN, Q6FN, and 75Q9FN. These are only the known models though, and it’s quite probable that the list is longer.

Moreover, the issue isn’t limited to 4k videos alone as there are plenty of other reports stating that the video keeps buffering and defaulting to 360p/480p when playing at 1080p or even at 720p.

The cause of the bug is unclear at the moment, although a large number of complainants have claimed that it began immediately after an auto-update to firmware version 1310.4.

But the worse part about the matter is that it has been doing rounds on forums for quite some time now, with threads about the issue still pretty active. Yet there has been no official acknowledgment or any coverage to date.

However, it is worth mentioning that not everyone is facing this bug. This could mean that the update has negatively impacted select TV models only.

Nonetheless, if you are one of the users facing this problem, then worry not, for we have got a couple of workarounds for you to try.

Workarounds for YouTube 4k issues on Samsung Smart TV

1. Use the TV’s web browser: Since the YouTube app is unable to play 4k videos at all, you can try the YouTube website from your TV’s browser for now. Several users have reported that the videos play just fine from there.

Not the perfect solution, we know, but it could be your best bet till Samsung/YouTube actually acknowledges this annoying bug.

2. Reset YouTube app:

Go to youtube app settings, reset app and Sign in again. This fixed the issue for me.
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This simple workaround has reportedly done the job for a couple of users.

3. Reset Smarthub: If the above did not help you at all, then your last resort could be resetting your Samsung Smart TV’s Smarthub. Instructions for this have been provided here.

Hopefully, one of the above workarounds resolved the issue for you.

A user recently commented that a new update has rolled out on December 16. If you have received it too, then be sure to inform us in the comments below if it addresses the issue.

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