If you are having a poor viewing experience with a film, this can be caused by a variety of factors.
By way of background, we encode all of our films into multiple (over 20) versions of varying qualities, from High Definition to lower quality versions. We do this in order to facilitate an "auto-bitrate," which effectively means that when you seek to play a Kanopy film, we ping-test your internet connection every 3 seconds to test the strength of your internet and use that information to deliver to you the highest quality version of the film that your connection can facilitate.
Your ability to view the highest quality version of a film is primarily dependent on your device settings and internet connection.
In addition, some films that are older or early cinema titles (e.g. featuring Charlie Chaplin) that may not yet have been fully remastered and thus not available in HD viewing to the optimal level for certain devices.
If you are having a poor viewing experience due to film buffering, you should refer to the article on buffering here to seek a resolution. The most common fix is to either adjust the device you are seeking to play from or move to a higher connection location.