Video Services

Below are links to help with general knowledge of videos and specific on various platforms.

General IPTV: https://www.lifewire.com/internet-speed-requirements-for-movie-viewing-1847401
Amazon Prime: https://techboomers.com/t/amazon-prime-data-usage
SlingTV: http://help.sling.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/How-do-I-check-my-current-bandwidth-usage
Hulu: https://help.hulu.com/en-us/requirements-for-hd
Netflix: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/87

 

All About Streaming Video

For streaming video, such as Netflix, Hulu, Sling, and others, there are requirements that your equipment and connection must meet in order for those streaming services to work. Each streaming provider has a minimum bandwidth requirement and ways to adjust how much data their service takes up.

Netflix
Currently, Netflix recommends at least:
• 3.0 Mbps (Megabits per second) for streaming in SD quality.
• 5.0 Mbps for HD quality
• 25 Mbps for Ultra HD.
You may be able to stream at lower bandwidths, but the quality will suffer, and may appear grainy.
If you need to keep an eye on your data usage, you can change your video playback settings.
From your profile, select Account, then under My Profile, select Playback Settings. You will have four choices:
• Low – uses about 0.3 GB per hour
• Medium – for SD, uses about 0.7 GB per hour
• High – Best quality, 3 GB per hour for HD and up to 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD
• Auto – This chooses the highest quality possible based on your connection speed
Choose your video quality level, and select Save.
These changes only apply to the profile you set them on, so you may need to make these changes on each profile in your account to keep your usage down.

Amazon Video
Amazon’s requirements and usage data are tougher to find, but enough people use them that we have a pretty good idea.
• 1 Mbps for SD quality
• 3.5 Mbps for HD quality
• 15 Mbps for 4k Ultra HD
Amazon does not release actual data usage numbers, but the best estimates are:
• 0.9 GB per hour in SD
• 2 GB per hour in HD
• 5.8 GB per hour in Ultra HD
You should be aware that Amazon defaults to HD whenever the program you choose has an HD version available. It is on the consumer to find the SD version and choose that, or, if you are given the option of SD/HD, always choose SD. Assuming an average of 10 hours of viewing per week, you can easily go through 80-100 GB per month in HD.
If you have a Fire TV or Fire Stick, there are data limiting settings within your account.

Hulu
Hulu recommends the following speeds:
• 1.5 Mbps for SD
• 3 Mbps for 720p HD
• 6 Mbps for 1080p HD
• 13 Mbps for 4k Ultra HD
Hulu does not seem to have released any information as to how much data their streams use in any definition, or about how to change your playback settings to limit data usage.

Sling
Sling is one of the most popular cable tv replacements, and its speed requirements are as follows:
• 3 Mbps for streaming on tablets and phones
• 5 Mbps for a single stream to a TV, PC, or Mac
• 25 Mbps for households who use multiple devices at once
You can limit the amount of bandwidth Sling uses. On most devices you can go to Settings, then Connection. Here you will see 4 options:
• Best Quality – No limit
• High Quality – 2.8 Mbps
• Medium Quality – 1.2 Mbps
• Low Quality – 0.8 Mbps
Sling does not appear to have released any information about its data usage, but limiting the amount of bandwidth allowed will help to limit the amount of data the service can use.

Youtube
Youtube also has its own minimums, which are:
• 2.5 Mbps for 720p HD
• 4 Mbps for 1080p HD
• 15 Mbps for 4k Ultra HD
At an average or auto setting, Youtube will use about 1-1.5 GB per hour. This can be adjusted on mobile devices by going to Options, then Settings, then General, where you can enable Limit Mobile Data Usage.

If you plan to stream a lot of video, it’s worth it to check all your playback settings and your bandwidth speed, so you can get the most out of your apps and your Internet connection. Also, remember that your video can only be as good as your equipment – if you don’t have an HD tv, then you don’t need to run an HD stream or use the highest playback quality, because you won’t see a difference anyway. Find the service, level, and bandwidth that works best for you!