TV & Movie Streaming with Mobile Internet
Video streaming allows watching live TV or specific shows on demand over the internet anytime you like. Video streaming has become very common and affordable; however, the amount of data and resources to provide this is mind boggling. So just what does it take to stream successfully, and what are the limitations, when relying on mobile internet? Let's find out!
Speed! -- How fast does the connection need to be?
Here are the current speed recommendations for watching content through Netflix. Other video services have similar needs:
• 0.5 Mbps- Required minimum
• 1.5 Mbps - Recommended minimum, aka "DVD Quality"
• 3 Mbps - SD resolution
• 5 Mbps - HD quality
• 25 Mbps - Ultra HD / 4K quality
If your connection is barely fast enough for the resolution you have selected - you may encounter pauses for buffering, or lengthy delays when you jump to a new location in a show.
Because some providers will automatically adapt the stream to deliver as much resolution as your connection will allow, you may burn through way more data than intended. We recommend you change the streaming settings within your device manually. Set them to SD (480p) resolution. You will not have the full HD resolution, but will have a very good streaming experience with little to no buffering.
How Much Data Does Streaming Use?
Again using Netflix as an example, here are Netflix's estimates of how much data an hour of video will consume:
• Lowest Resolution - 0.3 GB per hour
• Medium (SD) Resolution - 0.7 GB per hour
• High (HD) - 3 GB per hour
• Ultra HD - 7 GB per hour
Keep in mind that Netflix is the industry leader in video compression. Other services may use more than listed here today.
It does not matter who your carrier is, when there is congestion on the network you will see a reduction in performance. To limit network congestion, set your devices resolution to the lowest possible setting which still gives you a pleasurable viewing experience.
LTE internet connections are convenient, affordable, portable, and fast; however, most carriers are not all that excited about using LTE as a total replacement of your home internet. They are even less excited about cord cutters using LTE to stream en lieu of cable/satellite TV.
LTE internet is great for streaming movies and TV, but be careful. If you do not manage your video streams correctly, you will see buffering and delays. Many carriers will label consumers as "abusers" and de-prioritize the line once certain data threshold have been passed. If you are experiencing de-prioritization, check your streaming device and lower its bandwidth consumption. The loss of image quality will, most likely, be barely noticeable while your overall viewing experience will greatly improve.