What is the Internet speed for streaming services?

If your main activity on the Internet is video streaming, it makes sense to make sure you have enough bandwidth to take advantage of it. Here’s a breakdown of how much bandwidth your different streaming services and resolutions require.

How much bandwidth is needed for different resolutions?

Whether you have a new OLED TV and a new or older streaming device, of course, you want the best possible playback experience. To understand how much bandwidth you need to enjoy a smooth experience with your favorite real-time playback service, let’s take a quick look at the concept of video bitrate.

The bit rate is independent but is related to other metrics such as resolution, frame rate, audio quality, and other components of the video streaming experience. The bit rate is a combination of all of these and represents the amount of data per second that the video source provides. It is also a good measure of the speed of your connection for a pleasant experience.

If you’ve ever wondered why a movie you have on a Blu-ray Disc looks better than the same movie with the same resolution played by Netflix or another playback provider, the answer is that of bits are different. Blu-ray Disc can offer 3-5 times the bit rate of a compressed stream from Netflix or another provider, which means more data (and therefore a higher quality image).

Streaming providers work hard, using a variety of compression techniques, to reduce the bit rate and preserve quality. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.

It will be some time before 8K content is widely available, but SD, HD and 4K UHD content is now available.


Bandwidth recommendations by the transmission provider

If you’re curious about what your favorite streaming provider recommends, you can always check their help files or search for the provider’s name and “Recommended Bandwidth” or “Recommended Mbps”, but we can save you some hassle. .

We’ve reviewed the most popular vendor recommendations so you can easily review them all in one place. To ensure consistency, the video quality is shown first by resolution and then by common name.

In cases where the transmission provider has not given a specific recommendation for a particular resolution, the table entry is blank; we recommend that you refer to the general bandwidth recommendations in the previous section. If the service you choose is not listed here, you should also review the general bandwidth recommendations.

As you can see, although there are slight variations between the official vendor recommendations, the individual recommendations align quite well with the general range of bit rates required for SD, HD, and UHD quality compressed videos. .


Multiply user bandwidth recommendations

Of the previous recommendations, HBO Max stands out because you need 50 Mbps, more than double the recommendation of any other provider.

One might think that HBO Max has a significantly higher bit rate, but the reality is probably that the people at HBO Max have come up with their recommendation to consider other internet activities at home. And that’s also something you should do.

If your home only plays one thing at a time (either because you’re alone or because you get together to watch movies together), the minimum recommendations for a single playback are probably enough. Streaming an HD movie over a DSL connection is not ideal, but it is feasible.

But if you’re a multi-user household where people often stream at the same time, or there’s a mix of people streaming, video calls to work, games, or other Internet use, it’s best to complete your estimate by multiplying it. by the number of people.

Base your question on “How much internet bandwidth do I need?” Above all, playing 4K on separate devices is not a bad way to make sure you always have a lot of extra bandwidth.

And while you consider the bandwidth needs of real-time streaming services, you always have the option of dodging your media to a local media server and creating your own Netflix-like local experience with Plex. If your main playback activity is to watch The Office repeatedly, season after season, switching to a setting that stores your favorite bundle programs locally is a big bandwidth saving.

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