Streaming video has become the primary online activity for many people. Whether you’ve cut the cord on your cable or you just really love Netflix and cute cat videos, odds are that you stream a lot of video over your Internet connection. How can you make sure you’re getting the best streaming experience possible?
Check your speed
Make sure you have enough speed for the service you’re using. Netflix recommends 3 Mbps for SD, 5 Mbps for HD, and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD. SlingTV requires the same numbers for mobile devices, single stream to a computer or tv, and multiple devices, respectively. YouTube’s minimums are 2.5 Mbps for 720p, 4 Mbps for 1080p, and 15 Mbps for 4k Ultra HD. Hulu has the lowest bandwidth requirements at 1.5 Mbps for SD, 3 Mbps for 720p, 6 Mbps for 1080p, and 13 Mbps for 4k Ultra HD.
Check your settings
Adjust your playback settings to match your bandwidth speed and limit your data usage. In a Netflix account, these settings can be set for each profile separately under My Profile. For SlingTV, playback settings have to be set on each device by going to Settings, and then Connection. YouTube playback can be changed on mobile devices to limit mobile data under Settings. Hulu has not released any information about changing playback settings.
Use common sense
Remember a few things:
- Your stream can only be as good as your hardware. If you don’t have an HD TV, you won’t get any benefit from streaming in HD, so don’t bother using all that bandwidth and data.
- Using multiple devices at once changes your available bandwidth speed. If your Internet connection is 25 Mbps and 2 people are streaming on separate devices, both streams are getting about 12.5 Mbps.
- If your Internet connection has a data limit, even a high one, it pays to keep track of it. Most ISP’s that use data limits offer alerts by email or text at certain milestones like 50%, 75%, or 90%.
For affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service in your neighborhood, contact us today!