Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

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DTalos
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Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by DTalos »

What is an adequate download and upload speed needed for streaming apps on an Amazon Firestick?

I am trying to decide between an internet plan that has 50mbps download/3 mbps upload vs one that has 150mbps download/10 mbps upload? The difference is $11 per month.
bloom2708
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by bloom2708 »

1 TV or multiple?

I think 100mb is a good starting point for 1-2 streams + regular activity/attached devices.

50mb may work fine for 1-2 streams and some other basic activity.

If it is cable modem service, speeds can dip in the evening when everyone is home and online, so you may not get 50mb if you have 50mb.

Things may change if one is working from home and others are streaming. When Covid hit, I upgraded to Gigabit 1,000mb as I was working and kids were at school online and others streaming. Kind of overkill, but it was nice to not worry about things slowing down.

You could start at 50mb and upgrade if you notice lag. Personally for $11 I'd go with 150mb. Internet usage is up for everything.

Is there a data cap on either plan? When streaming, the data cap is also important. If they cap you at 300GB for a month, you could easily hit that.

Luckily we have 2 competing cable modem companies and the data cap is 5TB for each. We have exceeded 1TB with work, kids streaming a lot.

We have no traditional cable package. Philo, Netflix, HBO Max primarily.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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runninginvestor
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by runninginvestor »

Are you signing a term contract? If not, maybe you can try the lower limit and move on up if it doesn't work for you?

Depending on how many other devices you will use simultaneously, the 50 mb may work well.
terran
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by terran »

We have 10 Mbps cable without any problem, so I think either of them should be ample unless you like to have several streams going at once. We've used Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon, and various network streaming channels on a Roku on this internet speed. My wife has also in teams/zoom meetings all day day for the past year and that hasn't been a problem either, which I think can be more telling since I doubt those streams are as optimized as video that's getting served to millions of people.
Last edited by terran on Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jebmke
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by jebmke »

50 should work fine. We stream with a Roku and our download speed is 8-9 max. Not high def but there aren't many things I want to see that clearly. Golf or baseball would be better with higher def but the rest is actually better with as low resolution as possible - even zero bits. :P
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Topic Author
DTalos
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by DTalos »

bloom2708 wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:37 pm 1 TV or multiple?

I think 100mb is a good starting point for 1-2 streams + regular activity/attached devices.

50mb may work fine for 1-2 streams and some other basic activity.

If it is cable modem service, speeds can dip in the evening when everyone is home and online, so you may not get 50mb if you have 50mb.

Things may change if one is working from home and others are streaming. When Covid hit, I upgraded to Gigabit 1,000mb as I was working and kids were at school online and others streaming. Kind of overkill, but it was nice to not worry about things slowing down.

You could start at 50mb and upgrade if you notice lag. Personally for $11 I'd go with 150mb. Internet usage is up for everything.

Is there a data cap on either plan? When streaming, the data cap is also important. If they cap you at 300GB for a month, you could easily hit that.

Luckily we have 2 competing cable modem companies and the data cap is 5TB for each. We have exceeded 1TB with work, kids streaming a lot.

We have no traditional cable package. Philo, Netflix, HBO Max primarily.

Have multiple TV's, but only 1 TV is streamed at a time. The data cap is 1280GB per month and I never exceed it. I am always way, way, under the cap.
bloom2708
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by bloom2708 »

DTalos wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:40 pm Have multiple TV's, but only 1 TV is streamed at a time. The data cap is 1280GB per month and I never exceed it. I am always way, way, under the cap.
50mb should be quite fine then.
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runner3081
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by runner3081 »

We have 10 down, 2 up. No issues with streaming while using VPN on another computer or even running two video calls at a time.
Yarlonkol12
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by Yarlonkol12 »

It depends what your watching.

Internet streaming video ranges from about 3MB/sec for cartoons, to 24MB/sec for 4k, depending on compression and content. Most services will automatically downscale the video quality to match your connection speed
Last edited by Yarlonkol12 on Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DTalos
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by DTalos »

tiburblium wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:46 pm It depends what your watching.

Internet streaming video ranges from about 3MB/sec for cartoons, to 20MB/sec for 4k. Most services will automatically degrade quality to match your connection speed

I watch movies on Firestick as well as major cable and network news apps.
barnaclebob
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by barnaclebob »

30Mbps here and we've had no problems with streaming 3 things at once plus other normal bandwidth uses. Nothing in 4k though.
Trader Joe
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by Trader Joe »

DTalos wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:30 pm What is an adequate download and upload speed needed for streaming apps on an Amazon Firestick?

I am trying to decide between an internet plan that has 50mbps download/3 mbps upload vs one that has 150mbps download/10 mbps upload? The difference is $11 per month.
I use 1,200 mbps and it works great.
iamblessed
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by iamblessed »

Steam one device on 5 mbps just fine.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by RickBoglehead »

A thread like this shows how people have never tested to see what speed they really need. More is better, for the provider's revenue. More is unnecessary in reality.

We successfully streamed to a TV via a computer with 10MBPS and ran multiple devices. Our provider eliminated the bottom tier, and made it 25MBPS, then 50MBPS. None of that is needed.

The RIGHT answer is usually available via the provider of the stream, but Amazon doesn't reveal this stuff.

How much data you use over a month is irrelevant to the question of what bandwidth you need to watch a show.

For standard definition, the answer is 2-3 MBPS.
For HD, the answer is 5-8 MBPS.
For 4K UHD (which almost no one has), you need 25 MBPS.

Therefore, 10 MBPS would be plenty unless you have someone doing bandwidth intensive stuff while you're trying to watch.
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DTalos
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by DTalos »

RickBoglehead wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:15 pm A thread like this shows how people have never tested to see what speed they really need. More is better, for the provider's revenue. More is unnecessary in reality.

We successfully streamed to a TV via a computer with 10MBPS and ran multiple devices. Our provider eliminated the bottom tier, and made it 25MBPS, then 50MBPS. None of that is needed.

The RIGHT answer is usually available via the provider of the stream, but Amazon doesn't reveal this stuff.

How much data you use over a month is irrelevant to the question of what bandwidth you need to watch a show.

For standard definition, the answer is 2-3 MBPS.
For HD, the answer is 5-8 MBPS.
For 4K UHD (which almost no one has), you need 25 MBPS.

Therefore, 10 MBPS would be plenty unless you have someone doing bandwidth intensive stuff while you're trying to watch.

Thank you for the reply. I assume you are referring to upload speeds, correct?
GT99
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by GT99 »

bloom2708 wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:41 pm
DTalos wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:40 pm Have multiple TV's, but only 1 TV is streamed at a time. The data cap is 1280GB per month and I never exceed it. I am always way, way, under the cap.
50mb should be quite fine then.
Indeed, 50 is way more than enough. When we first cut cord several years ago, we averaged 30 MBPS, and we had no problems with 2 simultaneous streams, plus other assorted internet/phone usage at the same time.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by RickBoglehead »

DTalos wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:20 pm
RickBoglehead wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:15 pm A thread like this shows how people have never tested to see what speed they really need. More is better, for the provider's revenue. More is unnecessary in reality.

We successfully streamed to a TV via a computer with 10MBPS and ran multiple devices. Our provider eliminated the bottom tier, and made it 25MBPS, then 50MBPS. None of that is needed.

The RIGHT answer is usually available via the provider of the stream, but Amazon doesn't reveal this stuff.

How much data you use over a month is irrelevant to the question of what bandwidth you need to watch a show.

For standard definition, the answer is 2-3 MBPS.
For HD, the answer is 5-8 MBPS.
For 4K UHD (which almost no one has), you need 25 MBPS.

Therefore, 10 MBPS would be plenty unless you have someone doing bandwidth intensive stuff while you're trying to watch.

Thank you for the reply. I assume you are referring to upload speeds, correct?
No.

You download content to your devices.

Uploading happens when you email an attachment, or move content to the cloud.

My upload speed is 5Mbps.

Edit - I am watching an Xfinity SyFy show right now, 1080P. Google shows I haven't exceeded 3.5Mbps. I am also using my tablet.
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by iamlucky13 »

RickBoglehead wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:15 pm For standard definition, the answer is 2-3 MBPS.
For HD, the answer is 5-8 MBPS.
For 4K UHD (which almost no one has), you need 25 MBPS.

Therefore, 10 MBPS would be plenty unless you have someone doing bandwidth intensive stuff while you're trying to watch.
I think there's a tendency to be skeptical about this due to how ISP's market their speeds, but I can confirm that a stable 3 Mbps provides a generally acceptable streaming performance (51" TV at 9 feet viewing distance).

I would rate what we get on Netflix or Amazon Prime as roughly comparable to DVD quality. I think it might actually be higher resolution, but also higher compression - when I pay close attention, I can usually notice some compression artifacts like posterization or blockiness, but I seldom notice them if I'm not looking for faults.

However, you can't really do anything else at the same time - even browsing for trivia about the show I'm watching is noticeably affected.

If those two data packages were even available in my area, I'd go with the 50/3 Mbps plan if streaming and downloads were my main criteria. Since my actual use also includes the need to semi-regularly save medium-sized files from work back to the server, I'd go with the 150/10 Mbps plan entirely for the faster upload speed.
ballons
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by ballons »

DTalos wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:30 pm What is an adequate download and upload speed needed for streaming apps on an Amazon Firestick?

I am trying to decide between an internet plan that has 50mbps download/3 mbps upload vs one that has 150mbps download/10 mbps upload? The difference is $11 per month.
1 Netflix 4k stream = 15Mbps
3 Netflix 4K streams = 45Mbps

If you do not own a 4K TV, you have nothing to worry about. 1080p = 8-10 streams on 50/3.

Your wireless router placement/range is your only concern given firestick is totally wireless.
hvaclorax
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by hvaclorax »

You can get by at a minimum of 10-15 Mb/s. I know this because that’s all I receive in my rural area. Sometimes in heavy use (pandemic last year) we’ll see even less. Then we switch to over the air TV or FM or optical disc such as CD or DVD. It works out well.
But yes quite watchable with good sound. And keep your equipment updated. Router needs firmware. Wired Ethernet when feasible. Can even download during off peak as desired although I rarely download. Personal preference. HVAC
DSInvestor
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by DSInvestor »

Streaming is mostly downloading. 50Mbps should be plenty but the other plan has faster upload which could be a good thing if you do things like video meetings, cloud backups (iPhones and iPads backup to cloud when plugged into charge) or upload large files. When I had plans with slower upload speed, things like a iCloud backup of an iPhone or iPad could use up all upstream bandwidth and clobber downstream performance as well.
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masteraleph
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by masteraleph »

As a note- your much bigger limitation is going to be WiFi. If you’re spending money, I’d focus on that first.
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CardinalRule
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Re: Adequate Speed for Internet Streaming

Post by CardinalRule »

I would get more than you think you need, because of WiFi constraints.

We have gigabit service from Comcast, and I can usually get a wireless download speed of more than 500 Mbps on my mobile devices, via Speedtest. If I hook my laptop directly to the router with a cable, I can get more than 800 Mbps.

On my Roku (a current model with all software updates), though, the built-in network test shows an "excellent" connection, but with a speed of "only" 39 Mpbs. We have a good TV, and the clarity of the ultra high definition shows on Prime Video, Disney+, is really amazing. I'm pretty sure a somewhat slower speed would also suffice, as others have noted, but I wanted to highlight the fact that your rated download speed might not quite make it to your Fire TV Stick or Roku device.
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