Recommended Internet Speeds for Different Kinds of Streams
In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine a life without the internet. It is now an integral part of our daily lives. Better internet speeds have greatly enhanced online communication, be it through emails, social media, or instant messaging. It has also made video streaming possible and thus led to the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Due to their increasing popularity Charter Spectrum cable services like Spectrum TV plans have also added similar features like on-demand content (through the app).
Whether you’re jamming out to your favorite songs on Spotify, streaming the trending movies on Netflix, or going live on Facebook, you’re dependent on your internet speed for all these activities and more. Also, you need different internet speeds for different platforms and content. This is why it is important to understand which speed is most suitable for your needs. Here are some recommendations.
1. Sports Streaming
Sports streaming is very popular as it lets the fans watch the games of their favorite players and teams regardless of their location. When it comes to professional sports, broadcasting is meant for a wider audience. The video resolution for sporting events needs to be high because you want to have a realistic viewing experience. Therefore, you need an internet connection with a stable speed. A minimum of 5.5 Mbps is recommended for such content. Ideally, you should use a tethered Ethernet connection for the purpose because the load on TV-grade streams is higher for professional sports.
On the other hand, if you wish to stream a high school game, even a relatively slow internet connection would do. This is because the fanbase for collegiate games is much smaller and so there is not as much traffic on the internet as for professional sports.
2. Educational Streaming
Online video streaming is a growing trend in the academic sector. It gained momentum during the pandemic as online classes and lectures became a necessity. Nobody wants to be distracted or disturbed because of an internet outage or video buffering, especially when you’re in the middle of an important lecture/tutorial. Hence the need for a stable internet connection. However, you don’t need to view such educational content in high definition. Video quality is not the priority here. Therefore you can do with a connection that has a speed of 800 kbps.
There are many other types of educational streams that are not related to academia. Take the example of fitness classes. Since visuals have an important part in such types of streams, the internet speed requirement is also higher.
3. Entertainment Streaming (Concerts & Music Festivals)
Music festivals and concerts are large-scale events. People mostly stream them in high resolution. Event organizers usually monetize these streams by charging an admission fee (virtually). And when streamers are paying for an experience, they obviously demand a quality that gives a more real experience. Thus, low latency is essential. This means that you must have internet speeds of no less than 5.5 Mbps in order to enjoy high-resolution streaming.
4. Live Streaming
There is a lot of work that goes into making live streaming possible. You need to have good technology, follow streaming protocols and take care of other aspects to ensure the data is transferring via the live steaming setup to the viewers’ video players in the most smooth fashion. Hence, to broadcast or view live streaming, you should have a steady and secure internet connection.
For live streaming, there are two things you need to take into account: upload speed and download speed. For a broadcaster, the former has more weightage. As a rule of thumb, your upload speed needs to be double the bandwidth that you’ll use.
Different streaming scenarios would have different requirements in terms of internet speed and technology. However, mostly an upload speed between 672kbps and 61.5 can get the job done for most broadcasters.
5. Popular Streaming Services
Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services nowadays. The download speeds you need to stream Netflix content depend on the video quality of that content. If you want to watch in standard definition, 3Mbps is enough. High definition streams require 5 Mbps at least, while for Ultra HD you need 25 Mbps.
As for Youtube videos, you can stream in standard definition for 500 kbps while for live events you need at least 1Mbps. Similarly, users can stream Amazon Prime videos in standard definition for only 900 Kbps. However, you would need a bandwidth of 3.5 Mbps if you wish to upgrade the visual quality to HD.
If you’re a Twitch viewer, the minimum internet speed you need would depend entirely on the resolution that the broadcaster has chosen for his stream. Having said that, 720 p and 1080 streams are the most popular on this platform. So you’d need download speeds of around 4Mbps to watch the popular streamers/streams.