Streaming Live TV transmits data sent in real-time without first being recorded, downloaded, or stored. Today, almost any media can be live-streamed, including Live TV broadcasts.
Unfortunately, you might notice a few inconvenient seconds of delay or “lag” when streaming anything, which may be caused by not having enough data available to you. The amount of this data needed is dependent on how much data usage is required, the number of people in the location, and the total amount of subscriptions and devices you use at one time.
Related: 7 Best Alternatives to Cable TV
Understanding Data and Speed
There are important terms to know when learning and understanding data and speed.
- Data: Data references the information passed through the internet via uploads and downloads. It refers to the amount of bandwidth (or capacity of data) you have with your service provider.
- Internet Speed: This refers to the amount of data one can upload or download at one given time. Internet speed is measured in Mbps (megabits per second) or Gbps(gigabytes per second). For example, An internet speed of 500 Mbps means downloading up to 500 megabits of data in one second.
- Data Cap: This refers to a set limit on each service provider’s data for their internet. This term can be applied to mobile data plans and at-home or business Internet services.
- Data Throttling: Data throttling is a phrase that references the intentional slowing down of services by your internet service provider. Data throttling is used when a customer reaches their monthly limit or to minimize the “bandwidth” traffic in the area.
- Numbers: The numbers 720p, 1080p,and 4k are important. They refer to screen resolution (the number of lines of horizontal pixels). The higher the number of these, the higher the resolution will be.
Popular Streaming Services and How Much Data They Use
Each streaming service can be widely different as a whole. However, it is helpful that TV streaming services usually use the same language and terms to make data limits and speeds easy to understand. Here are some of the most popular streaming services and the data usage information they provide.
Related: 14 Best Canadian TV Shows to Stream
River TV offers hassle-free streaming to its customers. It is a great affordable option and easy-to-use service with a large variety of live television and news to choose from and with a great lineup of movies, cartoons, and more. River TV offers all this more with low data usage numbers and quality programming.
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You can soar through tons of nostalgic classics and view new Disney films and specials on this streaming service, Disney+. The average data usage is between 2-3 GB per hour when streaming through Disney Plus. However, a unique data saving option in the Disney+ settings can reduce this by almost half.
Netflix and chill, with about 1 GB/hour on average with the standard definition settings. However, high definition and 4k Ultra run over 6 GB per hour. Netflix began offering their already devoted movie subscribers the option to stream from anywhere they were in 2007. Since then, the industry has boomed worldwide. In North America alone, there are at least 50 services to choose from.
Today’s youth is obsessed with watching their daily YouTube videos, and adults probably use this service just as much. On average, a customer will use 2 gigabytes of data on a 720p standard-setting with this addictive streaming service. However, as with other popular streaming content, the high-quality streaming will run higher, about 16 gigabytes each hour.
Amazon Prime Video
Online shopping is at its peak, but if you don’t know, Amazon Prime has a video streaming service too. They run at about .38 GB every hour, 1.40 GB for 1080p., and only 6.84 for your ultimate viewer. Watch your favorite shows and films, and do your weekly shopping with Amazon Prime. The streaming service can be purchased with a Prime membership or stand-alone feature.
The streaming company Tubi is a little different, especially in its approach to data usage. It automatically adjusts its streaming serviceability to suit the bandwidth, making it hard to find a measurable number of data. On average, this amount would be about 4 Mbps or more to stream Tubi accurately and with decent quality.
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ESPN has a streaming service that excels in that department when watching sports and sport-news-related topics. Although they do not show exact data on this matter, it does imply that someone should have an internet connection of 2 or more Mbps. Since you never want to miss that last winning game-play, a 4 Mbps or higher rate is recommended.
Classic HBO Max service also adjusts its streaming to suit the bandwidth. The classic suggestion of 4 Mbps or higher is recommended for quality viewing.
How Much Data Do I Need for Live TV?
How big is your household? To make things simple, The amount of data you require depends on the number of people in your home or business. It also varies if you have many smart devices around and changes due to the extensive list of companies you might subscribe to. TV streaming speeds can be anywhere between 80 and 2000 Mbps.
There are a few things to consider when determining how much data you need for live TV. The first is the quality of the stream. The second is the size of the screen. The third is the length of the show. And lastly, the number of devices you are using to watch the stream.
The Quality of the Stream
The quality of the stream is going to have the biggest impact on how much data you use. If you are watching a high-definition stream, you can expect to use 3-4 GB per hour. If you are watching a standard-definition stream, you can expect to use 1-2 GB per hour. And if you are watching an HD stream on a 4K TV, you can expect to use 7-10 GB per hour.
The Size of the Screen
The size of the screen is going to have a moderate impact on how much data you use. If you are watching on a small screen, like a phone or tablet, you can expect to use 1-2 GB per hour. If you are watching on a medium screen, like a laptop or desktop computer, you can expect to use 2-3 GB per hour. And if you are watching on a large screen, like a TV, you can expect to use 3-4 GB per hour.
The Length of the Show
The length of the show is going to have a small impact on how much data you use. If you are watching a 30-minute show, you can expect to use 1 GB of data. If you are watching a 60-minute show, you can expect to use 2 GB of data. And if you are watching a 90-minute show, you can expect to use 3 GB of data.
The Number of Devices You Are Using
The number of devices you are using is going to have a small impact on how much data you use. If you are watching on one device, you can expect to use 1-2 GB per hour. If you are watching on two devices, you can expect to use 2-3 GB per hour. And if you are watching on three or more devices, you can expect to use 3-4 GB per hour.
Ways to Reduce the Amount of Data Your Live TV Streaming Uses on Your Internet Plan?
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of data your live TV streaming uses.
- Use a wired connection: If you’re using a wireless connection, your live TV streaming will use more data than if you’re using a wired connection. That’s because wireless connections are not as stable as wired connections and often have a lower quality. So, if you want to reduce the amount of data your live TV streaming uses, make sure to use a wired connection.
- Lower the quality: Most live TV streaming services let you choose the quality of the stream. The higher the quality, the more data it will use. So, if you want to reduce the amount of data your live TV streaming uses, make sure to lower the quality of the stream.
- Watch offline: If you know you’re going to be without an internet connection for a while, some live TV streaming services let you download shows to watch offline later. This way, you won’t use any data while watching your favorite shows. So, if you want to reduce the amount of data your live TV streaming uses, make sure to watch offline when possible.
Streaming Live TV vs. Streaming Movies
How Much Data Does Streaming Live TV Use?
Live TV streaming uses about 1.4 GB per hour of HD video. That’s more than double the amount of data that streaming movies or music videos use. So, if you’re streaming live TV, you can expect to use about 2.8 GB of data per hour.
Why Can Streaming Live TV Use More Data?
A reason live TV can use more data is because it’s a live broadcast. That means the video is being transmitted in real-time, which requires more data than pre-recorded content. Another factor that contributes to the higher data usage of live TV is the resolution. Most live TV channels are broadcast in 1080p HD, which uses more data than standard definition (SD) or 720p HD video.
What Happens if You Go Over Your Monthly Data Limit When Streaming Live TV Content?
If you have a data limit on your phone plan, chances are you’re paying for a certain amount of data per month. Once you exceed that amount, you may be charged an additional fee by your service provider. The same is true for live TV streaming services like Sling TV or AT&T TV NOW. If you go over the data limit that’s been set by your live TV streaming service, you may be charged an additional fee. We recommend speaking to a representative of your streaming service to know the specific details.
How much this fee will be depends on your service provider. For example, AT&T charges $10 for every 50GB of extra data used, while Verizon charges $15 for every 100GB of extra data used. If you find yourself going over your monthly data limit frequently, it may be worth it to upgrade.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of live TV streaming on your phone, it’s important to be aware of your monthly data limit. As mentioned, going over this limit can result in additional charges from your service provider. To avoid this, upgrade to a higher-tier plan if you find yourself going over your limit frequently.
How Can You Tell Whether a Particular Live TV Streaming Service Is Going to Use a Lot of Data or Not Before Signing up for It?
The amount of data that a streaming service uses can vary quite a bit depending on the quality of the stream. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- SD (standard definition) streams use approximately 0.7 GB per hour
- HD (high definition) streams use approximately 3 GB per hour
- 4K (ultra high definition) streams use approximately 7 GB per hour
Of course, these are just estimates. The actual amount of data that your live TV streaming service uses will also depend on factors like your internet speed and the number of devices you’re using to watch TV.
Now that you know how much data live TV streaming can use, you can make an informed decision about which service is right for you. If you’re worried about going over your monthly data limit, opt for a service that offers SD or HD streams. And if you have unlimited data, go ahead and treat yourself to a 4K stream!
Live Streaming Data Usage – Final Thoughts
You probably won’t reach your services data cap, and there are always tricks and tips to keep your monthly usage low. However, worldwide, people love to be connected and stream their favorite television and movies carefree and with no lagging! Finding a Tv streaming service that flows evenly and efficiently through your household is one of the keys to a happy, entertained home.
River TV is a breakthrough live TV and on-demand streaming service with over 40 bundled channels. Watch all of your favorite shows on Canada’s most popular entertainment and lifestyle networks. Start streaming today. Start now and get a free 30-day trial.