Have a look at this short video for tips on conserving data when streaming videos — or read the article below.
Many of our subscribers are curious to know how our service works streaming video on services such as Netflix and YouTube. The good news is that these services work great with our Exede12 service. The flip side is that video uses a fair amount of data, so you can go through a 10 GB data allowance rather quickly by watching a lot of video.
There’s a pretty big difference between the kind of video you get on YouTube compared to what’s served up on Netflix or Hulu — another popular streaming service. YouTube videos are typically short and only consume an average of about 6 megabytes of data per minute. Using some quick math, you can see that a 3-minute YouTube video = approx. 18 megabytes or 0.018 GB. You could watch 100 of these and use only about 1.8 GB of data — or less than 1/5 of your monthly allowance on a 10 GB plan.
That’s not so bad, and the reality is that lower-definition video like this typically won’t chew up your monthly data allowance — unless you’re really hooked on those cat videos.
Netflix and similar services are another story, since they serve up video in much higher definition. A standard (SD) definition movie or TV show on Netflix or Hulu averages about 0.75 GBs per hour, while a high definition (HD) movie is up to 3.0 GB/hour. If you’ve got a 10 GB/month plan, it’s easy to see you’ll be hitting your data allowance limit before long at this rate.
What to do? One option is to change the settings on your video streaming playback. On Netflix, for example, you’d navigate to “Your account” and then to “Playback settings.” If it’s set on “high” or “auto,” you may want to change it to “medium.” This will allow you to consume less data and watch more video. You can do the same on YouTube, and other video services have similar adjustment capability. You can also tweak the settings on each individual YouTube video by clicking on the gear icon (see below). To permanently change the YouTube settings create an account with YouTube or link a google account with it. Then sign in and click on your profile icon in the upper right hand side of the page. Then click on the gear in the lower part of the profile display. A series of tabs will appear click on the playback tab. Then select the option “I have a slow internet connection and never play higher quality videos” Then click save. (see below)
If you find you’re bumping up against your data allowance on a regular basis due to video, you can upgrade to a bigger plan, Buy More data, watch video during the Free Zone or tweak your habits a bit. Note: The Free Zone comes with Classic, Evolution or Essential plans only.
CHANGING THE PLAYBACK SETTINGS ON NETFLIX
Lake Country Satellite recommends that you start off with your playback settings on LOW and not Medium as described below until you know what your normal data usage will be. Personally, it really doesn’t look much different if you have a newer HD TV. The newer TV’s up-convert the video to a higher quality automatically, so don’t waste your data.
CHANGING THE PLAYBACK SETTINGS ON INDIVIDUAL YOUTUBE VIDEOS
CHANGING THE PLAYBACK SETTINGS ON ALL YOUTUBE VIDEOS
Click the Blue sign in button to sign in or create an account.
When you arrive at the settings page …
Roku devices have a secret menu to access the Bit Rate Override. Otherwise they will stream at the fastest speed they can get, thus eating away at your data unnecessarily. To access the hidden menu using your ROKU remote press the following sequence:
Press the HOME key 5 times
Press the REWIND key 3 times
Press the FAST FORWARD key 2 times
You should now have the ROKU Bit Rate Override screen with an X by automatic. Use the arrow keys and move down to 0.3 Mbps and then press OK. The screen will go back to normal. You really should not see much difference in the quality of the program, but you will see a difference in the amount of data that you were using.
***NOTE: One thing to point out, if your device looses power or is unplugged, you will need to follow this set up again. The device defaults to automatic each time power is removed. I always suggest a small UPS battery back up for electronic devices to help protect them from surges and brown outs.