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I Love To Stream

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Jessie Clarke-Mcleod
August 4, 2017

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I Love To Stream

Love To Stream?

The word “streaming” has become far more common, as popularity continues to grow.

And no we’re not talking about a copious running of the nose and eyes accompanied by a cold caught in the dead of winter.  Rather streaming refers to the equivalent of pressing the play button on an old VHS cassette and watching it magically flicker across your television screen.

Just at a much higher quality using an Internet connection to retrieve the sound and audio instead.

Even today,  its usage and requirements are often misinterpreted resulting in confusion and frustration.  Taking the time to understand what it’s about and what is required will save you from that ordeal, which is what this week’s article is all about.

What the difference between downloading a movie and streaming?

To watch a downloaded movie you would need to first complete the download, whereas streaming allows you to hit the play button and watch immediately much in the same way as watching television.

Since streaming services are legal, you’re not breaking the law, and you’re not putting your system at risk for viruses or other malicious attacks.   Additionally, you don’t need tons of storage space to store files, when streaming.

What is required for streaming?

  1. Streaming services usually require a subscription in order to be able to access the content. Popular paid for video services in South Africa include services such as Netflix and ShowMax which can be obtained for around as little as an R100 per month.While there are pirate services available, using such services opens your systems up for viruses and frustration caused by overloaded servers, site shutdowns, and bad quality content. It’s also important to ensure that when placing an order for a streaming package you select the option best suited to your needs and not over.   Many of the services will attempt to deliver higher quality content (if the option is chosen) even when you don’t have enough bandwidth.  While the quality tends to get downscaled choosing the top end package and putting it on a low-end bandwidth connection just won’t cut it.

 

  1. You’re going to need a compatible hardware device such as a smart tv or computer in order to view the content on. When it comes to HD and above you may also require that the device has support for specific codecs.

 

  1. Finally, as streaming services are internet based, so you’re going to need an internet connection which needs to match the audio or video quality of the streaming service you opted for. The bandwidth connection you choose should also provide a little extra bandwidth to ensure that you can use the internet for other activities such as checking your email without causing the connection to drop to crawling speed.

 

Picture Quality Minimum Recommended
480p 2Mbps 5Mbps+
720p (HD) 4Mbps (5Mbps for good audio) 8Mbps+
1080p (HD) 10Mbps 15Mbps+
2160p UHD 15Mbps 20Mbps+
7680p UUHD 50Mbps 100Mbps+

 

The bare minimum bandwidth requirement is the total speed required for streaming at that quality only and is not recommended since, In reality, most modern households will connect a number of devices simultaneously to the internet, all of which will consume a portion of the available bandwidth.

Not having enough bandwidth for streaming will result in picture quality degradation, stuttering sound or video while streaming.  Other applications will also slow down as the bandwidth becomes “choked”.

In other words, if for example,  you ordered a 2Mbps connection because you’re okay with watching at 480p quality, you won’t have any bandwidth available to do anything else on a single device.   Therefore you would be better off opting for a 5Mbps package or above because the more devices you add, the faster the internet connection speed (bandwidth)  will need to be in order to ensure a smooth internet experience.

Bear in mind that even a single device includes multiple applications which will all use bandwidth to communicate over the internet in the background.

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