Video streaming - broadband speed and bandwidth requirements

The increasing popularity of streaming movies and TV shows over the internet has brought with it some big challenges for many Australians.

Some internet connections simply can’t cope with the speed needed to watch video without it being low quality and/or constantly buffering. Additionally, miserly bandwidth caps are quickly reached.

What's the speed you need?

Speed and bandwidth requirements aren’t an issue if you’re with Australian ISP Lightning Broadband. Even our entry level home broadband plan (25Mbps over a fixed wireless internet connection) is more than enough to have you watching HD quality movies and your favourite TV shows without the frustration of buffering. We also offer plans if you wish to stream 4K (Ultra HD, UHD) video.

You won’t have to worry about bandwidth quotas either as we offer unlimited data – watch video as your heart desires.

We understand it’s an online world now, so we go to great lengths to ensure that you’ll never be left screaming at the screen. After all, a happy customer is one that will stay with us and tell others about their great experience.

For general information, below are the internet connection speed recommendations in Megabits per second (Mbps) per stream for playing movies and TV shows through various popular streaming services:

Netflix speed requirements

  • 0.5 Mbps – minimum required connection speed
  • 1.5 Mbps – minimum recommended speed
  • 3.0 Mbps – recommended for SD quality
  • 5.0 Mbps – recommended for HD quality
  • 25 Mbps – recommended for Ultra HD quality

Stan speed requirements

  • 2.0 mbps –  for good picture quality
  • 3.0 mbps – recommended for Standard Definition (SD)
  • 4.5 mbps – recommended for High Definition (HD) 720p
  • 7.5 mbps – recommended High Definition (HD) 1080p

Foxtel Now speed requirements

  • 3.0 Mbps – minimum speed required

Amazon Prime speed requirements

  • 900 Kbps – Standard Definition (SD)
  •  3.5 Mbps – High Definition (HD)

Disney+ speed requirements

  • 1.5 Mbps – library content
  • 5.0 Mbps – 4K content
  • 8.0 Mbps – live streams

Find out how fast your current connection is using our speed test.

Bandwidth/data consumption

As mentioned, it’s not just speed that’s an issue – unlike our unlimited broadband plans; some ISP’s are pretty stingy with data caps. It’s a very puzzling situation as the days of bandwidth quotas should be dead and buried in Australia.

Bandwidth consumption may vary a bit between services. Using Netflix as an example, watching movies or TV shows through that service chews through about 1 GB of data per hour for each  standard definition video stream and up to 3 GB per hour for each high definition video stream.

Other considerations

If the plan you have with your ISP has the required speed, but you still have a horrid streaming experience; it could be related to contention ratios.

Contention ratio refers to the amount of bandwidth resources apportioned to a group of users. Many ISP’s underestimate the number of customers who will be online and engaged in bandwidth-intensive activities at once – such as video streaming – so contention ratios can be too high.

This situation leads to a general degradation of services. That’s why at Lightning Broadband, we closely monitor our services to ensure contention ratios are kept low; helping to ensure our customers have a blistering fast online video experience.

If you’re frustrated with your current ISP; check to see if Lightning Broadband is available in your area yet. Even if it’s not, by registering your interest in our services (there’s no obligation involved) ; it could help bring us to your postcode sooner!

Say hello to the high-speed internet Australia deserves

Now you can enjoy broadband speeds up to 10x faster* than the NBN.

*Typical speeds on a FTTN connection
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