One thing that people want to know when they purchase a new TV, especially a smart TV, is whether their internet connection is fast enough to stream their favourite content.
Services like Netflix have minimum broadband speeds required to enjoy a good streaming experience. So, if you’re thinking about getting a TV to watch the latest films without worrying about buffering and freezing, you should be aware of how fast your internet speed needs to be.
What Will You Watch?
If your internet speed is too slow and you’re sick of your favourite shows being interrupted due to buffering, you may want to take a look at how much entertainment you’re streaming and whether you need to upgrade your connection.
And, if you’re buying a new TV, you should also think about its ultimate purpose. Do you want to stream 4K? Are you looking to play high-quality games with a lot of details? Will you mostly be listening to music or watching YouTube?
Knowing this will ensure that you’re not paying for a higher speed than what you actually need or for a TV with features you won’t use, which means you’ll be able to make a more informed decision.
Broadband Speed Considerations
More and more people are opting to stream content nowadays, and many of them also have 4K TVs. Streaming in higher definition will require a faster broadband connection in order to fully appreciate the quality of the image.
Even if you don’t have a 4K TV, you may be surprised at how fast the internet speed needs to be so that you can enjoy your content in high definition. Broadband speeds are measures in megabits per second (Mbps), which means the amount of data that you receive each second.
You should keep in mind that your internet may be slower at peak viewing times, which tend to occur after people finish work, for example. This fluctuation will happen even if you’re paying for a fast connection. You’ll notice your video is not as high quality when the speed slows down; this is how streaming services compensate for the fact that your connection isn’t fast enough at that particular moment.
Another thing to take into consideration is how many people are streaming content at once. The more devices and people connected to your broadband, the slower the speed is likely to get.
Broadband Speeds Needed for Your Streaming Services
As we mentioned, different services will require different speeds so, someone who’s interested in streaming 4K content will need a higher broadband speed than someone looking to mainly listening to music or isn’t bothered about high definition.
Below, you can find the minimum broadband speeds for the most popular streaming services in the UK.
Speeds Recommended for Standard Definition
- Netflix – 3 Mbps
- BBC iPlayer – 1.5 Mbps
- YouTube – 2.5 Mbps
- Amazon Prime Video – 0.9 Mbps
Speeds Recommended for High Definition
- Netflix – 5 Mbps
- BBC iPlayer – 2.8 Mbps
- YouTube – 4 Mbps
- Amazon Prime Video – 3.5 Mbps
Speeds Recommended for Ultra High Definition
- Netflix – 25 Mbps
- BBC iPlayer – 24 Mbps
- YouTube – 15 Mbps
- Amazon Prime Video – 25 Mbps
If you want to watch content from other services but are unsure how fast your internet needs to be, you can confirm the recommended speeds on the services’ sites. This will help you to figure out exactly how much internet you should be paying for.
Broadband Speed Required for Video Calls and Gaming
Your smart TV comes with many great apps, including social media and video chat apps. If you want to Skype with someone and enjoy a high definition video call, then your minimum speed should be 1.2 Mbps, which isn’t as high as the speeds needed to stream video in high definition.
Consoles will also require different download speeds. For example, an XBox One requires a minimum of 3 Mbps while a PlayStation 4 needs, at least, 5 Mbps – it’s good to keep in mind, however, that you don’t really need a broadband connection to play PS4, although you need it to download or update games and set up the system.
What About 8K Content?
4K is quickly becoming the norm when it comes to TV screens, but many people are already looking at 8K. However, not only will these TVs be incredibly expensive, there is also not enough content yet to justify such a purchase.
What’s more, if you are, indeed, interested in 8K, it’s important to remember that you will need a very fast broadband connection. You will need, at least, 50 Mbps, something that will be problematic for a lot of people – especially if there is more than one person connected to the broadband.
For example, while a 25-Mbps speed is recommended to stream Netflix in ultra-high definition, this value is only for one user. If two people are watching Netflix in UHD at the same time, you need a 50-Mbps speed instead, so that both can enjoy the streaming experience in full. It’s difficult to imagine this in 8K, then!
At Cheap TVs, we stock a wide range of TVs that will give you the streaming experience you’re looking for, so make sure that your internet connection can match it. From cheap 4K TVs to cheap smart TVs, we have it all, so get in touch to learn more about our products.