To be able to watch series and movies through the internet it is important to have a good connection. Stream services are a great way to watch TV shows and movies, but buffering is frustrating. Buffering occurs when the content needs to be downloaded to the device we are using and having a low internet speed is not seen correctly, having jump between fragments of the content, slowness or poor image quality. In this article I discuss the minimum internet speed requirements of the main platforms.
To surf the internet, the download speed is important, but also the upload speed. The download speed is what is usually commented, is how fast your device is able to download content on the network taking into account the speed you have contracted. To be able to play online, the upload speed is also important, what you send to the network. This speed is also important when watching series and movies in stream, but the speed of downloading is more important.
Broadband connection in Spain
As a starting point I comment on the broadband speed in Spain. The broadband connection advances every year and is already close to 100% of the national territory. The most used medium is FTTH (fiber to the home) which reaches 85% as can be seen in Fig. 1. In access networks from a fixed location such as an FTTH home, capable of offering services of more than 100 Mbps in general, being able to reach more than 1Gbps, it has been the one that fixed network operators have opted for with a massive deployment.
If you’re having trouble watching live stream or live events on Prime Video, it’s important to first know that you’re watching the content on a compatible device and have a sufficient download speed. Prime Video recommends a minimum download speed of 1 MB/s for SD content and 5 MB/s for HD content. Prime Video will provide the highest quality streaming experience possible based on the available bandwidth speed.
|Video quality||Recommended megabits per second|
|Broadband connection||1,5 Mínima: 0,5|
|Standar definition (SD)||1|
|High definition (HD)||5|
|4K/Ultra HD (UHD)||25|
The data for Disney plus is similar. It must be said that Disney+ is one of the youngest platforms that offers streaming services. It does not offer service in SD. If you have an internet connection of less than 5 Mbps, it is likely that you have buffering problems and that the image does not look sharp and fluid.
|Video quality||Recommended speed|
|High definition (HD)||5 Mbps|
|4K Ultra HD||25 Mbps|
At the end of 2021, the HBO MAX platform emerged in Europe. It was already available in the United States in 2020. To stream HD video, it requires a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps. For the best 4k streaming experience, they recommend a download speed of more than 50 Mbps. Therefore, it is like Disney Plus.
Hulu suggests at least 1.5 Mbps for SD transmission, 3 Mbps for 720p transmission, 6 Mbps for 1080p, and 16 Mbps for 4K Ultra HD transmission. In short, in the case of Hulu TV has these recommended speeds:
|Video quality||Recommended speed|
|Standard Definition||1.5 Mbps|
|High Definition (720p)||3 Mbps|
|High Definition (1080p)||6 Mbps|
|4K Ultra HD||16 Mbps|
Netflix has a webpage for anyone to see the speed of their line. This page is https://fast.com/. For example, a line suitable for HD would be as follows:
These are the recommended internet download speeds for playing TV shows and movies on Netflix. This quality will depend on the plan chosen by the user. If you live in an area with a bad internet connection it is not advisable to use HD plans since you will see an image quality that will be related to the speed that your line supports. The minimum speed is what marks the viewing quality.
|Plan||Video quality||Recommended megabits per second|
|Basic||Broadband connection||1,5 Minimum: 0,5|
|Basic||Standard definition (SD)||3|
|Standard||High definition (HD)||5|
|Premium||4K/Ultra HD (UHD)||25|