How many GB does the average movie stream?

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How many GB does the average movie stream?

Postby Wonder » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:48 am

I have a cellular PC Card. Where I am located I get sufficient speed that I can successfully watch a Netflix movie via the cellular broadband connection.

My issue is that of allowable GB capacity per month. I have a limit on my account of what I can use each month. Many cell companies are different but many are capped at 5GB of data per month.

The question is how many GB does the average HD movie stream from the Roku box from Netflix?

How do I at least estimate how many GB I'm using to watch a movie?

Thank you.
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Postby jlpio » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:07 am

If you multiply the streaming bitrate by how long a movie is you'll get your answer. For example a movie that's an hour and 45 minutes long that uses a 4.5Mb stream will total approximately 3.54 gigabytes of data. That's a hypathetical bitrate as I'm too lazy to search the forums for actual ones used by the Roku, and there's a difference between SD and HD streams. Maybe someone who knows the numbers could comment further. Bitrates also vary during a stream due to varying levels of compression per frame, so you won't be able to calculate anything exactly. I think it's safe to say though that one or two movies will max out a 5GB data plan.
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Postby kc8pql » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:10 am

The exact number has been discussed here before. You could try a search. If I recall correctly, an average HD movie is around 4GB, so a 5GB cap could be a problem.
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Postby Wonder » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:31 am

Thank you both for you replies. I appreciate it. Your answers were short and to the point and easy to understand.
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Re: How many GB does the average movie stream?

Postby ddines » Thu May 05, 2011 2:05 pm

You need to watch out for bits and bytes. The stream rate are in mega bits per second and the rate caps are in bytes. Typically bytes are 8 bits, but there is overhead for packets, so I conservatively and lazily use 10 to convert to bytes. So a 1.5 Mbps stream for 100 minutes would be 1.5 mbps * 100 min * 60 sec per min / 10 bits per byte would be around 900 MB. I used the lower bit rate for ease of computation. If you used 4.5mbps bit rate, triple the number to about 2.7GB.
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Re: How many GB does the average movie stream?

Postby pjoshua5000 » Fri May 06, 2011 4:33 am

ddines wrote:You need to watch out for bits and bytes. The stream rate are in mega bits per second and the rate caps are in bytes. Typically bytes are 8 bits, but there is overhead for packets, so I conservatively and lazily use 10 to convert to bytes. So a 1.5 Mbps stream for 100 minutes would be 1.5 mbps * 100 min * 60 sec per min / 10 bits per byte would be around 900 MB. I used the lower bit rate for ease of computation. If you used 4.5mbps bit rate, triple the number to about 2.7GB.



Shouldn't it be 8 bits instead of 10 bits. The last time I check. A byte has 8 bits not 10. But I could be wrong.
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Re: How many GB does the average movie stream?

Postby mbratch » Fri May 06, 2011 5:01 am

pjoshua5000 wrote:
ddines wrote:You need to watch out for bits and bytes. The stream rate are in mega bits per second and the rate caps are in bytes. Typically bytes are 8 bits, but there is overhead for packets, so I conservatively and lazily use 10 to convert to bytes. So a 1.5 Mbps stream for 100 minutes would be 1.5 mbps * 100 min * 60 sec per min / 10 bits per byte would be around 900 MB. I used the lower bit rate for ease of computation. If you used 4.5mbps bit rate, triple the number to about 2.7GB.



Shouldn't it be 8 bits instead of 10 bits. The last time I check. A byte has 8 bits not 10. But I could be wrong.

8 is correct. 10 was often used "in the old days" when calculating the transfer rate over a serial modem, which often included stop and parity bits, commonly bringing the total to 10 bits.... uh oh, I'm showing my age! :p
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Re: How many GB does the average movie stream?

Postby BoloMKXXVIII » Fri May 06, 2011 11:57 am

All of these calculations are approximate. It is becoming more important in this age of data caps to get more accurate data though. I myself have to figure out what I am going to do now that AT&T as placed a 150 GB cap on my DSL line. I figure I will blow through that in 2-3 weeks. I use the internet for almost all of my entertainment. The only other game in town is Comcast and we have bad history. I would go with FIOS or U-Verse if it was available in my area. I do not trust AT&T to tell me how much data I have used. I may have to change my router to one that will log usage.
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