netflix movie bandwidth usage?

Moderators: RokuDouglas, RokuShawnS, RokuKen, RokuRyan, RokuJamesL

netflix movie bandwidth usage?

Postby shshchch » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:30 am

i've been using my nexus one as a wifi hotspot for my roku, which made me find out that tmobile has a 5GB cap before they slow my internet to be unworthy. i'm wondering if anyone knows/can find out how much data an average movie would use? if theres a way to force low quality and use less? just want to be able to have a good idea how much i'm using of my 5gb and if i can use less so that i dont reach it again.
shshchch
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:58 pm
Location: U.S.A. : Texas : Austin

Re: netflix movie bandwidth usage?

Postby pjoshua5000 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:37 pm

Streams: Mb per hour (buffered) So those 2 to 5 minutes left at the end of the show you don't watch count since they have been buffered (or downloaded)

For 5 GB limit (5000 MB)

675 mb for 1.5 mpbs( (SD) (7:24 hr)
1125 mb for 2.5 mpbs (HD) (4:26 hr)
1710 mb for a 3.8 mbps (HD) ) (2:55 hr)

Take the stream (mbps) and divde by 8 then times by 3600. (to get the MB per hour) Or times by the seconds in the show to get total MB of the show

Ex. 1.5 mpbs/8 * 3600

But its only an estimated, since, I have notice that on some channels the stream amount given is not always right. You have to enable the "Playback debug" in the option menu. HOME (5X), REW (3x) and (FFW) (2x) to see the stream amount before playback.

I think that the stream amount for Netflix and Amazon are correct.
Last edited by pjoshua5000 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
pjoshua5000
 
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: netflix movie bandwidth usage?

Postby Robert99 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:55 pm

shshchch wrote:i've been using my nexus one as a wifi hotspot for my roku, which made me find out that tmobile has a 5GB cap before they slow my internet to be unworthy.

Internet video (especially high quality internet video) is incredibly bandwidth piggish, with it being semi-common to use up around 2GB for watching just a single movie.

Doing video on such a low bandwidth ISP plan is a disaster waiting to happen.

shshchch wrote: i'm wondering if anyone knows/can find out how much data an average movie would use?

Varies with the movie, and the bandwidth quality settings displayed at, but I like to use 2GB as a good round figure.

It's actually possible to calculate a rough figure yourself, if you know the streaming rate you are viewing at and the length of the movie. For example, at the 1.5 megabit (NetFlix 4 dot but not HD quality setting) you would likely use a little less than 0.7GB per hour (i.e. 1.5mbits / 1000mbits/gbit / 8bits/byte * 60seconds * 60minutes) . HD video is obviously more bandwidth, and 2 dot NetFlix video quality only uses about 1/3 of that bandwidth.

shshchch wrote:if theres a way to force low quality and use less?

Yes, but only down to a certain point. And the setting only works on channels (such as the NetFlix channel) that have multiple quality/speed streams for each thing you want to watch.

Go to the ROKU's hidden bandwidth force screen, and select the speed you want to use (instead of letting the ROKU test and auto-pick your bandwidth quality/speed). For example, if you want the lowest (least bandwidth using) quality available, you would select the 0.3mbit setting from this hidden menu. Then the ROKU will give you an available quality/stream that is closest to the speed you selected/forced. However, if/when no steam is available at that slower speed (you selected), you will still get the closest available stream without the ROKU asking you first (even if/when the closest available stream is much higher bandwidth). The ROKU's hidden bandwidth screen is reachable by pressing the following on the remote (roughly 1/3 second wait between the various key presses):

Home Home Home Home Home Rewind Rewind Rewind FastForward FastForward

NOTE: The last time I tried forcing the really slow (and IMHO bad looking) "one dot" (300kbit) NetFlix stream, I got the "two dot" (500kbit) stream instead. So it may be that NetFlix is no longer offering the "one dot" stream anymore. And while it hurts your bandwidth, IMHO the "one dot" stream is so slow (low quality) it is semi-painful to watch anyway...

NOTE: Even if you force NetFlix to use the 500kbit (2 dot) stream, you will still be likely using up over 0.2GB every hour (on your 5GB plan, under 25 hours of viewing even if you used your bandwidth for nothing else). And that estimate doesn't even factor in other bandwidth using aspects of the ROKU. For example, there is bandwidth used by NetFlix to download the movie cover art and your "instant queue", there is bandwidth used by the ROKU to download firmware updates, etc. So even forcing a really low speed/stream, you will still be VERY TIGHT (requiring you to very much limit your usage, possibly limit ROKU background bandwidth by unplugging it when not using it, etc.) with such a low bandwidth limit on your ISP plan.
Last edited by Robert99 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Robert99
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:38 am

Re: netflix movie bandwidth usage?

Postby shshchch » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:08 pm

thank you guys for doing the calculating/elaborated explanations for me, i know it sucks but im lucky im able to do this at all (i read the other cell providers arent as lenient with tethering/data usage). this gives me a good idea of how much of my bandwidth i'm using and how to use the least possible, so thanks again.
shshchch
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:58 pm
Location: U.S.A. : Texas : Austin

Re: netflix movie bandwidth usage?

Postby Robert99 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:24 pm

Oh one more thing to note about forcing the bandwidth/quality (home-5times Rewind-3times FF-2times), is that the setting won't survive a "reboot" of the ROKU.

So each time you power up the ROKU (or even when the ROKU auto-updates its firmware) you have to again force the speed/quality you want, or you will revert to the default auto-detection of speed.
Robert99
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:38 am


Return to Roku Streaming Player General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: deano, EnTerr, Tivoburkee and 22 guests