Minimum Speed Recommendations for Streaming Movies
In order to have smooth standard definition video, it’s usually recommended to have a connection that is more than 2 Mb/s. For HD, 3D, or 4K, that speed is much higher. It’s also different depending on the service that’s delivering the videos.
1 Mb/s for viewing on a laptop computer. While you can stream Netflix at speeds of 1 Mb/s, the quality will be grainy on a large screen, much like watching an old VHS movie
2 Mb/s for viewing standard definition video (480p) on a TV
4 Mb/s for viewing high-def video (720p, 1080p)
5 Mb/s or more for the best audio and video experience
15 Mb/s for 4K streaming (but 25mb/s is preferred). Also recommended is a 4K Ultra TV with an HEVC decoder
When streaming from Netflix, the service will automatically adjust the quality of video to its assessment of your internet speed. If Netflix determines that you have a slower speed, it will not stream high definition quality video to you, even if the movie or TV show is available in HD. As a result, you don’t experience interruptions and buffering of the video but the picture quality will surely suffer. To reduce data usage the quality may be lowered on certain devices by logging into your account on netflix.com and adjusting the settings manually.
1 Mb/s to stream standard definition content
3.5 Mb/s to stream HD content (720p/1080p)
15 Mb/s for 4K Ultra HD videos
1.0-2.3 Mb/s for standard definition video
2.3-4.5 Mb/s for 720p, high-def video 4.5-9 Mb/s for full high definition 1080p resolution video and high definition audio
9 Mb/s or more for 3-D HD movies
11 Mb/s or more for 4K streaming with access to Dolby Vision HDR
Vudu lets you run a test to see if the higher quality video will play on your media streamer. If a video halts and buffers repeatedly while you are watching it, a message will appear asking if you would rather stream a lower quality version.
Hulu and Hulu Plus:
1.5 Mb/s to stream standard definition content
3 Mb/s for 720p high-def videos
6 Mb/s to stream 1080p HD content
13 Mb/s for 4K Ultra HD videos