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How much data does streaming HD & SD video use?

Streaming video whilst connected through cellular data has been happening for years. But with developments in M2M technology videos are no longer just being streamed for leisure purposes.

There are a number of M2M devices that now utilise video streaming to make our lives easier. Take AMA XpertEye for example:XpertEye Glasses

This device is designed to help engineers (and other people in the field) stream live video back to base. However, rather than having to hold a device, AMA XpertEye have built this functionality into some rather fetching eyewear.

For more information on how AMA XpertEye works, simply check out this video.

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Streaming video in HD (High-Definition)

According to Netflix streaming video in HD consumes around 3GB data per hour. This is based on using their service. Other video streaming providers may slightly differ, however the figures are consistently around the 3GB mark.

Amount per hour: 3GB

Streaming video in SD (Standard Definition)

When it comes to streaming standard definition video many we’re talking about a quality less than 720p. As you’d imagine streaming video in SD uses significantly less data than streaming in HD. Netflix says that streaming it’s videos is standard definition (medium quality) uses around 0.7GB per hour; the industry standard is between 0.6GB and 0.8GB data.

Amount per hour: 0.7GB

3G vs 4G

There’s a common misconception that devices connected with 3G use less data than those connected with 4G. This is categorically not true. The only thing that affects the amount of data usage when streaming video is the quality that it is being watched in.

Although streaming video in 4G doesn’t use more data it can actually be the cause of you using more data. For example, if your videos are loading quicker, there’s no buffering and you’re generally having a pleasant experience; are you not more likely to stream more video, for a longer period of time?

The reason that people who are streaming from 4G capable devices often manage to rack up a large data bill is due to excessive streaming.

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How much data do I need?

The amount of data that you’ll need depends entirely on what quality you’re streaming in as well as the length of viewing time. It’s critical to understand the metrics behind your streaming before building your M2M data plan.

To do this simply multiply the amount of time you’ll be streaming video by the amount of data used for your required stream quality per hour.

Hours streaming X data amount used for quality = Data plan needed

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