Currently, Smart TVs are in great demand in the world market, this is due to their functionality to access various multimedia content from the screen of your TV. However, not all applications consume the same amount of data, such as the case of streaming platforms, such as Netflix, HBO, Spotify, among others, which generally need more speed to function properly. Therefore, in this article we explain everything you need to know about internet speeds, in order to optimize the capabilities of your Smart TV.
Over the years, the internet has become a service that can not be missing in our homes, so much so, that it is almost as important as electricity and water. However, at first, it was not so necessary, so download speeds were very low compared to the current ones.
Recently, the internet has changed a lot and the issue of speeds can be a bit complicated, for this reason, it might be convenient to analyze the following concepts, since they are often used by companies that offer internet services. It’s good to know that even if you have the best Smart TV, the type of content you can view depends directly on the capacity of the bandwidth you have in your home or office.
The truth about MBps, Mbps, and kBps
We can identify these abbreviations in the plans offered by internet providers, since they refer to the speeds that the data transfer will reach, then, the most convenient thing is to understand what each one means before selecting a data plan.
For several years we have known the megabyte (MB) or mega, as one of the main units of information, next to the gigabyte, the terabyte, among others. However, there may be confusion between megabit (Mb) and megabyte, since for a commercial issue internet providers offer megabyte download plans per second when in reality they refer to megabits per second.
In this sense, you should know that 1 megabit is equivalent to 0.125 megabytes of download per second, in other words, 125 kilobytes per second (kBps). That is, the megabyte is greater than megabit and this in turn is greater than the kilobyte. Normally, internet providers offer 5, 8, 10, 20, 30, 50, and 100 mbps plans.
It is only necessary to multiply the megabits of your plan by 0.125 to know the actual amount of data download in megabytes per second. On the other hand, you should also know a little about the bandwidth and the system that provides the internet to your home, since the speed of the system’s capacity to process the data flow is not the same.
Initially, the bandwidth worked through the same cable that provided the telephone line at home, so the internet stopped working when receiving a call. However, this was sufficient despite the discomfort, since the internet was usually used to send and receive emails.
Internet needs were increased since the millennium began, thus the set of xDSL technologies was born, which works on copper cable and is capable of supporting a greater bandwidth. Among these technologies the most used is the ADSL, which offers a download of data between 8 and 24 Mbps, enough for many users, even today.
However, the flow of data through the copper cable works through electrical circuits, so it could be continually affected by external factors, such as the distance between the telephone exchange and your home, heavy rains, electromagnetic motors, among others.
For this reason, the service providers have begun to use the optical fiber, which transmits pulses of laser light through an opaque cover cable, avoiding external interruptions. The main advantage of this technology is that it provides a significant increase in the speed of data transfer, so it can reach between 10 and 100 Mbps and, in the best conditions, between 1 and 10 Gbps. Usually, this depends on the plan you buy from your provider.
Bandwidths required for the most popular Smart TV applications
It is well known that Netflix is considered as one of the most popular streaming platforms worldwide, thanks to the quality and quantity of content it produces, such is the case of the award-winning science fiction, drama, fantasy, suspense series, among others, also, a very extensive catalog of films and documentaries of original production and other authors.
Netflix allows its users to view content in HD and standard or SD resolution, in addition, it recently included 4K or Ultra HD technology. However, the fluid reproduction of each resolution depends mainly on the speed of your bandwidth.
In this sense, for the platform to work efficiently it needs a minimum of 1.5 mbps and to play videos in SD quality it recommends the use of 3 mbps. On the other hand, at least 5 mbps are necessary if you want to watch high definition content, while in the case of 4K resolution it requires 25 mbps and fiber optic cabling for greater efficiency.
Recently youtube allows you to upload videos with 4K quality, but usually the content is between 144 and 1080p resolution. In this sense, the most appropriate is that the bandwidth is between 8 and 10 mbps, to prevent the variations in the quality of the videos.
HBO is one of the most sought-after television channels in the world, thanks to the fact that its series and films feature film-quality blockbusters. In addition, some of his most recent projects have internationally renowned stars.
All the content provided by HBO can be viewed through its HBO GO platform, however, to reproduce the image with standard quality, you need a minimum of 3 mbps, while high definition videos need 5 mbps. Also, you should take into account that this could vary depending on the content you see, so it is advisable to acquire a bandwidth of approximately 8 mbps, equivalent to 1 mBps of data download.
TV on demand
Local or international television networks cannot be left behind with technological advances, so they have implemented various platforms to watch their programming directly or deferred according to your time availability.
Some of these channels are TVE, Antena 3, and Telecinco. Normally, the video of the TV does not have a very high resolution, for this reason, in these cases it will be enough with a speed of only 5 mbps to see the content smoothly.
Spotify and other music platforms
Music platforms such as Spotify are faster than videos, but it is true that much of the music or video clips they include have great definition, in addition, during playback they could include moving or static images, which would require a speed level for greater efficiency
In general, the video does not need more than 3 mbps to be played optimally, while the music only requires between 320 kbps and 1 mbps. For this reason, this platform is one of the least demanding in terms of data consumption.