What internet speeds do you need to stream HD, Full HD and 4K Video content?

Your smartphone now has a Full HD display, so does your laptop and your TV. Online video sharing and streaming services such as Facebook, Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, Sling etc all fully support HD content. All this will not be useful to you if your internet is not “HD”.

You probably already know that HD or 720p video content supports resolution of 1280×720 while Full HD also known as 1080p ups that up to 1920×1080. 4K standard pushes the resolution four times more than FHD to 3840×2160.  More pixels mean clearer image, but also more bandwidth needed to push all the pixels in all their glory to your smartphone or TV.

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Related post: HD, FHD, Quad-HD, UHD: Understanding High Definition video resolutions


If you are really upto enjoying HD content online, then your must subscribe to internet package that promises at least 4Mbps download internet speeds. Of course, don’t expect your Internet Service Provider(ISP) to religiously keep their end of the deal. Usually when you subscribe to a 4Mbps package, your speeds fully fluctuate between 3-4Mbps depending on the time of the day and how many internet users are simultaneously connected to your ISP. You will start experiencing buffering and “loading” messages when your speeds drop below 3Mbps. This is a good time to pick up the phone and immediately call your ISP.

For those you want to stream Full HD(FHD) content, be prepared to subscribe to an internet package that promises at least 12Mbps download speed. It’s like having a big water tank at home. You need bigger pipes which can deliver more gallons of water to quickly fill your big tank.


Related post: What 4K HDR is and what it means for your home entertainment experience


But if you want to go even more crisper pictures with 4K or Ultra HD(UHD), then you need a steady internet connection speed of 25Mbps or higher.  You must have a 4K HDR Smart TV and subscribed to either Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Video, Vudu, BT Sport or any of these online video streaming providers who support 4K broadcast.


Related post: How to test your Internet speeds 


Keep in mind that your pay more for faster internet speeds unless you are using public WiFi, office, hotel or University internet. You want to test your internet speeds using fast.com or http://www.speedtest.net/ or http://speedtest.xfinity.com/ to ensure that you are able to view the kind of content you want. In case the speedometer doesn’t agree with the package you subscribed to, then you should check what’s slowing down your internet and if you are sure the problem isn’t you, then you should call your service provider.

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