We no longer have all films and series on DVD or Blu-ray disc. There are now various parties that offer so-called streaming services, including Netflix, Pathé Thuis and Videoland Unlimited. With these services you can stream films and series to your home cinema system, for a fixed amount per month or an amount per film or series. But what is the required speed of the internet connection for streaming video?
What internet connection for streaming video
When you watch movies and series via Netflix or Pathé Thuis, for example , you naturally want to enjoy optimal quality, without loading times or buffering videos. A fast internet connection is therefore a requirement, but what is that optimal speed? It depends on the resolution of the videos you are watching and also whether you are watching via an ethernet cable or a WiFi connection. You often only get the maximum speed with an Ethernet cable. If you watch via WiFi, we also have a tip to improve the WiFi signal and increase the speed.
However, a stable and fast internet connection is required for optimal playback of movies and series that are being streamed. A number of services, including Netflix, adjust the quality of the videos you watch based on the speed of the internet connection. So if you have a relatively slow connection, you will be presented with a film or series in a lower resolution. Other services do not show videos when the speed is not sufficient or let you choose a lower resolution by means of a notification.
Pathé announces via its own website that the minimum speed of the internet connection is 500 Kb / s. This is not a problem for most Dutch people. However, this speed will only let you watch videos in SD resolution. If you want to enjoy HD resolution, you must have an internet connection of at least 1Mb / s. Our own experience shows, however, that this is not entirely satisfactory and that you quickly reach a minimum of 2Mb / s.
To be able to play Pathé Thuis films properly, an Internet connection of at least 1 MB / s (8 mbit) download speed for HD films and 500 KB / s (4 mbit) for SD films is required.
Netflix provides extensive information on the various required speeds on its website. For example, you can watch movies and series with a speed of 1 Mb / s on an average laptop. If you want to watch Netflix on a TV, you must have at least 2 Mb / s. For both speeds, you will automatically receive material in SD resolution. If you want to enjoy HD content, you need at least 4 Mb / s and if you want to get the most out of both audio and video, an internet connection of at least 5 Mb / s is required.
However, Netflix is currently one of the few streaming services that also offers films and series in a higher resolution than Full HD. Series like Breaking Bad and House of Cards are streamed in 4K Ultra HD resolution when viewed on a compatible device (a 4K Ultra HD TV). If you own such a TV, you can stream material in 4K resolution, but of course a higher speed is required. Netflix itself states that a speed of at least 15 Mb / s should suffice, but 25 Mb / s is recommended for optimal performance.
Test your speed
Fortunately, the Netherlands is a country where internet speeds are relatively high. Most Dutch people will therefore have little difficulty in playing material from services such as Netflix and Pathé Thuis. However, keep in mind that this is talking about the speed that the display device must be able to achieve. This is not always the same as the speed mentioned in your subscription. Test the speed of your internet connection on the device on which you want to stream films and series.