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Education Bandwidth requirements for 4K streaming

Discussion in 'General' started by Byron C, 8 Jan 2021.

  1. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    For those of you what do 4K video via the interwebs, what sort of bandwidth do you need? From what I can gather the highest bitrate of any of the common streaming platforms is 25mbit, so I'd probably say you'd want at least a 50mbit connection to be comfortable.

    I have 200mbit Virgin right now, but I am seriously considering telling them to get in the sea - especially after they've just sent me yet another price rise email... Problem is, the best I can get elsewhere is ~60-70mbit - that's a big step down. I can live with it for things like game downloads, but my concern is the impending purchase of a 4K TV and the much higher bitrate that 4K streaming services require...
     
  2. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    Have you tried threatening to leave them and getting the retentions team to offer you a discount to keep you?

    Otherwise, to actually answer your question :p: ~70Mbps will be more than adequate for current 4K streaming, assuming you aren't running a load of different 4K streams and downloading at the same time!
     
  3. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    I'd really rather stay with Virgin TBH. They're offering gigabit connections in Cardiff now and if really like to get in on that! But they treat existing customers like absolute dogshit, they really do.

    I just want to make sure that I am actually prepared to leave when I threaten them with it! :grin:
     
  4. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    60-70Mb will be fine particularly if your main UHD content provider is Netflix or Sky as they cache a fair bit before playing (with virgin I assume they'll also download for UHD like Sky)
     
  5. Spraduke

    Spraduke Lurker

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    Cant comment specifically on 4K but I have 80mbit with Zen and I can comfortably run two HD streams or game whilst wife watches Netflix.

    Ps. Zen's customer service has been excellent and they promise never to increase prices once you sign up (which they've kept to for 2 years unlike sky who lasted 3 months before hiking my price!)
     
  6. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    If they are rolling out Giggblebutt I would hold off, the FTTC upgrade along should improve your connection even without opting in for it as the cabling all gets done.

    With ours before I jumped on the Gigafast bandwagon it went for 1.3Mbbps to 40+ Mbps an I didnt pay a thing for that, also if its like vodafone here they offered existing customers a decent discount for switching.
    But 60-70 should be enough to run 4k though.
     
  7. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    Thanks for the replies, all!
     
  8. play_boy_2000

    play_boy_2000 It was funny when I was 12

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    In a single person household, 30mbps would be enough, as the overhead isn't that much. That being said, I love 4K for looking at my drone footage, but for the average TV show or Youtube video I couldn't be bothered with video quality so long as its at least decent 720p.
     
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  9. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    If your VM connection is stable and reliable, try not to judge the prices in comparison to other broadband suppliers. Work it out in cost per megabit, and you'll soon see the value in it.

    Yes, you can get cheaper broadband, but usually at 1/3rd of the speed you currently get but not at a third of the cost... you need to decide where the value lies for your needs though.
     
  10. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    This post ended up being way longer than planned, so don't take this as a rant at you personally :grin:.

    I don't, I judge them against their own prices... They're about to put us up to £63.50 a month, we have a very basic TV package which we don't use, a very basic phone package which we don't use, and 200mbit broadband.

    What do 'new customers' pay for broadband only?

    [​IMG]

    And package offers...

    [​IMG]

    What offers do I get, after having been with Virgin Media for nearly 11 years?

    Some WiFi repeaters for another fiver a month:

    [​IMG]

    What about 'bundle' offers, even though I'll never use the TV or phone line? Great, I can pay £68.50 or £87.50 a month fgor 350mbit (these prices are before a price increase due to take effect in early Feb):

    [​IMG]

    And nowhere on their site - or the 'my account' section - do I see anywhere to sign up for gigabit broadband, despite Virgin Media loudly proclaiming that it's now available in Cardiff...

    https://www.virginmedia.com/virgin-...intcmpid=house_excusthp_desktop_b1_gig1_JAN21

    [​IMG]

    I tried calling through and selecting the 'change my account' (or whatever it was) option and the wait time was estimated at over an hour. Next time I call I'm going to speak to their retentions team; I just want to make sure that I can actually follow through on my threat to leave, instead of making a big song and dance and then keeping my account for another couple of years.

    The really daft part is that I am fully prepared to pay quite a lot of money for a 1 gigabit connection! I'd quite happily spend another £20-£30 per month for that!
     
  11. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    Don't worry, I'm not taking it personally. :thumb:

    I've been with VM since 2017 this time around, having moved back into their service area after living away, and the whole time I've been a broadband only customer - mainly because I think their TV service is awful, lacking a lot of content and limited 4K media too. I'm a SkyQ user and can't see myself changing away from Sky.

    I was on their 200mb broadband only package for £27 a month, with a new customer deal when I first rejoined. At the end of my deal, before the deal ended, I simply called them up and negotiated a new deal for a further 18 months. OK, it wasn't as cheap as a new customer deal, but it was under £5 a month more.

    With lockdown etc this year and my missus working from home and the media streaming required simultaneously, I upped it to 500mbit for which I got a deal and I've been paying £47 per month since then, with my next 'negotiation' due in May this year. Even if that goes up a bit, after the recently announced price increase, it's still excellent value in my eyes.

    Here's a rundown of the current best deals on the market:

    BEST OFFERS FROM MAIN ISPS - as rated by ThinkBroadband
    TalkTalk Fibre 150 145mb avg speed £28 = £0.20p per megabit
    Sky Ultrafast 1 145mbit avg speed £33 = £0.23p per megabit
    Sky Superfast 59mb avg speed £25 = £0.42p per megabit
    BT Fibre 100 150mb avg speed £40 = £0.27p per megabit
    BT Fibre 2 67mb avg speed £30 = £0.45p per megabit

    VIRGIN NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
    Virgin M100 - 108mb avg speed - £27 = £0.25p per megabit
    Virgin M200 - 213mb avg speed - £33 = £0.15p per megabit
    Virgin M350 - 362mb avg speed - £39 = £0.11p per megabit
    Virgin M500 - 516mb avg speed - £45 = £0.09p per megabit

    Now, if you look at Virgin's cost per megabit at full price, you can see that's it's still a compelling deal (given this is broadband only though):

    VIRGIN MEDIA FULL PRICE
    M100 - 108mb avg speed - £44 = £0.41p per megabit
    M200 - 213mb avg speed - £50 = £0.23p per megabit
    M350 - 362mb avg speed - £56 = £0.15p per megabit
    M500 - 516mb avg speed - £62 = £0.12p per megabit

    Even at full price, your M200 package is the same 'value' as Sky's best new customer Ultrafast offer. With Virgin (ditto almost all ISPs), the faster you go, the more you get for your money - providing you have a need for it that is... No point having 500mbit if it's a single TV, a PC and a couple of mobile phones...

    To summarise, I guess that I'm trying to say that only you can define what represents value when measured against your bandwidth needs. Yes, Virgin packages cost more a month than others, but you GET a lot more bandwidth for that extra money, even at full price.

    If you can negotiate a new deal, or start a new contract with them as broadband only, your monthly cost will go down and you'll be locked into a new deal for 18 months again.

    That, is entirely up to you...
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2021
  12. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    In my experience of Virgin, in Cardiff, some years back, you almost never got the advertised speed - I've been on a proper small business connection since, with a better contention ratio and none of that traffic shaping nonsense, which is more money per megabit than, say, the equivalent megabit speed from VM, but it rarely, if ever, slows, and the SLA means it's up 99.9% of the time - so I guess, what my point is really is make sure that the connection is decent, and don't be blinded by pure megabit numbers.
     
  13. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    I agree, it's not entirely down to megabit numbers; however, if you're a home user, you're not going to see the extra benefit vs cost from a small business connection though. VM don't do traffic shaping on either M200 up or M350 up (I'd have to check) but you do have the same contention ratio, so if you're in a busy area, it's worth consideration.

    As the OP is already in the area, he should know what speeds he can achieve at various parts of the day. I'm just outside Lincoln city centre and get 540mb down and 37mbit up, so over my advertised speed by close to 10%, almost all of the time - but that's more of a rarity than commonplace I accept. YMMV obvs.
     
  14. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    Very true. One of the things I have noticed most about the SME-class connection we have here is that the latency is really very low - would probably be useful if I played online games :laughing:
     
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  15. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Just ring Virgin Media and threaten to leave, tell them you want to begin by porting your landline over to a new service.

    You'll get a call back in a day or two from a very nice man in retentions who will give you a better deal.
     
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