Streaming Video

The largest change in home internet usage over the last 5 years is the amount of video that is being watched at home. The trend is less TV and more internet. Some people have dropped TV service and have switched to 100% internet. This can save money and puts the video where your are, be it on your tablet, phone or home TV. There are many devices today to connect the internet to your TV. It is possible to get a large percentage of the content from Directv or Dish via the internet. Sling TV, YouTubeTV, Fubo, and others has many of the same channels as the satellite companies.

A few negative points about streaming:

  1. Recorders: Although some of the services offer Cloud recorders there are many restrictions about what can be recorded and whether features like “fast forward” or ad skipping is possible. Streaming recorders are generally not as good as today’s DVRs.
  2. Menu: Most of us are use to menus that show what programs are showing and when. users can go to the menu and setup recording and other things. With streaming there is no such menu. The content may come from many sources, each with its own menu. It is more difficult to find what you want to watch with streaming.
  3. Bandwidth: Traditional TV comes with its own bandwidth built in. Streaming requires you to provide this bandwidth. With Direct TV for example if you have 3 TVs in the house you can use all at the same time. With streaming, each requires bandwidth which you must provide. Adding the cost of the bandwidth you must provide reduces the potential savings of streaming.
  4. Content: At this time it is difficult to get all the content available on traditional TV. And you have to pay for much of it making the cost savings of streaming much less than many expect.

The most popular internet streaming companies are Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Sling TV, Fubo, and Hulu. Click the logos below to see what bandwidth each requires. Please note that this is per user on the net in your home. If there are multiple people watching on multiple devices the bandwidth required is the sum of all.

Bandwidth

All of this uses internet bandwidth. If you live in the city, you can get a lot of bandwidth relatively inexpensive. If you do not, things change. Getting a lot of bandwidth via microwave links is much more expensive. In addition to buying the bandwidth, a Wireless Internet Provider (WISP) such as Mt Hamilton Internet Service has to get it to the distribution points. Putting an radio on the roof top of a building in San Jose can cost over $1000 per month (one small antenna!). And, a seconded radio is needed to receive the bandwidth. Distributing the bandwidth in an area like Mt Hamilton then requires a number of repeater sites to get coverage in all the nucks and crannies. We have 6 of these sites. The point I am driving to is that the cost of getting bandwidth to the end user is much more than the cost of the bandwidth.

Mt Hamilton Internet Service offers two bandwidth plans:

Standard Home account provides 4Mb
Business account provides 10Mb

The standard home account provides 4Mb.  However most of the time it is possible to watch a SD and HD video without buffering. 4K video is not recommended.

The Business account provides 10Mb. This is Not shared bandwidth and is not dependent on the number of users online. Again SD and HD video will not buffer. However 4K video will buffer.