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Want Netflix on your iPad? Remember the data usage

by on September 24th, 2010

With all the buzz around the launch of Netflix in Canada this week, I was curious as to how much data is actually being sent for the streaming of a TV show or a movie.

Netflix does not seem to have that information on their web site, but after calling them to get more information, here is the story.

  • TV or regular movie: 1 hour of streaming will use approximately 1 GB of data
  • HD Content: 1 hour of streaming will use between 2 and 2.5 GB of data

Now those numbers are “straight from the horse’s mouth” so to speak. I have not tested or confirmed these myself yet.

I have also found other sources that claim testing at anything from approximately 290MB to 900MB per hour of streaming, to as much as 1.5GB per hour for high definition content.

The connection speed is also important for a quality experience, and Netflix suggests a minimum of about 3Mbps for that.

You may be able to download as much as you want from Netflix, but you may get burned from your ISP depending on the cap on the amount of data you will be getting, so be careful!

Has anyone measured how much data one hour of streaming takes with Netflix?

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  • Cutecubmtl

    Thanks for reminding, I only have 30G a month, it’s seems so little by Netflix standards!

  • Tilk

    I knew there was a reason why I didn’t upgrade the speed of my 6Mb unlimited connection from bell.

  • Anonymous

    There’s also yak and tekksavvy perfect for netflix yak has bell dsl lines and is unlimited bandwidth and teksavy is 200 gb a month for 40 a month after taxes

  • Yeah, once Netflix expands their library I’ll be watching more movies/tv. Can’t believe Rogers reduced their cap the day of the Netflix announcement.

  • Anonymous

    Typical Rogers always gouging and they raised the price of overage cap from 25 to 50 in caps on download overages

  • Ken

    If you go to your Netflix account settings, you can switch the stream from HD to Standard Definition, which will reduce your data usage.

  • Funnyunkle

    I have been watching tv on netflix 3G for a few days now and while it is using up some of the bandwidth I haven’t seen the same reporting as netflix states. A 45 minute or 43minute show does not use as much as 800mb. It seems if the iPad has any accuracy about 550 to 600mb. I was fortunate to see my plan carry over so I was able to track the usage a little closer but by no mean precisely. This is still a best guess ta mate.

    Funny that netflix is getting 50% positive reviews and 50%negative reviews. I love it and have used up all 6 devices allocatiosn already. It works great on iPhone though it is slow to load and occasionally there is lag. On Playstation3 it works like a charm. Much like apple tv and on the laptop…it is the best. Full screen is awesome.

    On the iPad it works well but like the iPhone it take a short while for it to load.

    Have fun

  • The library is only going to get larger. The service just debuted in Canada
    and it’s $8 DOLLARS people. That’s nothing! To be able to watch unlimited
    movies/TV from multiple devices is totally worth it.