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How much data do you need to stream movies and TV shows?

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  • 3 min read

The dozens of online streaming services including Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Youtube and HBO, among an ever-increasing line of studios joining the bandwagon, have made it much easier to find your favourite movies and tv shows. But most of us still live with data limits and it’s not possible to watch everything available as you can run out of data pretty soon if you’re watching videos in higher quality — HD, FHD or UHD.

If the question “how much data do I need to stream movies and TV shows?” has been at the back of your mind, here we’ve put down estimates based on how much data Netflix uses to answer your query.

Now, while we’re using Netflix‘s data consumption as a benchmark here, you’ll find that most of these services will use almost the same amount of data at the same quality and duration.

Also read: How much data does Spotify use?

How many Gigs of data do you need to stream?

Now, most likely you’re going to be streaming movies and tv shows on at least HD quality and if that’s the case then you’ll be consuming about 3GB of data per hour or 1GB of data every 20 minutes.

If you’re watching the videos in even better quality (UHD), then you’ll be consuming about 7GB of data every hour, which roughly translates to more 1.17GB of data consumption every 10 minutes; or 2.3Gb for every 20 minutes.

If you want to lower the data usage while streaming movies and TV series online and are don’t mind lowering the quality of the videos, then you can watch them in SD quality, which consumes around 700MB to 1GB of data per hour.

The lowest video quality setting on Netflix consumes about 0.3GB of data per hour, but lowers the quality drastically too, which won’t look good unless you’re watching on a low-resolution display..

The data usage remains the same across devices, including smartphones, computer, TVs or tablets. The quality at which you’re streaming the video makes all the difference and not the device.

If you want to change the data usage settings on Netflix, check out our article here.

Also read: Top 7 sports streaming websites and apps


Writes news mostly and edits almost everything at Candid.Technology. He loves taking trips on his bikes or chugging beers as Manchester United battle rivals. Contact Prayank via email:

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