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How much data does Netflix (and all the other TV platforms) really use?

Selection of TV apps on the smart TV

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How much data you use to stream video from Netflix and similar platforms is officially the biggest question in town.

It’s undoubtedly the most commonly asked question of our all Aussie team on the phones at SkyMesh.

We’ve compiled all the information you need to answer this question right here because we think that everyone should be able to really enjoy their internet connection without stress.

If you find this helpful, visit our Facebook page and let us know!


Here’s the breakdown of data used when streaming video?

GB per hour by platform and quality setting

Quality settingAutoUltra HighHighMediumLow

Platform

Netflix

Adjusts automatically for highest possible speed based on current internet speed7 GB p/hour

3 GB p/hour

0.7 GB p/hour0.3 GB p/hour

Stan

N/A7 GB p/hour

2.89 GB p/hour

1.13 GB p/hour0.57 GB p/hour

ABC iView

ABC iView use Standard
0.8 GB p/hour as their automatic setting
N/A

N/A

2 GB p/hour
(aka Higher Definition)
0.8 GB p/hour
(aka Standard)

Disney Plus

Disney Plus use Ultra High
7.7 GB p/hour as their automatic setting
7.7 GB p/hour
(aka Ultra High)

2 GB p/hour
(aka Moderate)

N/A0.7 GB p/hour
(aka Save Data)

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime use Good 0.8 Gb p/hour as their automatic settingN/A

1.4 GB p/hour
(aka Best)

0.8 GB p/hour
(aka Better)
0.5 GB p/hour
(aka Good)

Foxtel Go

Foxtel Go uses High Definition 3.2 GB p/hour as their automatic settingN/A

3.2 GB p/hour
(aka High Definition)

1.4 GB p/hour
(aka Standard Definition)
N/A

Kayo

Data use will fluctuate because the automatic setting is designed to adjust to the strength of your internet connection.3.25GB p/hour

1.5GB p/hour
(aka High Definition)

0.5Gb p/hour0.3GB p/hour

SBS on Demand

N/A0.7 GB p/hour

0.5GB p/hour

0.25 GB p/hour0.1 GB p/hour

10 play

N/AN/A

N/A

1.6 GB p/hour0.585 GB p/hour

9Now

N/AN/A

1.2 GB p/hour

0.8 GB p/hour0.2 GB p/hour

7 plus

N/AN/A

3.15 GB p/hour

1.35 GB p/hour
(aka Standard)
N/A

YouTube

N/AN/A

1.65 Gb p/hour
(aka Full HD)

0.87 GB p/hour
(aka HD)
0.264 GB p/hour

* YouTube, Amazon Prime, 9Now and 7Plus do not provide official data usage statistics. The statistics used in this article have been sourced from nbn co

**Kayo will use more data if you watch using the SplitView feature

How to change video quality settings by platform

Netflix

Data usage settings only apply to the Netflix profile you set them from, meaning you can have different data usage settings for each profile on your account. If you are concerned about the total amount of data that Netflix uses, be sure to repeat the steps below for each profile.

1.     From a web browser, go to your Account page

2.     Select a profile name from Profile & Parental Controls

3.     Select Change for Playback settings

4.     Select your desired data usage setting

5.     Save changes

Your changes will take effect within 8 hours.

NOTE: Restricting data usage may affect video quality.

*Source: help.netflix.com 

Stan

  1.   Click/select the Settings cog while watching a video.
    The cog may be located in different areas of the screen depending on the device you are using.
  2.  Select your preferred quality setting.
    Not all titles are available in Full HD or 4K Ultra HD.

It’s worth remembering, however, that high quality video will use up data at a faster rate than the Standard Definition option. For a more detailed explanation of what each setting entails, check out the table below:

You can quickly see what setting is currently set by the label on the Settings cog.

To change your settings on Apple TV

To control your streams video quality on an Apple TV 4 or 4K, please follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the Profile Icon in the Stan app
  2. Navigate to Video Quality
  3. Select ‘High’

If you own an iPhone or iPad, you are also able to control your stream’s video by AirPlaying Stan to your Apple TV.

Once you are AirPlaying Stan, you can change your video quality using the steps above.

*SOURCE: help.stan.com.au

Child points to Frozen on the TV

Disney Plus

Disney+ automatically detects supported video formats and plays back the highest quality video possible. Supported video formats for a given title can be found in the ‘Details’ section under each title.

On mobile devices
  1.  Choose your Profile icon and navigate to App Settings
  2.  To adjust your data usage while streaming over WiFi, select Wifi Data Usage and select the option that best suits your needs
  3.  To adjust your data usage while streaming over cellular, select Cellular Data Usage and select the option that best suits your needs
  4.  Your selection will be saved and applied to all profiles on your device
On connected devices/set-top-boxes
  1.  Open the navigation menu
  2.  Select Settings
  3.  Choose App Settings
  4.  Select the data usage option that best suits your needs
  5.  Your selection will be saved and applied to all profiles on your device
On web browsers
  1.  Hover over your profile icon in the top left
  2.  Select App Settings from the dropdown menu
  3.  Select the data usage option that best suits your needs
  4.  Your selection will be saved and applied to all profiles on your device

*SOURCE: help.disneyplus.com   

Amazon Prime video logo on a TV

Amazon Prime

  1.  Navigate to My Stuff in your profile
  2.  Click the cog which will take you to Settings
  3.  Navigate to Streaming & Downloading
  4.  Then select your setting under Streaming quality
    Choose between Good, Better and Best

Foxtel Go

  1.   Open Foxtel Now and arrow right to the Settings icon (the cog wheel).
    Note: Depending on the device you’re using; this may also be the Foxtel app or Foxtel Play.
  2.   Select Data Usage.
  3.   Select AUTO or LOW.
    Note: AUTO uses up to 3GB per hour, while LOW uses up to 1GB per hour.

*SOURCE: Foxtel.com.au 

Kayo

To change the picture quality settings:

  1. Open Kayo and navigate to Settings which can be found under My Kayo
  2. Select Video Quality
  3. Select Auto, Standard Definition or High Definition.

At Kayo video quality options include:

  • Automatic: stream quality changes according to the strength of your internet connection.
  • Standard Definition (SD): streams videos in 480p or less.
  • High Definition (HD): streams videos in 720p or higher.

*source: help.kayosports.com.au

9Now

The video quality selector is only available on a mobile or tablet.

You will have three options to choose from: High (HD), Medium (SD), and Low (SD).

  1. Tap on the screen when a show is playing
  2. A clog icon will appear
  3. You can then select the video quality you want

Note: The video quality selector does not guarantee a minimum video quality. All 9Now videos are streamed adaptively based on your internet connection. Selecting ‘High (HD)’ may result in a SD stream. 

*SOURCE: 9now.zendesk.com 

YouTube logo on TV

YouTube

You can manually adjust the video quality of any video you’re watching on a computer, TV, or mobile device.

Mobile device
  1. In the video player, select More
  2. Tap Quality
  3. Select your preferred video quality.

Note: Choosing lower video quality (such as 240p and 360p) will make videos start more quickly. The video player will remember this setting for future videos you watch.

Computer
  1. In the video player, select Settings 
  2. Click Quality
  3. Select your preferred video quality
TV
  1. In the video player, select More options 
  2. Click Quality
  3. Select your preferred video quality.

Note: Some high-quality formats (i.e. 1080p, 4K) may not be available for all devices, as they may not support the latest video compression technology (VP9).

*SOURCE: support.google.com/youtube

Mother and daughter watch TV together

Platforms without public information on how to change video quality settings

These all seem to be free-to-air apps and some openly admit that new iterations are on the way.

Perhaps newer versions of these apps will provide users with more flexibility to manage their data usage.

  • ABC iView
  • SBS on Demand
  • 10 play
  • 7plus

Do you have the best internet plan for streaming videos?

If you’re living in the nbn™ Fixed Wireless footprint, you’re eligible for the unlimited data plans which is absolutely perfect for streaming to your heart’s content without running out of data for all the other important online things you do.

It can be a bit tricker if you’re living in the nbn™ satellite internet footprint.

Never fear though, it’s not all doom and gloom.

Back in April 2020, nbn co launched their reimagined Sky Muster™ Plus product which includes unmetered data for everything except VPN traffic and video streaming.

This is great news because it means that any data you purchase as part of a plan can be completely dedicated to video streaming and not consumed by other day-to-day activities.

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•  Is Sky Muster™ Plus unmetered work-from-home data here to stay?
•  New reimagined Sky Muster™ Plus service plans: Order now

Find a plan that’s right for your video streaming habits

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Louise Hughes
Written by Louise Hughes

Louise has had a life-long love affair with beautiful words; writing because it drives her, and reading because it feeds her soul. She's the luckiest woman alive to be able to create clever content and intelligent customer experiences for a living.

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