We hear the words “Wi-Fi” and “broadband” every day, and while they are both used in reference to the Internet, the technology they describe is actually pretty different. In this edition of Tech Tips, we are going to walk you through the differences between Wi-Fi and broadband!
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More and more, streaming services are becoming a standard means of entertainment in the home. Whether it is Music or Video streaming, most people have had some exposure to this service via means like Netflix or Pandora.
Even now, Live TV services are now available across video streaming, thus allowing people more freedom of choice when it comes to their viewing preferences.
Below is a list of several popular streaming services, some of these you probably already know!
- Netflix – On demand TV and movies
- Hulu -On demand and Live TV
- Pandora – Radio style music service
- iHeart Radio – Recorded and Live Radio
- SlingTV – Live and On demand TV
- DirectTV Now – Live and On demand TV
- Playstation Vue – Live and On demand TV
- Youtube TV – Live and On demand TV
- Spotify – Streaming Music
- Amazon Prime – On Demand TV, Movies and Music.
Streaming services can be accessed on many devices. From Smart Phones to Smart TV’s, your options are very diverse. Here are some basics about how to gain access to Audio and Video streaming services.
Smart Phones, Smart TV’s, computers and dedicated streaming media players like Roku or Amazon Fire TV products will gain you access to streaming audio services. All of these services require a near constant internet connection for the services to perform adequately.
In reality, the options are pretty much the same for viewing streaming video. As long as it has a screen for the video to play on and has access to the applications to play it. Do realize not all devices are created equally.
We have found that dedicated streaming media players offer the best quality and service. Some of our favorite offerings are from Roku, Amazon and Apple TV.
Here is a list of several streaming media devices. This is not an all inclusive list, but should give you a general idea of where to start looking!
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Android TV
- Smart TV’s (Sony, Samsung, LG, Vizio)
- Blu-Ray Players
- Smart Phones and Tablets
Streaming services do require a connection to the internet that is near constant. This does mean that it will consume data. Here are some general statistics of how this will affect your data usage.
- Music Streaming will use about 115 Megabytes an hour. This is roughly 1/10 of a Gigabyte.
- tandard Definition (480P)Video will use between 500 Megabytes to 1 Gigabyte per hour.
- High Definistion (1080P) Video will use approximately 2 Gigabytes per hour.
- 4K Ultra High Definition Video will use between 7-10 Gigabytes per hour depending on the service being used.
- Another key thing to note is screen size. The larger the screen is, the more data that will be consumed.
Understanding Data Limits
Most people this day in age are familiar with data limits. The introduction of these were primarily with the mobile network providers as a way to help control the costs of bandwidth to each of their locations. Many companies across the world have moved or are moving towards this metered style of service.
So why would InterBel impose data limits on their service? Well directly to the point that Mobile Providers do, the cost of bandwidth. When facing the reality of purchasing more bandwidth to provide more service to our members, the cost of doing so rapidly increases as we increase our backbone.
As we investigated this, we found the only fair way to keep the playing field equal for everyone was to move towards data limiting. This then ensures the people that actually use more of the internet are paying for what they use, while the others that only use the internet for basic use dont see an increase in their monthly internet fees.
- InterBel’s lowest data limit is 300 Gigabytes for one month. This is the equivalent of watching 150 hours of HD video a month
- When streaming video, setting the resolution to standard definition will decrease that data consumption in half.
- If you do not use streaming video or download a lot of content, it is very unlikely you will ever use 300 Gigabytes in a month.
- If you are a large consumer of data, we do offer services with unlimited data limits.
To view your usage, use our Smarthub app (the same place you pay your bill online). Access Smarthub here. Once you sign into Smarthub, you will see a menu at the top. Click on the My Usage tab of the menu to gain access to your usage statistics.
Once you have selected My Usage, you will gain access to a chart that tracks your usage per day over the entire month.
The red line on the chart is where your data limit is set to. If you are near or over this line, please contact InterBel at (406) 889-3311 to discuss options to avoid overage charges.