There are so many video streaming platforms that it is very difficult to find someone who does not have at least one service. But have you ever stopped to think what the actual cost of streaming platforms is if, in addition to what we pay for them, we add the cost of data and electricity we spend? To give you an idea let’s tell you how much data and light we spend on the platforms.
Streaming: how much data and light do we spend on platforms?
So let’s start with the data we spend on the platforms.
According to Netflix’s own information, an hour of video streaming in the default setting uses approximately 1GB of data. When watching high definition video this number rises to 3GB. The ultra-high definition uses 7GB of data per hour.
By default, the account is set to automatically choose the most suitable resolution for our connection. However, we can go to Account > My Profile > Playback Settings to manually choose the quality.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is just one of Amazon’s many services. It started in 2006, but only became a streaming service in 2011. The service offers three resolutions. If we use 480p we will spend 800MB of data/hour. In HD resolution, consumption is 2GB of data/hour. On the other hand, the 4K ultra-high definition option consumes 6GB of data/hour.
Spotify is best known as a music streaming service. However, since mid-2016, it also offers a video service in select markets.
Most of the service’s videos are in high definition. However, an hour of streaming uses between 1.5GB and 3GB of data.
If the Disney service is in automatic mode and the Internet connection is good, it uses about 7.7GB of Data. This in 4K quality and with everything maxed out.
In the case of moderate configuration, Disney+ strikes the best balance between image quality and data savings. So it spends about 2GB of data per hour. This in 1080HD quality.
On the other hand if we use the save mode then it will spend around 700MB per hour.
In the case of HBO there is no official information. However, in standard quality we know that it spends 1GB per hour. This means that at maximum resolution you should spend something like 6GB per hour.
Another factor to take into account, especially these days, is electricity. Any idea how much we spent?
If before you only heard about a streaming platform, the truth is that today the range is much wider. We have content for all tastes and for all wallets too. That said, the prices of these platforms start in some cases at 4.99 Euros per month, as is the case with Apple TV+ or Amazon Prime Video and go up to 15.99 Euros depending on the quality of service we wish to have access to.
Now this added to the price of electricity, eventually things are not so cheap. The equipment we use to watch the series also counts in these accounts, especially at a time when so many people do it on the computer. In this specific case there are some interesting conclusions.
Selectra, a company that aims to help us save, first calculated the energy value (in cents) of watching 10 episodes of 45 minutes, based on a simple, bi-hourly tariff for a house with the contracted power supply of 6.9kVA.
Let’s then look at the results obtained with VAT included.
As you can see in the table, there is not only a big difference between watching a series from a desktop computer and from a laptop. This is because the first device tends to use a much higher amount of watts (W), as well as between a single and bi-hourly tariff regime. So, if your goal is to save as much as possible, the best thing you can do is watch the series from your laptop. Preferably between 10pm-8am, if you have a plan with a contracted two-hour schedule.
Now pay attention to this scenario: imagine that you get home and put on an episode from your laptop, but broadcast on your television. How much will this habit cost you after watching the 10 episodes of the new season?
So, considering the energy values of these 2 devices, as well as the price of the monthly subscription to the cheapest streaming platform, you will have to pay €5.30. This is in the case of a simple tariff, €5.38 in off-peak hours (8am-10pm) and €5.21 in off-peak hours. Although this value does not seem very significant, it is important to note that this example only takes into account the viewing of 10 episodes per month. That is, if you follow more series, it will tend to be more expensive. Still, this is the cheapest alternative you have at your disposal. All because if you choose to broadcast the episodes from your fixed computer or hire another streaming plan, the value will be much higher.