Streaming use iplayer vs. TV player

in Mobiles
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norrisg24norrisg24 Forumite
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Partner and I both with plusnet on android. This weekend we streamed tv to our tablet via hotspot . I streamed Saturday night on iplayer,  she did the same Sunday but using TV player app. 
I used 144mb an hour, her usage was 10x this!!
Is one service really that much heavier on data? Thanks


  • edited 23 May 2021 at 5:33PM
    tallmansixtallmansix Forumite
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    edited 23 May 2021 at 5:33PM
    It's not just different services, different TV shows will use different amounts of data and different devices. Depends on so many factors including the quality of the TV show SD/HD/4K and the bandwidth the provider decides to allocate for you. A lot of apps have settings where you can change the video quality including including the two you mentioned to reduce data usage if that is important to you.

    The 144MB (MegaByte) that you used in an hour is very low quality video - 0.32Mbps (Mega bits per second) - not sure this sounds right to be honest - I image the video would have looked quite low quality at that rate.

    BBC iPlayer will usually do:
    1.5 Mbps = 675MB an hour for standard quality
    up to 5 Mbps = 2,250MB an hour for high quality (2.2GB)

    I've seen Netflix use anything from 2Mbps for SD and up to 20Mbps for 4K UHD so anything from 900MB to 9GB per hour.

    Most apps like this adapt to conditions such as the speed / congestion on the network you are connected to as well as the capabilities and screen resolution of the device you are using so it can vary, there is no exact way of saying 60 mins of video will be a specific amount of data.
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  • edited 26 May 2021 at 2:48PM
    matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    edited 26 May 2021 at 2:48PM
    Streaming TV shows or films on Netflix uses about 1GB of data per hour, for each stream of standard definition video, up to 3GB per hour high definition video, and up to 7GB per hour of 4K Ultra HD video. Downloading and streaming on Netflix both consume a similar amount of data.

    BBC iPlayer uses about 700mb data an hour in standard definition and around 2.25gb or more for HD 

    So to answer your question it's possible that you were streaming in SD and she was streaming in HD or even 4k depending on the content (although I'm not sure iPlayer can stream 4k) so if you want or need to save data make sure that you only watch in standard definition rather than HD
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  • BrowntoaBrowntoa Forumite, Ambassador
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    iPlayer does now stream in 4k uhd but only some content , not all

    The upcoming Euro 2020/2021 games will be UHD for example as is some of the David Attenborough 
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