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Minimum Internet speed for streaming

by ron_cox99 / February 23, 2010 2:43 AM PST

I have Dell Demension 8400 with Win XP Pro with Intel Pentium 4 3 ghtz and 1 gb memory. I currently have Comcast High Speed broadband internet access. I get a pretty fast speed presently. It also costs a lot. I need to know if I could switch to their slower broadband speed and thereby reduce my monthy subscription fee. I use internet for listening to streaming audio and videos. Some movies and TV shows. What is the slowest I can use for these without and gaps because of buffering?

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I ran this test.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2010 2:57 AM PST
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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2010 3:57 AM PST
In reply to: I ran this test.

Hulu was via wifi to a laptop to HDTV over HDMI cable and looked stellar. Must have been some trizillion bits per second.

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by Jimmy Greystone / February 23, 2010 3:05 AM PST

It depends on the resolution of the videos how much bandwidth you need. There's no simple answer here.

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Internet speeds
by ron_cox99 / February 24, 2010 1:58 AM PST

Comcast has Economy which claims 1 mb downloads and 384 kbps uploads. Using streaming audio/video without the annoying buffering is what I am after. Looking to see if the cheaper cable service will allow me to do that of if I would be disappointed and be forced to upgrade back to High Speed. Of course Comcast recommends High Speed because it generates so much more money.

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internet speeds
by jeff_windows_team / February 24, 2010 2:26 AM PST
In reply to: Internet speeds

It is hard to give an answer without the results from the speed test posted above in this thread.

If I remember correctly Comcast makes it fairly easy to upgrade/downgrade your service since there aren't contracts, so worse comes to worse you could always downgrade and see how it works then make the necessary adjustments.

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Part of the problem
by Jimmy Greystone / February 24, 2010 4:17 AM PST
In reply to: Internet speeds

Part of the problem is that you're using cable Internet. That throws a huge random factor into the equation that's impossible to predict.

Cable Internet is a shared resource, unlike DSL which is dedicated. So everyone on the same cable hub as you, shares the same theoretical maximum bandwidth, which is probably along the lines of 100Mbps. Which means, if someone next door is downloading porn from Kazaa all day, they could easily create a negative effect on the performance YOU receive. So even if you have Comcast's top tier service, your neighbors will have an impact on whether or not you have bandwidth issues.

If you had DSL service, which is dedicated bandwidth, then it might be a bit easier to say a 1-1.5Mbps connection would be sufficient for the likes of Hulu and some of the other online streaming services. With cable, it may work perfectly well one day, and then the next day your neighbors are doing things that suck up all the bandwidth.

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Internet speed
by ron_cox99 / February 24, 2010 5:46 AM PST

Very good items to keep in mind. I can see it is not a black and white issue.

I ran the bandwidth test from an earlier post and my High Speed Internet was at 985 kbps.

I certainly can understand it being good one day/not the next depending upon bandwidth. I guess my only recourse is to try it and see if I can get along with the slower speeds.

As far as switching Comcast plans, I am unsure if there are fees associated with changing plans. The on-line chat advisor from Comcast was not able to confirm this for me for my area. I will just have to see.

Thanks for the information.

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When in doubt
by Jimmy Greystone / February 24, 2010 8:39 AM PST
In reply to: Internet speed

When in doubt, call your local Comcast branch office. Tell them that if they can't answer such a simple question, you'll just have to take your business to their competitors.

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Internet speeds
by ron_cox99 / February 25, 2010 2:44 AM PST

We used to have a local office with local support reps when our service was Insight. Comcast bought them and eliminated our local branch. Now we have to deal with reps from any of their offices where ever they may be.

The rep I talked to did tell me that I would find this out further along in the change plan process, but I bailed out untill I got some more information.

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Minimum internet speed...try this.
by seekercnet / January 29, 2011 6:25 AM PST

A good test is to go to All video there usually streams well on my 1.5 mbps DSL connection.

For some reason, the video player used by there by the Daily Show has an icon in the lower right screen that lets you check your connection speed in more than one way. My connection averages almost 1.2 mbps (1200kb). When the data stream from Hulu gets up over 700 kbs (usually takes a few seconds) I get close to HD quality. They stated a connection speed of 3 mbps is needed for real HD, though. BTW, I've also heard the real speed of DSL bogs down less than on cable.

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by karalsaan / May 13, 2011 9:09 AM PDT

I ran a youtube speed test, and you need approximately 64 kilobytes per second untouched for downloading streaming video in quality of 480px without caching pauses.

64 kB/s is equal to 512 Kilobit per Second (i.e 512 kbps).

This is just an approximation to give you an idea of what you need

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