STREAM­ING 101

To stream, you must have an In­ter­net con­nec­tion and will need to buy data, too.

Woman & Home (South Africa) - - The Tech Edit -

Home con­nec­tiv­ity op­tions

Fi­bre is the fastest and most re­li­able. You don’t need a Telkom line, but it’s ex­pen­sive to in­stall the fixed fi­bre cable, and you’ll need to buy a fi­bre router. 4G (or LTE) is not as fast as fi­bre, but it’s por­ta­ble as it’s pro­vided via a USB don­gle/router that only needs power, so there’s no ex­pen­sive set-up. ADSL is the slow­est and you’ll need to pay for an ADSL router and to have a Telkom phone line put in.

Con­nec­tion speed

This af­fects your stream­ing experience; it’s mea­sured in megabits per sec­ond (Mbps). To stream movies with­out any ‘stut­ter­ing’, you need a fairly fast con­nec­tion (at least 10Mbps).

Data amount

It’s tricky to work out how much data you’ll need, as it’s not an ex­act science. It’s mea­sured in megabytes (MB) and gi­ga­bytes (GB); 1GB equals around 1 000MB. The faster your line and the higher the con­tent qual­ity, the more data you use. Roughly, you use from 900MB to 1GB of data per hour for

Full HD (high qual­ity) con­tent. So, that’s about 1,5GB data for a Full HD 90-minute movie; or 400MB to 600MB for a 30-minute se­ries. Con­sider un­capped connections that place no lim­its on how many GB you can down­load.

Data costs

For data, LTE is pricier than ADSL or fi­bre for stream­ing, as you pay more per GB from a cel­lu­lar provider than from an ADSL or un­capped fi­bre provider. Costs vary quite a lot, and there are many ser­vice providers’ of­fer­ings to browse, but here’s a snap­shot of ex­pected costs… Cel­lu­lar data starts from R4,23/GB or R845pm on Cell C’s 200GB pre­paid ac­count. ADSL data is a cost on top of the line, but it’s cheap – for ex­am­ple, Vox will charge from R779pm for 1 000GB of ADSL data. Af­ter the in­stal­la­tion fee, un­capped fi­bre of­fers the best long-term value – for ex­am­ple, Ac­celerit charges from R693pm for its un­capped 25Mbps fi­bre ac­count.

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