How Much Data Does 4K Video Use?
How Much Data Does 4K Video Use?By: Stephen Kota
From stunning short videos on YouTube and Vimeo to new movie releases on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, ultra-high definition 4K video is quickly becoming the standard for online video. With a display resolution of 4096p x 2160p, 4K video is currently the sharpest and most life-like video content on the internet.
Unfortunately, streaming or downloading video in 4K uses a massive amount of mobile data. If you use a limited mobile broadband connection like 4G LTE, then, a restrictive data cap might keep you from watching any video in 4K. Let’s take a closer look at just how much data you use streaming and downloading 4K video content.
Data Use Per Minute and Hour of 4K Video StreamingWith 4K video, you have more visual information than ever about the colors, shapes, and textures in your video, much more than you have for high definition (HD) video. Unfortunately, it takes more mobile data to transfer more visual data. Here’s how much data you use watching video in 4K on streaming platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, and Prime Video:
In the United States, the average person uses about 30 GB of mobile data on their smartphone each month. With 30 GB of mobile data, you’d only be able to watch a little over two hours of 4K video content. To compare, you’d be able to watch 10 hours of 1080p HD video with the same amount of mobile data.
Data Use Per Minute and Hour of 4K Video StreamingSometimes, streaming services let you download content and watch it offline. You use the same amount of mobile data downloading video content that you’d use streaming that video content once. If you’re planning to watch a video more than once, however, downloading it uses significantly less data than streaming it multiple times.
Some streaming services, like Prime Video, tell you the download size of a show or movie before you start the download. Other streaming services, like Vimeo On Demand, don’t let you know until you’ve already started downloading. To calculate the approximate download size of a 4K video, add 14 GB for each hour of video and/or .233 GB for each minute of video.
The download size of a 140-minute 4K video, for example, would be approximately (14 GB x 2) + (.233 GB x 20) = 33 GB or .233 GB x 140 = 33 GB.
How to Watch Video in 4K on YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, and Prime VideoWhile creators are putting out more and more video content in 4K, you can’t find every video in 4K just yet. Many YouTubers, for example, don’t make their content available in 4K because they don’t have the equipment or because ultra-high definition won’t add value to their content. On Netflix and Prime Video, some movies and shows (especially older ones) just aren’t in 4K.
Also, to watch video in 4K, you must use a compatible device with a compatible operating system. While newer smartphones, computers, tablets, and televisions can display video in 4K, older devices often can’t. You may also need to update your device’s firmware before watching video in 4K. See Netflix and Prime Video for more information about compatible devices.
Installed 4G LTE Plans For 4K VideoWith an installed mobile broadband connection, you can watch video in 4K on any compatible screen and on multiple screens connected to the same network. Even devices like laptops, which can’t connect to mobile broadband on their own, can connect to your installed mobile broadband network with Wi-Fi.
To figure out which installed mobile broadband plan is right for you, estimate the number of hours you spend (or want to spend) streaming or downloading 4K video during the month. Then, choose a data plan that fits that number. Here’s how much 4K video you can get out of each of our 4G LTE data plans:
For more information about our data plans, check out our website or give us a call at 866-439-6630