Entering the streaming era… Is your broadband ready?

Say goodbye to buffering and get the most out of your broadband speeds with our handy guide to at home streaming.

Have you invested in a brand new 4K or HDR TV only to experience low quality video or, even worse buffering? Chances are, you need to check your broadband speeds and see if you have invested in the right broadband to suit your streaming needs, both for now, and for the future.

You might have streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+, but without the right broadband speeds you can’t take advantage of the 4K, HDR or HLG quality streams these platforms have to offer.

Credit: Wisdom Designs

Why do I need fast broadband for streaming?

Firstly, it’s best to take a broadband speed test to see how fast – or slow – your current connection is. This will give you an idea what kind of speeds you’re getting out of your internet and point you in the right direction to achieving future-ready connectivity.

Without a decent bandwidth your streaming services will automatically downgrade the quality in order to keep the video going.

That means you may not have interruptions in your program or even see the buffering symbol of doom. But you may be getting lower quality streaming, without even realising!

You may be thinking that your current streaming capabilities are ‘fine’ – but avoid FOMO when visiting friends and being shown what you could be watching, at full quality.

What speeds do I need for streaming?

There are a wide range of speed requirements for streaming, depending on the service you’re using and the quality you’re streaming in.

Using Netflix as a benchmark, to stream 4K you’ll need a connection of at least 25Mbps. However, if you’re streaming at peak times, in a busy household the bandwidth needed is increased immensely.

The digital landscape is ever-changing and streaming is no longer just limited to TV.  With a major rise in online gaming over the last few months, live-streaming platforms like Twitch, Periscope, Facebook Live and YouTube have too seen exponential growth. When you’re watching a video, the download speed is important, but when you’re live-streaming (i.e. the star of the show), uploads speeds are crucial!

This is where things get tricky. Broadband companies only tend to advertise their download speeds, not their upload speeds. Whereas most upload speeds are only a fraction of the advertised download speeds – ours are symmetrical – this means you will get the same upload and download speeds.

Multiplayer games online on Xbox, PlayStation or PC don’t just need fast speeds, but stable connections too. Bad stability manifests itself in the form of things called latency and packet loss, which manifest as slow response times during gameplay.

Looking into the future…

So, 4K Ultra HD is where we are now, but what about the future?  

At last year’s CES 2020 8K TV’s were all the rage. To explain 8K in a nutshell, if 4K is four times the resolution of Full HD, then 8K is four times the resolution of 4K and 16 times the resolution of Full HD. This means that the bandwidth needed to stream shows or movies successfully will quadruple once 8K becomes the ‘norm’.

With even higher resolutions on the horizon your broadband connection MUST keep up.

Our speeds

Our full-fibre, future-ready broadband reaches speeds of up to 900Mbps – that’s 18-times faster than the UK average!

And with symmetrical upload and downloads speeds, the streaming capabilities are endless…

So, how do we do it? Whereas ‘Superfast fibre’ still relies on part-copper, part-fibre cables to provide your existing broadband service. Our Hyperfast service is delivered directly into your home, known as full-fibre to the home (FTTH). This means we are able to deliver a much more reliable, faster, future-ready broadband service to properties across the UK.