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NetFlix Optimization

Streaming Video uses a tremendous amount of data. NetFlix for example can use up to 7 GIGABYTES PER HOUR if it's left on 'AUTO' mode.  That much data usage can be very difficult for your internet connection, your computer, your router, your movie player or SmartTV to keep up with. As well, NetFlix can do a poor job of guessing the capacity of all these components - so manually optimizing the NetFlix Account Settings can really help. As well, if your internet account has any data caps (such as Satellite Internet does) then streaming video at 3-7 GBytes per hour can chew through your monthly data caps in a couple days.

The following NetFlix article shows how to manual optimize your NetFlix settings for the most efficient playback.

How can I control how much data Netflix uses?

Watching movies or TV shows on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3-7 GB per hour for each stream of HD video. This can create headaches for Netflix members who live in rural areas, or those who have a monthly bandwidth or data cap on their Internet service. Below, you'll find a few ways to reduce the amount of data Netflix uses, without having to resort to drastic measures (like actually watching less Netflix).

Adjust your data usage settings

Adjusting the data usage settings for your account is the easiest way to reduce the amount of bandwidth used while watching Netflix. There are four data usage settings to choose from. Each estimate below is per stream:

  • Low (0.3 GB per hour)
  • Medium (SD: 0.7 GB per hour)
  • High (Best video quality, up to 3 GB per hour for HD and 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD)
  • Auto (Adjusts automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current Internet connection speed)

To select a setting that works best for your Internet plan, navigate to the Your Account page and select Playback settings in the Your Profile section. It can take up to 8 hours for these changes to take effect. Restricting data usage may effect video quality while watching Netflix. 'Medium' or 'Standard Definition' data rate typically looks like DVD Movie quality.

Data usage settings only apply to the Netflix profile you are in when you set them, meaning you can have different data usage settings for each profile. If you are concerned about the total amount of data that Netflix uses, make sure to change this setting for each profile.

The last option in Playback Settings is whether or not Netflix will automatically play the next episode in a TV series. If you're concerned about data usage, unchecking this would be a good idea too.

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