Jun 21 2020
Roku has added a new dimension to audio and video streaming. It can make your life much more colorful. If you are a Roku user, you have probably noticed Roku’s pattern of data usage. But how much data does Roku use? In this post, you will get an answer to this question. Here you will also learn how you can control Roku’s data usage.
When it comes to internet data usage, nobody wants to have nasty surprises. An important thing here is that different streaming services require different amounts of data. So, if you have an idea of the data usage of various popular streaming services, you can guess how much data your Roku is using.
When it comes to streaming videos, first of all, we have to talk about YouTube. The goal is to know how much data you need to watch YouTube Videos. If you are streaming at standard definition, which is 480p resolution, YouTube uses 562.5 MB per hour.
If the resolution is higher, at 60 frames per second, the service will use 1.86 GB per hour. 4K videos use a lot of data—15.98 GB per hour. There are ways to reduce the data YouTube uses. We will discuss the ways toward the end of this article.
This is a widely popular streaming service with about 140 million subscribers. Not all these users have access to high-speed internet. Therefore, Netflix offers different options of video resolutions, just like YouTube. The vast majority of Roku users are now watching Netflix.
If you stream videos in standard definition, Netflix will use about 1GB of data per hour. Data consumption will be 3GB per hour if you watch high-definition videos. For ultra-high definition videos, it can be as high as 7GB per hour. So, how much data does Roku use? It depends on the quality of the videos you are watching.
When you are watching Netflix, it is not necessary to choose the correct resolution. By default, it is automatically set, based on your internet connection. But if you want to set it, making the selection is pretty easy.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon has numerous services, and Amazon Prime is one of those services. In 2011, it became a streaming service, although it was launched in 2006. In this short period of time, it has become the biggest competitor of Netflix.
How much data does Roku use when streaming Amazon Prime Video? Again, it depends on the quality of the videos being streamed. Roku users can use the service for three resolutions. They are known as Good, Better, and Best. The first, which is a standard definition at 480p, use 800MB per hour.
The second one uses 2GB per hour, and the third one, which offers 4K videos, uses 6GB per hour. If you are using the videos on your mobile device, you can use a further option for saving data.
If you make a list of video streaming services, Hulu is probably the third biggest service. There are some amazing video shows on Hulu, and many Roku users enjoy those shows. Hulu uses slightly less data than Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. That means, if you are looking for an economical video streaming service, Hulu can be a good choice.
On Hulu, the standard definition uses 680MB per hour, the high definition uses 1.3GB per hour and the third option uses 2.7GB per hour. Hulu’s monthly plan costs $39.99, and it allows you to watch live TV. The live channels are available only in 720p HD quality.
This is another good music streaming service. In selected markets, it has been offering a video service since 2016. The bad news is, this company does not specify how much data the video service requires. The only thing Spotify lets you know is that it is competitive with other video channels in terms of data usage.
If you use your Roku to watch Spotify videos, you will notice that most of the files are in high definition. According to estimates by some experts, the data of the usage of Spotify is 1.5GB to 2.5GB per hour.
If you visit the website of Vimeo, you will not find any official guidance in terms of data usage. So, it is not possible to say exactly how much data it uses per hour. However, we can talk about our estimates. If you watch videos in standard definition, Vimeo will use 1GB per hour. And if you watch 4K videos, it will use up to 6GB per hour.
Streaming HD Media Means Lots of Data Usage
Roku users often ask: how much data does Roku use? When using your Roku, keep this one thing in mind: Roku uses more data when streaming HD media. That means, when you want to stream high-quality media, you should use WiFi. With its robust signal, WiFi means less compression or degradation. Using WiFi has lots of other advantages.
But keep in mind that you will end up using up to 300GB of data if you watch HD video for 8 hours every day. If you want to get the best out of Roku, you should have an unlimited data plan. Read the fine print carefully and make sure that the “unlimited” does not stop at 25GB or so.
Roku is really enjoyable when you have a truly unlimited data plan. If you always have to worry about consuming more data, you will focus less on your entertainment.
How to Limit Data Usage on Roku
If your Roku uses lots of data, you may want to find a way to limit data usage. However, if you go to Roku’s settings, you are not going to find a bandwidth cap. But Roku has a system-wide cap. The option is a bit hidden, so you will have to find it. Here is how you can do it:
- Press the Home button 5 times.
- Press the Rewind button 3 times.
- Then press the Fast Forward button 2 times.
If you press all these buttons in the right order, the screen will show the Bit Rate Override. You can use this panel to set bandwidth limits. How much data does Roku use? If you do not reset the bandwidth limits, your Roku will go on using data based on the quality of the media. So, limiting the bandwidth is a good idea if you have a limited data plan.
Remember, when you set a limit on data usage, you are going to watch relatively low-quality videos. However, if you watch videos with 3.5MB/second, you will not have an awful experience. But if you go lower, your videos will likely get worse.
This is what this bandwidth limit can do. Your videos will not be great, but Roku will use a lot of fewer data. You might question why this screen is hidden. Well, it may have something to do with Roku’s business policy, or probably it is because most people who use Roku want to enjoy high-definition videos.
How much data does Roku use? Now you know that it depends on what channels you are watching. If you have a limited bandwidth plan, you may consider limiting data consumption. You may consider watching standard definition videos rather than ultra-high-definition ones. It is up to you. Happy streaming!