Netflix & Co. in HD or 4K: What's needed for Smooth Streaming?

              Thursday, 05. December 2019
                From Klaus Wedekind

              Before logging in to a video streaming service, it is important to consider which image quality you want and whether Internet connection and hardware are suitable. explains what the services require and how to solve problems.
              According to a recent McKinsey study, every second German household already uses one or more video streaming services. Since 2012, the market has grown by 82 percent every year. The trend is unbroken and the supply of content and services is growing steadily. At Christmas, many users will be added. New devices arouse the interest in streaming, subscriptions are given away or one wishes specifically the necessary hardware. explains what you need for undisturbed reception in HD or 4K quality and what you can do if the picture jerky despite fast Internet connection. The first step is to check whether the booked Internet speed is sufficient for the desired streaming quality. Although the services have different requirements, but at the data rate of the video fun fails nowadays only rarely. For HD content, it often does the cheapest DSL or cable tariff, with 4K quality you are on the safe side with 50 megabits per second (Mbit / s). It is more important that the Internet providers also deliver what they promise in the contract. High quality from 15 Mbit / s The Internet connection does not have to be very fast, but stable. (Photo: imago / photothek) The less frugal a service is, the more likely it is to compress content on slower Internet connections. A higher data rate can therefore mean a better image quality if a video is then compressed less. Therefore, you should always have a contract with higher data rates than required to get the best image quality available. Because bottlenecks often occur with high demand from both the streaming service and the Internet service provider, it is not bad for a service to sustain transmission with more compression. Amazon requires 3.5 Mbps for HD-quality video streaming , for 4K content, the Internet connection must be at least 15 Mbps. With Netflix it is 5 or 25 Mbit / s, Sky offers can be enjoyed in HD from 8 Mbit / s smoothly, for 4K streaming starts the fun at 25 Mbit / s. The recently launched Apple TV + offers only 4K content. For it should be at least 25 Mbit / s, according to various tests are recommended for the highest quality 50 Mbit / s. Maxdome content in HD is available from 6 Mbps, 4K series and movies does not offer the service. TVNow also requires 6 Mbps for HD quality. Testing Internet Connect Despite a sufficiently fast data plan, streaming can lead to blocks, jerks or even dropouts. To find out if the problem lies with the Internet provider, it is recommended to take a test. For example, you can use the free tool of the Federal Network Agency or the speed test of Netflix. To be sure, you repeat the test on different days and at different times. If it turns out that the speed regularly falls below the minimum guaranteed data rates, you turn to the provider for troubleshooting or repair. If that does not work, it's best to switch to a competitor. According to the latest review by Computerbild, cable providers generally offer significantly higher speeds, but DSL customers enjoy more reliable connections with more consistent data rates. Happened Problems Do not despair; the problems are often easy to fix. (Photo: imago / Mint Images) If the Internet connection is okay, the error is to look in the home network. Most problems occur when the Smart TV, the streaming box or the game console can not be connected to the router via LAN cable, but is streamed via WLAN. If the router is not completely outdated, transmitter and receiver are too far apart or the wireless connection is disturbed by walls, furniture or other wireless networks. If the devices are not far apart, you should check whether the router also uses the 5-gigahertz which allows higher data rates over short distances and is less susceptible to interference than the 2.4 GHz band, which bridges longer distances at lower speeds. To avoid interference with other wireless networks, you can change the channel in the router interface. In Fritz boxes, for example, a graph indicates where especially many devices and networks get in the way. Current routers find the most stable channel, but usually even best. Place router properly For a good reception, the router should be placed optimally, preferably centrally in the apartment. He should not stand against a wall, at least you should not position him in a corner. It is good if you can see it in a room from all positions. Because then the WLAN has free rein. Especially metallic or water-containing objects such as radiators, refrigerators or indoor plants significantly reduce the quality of the WLAN signal when they are in the way. This also applies to Rigips plates. In a Fritzbox recommend Powerline devices and repeaters of AVM, but they can also come from another manufacturer. (Photo: kwe) If the WLAN range for the size of the apartment is simply too short, you can expand it with repeaters and Powerline devices. Repeaters receive the WLAN signal of the router and emit it with their own radio module. Many devices also have one or more LAN ports that allow computers to be connected by cable, for example. Instead of buying a new repeater, users can also revive an old router. This is a good alternative especially with Fritz boxes. How this works, explains hier.Ist the router is a Fritzbox, you can use the Fritz Wi-Fi app to place repeaters optimally. To do so, type in the app on My Repeater and then on repeater position. If walls or furniture get in the way, normal repeaters quickly reach their limits, other routes – even through obstacles – overcome so-called WLAN bridges. Another alternative is powerline devices that route the Internet over the power lines. Walls do not interfere and the data rate decreases less dramatically as the distance increases compared to WLAN repeaters. Floors, however, can be a problem, as power grids often work separately in multi-storey homes.

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