New Netflix settings manage bandwidth caps
Netflix has added some manual control features to the quality of Netflix video streams for Canadian customers who want to stay within their usage caps. To see how this might apply to some US broadband plans with 250 GB or 150 GB usage caps, I’ve generated the following table for daily and monthly allowances.
The 150 GB cap applies to AT&T’s slower DSL customers while the 250 GB plan applies to AT&T U-Verse and Comcast cable broadband. Note that for customers not on U-Verse using the older DSL technology, it is unlikely that they have a 6 Mbps connection required for the 4.8 Mbps option because 6 Mbps U-Verse plan is cheaper. Furthermore, normal DSL is effectively a little faster than 5 Mbps for actual data throughput because the 6 Mbps sync rate has protocol overhead. I have tested 6 Mbps U-Verse accounts getting 7 Mbps of data throughput on speedtest.net.
Netflix doesn’t give offer a 2.2 Mbps HD option which works better than 4.8P 2.2 Mbps mode, but I’m fairly certain that 3 Mbps connection using the “best” mode could still watch “HD” at sub 3 Mbps speeds with slightly lower quality. This is what I have confirmed on my home connection.
UPDATE – It should be noted that many of the movies in Netflix are not available in HD which means they’re low bandwidth to begin with.