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Data Saver 101

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Freshman

Data Saver 101

A new television purchase has made my data useage a sudden high-priority issue. I'm using more than ever before with no change to my habits. So, I think I just need a little education...

 

Is there any way to tell is the built-in data saver is working? I understand that it's supposed to limit the speed of video that plays (and I thought it was supposed to limit it to 720, but now I think it's 480).

 

Some background...

I watch streaming video on 3 different devices: a Lenovo Yoga Laptop 730 (which I today learned has an FHD screen); a Vizio D-Series Smart TV (with an HD 720 screen); and a Samsung Smart TV (with a FHD screen). I am what I would consider a heavy TV watcher. 

 

For the last year or so, I've definitely streamed more media than I watched on my satellite. To the point that, on top of my 50GB plan, I've usually always purchased ~20GB of extra data. I decided to cancel my satellite service and apply some of the savings to the extra data I knew I would use. At the time, I owned the laptop, the Vizio and an old Toshiba I plugged a Roku into and for 2.5 months, everything was great. I did purchase some extra-extra data - maybe another 10GB, at most. This made sense too. 

 

On August 31st I bought the Samsung and noticed, almost immediately, a marked increase in the amount of data I'm using. It also happens to be the living room TV where 75% of the streaming happens. When I say marked increase, my data useage doubled with no change in my viewing behavior. 

 

The only "new" thing in this equation is that Samsung TV. I was able to install GlassWire on my laptop and phone and can tell that no data is leaking from those devices. And the bedroom TV (that Vizio) has been on the network for a long time, I doubt it's the problem. I went so far as to take all my IoT devices off the network to make sure nothing had gone rogue. While I haven't done it scientifically, I feel like I can name this Samsung device as the culprit. But it also feels strange that a TV I'm not watching any more than the old one would just... devour data. Unless... the data saver doesn't actually work? (Or maybe it only works on computers not TVs?)

I bought myself a router that is supposed to track all the network traffic. My next step (when I get home) is to get that thing online and see if I can isolate the exact useage from each device. But I'm not sure I understand how all this works well enough to make any inferences from the data I'll collect.

Let me be clear - I'm not complaning about the speed of the service, the cost of the service, my budget, my viewing habits, my life choices... everything is what is is. I'm just trying to get a handle on what's happening to my data. If anyone has any insight, I'd sure appreciate it!

 

Edit: In what is probably an unrelated issue, but maybe there's something to do with the speeds and checkins with servers someone mentioned before, my speeds have been somewhat reduced lately. Still fast enough to stream in general with no issues (though Hulu doesn't like my Samsung TV at all and stops to buffer all the time even when other services work fine).

https://testmy.net/quickstats/semiresponsive

6 REPLIES 6
Professor

Re: Data Saver 101

@GabeU  has done VDS testing and he'll probably chime in to give you some advice when he gets online. 

 

Edit: for your Testmy.net tests, please use the 25 MB file size for downloads. 

Freshman

Re: Data Saver 101


@maratsade wrote:

Edit: for your Testmy.net tests, please use the 25 MB file size for downloads. 


Oh, that wasn't for tech support, it was just my own record keeping and illustrative of the trend. Just out of curiosity, why the 25 MB when reporting slow speeds? Is it just for consistent base line or is there something about that file size that is... better?

 

Also, I posted a question about this Samsung TV to their community boards. No replies, yet, but a girl can hope!

Professor

Re: Data Saver 101

If you want to use your speed tests here to troubleshoot or report speed issues, the engineers require a standard download test file size of 25 MB. I hope you get an answer about your TV. That's very irritating that YT works but NF doesn't.
Freshman

Re: Data Saver 101


@maratsade wrote:
If you want to use your speed tests here to troubleshoot or report speed issues, the engineers require a standard download test file size of 25 MB. I hope you get an answer about your TV. That's very irritating that YT works but NF doesn't.

I'm one of the few who doesn't have a complaint about speed, I think! I mean, sure sometimes things are a bit slow, but it's usually during peak. I'm just one person, though, so even something in the low teens suits me fine generally (if any aspect of satellite internet gets me, it's the latency - I'd love to video chat with far-flung friends, but alas, I'm not sure there's anything at all to be done about that issue). For me Hulu is the problem child and youtube and netflix work fine. I do think I recall seeing a thread from someone, though, about netflix not working on their TV...

Distinguished Professor IV

Re: Data Saver 101

@semiresponsive 

 

It's entirely possible that the problem is the new TV and its ability to display 1080p.  This is especially the case if the old Toshiba it replaced could not display in 1080p.  I believe that most streaming services will stream in the highest definition that your device is capable of displaying.  

 

With regard to the VDS (Video Data Saver), though it's designed to throttle the speed while streaming to that which is amenable to 480p, it's not foolproof, and it may not engage with certain streaming services and/or situations.  The easiest way to tell if it's still working, in general, is to run a couple of speed tests at fast.com, with one of them being while the VDS is on and the other while it's off.  While it's on, you should see the speed being no higher than around 3.5Mbps or so vs full speed while it's off.  On is the default setting with the VDS.  Fast.com mimics streaming while it tests the speed, so it causes the VDS to kick in.  Again, though, it may engage with certain streaming services and/or situations.  

 

Hopefully your new router will be able to tell you how much data each device is using, so you can narrow down the culprit for sure.  Depending on what the router is, it may have the ability to restrict bandwidth (speed) by device, so that may be a solution if it has that capability, though only the more expensive ones usually do.  Depending on the streaming service, you may be able to set the streaming definition, as well.  The latter is the more likely of the two, but even that ability varies by provider.  


AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Data Saver 101

It's been a while since we last heard from you, so we will close this thread. If you still have concerns, please start a new thread and include a detailed explanation so we can better assist you.

 

Thanks,
Liz

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