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Data use spike anomaly while streaming

New Member

Data use spike anomaly while streaming

Case number 52276641. I called HN on 1/26/16 to complain about excess data usage and a failure of data usage during "Bonus" time being debited to bonus time. I had made a previous complaint of the same problem to HN on 1/14/16 as well as the same complaint approximately 6 months ago. On 1/14/16 I streamed an Amazon Prime movie. I watched approx. 1 1/2 hours of the movie. My data useage for that day noted 1 GB used the first hour of streaming and 3 GB used the second hour (which was actually only 30 minutes of streaming). I know from previous conversations with HN as well as personal experience, streaming movies uses about 1 GB per hour. The 3 GB consumption reflected on my account on 1/14/16 did not make sense? When I called HN to raise this issue, I was credited back with the 3 GB and advised to shut off and monitor my data drain during "off" hours. I did as suggested. I did not note any unusual data drain, but I did again note that my bonus time was not being debited during the bonus hours useage. Instead, the time was being debited against my 20 GB normal useage. After speaking to the HN rep on 1/26, the 3 GB were again credited back to my account and again I was advised to disconnect and monitor usage for excess drain. Once again I streamed an Amazon movie for a total stream time of 1 hr. and 45 minutes. I took a remaining data reading before and after I streamed. Once again, I saw an identical repeat of the problem that occurred on 1/14/16. The first hour of streaming consumed 1 GB of data (perfectly reasonable) the remaining 45 minutes of streaming once again reflected a ridiculous consumption of 3 GB of data! And once again, I find my regular data useage bank empty, sans refund tokens. We have had HN for 15 months. The first 6 months it worked flawlessly and we never exceeded regular data usage. We have the highest data use plan. When we started to see excess data consumption we were advised to replace our router. We did that. The problem has continued. This has been very frustrating. We recommended HN to a neighbor when we first joined the system. However, I can not say that at this point we would recommend HN to another neighbor! Please help!
6 REPLIES 6
Alum

Re: Data use spike anomaly while streaming

Hi buckshotranch,

Thanks for posting and welcome to the community! You described the amount of time while streaming a movie, however what time during the day did you watch these movies? Bonus bytes will only start being used during the bonus period between 2 am and 8 am. If you have token bandwidth available after you run out of anytime data then that will begin to be used only during the anytime period. Unless I am not understanding your inquiry. 

- Chris
Associate Professor

Re: Data use spike anomaly while streaming

An hour of video streaming can use various different amounts of data depending on the codec in use, resolution, and method of DRM embedded in the file.

30 minutes @ 720p 8bit color H.264 can consume between 400MB and 600MB of data.
30 minutes @ 720p 8bit color H.265 can consume between 200MB and about 400MB of data
30 minutes @ 720p 10bit color H.265 can consume between 400MB and 600MB of data.
30 minutes @ 1080p 8 bit color H.265 can consume between 500MB and 800MB of data.
The data use will still depend heavily upon codec chosen for the video in use.

H.265 was meant to decrease the file size substantially, but, so far, no one really has good proper support for it, and at times, an H.265 file can easily be twice the side of one that used H.264.

Amazon has no public information for streaming data usage and they did not respond to a request for comment as of this posting. We can get some idea of the data usage based off of the file size when you download the videos for viewing. We used a Stargate Universe episode in both HD and SD quality. The SD the file was 894.25MB for download. The HD version of the episode was 1.96GB. Now some of that will be DRM but we estimate that less than 10MB of the file is DRM. We did check a few other episodes and the SD quality hovered around 850MB to 900MB and the HD quality was fairly constant at about 2GB per 1 hour show.
http://cordcuttersnews.com/comparing-data-usage-for-netflix-hulu-and-amazon/

Sounds like the usage may add up roughly with what you are claiming.
Assistant Professor

Re: Data use spike anomaly while streaming

Charles those numbers seem low in my experience plus assume H.265 compression which not all sites use. There are numerous compression standards being used by different streaming providers.

Here is what Netflix consumes https://help.netflix.com/en/node/87

Associate Professor

Re: Data use spike anomaly while streaming

Like I said in my post, it can depend greatly upon what video codec was used.  It can also be greatly influenced by DRM and Audio codecs as well.  I have 1.5 hour movies that are 720p and use ~1GB, then I have some that use upwards of 8GB+, only difference being the codec used for the video.
Assistant Professor

Re: Data use spike anomaly while streaming

I think we are in agreement then.  : )
Associate Professor