The cold weather is here and so is the time for binge watching and gaming.

With the holidays out of the way, the new activity is streaming video on your new smart TV while your kids are gaming online.  The only problem is – bandwidth capacity!  It is a simple subject, with more complicated answers.

Video is a hog for bandwidth.  Thankfully, new codecs (compression) is helping reduce what is needed.  Unfortunately, online games are sensitive to lag – think of traffic jams.  While watching a service such as Netflix, it will adjust and most people won’t notice, but with online gaming, even a 1 second lag will be noticed.

For comparison, a game like Call of Duty can use 40MB per hour, and Netflix is 1200MB per hour.  What is more important – speed or latency?  It depends on what you are doing.

In a household where more than one person streams their favorite shows combined with online gaming and tablets/smart phones, we can say the average family has doubled – or tripled – their bandwidth needs in the past year.  

We are seeing an increasing number of households backup all their iPhone pictures to the iCloud, stream from Spotify and Netflix, teenagers at home streaming 4pm to 11pm, and especially online gamers increased their requirements.

What about when you want to upgrade your phone or upload a terabyte of data as you transfer devices?  This is a unique situation, and rest assured we are looking into creating hotspots with 500Mb to 1Gb of upload and download capability.