If you’re thinking about canceling cable or satellite TV to sign up for a live TV streaming service, you’ll want to be aware of the minimum internet speed requirements.
For a quality streaming experience that’s free of buffering and freezing, a high-speed internet connection is necessary.
How Many Mbps Do I Need to Stream?
Clark.com checked with YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV and other streaming providers to find out each service’s minimum recommended download speed.
We learned that the magic number is usually in the neighborhood of 10 Mbps (megabits per second):
Live TV Streaming Services
- YouTube TV: 3 Mbps for SD quality, 7 Mbps for one HD stream and 13 Mbps for reliable HD streaming with multiple streams
- Sling TV: 3 Mbps for portable devices like tablets or smartphone, 5 Mbps for a single stream of video content on a TV, PC or Mac; 25 Mbps for households that maintain internet use on multiple devices
- Philo: 3 Mbps for SD quality, 7 Mbps for one HD stream and 13 Mbps for reliable HD streaming with multiple streams
- Hulu + Live TV: 8 Mbps or higher for a reliable, high-quality viewing experience; 16 Mbps for 4K viewing experience; multiple concurrent streams may require higher bandwidth
- Fubo: Between 3 Mbps and 25 Mbps depending on the resolution
- Frndly TV: 5 Mbps for a single HD stream and 1.5 Mbps for a single SD stream
- DIRECTV STREAM: 8 Mbps or higher per stream on in-home devices; between 2.5 and 7.5 Mbps for portable devices
Other Video Streaming Services
- Peacock: At least 2.5 Mbps for a single stream
- Paramount+: 3 Mbps or higher
- Netflix: 3 Mbps for SD quality, 5 Mbps for HD quality and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD quality
- Hulu: 1.5 Mbps for streaming SD videos and 3 Mbps or higher for HD videos
- HBO Max: Minimum download speed of 5 Mbps
- Disney+: 1.5 Mbps for library content, 5 Mbps for 4K content and 8 Mbps for live streams
- Discovery+: 2.5 Mbps for SD quality and 4 Mbps for HD quality
- Amazon Prime Video: 1 Mbps for SD quality, 5 Mbps for HD quality and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD quality
Speed Test: How to Check Your Internet Download Speed
Now that you know the recommendations, go to SpeedTest.net or SpeedOf.Me to test your download speed. You can also compare those results to Fast.com, a similar tool that’s powered by Netflix.
If your internet is slower than what you’re paying for, contact your internet provider and see what they can do.
When a member of Team Clark called his internet service provider and gave them the results from SpeedTest.net, they sent someone out to his house to troubleshoot the internet problems free of charge.
Ready to take the next step? Compare your options in Team Clark’s guide to the best live TV streaming plans and deals!