Smart TVs & Internet Speed: 14 Answers (For Beginners)

If you want to get the best results from your smart TV, one thing you need to invest in is your Internet connection.

Smart TVs are best utilized in conjunction with streaming platforms, which use the Internet.

So instead of paying for cable subscription fees, you can opt to invest in your Internet speed, especially if you want 4k UHD streaming resolutions.

Here’s What You Need to Know about Smart TVs and Internet Speed:

Smart TVs are Internet-dependent home entertainment fixtures that let you stream content on-demand, anytime. The quality of this content is highly reliant on the speed of your Internet connection.

1. What’s the Difference between Bandwidth and Internet Speed?

Bandwidth and Internet Speed are words that are often used when talking about the Internet connectivity of devices, such as smart TVs.

Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be sent or received by a device. Internet speed pertains to how fast data is downloaded or uploaded.

These two words use the same unit of measurement but pertain to different things.

2. How Fast of Internet Speed Do Smart TVs Need?

Smart TVs need an Internet speed of around 5 Megabits per second (Mbps). That will allow you to watch movies or programs on your smart TV with at least 720p resolution and with very few hiccups in the streaming.

While some streaming services may run at lower speeds, this does not guarantee you a stable connection.

3. How Fast of Internet Speed Do You Need for 4K Streaming?

Some streaming services, like Amazon, can run 4K streaming with around 15 Mbps of speed. But some services need more, like Netflix, which requires at least 25 Mbps.

You should be good to go with 25 Mbps for 4k streaming, but if you have other devices in your house that are using the same connection, you may need more than that.

4. How Do You Check the Internet Speed on Your Smart TV?

For most smart TVs, the best way to get an accurate reading of your TV’s Internet speed is through the SpeedTest website. You can access this service through the browser of your smart TV.

Some smart TV platforms have their own Internet speed checker. The Apple TV, for instance, has a SpeedTest app available in the App store.

Meanwhile, Vizio smart TVs let you check the speed of your connection by going to the Network Menu and selecting the Network Test or Test Connection option.

5. What Internet Speed Do You Need to Stream Netflix?

Netflix recommends a broadband speed of at least 3 Mbps for watching in standard definition.

If you want to have high definition streaming, you need at least 5 Mbps to get a 1080p resolution.

And if you want 4k resolution streaming, you need at least 25 Mbps to get Ultra HD quality.

6. What Internet Speed Do You Need for YouTube TV?

You need at least 3 Mbps to stream YouTube TV smoothly.

7. What Internet Speed Do You Need for HBO Max?

HBO Max needs at least 5 Mbps for you to stream its content.

8. What Internet Speed Do You Need for Disney Plus?

For Disney Plus, it is recommended to have at least 5 Mbps to stream HD content and 25 Mbps for 4k UHD content.

9. Do You Need Fast Internet to Watch Blu-ray or Cable?

Watching content on your Blu-ray player or cable TV won’t take up Internet speed.

These devices do not need an Internet connection, since a Blu-ray player gets content from discs, and cable TV uses a different broadcasting system.

10. How Fast of an Internet Connection Do You Need to Watch Digital TV?

You don’t need to be connected to the Internet to watch programs on Digital TV.

Digital TV uses an antenna to receive signals from digital channels. These frequencies are different from what is used for the Internet.

11. How Can I Speed Up My Smart TV Internet?

If you want to speed up your smart TV’s Internet, you need to consider how you use your smart TV and the other Internet-reliant devices in your household. 

The first thing you need to do is assess the number of devices connected to the Internet at the same time in your house.

  • How and when are these devices used? Are they used simultaneously?
  • If you frequently run a smart TV while another person in your household is connected to the web for, say, gaming or virtual meetings, then you need to have a fast Internet connection to accommodate such usage.
  • If your smart TV can handle 4k UHD resolutions, then you should have an Internet speed of at least 25 Mbps, unless there are other devices competing for bandwidth, which means you will need a higher speed.

Now, once you get the appropriate bandwidth that matches the consumption of your household, you should look into other factors.

  • Can you use a wired connection? Wired connections are much more stable than connecting via Wi-Fi.
  • If you can’t go for a wired connection, how close are you to the Wi-Fi router? Ideally, you want to be as close as possible to the router for better speeds.
  • Make sure that apps on your smart TV are exited or turned off properly. When unnecessary apps are running in the background, your smart TV will lose speed.
  • In cases where you can choose the streaming quality of an app, select a quality that matches your Internet speed. If you try to watch at a resolution that’s too high for your bandwidth, it will result in lagging quality.

You can also consider using a dual-band Wi-Fi router.

  • Dual-band routers help you decongest connections by splitting bandwidth-intensive devices into two networks that occupy different frequencies.
  • You can think of these networks as two roads that have different capacities. The 2.4 GHz connection is like your neighborhood road, where you can’t go too fast, while the other network, the 5 GHz, is like the freeway.
  • The lower frequency network works best for non-intensive devices, such as smartphones, or computers doing simple operations such as word processing, while the 5 GHz network works best for devices that need a lot of speed, such as smart TVs or gaming computers.

These considerations should help you get the best performance from your smart TV. But if you have tried all these options and things are still sluggish, then it’s probably time to upgrade your Internet speed with your provider.

12. How Does a Smart TV Affect Your Internet Speed?

A smart TV can affect your Internet speed a lot!

If you are watching content at 4k UHD, that will eat up a lot of your Internet connection. Most streaming services consume 25 Mbps for 4k UHD.

But if your smart TV’s connection is idle, it won’t affect your Internet speed all that much.

It’s also worth noting that audio-only streaming needs less speed than streaming high-quality video resolutions. So you can party to your Spotify playlist without taking up much bandwidth.

13. Will Watching at Lower Resolutions Make My Internet Speed Faster?

Your Internet speed is limited to what is on your plan.

Lower resolutions will help you get the data from the web faster, but only up to a certain point, and it will not exceed the specifications of your Internet plan.

14. Do Streaming Sticks Like Roku or Fire Stick Need Less Internet Speed?

Streaming sticks still need the same amount of speed as their smart TV counterparts.

They use the same apps as those found on smart TVs, hence, they need the same amount of speed.

Final Thoughts

Internet speed is very important for smart TVs. The faster your Internet is, the better your smart TV can handle streaming platforms.

It’s also important to know speed limitations so that you can throttle down the quality of the content you are watching, should there be a need to share the Internet connection with other devices. By adjusting settings, all your devices can enjoy the Internet connection equally.

You can never really have too much Internet speed. In an era when speed is king, the faster the connection is, the better the quality you get.

 

Sources:

Do Smart TVs Take Up Bandwidth? (Solved!)

Smart TV Streaming: Detailed information on internet connection types and recommended speed

You’re buying a 4K TV. How much Internet bandwidth do you need?

How to speed up your internet connection – 15 tips and tricks

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