How much data gets used?


I don’t normally use data so have a talk-and-text plan only. I wanted to watch the second half of a football game over the cell network. I read that you can get something over an hour of streaming per gig, so upgraded to the one gig of data plan. My data was used up in half an hour. I got no warning, the picture just froze. Is this normal?



The amount of data used would depend on the quality of the stream, most apps/sites will push the Highest quality that the data channel will allow [and using up data faster, unless the user dials it down YouTube can set this to 480p when on cell data I will offense push it down lower] [an hour at 480p is less than an 1/2 hour of 1080p]



As mentioned, it depends on the bit rate of the stream.

If you choose 480p, then the maximum bit rate will be around 2100 kbps or about 15.7 MB per minute. Divide 1,000 by 15.7 and you get about 64 minutes of steaming.

However, if you choose to stream at 720p, then the maximum bit rate will be around 4,200 kbps or about 31.5 MB per minute. Divide 1,000 by 31.5 and you get about 32 minutes of streaming at the maximum rate.



Sadly, most streaming services don’t let you set the bitrate of their stream. Being able to choose the resolution (480p, 720p, etc.) helps, but you don’t actually know what the data rate is. And it can vary widely with any given resolution.

My home DVR ( allows me to set the bitrate for remote access which it uses when I’m watching live TV or recorded programs remotely. I can choose 500 Kbps, 750 Kbps, 1 Mbps, 1.5, 2.0, etc. There are other media servers that do this, such as When the media server gives you the capability of choosing bitrates, you can then calculate the approximate time available. (note, even those bitrates may vary depending on content.)

Bottom line is to pick a server / service that gives you this capability, if possible.

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