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Why the 4G rollout means you need to review your videos for mobile streaming

Depositphotos_49813515_originalMy 9 year old loves the Lego movie. He literally watches it everywhere. But when we’re in the car and I hear him mobile streaming it on my iPhone, neither of us ends up very happy. Why? Because streaming video is the largest use of data on a mobile plan. And while my 3 gigs a month is usually sufficient for my family plan, one viewing of the Lego movie will put me way over the data limit. And that gets expensive and makes me unhappy. So when I hear him playing the movie, I yell at him to stop. Then he’s unhappy.

But I’m afraid this is only the beginning. With the roll out of 4G, more bandwidth is available and mobile video will look better than ever. My son could stream the Lego movie in HD and it would look as good as on the TV. It’s not like the good old days (not that long ago actually) when he’d try to stream something from Netflix then give up because the load time was too long, or the video would keep buffering.

And that is the heart of why people are streaming more mobile video: Because we can.

The mobile streaming experience is really good now on 4G networks and even 3G much of the time. It also seems because we can stream good mobile video most of us increase our video consumption. The Cisco Visual Networking Index shows that 4G connections generated 14.5 times as much data usage as other mobile connections.

Along with the increased mobile usage, people’s expectations are getting higher and higher. If you’re planning on streaming to mobiles, then you may need to review your videos to make sure you’re delivering the best experience. And that means maybe upping the bitrate to provide a higher quality video. Or at least making sure the higher bitrate videos are available to the player if the mobile bandwidth is available to the user.

It’s good practice to stay up to date with what your users see when watching your videos. And with the fast changing pace of technology, it’s worth putting a plan in place to periodically review the videos you’ve already created as well as how to encode and deliver your new videos. If you’re using a video streaming service like PlanetStream, make sure you take into consideration the amount of bandwidth you’re using too. If you have any questions on how you should go about determining the quality of your videos for mobile, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you figure it out.

Oliver Burt

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