IPTV and Internet Speed: How fast should your bandwidth be?

With the unprecedented expansion of IPTV throughout the world, and the great wave of new users joining this stream from traditional media content like cable or satellite TV, the question of the quality of IPTV service and maintaining the same level of user experience traditional broadcasting means are securing, become definitely the most important challenge this new technology faces. Quality of IPTV service usually has to do with the quality of picture resolution and buffering-free video play.
This brings us directly the capacity of the internet connection. That’s obvious as far IPTV is media content delivered by means of using internet connection.

In this understanding, a good internet bandwidth is a guarantee for a good IPTV user experience, and the opposite is also obviously true; get yourself a weak internet connection and you guarantee yourself a headache-like sort of watching journey!

All IPTV users know this fact about the need for a good internet connection for running IPTV conveniently. But the question that most of us usually ask is how good a connection should be in order to smoothly enable us to have satisfying watching experience. In other words, how many MBs bandwidth should we purchase from an Internet Service Provider (ISP)?

People usually want to know the amount in figures, not a description of what a reliable connection looks like. That is what I will provide the answer for in this post, so stay tuned.

Internet bandwidth speed is not the only factor

When considering internet speed, we usually but mistakenly confuse between bandwidth and speed. In fact, those are two different things, though people use them interchangeably, even ISPs would continue contribute to this confusion because it actually helps them blur the fact about internet speed.

Bandwidth is basically, the amount of data that can pass through that channel in a second. So when you hear you have got an internet bandwidth with 10Mbs/S; that does not mean you do get that amount every second. Instead, it only refers to the capacity of your bandwidth, being able to support up to that amount (10Mbs/s in our example).

So if it is not about bandwidth, what is it all about?

Latency is determining your internet speed

Here I need to introduce latency, as the real factor that decides your connection speed. As its name suggests, it means delay, the time data transfer takes to move from one end to the other.

So for a good IPTV TV watching, you probably should aim at a latency of no higher than 50ms, if you are trying to play HD, FHD, or 4K qualities. If you want to run 4K, perhaps you may want a 30ms and lower. Otherwise, if you are satisfied with SD resolution, 100ms would be quite reasonable.

Throttling or ISP manipulation of your internet

Another thing that can have a tremendous effect on the performance of your internet connection and your watching or game playing experience, has to do with the ISP’s behavior itself. ISPs are well known to exert a technique by which they reduce users’ internet connection called throttling.

Throttling is basically the act of intentionally slowing down your internet bandwidth by your ISP. It is a quite common practice among telecommunication services to control the amount of traffic and prevent total bandwidth exhaustion.


The IPTV service may be a cause in itself for inconvenient TV or IPTV media experience, because they are slow. One of the major factors that affect IPTV speed ( that has to do with IPTV provider, not your own connection) is the geo-location and how close/far the source of content delivery is.

Good IPTV services solve this problem by using different CDNS to store their content in different places of the world. When one of their customers request content, they deliver content from the geographically closest server to the user, which improve quality and reduce latency.

How many Mbs internet bandwidth you need to run IPTV?

The last factor I include in this article is the purpose you have in mind out of using IPTV. This is very significant and should be determining in what internet connection plan to go for.

People may use IPTV to watch content with FHD resolution quality. In this case, I recommend aiming at no less than 10Mbs per second, provided no other users are using the same internet connection. With 10Mbs, you should be happy with your IPTV watching experience.

But if you are eager to lift up standards and go for qualities like UHD or even 4K, then try to purchase a 30Mbs plan or higher. The higher the amount of the plan is, the better experience you should have.

Otherwise, if you feel satisfied with HD quality, then 5Mbs would be able to manage your media content without problems. You can even go as lower as 2Mbs or 3Mbs if the media to intend to run is in SD.

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