One of the big fears with cord cutting is going over your data cap (for cord cutters with data caps). Now Charter, the parent company of Spectrum, says the average cord cutter uses 400GB a month. This is double the data used by non-cord cutters as the average Internet customer uses about 200GB a month.
With many Internet service providers including a 1 TB data cap this is good news if you worried about going over. Yet this is just the average. Many cord cutters will still go over their data cap. A recent study by OpenVault Research says just 4.1% of households use 1 TB or more a month, which is up from the 2.1% who went over 1 TB in the previous year.
The good news is there are ways to stay under your data cap. Here are a few tips:
#1 Turn Off Auto Play
Netflix will play three episodes and Amazon Video will play six episodes before asking if you are still watching. If you fall asleep during the first episode, you could easily burn through an hour of data with Netflix or five hours of data with Amazon Video. With HD video consuming anywhere from 3 to 5 GB an hour that could easily burn 25GB of data.
If you fall asleep just four times a month as you stream that is 100GB of data wasted, so make sure to turn off AutoPlay for all your streaming services.
If you can get your locals with an antenna that is the best way to stay under your data cap. Although your favorite streaming service may offer locals, it can really add up. By watching a few shows a month with an antenna you can save a lot of data.
If you have an antenna consider getting a DVR. This will help you build a catalog of great content that you do not have to stream, saving you possibly hundreds of GB of data every month.
You will be surprised at how you can cut the amount of data you use every month just by trying one or all three of these tips.
#4 Try SD Video
We often want to get everything in HD, but you should consider trying SD video. SD streaming uses a fraction of the data of HD—often less than a GB an hour.
When my daughter wants to watch cartoons, we stream them in SD. You will be shocked at how great SD video can look with cartoons. Also, older shows not originally shot in HD can look just fine in SD, saving you a ton of data.
Many streaming services let you set the quality of the stream you want. Consider setting devices your kids use to watch cartoons to a lower resolution to save on data.
#5 Download Shows You Rewatch
My daughter is addicted to “Mickey Mouse Club House” right now. Shows like this are a great example of something you can download to save data. You can purchase a season of the show on Amazon and download it to a tablet.
This allows my daughter to rewatch the same episodes without eating into our data cap. The best part is you still have access to the TV as your kids watch their shows.
Source: Ars Technica
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