STUDIO USE MAJOR BANDWIDTH

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The studio has been using more and more bandwidth. This is due to the Steam ability with early access and with game patches generally. Games updates are a growing consumer of bandwidth. The old Hitron CGNM-2250 has been in service for years and it is probably capable of maybe 300 megabit service before it chokes. The box has 4 Ethernet ports so it can support a NAS along with the web server easily.

At present the studio has 100 megabit service which is adequate for streaming. The actual speeds are closer to 120 megabit which is more than needed. Streaming media varies but 40-50 megabits seems to be the best for 4K video streams. The top service at present is 1.5 gigabit which is more than is needed in the studio. While the studio has unlimited internet it still is eye opening to see 600GB to 900GB per month of bandwidth. The real consumer of bandwidth is is the Apple TV 4K box. Streaming 4K content tends to use a lot of bandwidth which is why the ISP now only offers unlimited plans.

The local ISP has installed so much fiber than even with a swarm of 4K TV viewers it does not barely use 2% of the city’s bandwidth. While Apple TV is the high end of the market, there are other streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV etc. The Apple TV box also support AirPlay so its possible to stream from an iPhone or iPad if desired. The Apple TV is wireless so it is able to be placed anywhere on the TV stand.

Apple TV+ makes television shows available as a marathon. This makes sense for many television shows but many cookie cutter shows are out there which are fine as random episodes. Apple TV+ also has many original feature films which are available on demand. Over the last couple of years Apple has spent a pile on new content for their service and now it represents a fairly solid options for consumers.

A lot of LAN bandwidth is seen from steaming local content. The ISP does not consider this which would bring overall bandwidth above 1TB per month. There is also the BD player which is even more bandwidth.

802.11ac is fast enough to handle 4K streaming hardware. The more recent 802.11ax with support for 6 Ghz channels is favorable only when all of the equipment supports it. The Apple TV 4K first gen supports 802.11ac which is the same for the iPhone 11 and iPad Pro 12.9. Eventually the studio will find a more recent access point but there is no pressure at present.

DOCSIS 4.0 cable modems are still not available which is more eye opening. DOCSIS 4.0 can support 10 gigabit speeds which would perk up game updates but the Apple TV 4K is not quite that bandwidth hungry. CableLabs has been slow to develop the faster modems. DOCSIS 3.1 continues to be the fastest cable box available. Various providers are able to get fairly fast service with recent DOCSIS 3.1 modems which has slowed development.

More and more are now having optical fiber installed which can provide faster internet. Fiber is more costly as the utility room needs a fiber based interface for the WAN port. Once installed, fiber can handle a staggering amount of data easily which is perfect for a home with eight Apple TV 4K units running all at once.