Americans Can't Watch HD Streaming
(September 10, 2012)
-- Wistia has issued a study that should frighten companies such
as Amazon and Netflix that are investing heavily to get
consumers to watch more movies and TV shows via streaming.
The study analyzed Wistia-hosted streaming across the nation and
found that nearly 20 percent of views were not capable of
streaming in full HD video (Defined as more than 2 Mbps download
Because High-Definition delivers a higher quality, it requires
three to four times more bandwidth than standard-definition.
Consequently, if the consumer's Internet connection and/or
Internet service provider is sub-par, his high-def video via
streaming will be interrupted frequently by "rebuffering"
Many streaming customers often complain about rebuffering,
leading analysts (including yours truly) to warn that streaming
has years to go before it replaces the hard disc as the primary
way to watch home video.
"Understanding the data on HD playback is important for both
content creators and businesses," the Wistia study states.
"While HD quality video is extremely attractive, providing video
which defaults to HD playback will cause buffering and playback
issues for some members of the audience."
Wistia's study found that the Northeast had the lowest rate of
non-HD capable viewing at roughly 10-20 percent. The average is
between 20 and 35 percent but some states in the Midwest have
almost 40 percent.
You might say that many consumers will be content with watching
standard-definition via streaming, but a recent FCC report found
that only about half of all U.S. households have Internet
connections speedy enough to watch any streaming service.