• Minimum internet speeds for YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, Sling TV and other live TV streaming services

    By: Mike Timmermann


    If you’re thinking about canceling cable or satellite TV to sign up for an affordable live TV streaming service, you’ll want to make sure that your internet connection can handle it.

    For a quality streaming experience that’s free of buffering and freezing, a high-speed internet connection is absolutely necessary.

    RELATED: Streaming TV comparison: Which service has the best channel lineup?

    Is your internet connection fast enough for the best live TV streaming experience? 

    Clark.com checked with YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and other streaming providers to find out each service’s minimum recommended download speed.

    We learned that the magic number is usually in the neighborhood of 10 Mbps (or megabits) per second:

    Live TV streaming services

    • YouTube TV: At least 7 Mbps to stream one High Definition (HD) video; 13 Mbps to reliably stream HD video, even with other devices using the same network
    • DirecTV Now: Minimum of 12 Mbps for broadband connections to the home
    • Sling TV: 5 Mbps for a single stream of video content on a TV, PC or Mac; 25 Mbps for households that maintain internet use on multiple devices
    • PlayStation Vue: Minimum of 10 Mbps or higher is recommended for the best experience, plus 5 Mbps for each additional stream
    • fuboTV: At least 20 Mbps download speed to ensure a clear and consistent stream
    • Philo: Minimum of 5 Mbps for HD quality and 1.5 Mbps for Standard Definition (SD) quality
    • Hulu with Live TV: 8 Mbps or higher for a reliable, high-quality viewing experience; multiple concurrent streams may require higher bandwidth

    Other streaming services 

    • Hulu: 1.5 Mbps for streaming SD videos and 3 Mbps or higher for HD videos
    • Netflix: 3 Mbps for SD quality, 5 Mbps for HD quality and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD quality
    • Amazon Prime Video: 900 Kbps for SD videos and 3.5 Mbps for HD videos

    Speed test: How to check your internet download speed

    Now that you know the recommendations, go to SpeedTest.net or SpeedOf.Me to test your download speed. You can also compare those results to Fast.com, a similar tool that’s powered by Netflix.

    If your internet is slower than what you’re paying for, contact your internet provider and see what they can do.

    When I called my internet service provider and gave them the results from SpeedTest.net, they sent someone out to my house to troubleshoot my internet problems free of charge.

    Ready to take the next step? Compare your options in Clark’s guide to the best live TV streaming plans and deals!

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