File size and/or bandwidth usage



  • Our ISP has implemented bandwidth usage caps. We've found it amazingly easy to blow through those caps if you're watching HD or better content (especially movies) on our ROKU3 ~ or any digital media streaming device; especially true if you have multiple users in a household. So… we're checking in with our channel providers relative to file size and bandwidth usage.

    What's the story when it comes to Funimation? Are episodes streamed as full out 720p/1080p files? If so, that's pretty much a deal breaker. Anime episode file sizes? Movie file sizes?

    As far as we know, Netflix is the only channel provider that allows the user to address the issue. It might be possible to limit bandwidth usage if you've got a ROKU2, but a ROKU3's lowest operational setting of 3.5Mbps will do absolutely nothing to help.

    We realize this is probably the ISPs working around net neutrality issues and/or double dipping by setting caps and then surcharging content providers and their customers. It's also one way to make people hesitate to dump cable service entirely. But, it is what it is so we're looking at all of the channel providers we use and will likely eliminate the ones we "can't afford" to use...



  • SD and HD options on the FUNimation Roku channel both stream at 1.5 Mbps. When we add more bitrates, you'll be able to restrict the quality settings even lower via your Roku's settings. You can do this by going to the Roku secret menu: hit home 5 times, RW 3 times, FF 2 times. The bitrate you select from there will be a global setting for all of your channels, including Netflix. If you set this option to less than the bitrate offered by a channel, you'll still stream at the higher bitrate.



  • I've been a U-verse subscriber since AT&T rolled out the service, but ever since last year they added a bandwidth cap that pretty much forces you to watch most of your content via their TV service to avoid exceeding the BW cap. Fortunately anything you watch through their box doesn't count against your BW, so I also have a sub to FUNimation channel to balance out what I watch via the website, and record the heck out of Toonami. So far that has worked well, and I haven't come close to hitting the BW cap for the past two months (knock on wood.)



  • @Sophie:

    SD and HD options on the FUNimation Roku channel both stream at 1.5 Mbps. When we add more bitrates, you'll be able to restrict the quality settings even lower via your Roku's settings. You can do this by going to the Roku secret menu: hit home 5 times, RW 3 times, FF 2 times. The bitrate you select from there will be a global setting for all of your channels, including Netflix. If you set this option to less than the bitrate offered by a channel, you'll still stream at the higher bitrate.

    WOWZIRS, Sophie! 1.5Mbps = 90 Mb/minute or 5.27GB/hour. So a 22 minute anime episode = 1980MB or 1.934GB ~ close to 2GB per episode.
    Say it isn't so!!!!

    That's pretty much a deal breaker for people who watch a lot of content or a home with multiple users? It's enough to get watching Funimation via ROKU3 blacklisted at our house. I'm really getting to appreciate Netflix (we've opted for .7GB/hour) more and more.

    Glad to hear Funimation is going to provide bitrate options, but (if the above numbers are good) we might just opt out of an elite subscription until you get there.

    Also the lowest setting ROKU gives for the ROKU3 ~ since it's optimized gear for HDMI ~ is 3.5Mbps. That's way above Funimation's bitrates so it'll do nothing to limit usage. Not sure, but it might be possible to set a lower bitrate using a ROKU2. I checked with ROKU on this & was told that, at this point in time, this is an issue channel providers are going to have to address.

    We really think it's important to support licensed providers 'cause people should get paid for their work product. We even buy DVD's , mangas and light novels. We have rightstuf.com and vizmedia.com accounts. But this'll sure make MP4 downloads close to the only viable option for a lot of people



  • @falconeml:

    I've been a U-verse subscriber since AT&T rolled out the service, but ever since last year they added a bandwidth cap that pretty much forces you to watch most of your content via their TV service to avoid exceeding the BW cap. Fortunately anything you watch through their box doesn't count against your BW, so I also have a sub to FUNimation channel to balance out what I watch via the website, and record the heck out of Toonami. So far that has worked well, and I haven't come close to hitting the BW cap for the past two months (knock on wood.)

    Thanks falconeml. That's the cable company's point ~ they'll make it so that you are locked into their content. That'd be fine if they added anime channels, but Suddenlink sure doesn't at this point in time. Lucky you if your cable provider offers Funimation and/or other anime channels. We're not familiar with Toonami. Thanks to your post, we'll check it out…



  • @falconeml:

    I've been a U-verse subscriber since AT&T rolled out the service, but ever since last year they added a bandwidth cap that pretty much forces you to watch most of your content via their TV service to avoid exceeding the BW cap. Fortunately anything you watch through their box doesn't count against your BW, so I also have a sub to FUNimation channel to balance out what I watch via the website, and record the heck out of Toonami. So far that has worked well, and I haven't come close to hitting the BW cap for the past two months (knock on wood.)

    I am also a U-verse subscriber in Wi, they do not enforce the bandwidth cap actually. I know for a fact that I go through more than 250gb of data a month and I have never had my service shut off or throttled. AT&T does however enforce the bandwidth caps on their DSL lines. Lets just hope they stay with not enforcing for U-verse!



  • arkfun, Toonami is a block on the Cartoon Network on Saturday nights from 11:30PM to 6:00AM.

    As for the "making people hesitate to dump cable service entirely" because of bandwidth caps, that might be less true in the coming future. Well that is it depends on what Funimation does, of course. There is a new video format implantation HEVC/H.265, that can help change the usage of bandwidth in the short future. It is basically the new format for the new UHD (Ultra Hi Def) or 4k/2160p video that is starting to be released. I know BBC was doing testing with this new format on a few 2014 FIFA World Cup trials as a few live broadcast using the new UHD were transmitted and viewed on a number UHD TV sets in several of their R&D facilities. How does using 4k/2160p encoding help? Not only is it capable releasing 2160p video it will also be capable of encoding 1080p/720p/480p content or to smaller sizes. They say as much as a 50% decrease in file sizes can be expected over AVC/H.264, while retaining all the quality. This new format could reduce the steaming rates to half the size, thus decreasing bandwidth usage by half.

    David Ronca, manager of encoding technology at Netflix, said that they are making the shift to HEVC. Ronca said that they are not currently seeing the efficiency gains being claimed by HEVC encoding vendors, but in two years they expect about a 20-30% efficiency versus the x264 encoder. There are several encoders out there for HEVC, but currently I know that there is a x265 encoder in the works for HEVC that is being currently developed to replace the old x264 AVC encoder. x264 is probably the best and most efficient AVC HD encoder currently out there, and it is also open source. The current x265 is also an open source project which bids well for streaming companies that wish to use this encoder.

    So for all of you that currently have caps in place by your internet providers, this could fair well for you if streaming services start to make the switch to HEVC. Even for the people that don't have caps in place, you could see an improvement in quality at the same current bitrates that are being used now.



  • @arkfun:

    WOWZIRS, Sophie! 1.5Mbps = 90 Mb/minute or 5.27GB/hour. So a 22 minute anime episode = 1980MB or 1.934GB ~ close to 2GB per episode.
    Say it isn't so!!!!

    It's not; you're mixing up bits and bytes.

    1.5Mbps * 22 mins = 247.5MB



  • @EyeOfPain:

    It's not; you're mixing up bits and bytes.

    1.5Mbps * 22 mins = 247.5MB

    So you're saying that Mbps is actually megabits per second? So how many megabits in a megabyte? Actually, I was thinking that maybe Sophie was mixing up DTR (data transmission rate) with file size. If an episode's file size is X number of megabytes, the DTR wouldn't matter relative to total bandwidth usage caps since it's the amount that's downloaded, not the speed, that adds up. It really should be pretty straight forward, i.e. if you watch an anime episode, you're probably around so much when it comes to bandwidth usage.

    Of course you can always log on to your usage count (if your ISP provides that info) before you watch something and then log back in and see what your usage count is after you watch whatever. I'm just getting tired of having to jump through hoops to get here from there. Any reason why file size can't be included for each title when there's only one format/quality choice?

    omniboyy's info offers the most hope. I'm for anything that doesn't give the cable/isp companies the last word when it comes to our choice of information access. Once again, hooray for Netflix! They seem to be all over this issue. It's enough to make me a loyal subscriber. :-)



  • @arkfun:

    So you're saying that Mbps is actually megabits per second? So how many megabits in a megabyte?

    1 byte = 8 bits

    The math could get a bit messier if your ISP is actually measuring caps in mebibytes (multiples of 1024 instead of 1000), so round your bandwidth usage up. Either way, you likely won't get an exact figure due to packet loss, and commercials. I'd probably estimate 275-300MB/episode.

    As for not including file size, I imagine that would just confuse a lot of users. Some people still can't wrap their heads around what resolutions are.


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