Watching movies online has become an everyday part of our lives. Very few of us go to Blockbuster anymore to pick up movies. Why would we, when we can stream those HD movies online? Streaming movies online saves money, and it saves time. But some people don’t have the luxury of online movie streaming. Their internet connection is too slow to allow it. Either they can’t stream movies whatsoever, or it is so slow and it takes so long to do it, that it is just too frustrating and it makes it not worth it. So, off to RedBox they go.

So how do you know if your internet connection will work for you to stream movies?

What is the optimal speed for streaming HD movies?

Here is the simple answer to that question: it depends.
The optimal speed for streaming an HD movie depends on the specifics of the movie, particularly the file type and the file size. As long as you know the size of the file for the movie you are trying to stream, you can figure out what type of speed you will want for streaming that movie. It all just comes down to a few simple math equations.

Streaming HD Movies

How do you figure out the optimal speed for streaming a movie?

Again, this just comes down to a few equations. There are certain things that we already know about video streaming. We know that most movies are generally measured according to gigabytes. And we know that internet speed is calculated on a rate of megabits per second. We know that 1 megabyte (MB) equals 8 megabits (Mb). That means that you need a transfer rate of 8 megabits per second for every 1 megabyte of movie there is. There are 1,024 megabytes in a gigabyte.
So, to figure out your movie’s optimal speed for streaming, all you need to know is the size of the movie. Once you know that, you can figure out your movie’s optimal speed for streaming. Here are the steps you will want to follow:

1. Find out how many megabytes your movie is.
There are 1,024 megabytes (MB) in 1 gigabyte (GB). So, to find out how many megabytes your movie is, multiply its gigabytes by 1,024.

2. Find out how many megabits your movie is.
One megabyte (MB) equals 8 megabits (Mb). So, to figure out the megabits (Mb) of your movie, multiply its megabytes (MB) by 8.

3. Figure the megabits per second.
There are 3,600 seconds in an hour. So, divide your movie’s megabits (Mb) by 3,600. That will tell you your movie’s megabits per second (Mbps). This tells you what type of Mbps connection speed you will need.

Can you give me an example?

Let’s see that math in action. An average HD movie starts at around 3 gigabytes. So, let’s do the math for a 3 GB movie:
1. Find out the megabytes (MB)
3 GB x 1,024 = 3,072 MB (megabytes)

2. Find out the megabits (Mb)
3,072 MB x 8 = 24,576 Mb (megabits)

3. Figure the megabits per second (Mbps)
24,576 Mb / 3,600 = 6.83 Mbps
So, for a 3 gigabyte movie, you will need an internet speed of at least 6 Mbps (megabits per second) to stream your movie.


Now that you know the process to follow, you can figure out the optimal speed for streaming any movie, whether it is an HD (high definition) or SD (standard definition) movie. It doesn’t matter if it is an HD or SD movie; all that matters is the file size. Once you know the file size you are trying to stream, you can easily figure out what your optimal internet speed will be for streaming that specific movie (or any other movies with the same file size).

This article was written by Nicole. She is a blogger for Clear Internet Service, a leading provider of 4G wireless internet. Compare CLEAR internet to other providers here.

Image is licensed under CC Attribution

Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:
This article is contributed by Nicole and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,
Editor-in-chief at Cyberockk, Rizwan is an avid mobile geek and a gaming lover. He loves to keep a tab on new tech and loves to share the latest tech news and reviews on Smartphones, Gadgets, Apps and more.