12 Nov, 2014
We have a lot of devices on the go here at Casa Fishbowl, and they all come together very nicely to drain our monthly bandwidth allowance.** Endless YouTube videos, transfer of large files to and from work (for me, mostly), and Apple TV and Netflix have a lot to do with the fact that we have been coming very close to going over our max every month.
Awhile back we declared that Tuesdays were NO NETFLIX TUESDAYS from now on. No watching after school or at night with the family. No shows, no movies. As it turns out, turning off the bandwidth hogs one day a week does makes a difference to the overall amount we use and keeps us from going over. And happily, as a result, we find ourselves reading more, going out more, and playing board games. This can only be a good thing.
Mark knew something about Netflix that I didn’t know about. You can change your settings so you’re not using as much data. (Did you know this??) Depending on the setting you choose it does affect picture quality, but honestly, sometimes it really doesn’t matter. (Especially when the kids are watching Buffy reruns.) It’s easy to do:
1) Log in to Netflix.
2) Find your account, and select “playback settings.”
I recommend experimenting to see what kind of difference it makes. Most of the shows we watch are on the “medium” setting but we’ll switch to “high” if we’re gearing up to watch a good film. (Also, Mark is a total TV snob and has very high standards as it pertains to his Overall Viewing Experience.)
We were talking about this to someone the other day and the guy realized his default setting had been on “high” forever, which is the best video quality and equates to up to 3GB per hour of HD and 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD. And if your kid is watches How to Train Your Dragon on Netflix ten times in a row, well, that is going to add up.
Here’s the thing, at this point you can only change your settings from your computer, not from your mobile device. So you’ll have to put down your bowl of popcorn and saunter over to your desktop to change it before the movie starts.
** I hear some of you asking, why not just opt for an unlimited bandwidth package? The way I see it, that is akin to bringing the kids to an all-you-can-eat buffet for dinner every night. Just because we CAN have unlimited bandwidth, doesn’t mean we should. Also, I don’t want to be the mother of two child zombies.
Agree? Disagree? How do you control bandwidth in your house? Or maybe this isn’t an issue?