Montana Satellite Services


Netflix over HughesNet ? Don’t count on it!

NOTE:  This is a quick update and re-post of one of our previous blogs on another site, with some new information concerning Netflix and other Video Streaming over HughesNet Satellite Internet Systems!

Simply stated, video streaming with applications such as Netflix, Hulu, or even via DISH Network or DirecTV on-demand services over ANY satellite Internet system is just not very feasible! We do offer a satellite Internet system that’s fully capable of video streaming though!  The cost depends on how many movies you want to watch per week and in what quality, but here’s an example! Let’s say you want to be able to watch 4 – 6 high-definition movies a week each month!  We can get you into a satellite Internet system that will handle that for right around $4500 for equipment and around $3500.00 per month for enough bandwidth to support it that type of application!  Interested?  🙂

Here’s the deal…

With the new Spaceway and Gen 4 Jupiter systems on the market, HughesNet has been promoting the use of “streaming video” over their network more and more!  Most long time HughesNet customers will tell you that while this sounds like great news, there are still many issues that do not make streaming video over HughesNet very feasible!   It may work “ok” for watching short video clips from time to time, but Netflix, Hulu and other streaming video sites and applications are going to struggle over the newest, fastest HughesNet systems and monthly service plans, and will probably not work well if at ALL over the slower HughesNet Spaceway, or HughesNet Ku (HN7000s) systems simply because of the speed, latency, and more importantly the Fair Access Policies that limit the amount of data you can use during a 24 hour or monthly period!

HughesNet Gen 4 Jupiter systems have the best CHANCE of supporting streaming video, however they are not available everywhere, in fact many HughesNet customers are in areas where the Ku Band HughesNet HN7000s Systems are still being used, and although many others have since upgraded to the Ka Band HN9000 Spaceway Systems that offer, they have found that new FAP (Fair Access Policy) to be even more restrictive! And at least with the HughesNet Ku Band HN7000s systems, the FAP Policy did not count ANYTHING that you sent or “uploaded” over the system against your daily limits!   They also gave you FREE DOWNLOAD time from around midnight to 6am  where you could download Windows and Anti-virus updates and more and even download movies that you could then watch during the day if you wanted to!

The Free time is no longer offered with the newer Ka band systems and now the Ka band FAP Limits count what you upload against your FAP limits!  The FAP limits are now based on MONTHLY LIMITS instead of DAILY LIMITS, which actually helps some people, but can sure leave you hanging if you use up your bandwidth 2 – 3 weeks in!  And of course with faster service, comes more usage typically!   To top it off, the FREE TIME, is now limited, and instead it is called Bonus Bytes, which basically takes whatever daytime FAP limit you have and doubles it for use between 2am and 7am local time! And although you can get up 20gig during the day, and 20gig during the Bonus Bytes times for a total of 40gig per month with the $99.99 per month plans, believe it or not even 40 gig per month is NOT MUCH for the average SINGLE Internet user, let alone for families, even those who choose not to stream audio and video!  So, needless to say, it doesn’t take much to use up 40gig per month now days, and it’s very difficult to even think about streaming audio or video over a system with a 40gig per month limit when 50% of that limit is 2am – 7am local!

The average Netflix High Definition movie takes up to 3600mb, which means that even if you live in an area where you can get the newer, faster, Gen 4 Jupiter HughesNet Ka band systems, and even if you pay HughesNet $99.99 per month, you would still only be able to watch around 6 movies a month UNLESS you wanted to watch some of them at 3am!   Now, if you choose to watch “Standard-Definition” Movies instead, then you would be able to watch a lot more movies than you would HD, IF the latency wasn’t such a factor of every HughesNet Satellite Internet System!  That, and when you consider that there are many other users sharing your connection to the satellite, you will find your movies buffering more than they are playing, especially during peak usage times!

While I am finding that most of the customers that we contact for installation of their HughesNet Satellite Internet System have been told the truth about what to expect with the service, there are still far too many people out there that are being mislead about the capabilities of HughesNet!  The ads on TV are deceiving and never seem to mention the issues that affect video streaming such as the latency, FAP, and so on!  Some customers are being told that it will work fine with Netflix and other streaming video services, or even for use with their DISH Network or DirecTV on-demand video services, however that is just not very feasible!

So… is it do-able?  Yes!  Is it recommended?  No!   Specially if you do not have the fastest HughesNet Gen 4 Jupiter Systems as there is simply not enough speed, bandwidth or FAP space available to watch streaming video over the slower Ka Band and Ku Band systems!   When you consider the amount of  FAP you could use up for your normal daily Internet use, there’s just not much space left for video streaming, even on low-resolution!

That being said, we like HAPPY CUSTOMERS,  so check out our blog post, How to Conserve your HughesNet Bandwidth, which includes information and tips for those of you who really want to be able to watch a Netflix or other video / movies over HughesNet, and it covers other thoughts for saving on data consumption as well!

Also, be sure to check out HughesNet Tips & Tricks – Troubleshooting a Slow Connection, which includes information to help keep your system running at it’s best possible speeds which can help with any bandwidth intense application such as streaming!

Be sure to check out our consulting services to make sure you get the right system and service for your needs and application!

Posted in: HughesNet

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