In our homes we have more and more devices connected to the Internet. If we think about it carefully, about ten years ago we only had a desktop computer, a laptop and perhaps a smartphone connected to the network of networks. Since then, things have evolved a lot and the number of computers connected to the Internet in our homes has increased considerably. We find more and more IoT, home automation and surveillance devices that are changing our habits and automating some tasks. Some of the newest are smart speakers and smart light bulbs. However, there are others that have gained more prominence, such as Smart TVs. In this article we are going to see why you should connect your TV via Ethernet cable.
Does a Smart TV consume a lot of bandwidth?
Nowadays it is more and more common to have a Smart TV. The rise of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO and Disney+ has largely contributed to this. Also, some users have a NAS server from which they can play the multimedia content.
In our homes, it is more and more common for us to have fiber optic connections and televisions that allow us to view content in 4K resolution. If we have contracted a streaming rate that allows us to view content in 4K and the TV supports that resolution, we are going to want to enjoy the content with the highest possible quality. What happens is that making the jump from HD resolution, to Full HD or 4K, leads to a significant increase in bitrate. Obviously we are going to need a fiber optic connection for everything to go smoothly.
Today we can connect a TV via Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. Also, although it is less frequent, we could opt for the PLC and if our electrical installation is relatively recent we could reach speeds of 300 or 400 Mbps. Both with the PLC and the Ethernet cable we have the advantage that we will not suffer the interference that it suffers. Wi-Fi with neighboring networks. At HD resolution with any of these forms of connection we would not have problems. The drawbacks today occur to some extent with 1080p content and quite often with 4K content. You may be interested in knowing how to connect the laptop to the TV to watch movies and series.
Why you should connect the TV by Ethernet cable
Connecting the TV via Ethernet cable is usually the best option. One of the reasons is because the network cable is the one that best exploits the full potential of the Internet connection. In this respect we can say that the Ethernet cable is the one that will guarantee us a better speed and stability.
Also another aspect that must be taken into account is the TV’s Ethernet network card. Currently there are quite a few Smart TVs that have Fast Ethernet ports, so we could not exceed 100 Mbps. However, the most current models are already incorporating Gigabit Ethernet so as not to have these types of limitations.
To give us an idea, this is the connection speed we would need to play streaming content on different platforms:
- Netflix in 4K: 25Mbps.
- YouTube in 4K: 20Mbps.
- Amazon Prime Video in HD: 5 Mbps.
This means that having Ethernet cable TV, we will have the speed and stability necessary to be able to enjoy our series and movies. The problem is that we do not always have the router nearby or the possibility of putting an Ethernet network cable to our television because it is a bit far away.
Finally, we would have Wi-Fi but we need a good router and maybe additional network equipment, depending on the distance. It would also give us good speed, maybe even higher if the TV port is Fast-Ethernet, but interference with neighboring networks would have to be taken into account.