There are **5 Categories of Internet Connections**:

1. 5+ Mbps = Very High Broadband

2. 1-5 Mbps = High Broadband

3. 786 Kbps = Fast Broadband

4. 384 Kbps = Standard Broadband

5. 56 Kbps = Dial-up

To figure the bandwidth a viewer will need to view the streaming media file with perfect playback, we need to work through these formulas (one for a Standard Web Server, one for a Streaming Server *(note: Streaming Servers are overviewed a few posts from now)*.

**A: Figuring Bandwidth Needs From A Standard Server.** Here things are easy because we get to figure things directly in ‘bandwidth’ math using bits not bytes.

**1.** Figure “Bits Per Second”

Video Height x Video Width x Frame Rate (fps) = Bits/second (Kbps)

eg. (320 x 240 video dimensions) x 15 fps = 1,152,000 Bits/second

**2.** Convert Bits Per Second (Kbps) to Megabits Per Second (Mbps)

Bps (Total from #1) / 1,024 (1 Mbps = 1,024 Kbps) = Needed Connection Speed

eg. 1,152,000 Kbps / 1,024 = 1,125 Mbps (so the person watching should have a, category 2, high broadband connection)

**B: Figuring Bandwidth Needs From A Streaming Media Server.** Here there are a few extra steps because streaming servers encode everything in Bytes Per Second (Bps), which needs to then be converted to Kbps to know the bandwidth need.

**1.** Figure Total Bits Per Second

Video Height x Video Width x Frame Rate (fps) = Total Bits/second

eg. (320 x 240 video dimensions) x 15 fps) = 1,152,000 Bits/second

**2.** Figure the Bytes Per Second (Bps)

Bps (total from #1) / 8 = Bps (divide by 8 because there are 8 bits in 1 byte)

eg. ((320 x 240 x 15) / 8) = 144,000 Bps

**3.** Convert Bps to Kbps

Bps (total from #2) / 1,000 = Kilobytes/second (Kbps)

eg. 144,000 Bps / 1000 = 1,152Kbps (which is rounded to 1.2 Mbps)

**Conclusion:**

These formulas do not take into account your server’s bandwidth limitations, the number of simultaneous viewers, network congestion or a host of other variables. Now we know how to anticipate the needed connection speed for our streaming media.

*Up next are some of the ways we can make a larger bandwidth file playback smooth on a low bandwidth connection.*

– Troy @ TLC