The new live streaming sport service Kayo is built for use on mobiles and tablets but how much data will it consume?
The streaming TV sector in Australia has been disrupted by the arrival of a world-first live sports streaming service called Kayo. Kayo delivers content from FoxSports and most of the channels FoxSports distributes in Australia (including ESPN, beIN Sports and select Red Bull TV programming) in a way custom designed for sports fanatics.
Quick look at Kayo data usage
- 2.5GB per hour for Standard Definition
- 3.5GB per hour for High Definition
Sport is available live or on demand via Kayo (currently available through browsers and ChromeCast, with a native app to come on other devices in the future), as are the various entertainment and analytical programming. For those who love their sport, Kayo could well be the killer app we've been dying to see. However, as a service designed primarily with mobile devices in mind, users need to be conscious of their data use and speed requirements.
In fact, even when used on a home network or on Wi-Fi, you need to be conscious of how much of your bandwidth Kayo is hoarding. Making the most of Kayo's live sport streaming features may require an upgrade to your home or mobile broadband service.
For an analysis of all the features offered by Kayo during its beta launch, read our full review.
How much data does Kayo use?
With Kayo, your stream defaults to high-definition, even though you can opt for standard-definition should your please. The expected data consumption works out to 3.5GB/h in HD and 2.5GB/h in SD. Or approximately 58MB of data per minute.
Therefore, the average two-hour sporting event (such as a Rugby League or AFL game) will consume 7GB of data in HD or 5GB in SD. We're going to focus on the default HD stream for this exercise.
Now it's important to note that you can split your Kayo experience into a maximum of four screens, all showing different sports simultaneously. It's a great feature, however, if you use the split-screen feature, each new stream you add to your viewing area will add in kind to this cost in data.
If you had the full four screens running, for example, you would be consuming 232MB per minute, or around 13.9GB per hour. Kayo does allow you to have two screens running simultaneously off the same account, too, so you can theoretically have eight streams (four pictures on each screen) running at once in your home.
That would be a whopping 27.8GB an hour in data cost! That's obviously a highly unlikely scenario and far from the use case of the vast majority of consumers. But even with just the basic use of Kayo, you would want your mobile plan to have significant data allowances.
Here is a simple overview to help you work out your needs. Note: If you intend to split the screen, each hour of viewing is multiplied by the number of splits you have. Also keep in mind that you will also need data available for your non-Kayo activities on top of what is in this table.
|Subscriber||Hours Per Week||Estimated Monthly Data (GB)|
What is the best internet speed for Kayo?
As mentioned above, Kayo streams live sport and sport programming in high-definition. It consumes around 7GB of data per standard two-hour sporting event.
Let's do some quick math: Two hours equals 120 minutes, which equals 7,200 seconds. If we take 7000MB (as in 7GB) and divide that by 7200 seconds, it equals 972kb/second of data. Now broadband speeds are usually listed in megabits per second (mb/s) and one megabit is equal to 125kb. Therefore, we divide 903 by 125 to get our base speed requirement, which is 7.8mb/s.
That is the base speed your internet will need to be in order to enjoy seamless Kayo streaming in high-definition. If you want to watch split-screen programming, that number increases in kind.
When you consider that other people on your home network may also be using the internet for checking emails, shopping, watching YouTube, gaming or anything else, the bandwidth requirements to enjoy the full experience escalate.
This should be considered when working out whether or not Kayo is right for your home or mobile network. The good news is, you only have to worry about download speeds not upload speeds; no data is going the other way.
Here is a table of your estimated Kayo bandwidth requirements.
|Simultaneous Streams||Bandwidth Required mb/s|
Are there any Kayo broadband bundles?
At the time of writing, there are no specific broadband plans that offer any data consumption benefits when streaming Kayo, or bundle in any free months of Kayo alongside subscriptions. However, this could very well change. Especially when we consider that Telstra, Australia's biggest broadband supplier, is part of the Foxtel family.