As many who enjoyed the show Arrested Development, I have been eagerly awaiting the release on Netflix that occurred today (I told my wife that I HAD to watch it for work, and my story seems to have held up so far). Procera is watching the release closely and is planning on doing an update later this week on how the launch affected broadband networks, but I thought it would be interesting to see the how a binge watching event might translates on a home network.
I decided to devote time today to binge watch the entire season of Arrested Development. I did the same thing the weekend that House of Cards was released by Netflix (but not Hemlock Grove), because both were very interesting to me, House of Cards due to Kevin Spacey and the political nature of the series, and Arrested Development because I was a fan during the original run of the series. So I lost most of my Sunday watching the latest season (and in the process sucked in most of my family as the laughs kept drawing them into the room). I enjoy binge watching, as instant gratification sometimes is even better than delayed gratification that you get by fixating on shows and the “what happens next” water cooler talk.
But what effect might this have on a broadband user’s home network and overall broadband usage? This is what just my Arrested Development usage looked like for today:
I watched the show on a PS3 on a FTTH broadband network, so had very high quality viewing experience. Discounting the first spike of bandwidth, my normal traffic rate during watching was around 4Mbps.
Total usage for the day on my PS3 was as follows – which represents the usage consumption for a high definition binge of 15 x 35 minute episodes:
Interestingly enough for Netflix, the Xbox360 traffic was my son watching Dr. Who early in the morning while I watched Arrested Development, so we actually had two high quality streams going simultaneously with no degradation in performance (I love my FTTH connection!).
Overall, my Sunday looked like this, with a total of 25GB of volume consumed just today:
Is this more usage than normal? Yes, but not by an extreme amount. Over the past two months, my Sunday usage has been a low of 8GB and a high of 17GB, so although I watched more Netflix than usual, I was not dramatically higher than normal, which is about what I expect to see from many broadband networks. Since I have two teenagers that love YouTube and Netflix, they spend some of their downtime watching streaming media, and they did less than normal today because the Arrested Development I watched today distracted them.
We will report later this week on what we saw for the show on broadband networks that we are deployed on. Some of the early stats look interesting, but we will see how they hold up over the rest of the holiday weekend.
My final thought for the season: Having Ron Howard narrate your life could make even boring lives sound cool….