After a few months in testing, Presto's HD offering goes out to the public today. Users will be able to experience 1080p content as well as 5.1 channel surround sound. We know just how much it takes to run a HD stream from Netflix, but what does it take from Presto? What sort of speed do you need?
From today, Presto's HD sound and HD video content will become available to users via an app update on iOS and Android. The update will bring with it AirPlay capabilities, meaning you can stream your Presto content to something other than your Chromecast for a change.
The HD content has been in test for some time, and a significant portion of Presto's library has been specced up. Presto tells us the only content that won't be made available in HD is content that was never originally shot in the format.
Presto adds that you'll need a decent internet connection to maintain a steady 1080p/5.1 stream. You'll need around 7.5Mbps down for a constant HD stream. Presto says it has built-in headroom into its predictions so it can ensure a steady experience for its users. It's that headroom that puts it above the speed required to get a decent HD experience from Netflix, which only requires 5Mbps down for the same image quality.
You'll also need a pretty decent internet bundle to stream the new content, too. Presto says that HD uses around 1.3GB per hour in standard definition, with HD consuming roughly 2.93GB per hour. Goodness.
When we were talking speed with Presto last week, we were told that Speedtests are probably the worst metric to go on when estimating internet speeds. Presto's tech boffins added that using a tool like Speedtest.net to get an idea of your connection speed gives you a false sense of what your connection is capable of when it comes to streaming. That's because Speedtest.net only captures your connection speed for a few seconds. Streaming requires a constant connection over several hours, so ensuring an experience becomes tricky when people are doing all sorts of things in your house on the same connection.