Need some help testing the limits on your cable Internet bandwidth allotment? Look no further than Slingbox’s new $300 Pro-HD — the company’s first TV streaming/placeshifting gadget that supports hi-def video — which could help put a dent in Comcast’s new 250-gigabyte per month cap that starts next week, or the 40-gig cap with overage charges that Time Warner Cable is testing in Texas.
Sling doesn’t warn how many gigabytes per hour its service will use, but based on some quick, back-of-the-envelope maths, it’s not a small amount.
Sling’s minimum network requirement for HD is 1.5 megabits per second; at full blast, that’s about 11 megabytes a minute, or 675 megabytes per hour. (Remember, those are minimum requirements; Sling says higher speeds will yield higher quality.) That could add up quickly: A three-hour baseball game could be about 2 gigabytes; 1 hour of HDTV streamed a day could be about 20 gigabytes a month. Not enough to get Comcast’s reps knocking down your door, but certainly a nice chip into your monthly allotment.
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