Broadband bandwidth requirements is the major factor that decides whether you’d be able to play YouTube videos or not. YouTube is the third most trafficked website after Google and Yahoo and has millions of videos for online viewing.
Countries like United States and those in Europe etc enjoy very high bandwidth and are able to play any YouTube video including the latest HD videos without needing to first buffer them.
Slow connection ? First Check your Internet Speed
There are tons of FREE Bandwidth monitor tools available that will perform Bandwidth Speed test of your internet connection. CHECK your internet speed first. You can use the following tools that are available for free
Which category your Internet Speed falls in ?
Category A: 10Kbps – 128Kbps [Kilobits and not KiloBytes (KB)]
Category B: 129Kbps – 256Kbps
Category C: 129Kbps – 256Kbps
Category D: 257Kbps – 384Kbps
Category E: 385Kbps – 512Kbps
Category F: 513Kbps – 1Mbps
Category G: 1Mbps +
We’ve done some experiments with YouTube videos. There’s no specific bit rate that YouTube videos are encoded with. It can be as low as 140Kbps and as high as 1024Kbps for HD videos (even more). HomeVideo101 has also done comprehensive research to create YouTube videos that you may be interested in.
If you are in Category lower than D then you have to first wait for the video to buffer for sometime and then play as most of the YouTube videos are encoded with more than 256Kbps bit rate.
As per our experiment, Category D is the threshold. If your Internet speed falls in this category then you may or may not need to buffer the video before playing. We’ve tried playing YouTube videos with 384Kbps connection and almost 75% of the videos play without buffering (Of course that doesn’t include HD videos)
Category E has the minimum Bandwidth speed range to have a good YouTube video viewing experience.
If you can afford Bandwidth, then Category F is an optimal speed where most of the online video service like cracked.com, Facebook, Google Videos, Break.com, Vimeo etc will work perfectly.
More than that Category G will also enjoy good HD viewing experience on YouTube.
According to some survey, in 2007, YouTube consumed bandwidth that was used in the year 2000 for whole internet and operating cost of YouTube was quoted to be around 1 million US dollar per day. Now that’s interesting!
In some developing nations where the Broadband speed is very slow, you can use this YouTube trick to play videos on a low bitrate that requires no buffering at all.
Also, if you are hosting a Linux server running on Squid proxy server then you should have a look at open source cachevideo plugin which will help you to cache your videos on the local storage to save a lot of bandwidth on your network. Apart from YouTube it supports many other online video websites like Soapbox, Break.com, DailyMotion, Vimeo etc.