Comcast advertises the following about their data caps and what you can do with 1TB of data. Beware, watching the video on ‘what you can do with your data’…uses data.
- Stream between 600 and 700 hours of HD video
- Play online games for more than 12,000 hours
- Stream more than 15,000 hours of music
- Upload or download more than 60,000 hi-res photos
The details they provide is true – to an extent. While 1080P video is currently the norm, the shift of 4K content is almost entirely streaming, and HD video is not the same as 4K. Gaming with the latest Xbox and Playstation consoles gears towards higher definition content and many of the games we are used to buying in a store now come as a convenient (massive) download. Software updates are usually in the GB’s for those consoles too.
While I have been evaluating my data usage, noting that multiple household members each consume their own data, I forgot about the always-on Dropcam(s) I use for home security. I have three in total and they all stream a 24 hour HD stream of video to the cloud.
Another development is that I’m half way through my first month of ‘cord cutting’ and anticipate hitting the 1TB data cap quite easily.
Here’s a more interesting comparison. I purchased a 4K tv in late October, and dropped my traditional cable tv service in early January. The influx of streaming 4K shows seems to have made a huge impact.
What this seemingly comes down to, is that while Comcast claims that most of their users only use ~60GB per month, those are not users likely to be streaming 4K content (which Comcast does not offer through their cable boxes), nor are they users who have cut traditional cable for a tailored solution that meets their needs via streaming services. Their data cap aims to discourage cord cutters, and rationalize the need to stay with their traditional TV service.
If Comcast spent more time leveraging their position as a TV provider to meet the needs of their consumers, they would be offering faster internet and a-la-carte television to compete against services like Sling or Playstation Vue. They might offer HD only content instead of packing 100’s of duplicate SD channels into your already crowded guide, or even offering 4K content as a part of their lineup.
Comcast knows they are behind, and they’re probably too large to make fast impactful changes. The only thing I can say they have improved recently is their customer service, but not the service they supply their customers.