The most energy-efficient way to stream movies

The streaming of movies and TV has boomed in recent years and especially during the coronavirus lockdown. But how environmentally friendly is it? And what’s the best way to reduce your CO2 footprint when you’re streaming?

The energy requirement for streaming depends largely on the end-device and the resolution of the video, according to the German IT association Bitkom.

For example, if you watch a movie in SD resolution on your smartphone you’ll consume less energy than watching it on DVD on a large flat-screen TV.

However, you also have to bear in mind that streaming the content to you over the cable network uses energy too with copper cables using more than fibre optic ones.

The IT specialists recommend you buy an energy-efficient end-device and also ensure that several devices aren’t running in parallel without actually being used. Streaming using a wired connection is also more energy-efficient than using WiFi.

Listening to music through YouTube videos is relatively inefficient, and if you just want to hear the music, you’re better off just streaming the audio and not an accompanying video.

You can also disable the auto-play function so that the next stream doesn’t start automatically in the background, even if you’re not listening or watching any more. – dpa

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