We’ve been cataloging bitrates for shows from top content creators such as Apple TV+, Max, Netflix, and Paramount+. The streaming bitrates are measured through the latest model of the Apple TV 4k media player over a 1GB wired internet service to ensure no dropouts. The shows below are mainly in 4k, as Ultra HD resolution offers 4x the pixel details as HD (1080p). We’re only looking at video bitrates here which play in megabytes per second. Audio, at its best with 4k content, averages in the 700 kilobytes per second range.
Who gets the highest streaming bitrates?
Apple TV+ has the highest averages for streaming shows among all the platforms. Series such as Bad Sisters, Foundation (Season 2 premieres July 14), Prehistoric Planet, and Silo (just renewed for a second season) all stream on average around 24 Mbps – 25 Mbps.
On Max (formerly HBO Max), House of the Dragon, The Idol, and The Last of Us are among the highest bitrates averaging between 17 Mbps and 22 Mbps. On Netflix, Fubar, Our Planet II, and The Witcher stream in the teens and often just under 20 Mbps.
Amazon Prime Video has several shows that stream at comparable bitrates including The Wheel of Time (average of 20.06 Mbps) and The Terminal List (averaging 18.45 Mbps). Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power skirted just below 20 Mbps although it’s touted as one of the best-looking streaming shows. (We might have to revisit the series to check the bitrates since it’s been a while.)
There is also an “indicated peak video” bitrate which is a static number that doesn’t change throughout the stream. The peak may never be reached, but nevertheless serves as a number to compare the highest bitrate possible in a piece of streaming content.
Shows that have an indicated peak video rate of at least 30Mbps include Bad Sisters (Apple TV+), Big Beasts (Apple TV+), Foundation (Apple TV+), House of the Dragon (Max), Prehistoric Planet (Apple TV+), Silo (Apple TV+), & The Last of Us (Max), although the average playback is typically somewhere between 18-24Mbps.
Who gets the lowest bitrate scores?
Disney+ has some very high-quality shows that just don’t stream in bitrates as high as Apple TV+ and Max. Andor, Star Wars: The Mandalorian, Tales of the Jedi, and Werewolf By Night stream in the mid-teens (around 14 Mbps – 16 Mbps). On Paramount+, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds probably streams at the highest bitrates averaging between 15.82 Mbps – 20.14 Mbps .On Showtime, Yellowjackets and Your Honor stream around 14 Mbps – 15 Mbps.
See our ongoing catalogue of streaming bitrates from Apple TV+, Disney+, Netflix, Paramount+, Prime Video, and more.