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How much data does Sling TV use?

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Best answer: Sling TV uses about 3GB per hour of HD video with the default settings. That can increase if you're watching lots of sports or other fast-moving videos. Also, Sling TV lets you adjust your quality level to reduce how much data is used.

Sling: Sling TV ($35+/mo)

Data use is important

Everything you do online uses data, especially when you're streaming video. All the shows, movies, and events we watch online use more data, and since we want more high-quality streams on our TVs, phones, and tablets, that number will only go up.

Understanding your data use is important. Streaming video on mobile is growing fast, but not everyone has an unlimited data package to handle it. Also, data caps on home internet are becoming the norm for a growing number of subscribers. If you use streaming video, you should be aware of how much data you use.

Sling TV data usage

Sling TV streams live TV channels to almost any device you could want to use. Those live video streams can use data against your cap quickly. If you need to manage your data use, you will need to understand how much data is used as you watch. How much data does Sling TV use?

The answer can get complicated, but let's start with the basics. If you stream Sling TV without changing any settings, you'll use about 3GB per hour of HD video.

There are many factors that can change that data usage. Live streams tend to use a little more data than on-demand streaming. A live stream with fast movement throughout, like a sports broadcast, can use even more data per hour than a show or movie. Thankfully, Sling TV provides a setting for you to manage it.

Adjusting the connection

Sling TV has an option in settings called Connection. This lets you control the data used on your streams by adjusting the quality level. A higher quality stream uses more data because more information is needed to create those detailed visuals.

Sling TV offers four options for your Connection setting. On most platforms, you access this by opening the settings menu or selecting the gear icon.

  • Best Quality - No Limit uses around 3-5GB of data per hour
  • High Quality -1.5 Mbps limit uses around 2GB of data per hour
  • Medium - 800 Kbps limit uses around 1GB of data per hour
  • Low - 500 Kbps limit uses around 700MB of data per hour

Changing this setting can reduce the amount of data Sling TV will use, but it will also change the quality of the video on your screen. If you're watching on a small screen like a phone or tablet, you may not notice the difference as much. If you're watching on the biggest TV in your home, you may see more of a change in quality. Try a few options until you find the setting that gives you the best balance between the picture that you want, and the data use that you need.

It also doesn't change the fact that there's a sweet Sling TV free trial — so be sure to check that out!

Roy Delgado is a freelance writer for CordCutters. His focus is streaming, specializing on sports. He binge-streams 32 games over the first two days of NCAA March Madness annually. He built his own DVR 15 years ago, and still tinkers to make his media setup its best. Find him on Twitter [@RoyD77](