Computers & Electronics

What does streaming cost - in electricity rates

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 25th, 2019 8:35 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2765 upvotes

What does streaming cost - in electricity rates

BCHydro helps us out by calculating the electricity cost for binge-watching various TV series on different streaming platforms. :)
https://www.powersmart.ca/tip/streaming ... _awareness

Minor variations per province of course.

I know this is always the top question in my mind when I'm considering streaming something...
22 replies
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
17013 posts
3869 upvotes
Toronto
I use the rule of thumb that every watt is $1 per year, if that thing is on 24/7.

If used 5 hours a day, that's 21%, or 21 cents per year per Watt.

If 100 Watts, that's $21 per year.

This is of course not really accurate across the country, but it's a reasonable rule of thumb that helps you get a rough idea of how much things cost to run.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
24812 posts
10247 upvotes
I'm all for saving power (ha, no I'm not...*) but we're talking like $2/month for a game console and a TV.

*I have like 2000-3000W worth of servers running 24/7. $1 to stream something is a rounding error on my power bill.

EugW wrote:
Mar 11th, 2019 11:33 pm
I use the rule of thumb that every watt is $1 per year, if that thing is on 24/7.
I use this too, but I bundle in saying it's roughly $0.10/kWh.
I think it's something like $0.11 and change, but close enough for an estimate.

This is important because apparently some people pay significantly more than that, especially if you're using an international forum like Reddit.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 13, 2008
3230 posts
773 upvotes
Oshawa
An invalid concern. Just watch TV with your cable box.
Stress is caused by NOT fishing enough.
JDM ONLY! No North American CRAP!
Megabass, Imakatsu, Jackall, GanCraft, OSP, EverGreen, YGK, Toray, Sunline, Nories, Shimano, Daiwa RULES!
EVA Air Rocks ... Air Canada SUCKS!
Deal Expert
User avatar
Dec 12, 2009
18831 posts
6846 upvotes
Toronto
There is another aspect to the economics that BC hydro doesn't cover and that is the cost of getting an energy efficient set up. My HTPC is 10 years old and so when it is in use, it is a bit of a space heater running on low output. I could upgrade to something modern. Given the economics of buying a few extra kwh worth of electricity vs hardware upgrade, I choose to avoid the capital cost. For half the year, the power consumed warms the basement and so the energy consumed provides an additional utility. For those that heat with electricity, I would say the streaming comes as a free benefit.
̶K̶o̶o̶d̶o̶ ̶$̶4̶0̶/̶6̶G̶B̶
Public Mobile 2016 fall promo, $23/1GB, $38/5GB, $28 RBC 5GB promo
Fido $0.00/3GB+tablet
Tangerine Bank
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2765 upvotes
AV-Fishing wrote:
Mar 12th, 2019 8:19 am
An invalid concern. Just watch TV with your cable box.
Perhaps BCHydro should have a chat with Shaw cable in BC. My Shaw PVR is always-on and consuming full power because it can't be turned off (standby actually). A few years ago Shaw was unable to fix a firmware glitch that happened occasionally when the PVR was turned off and on, so they decided to just disable the "off".
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 19, 2018
993 posts
1065 upvotes
Exp315 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2019 9:53 am
Perhaps BCHydro should have a chat with Shaw cable in BC. My Shaw PVR is always-on and consuming full power because it can't be turned off (standby actually). A few years ago Shaw was unable to fix a firmware glitch that happened occasionally when the PVR was turned off and on, so they decided to just disable the "off".
That is a remarkable point. I wonder how much energy is wasted in result of that decision.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
17013 posts
3869 upvotes
Toronto
Cucumference wrote:
Mar 12th, 2019 10:53 am
That is a remarkable point. I wonder how much energy is wasted in result of that decision.
My Rogers Scientific Atlanta 8300 HD PVR consumes 20-25 Watts, on or off. (Some of that range is dependent upon which hard drive is installed in it.) I have two of them active right now, so that means $40-$50 per year just to have them plugged in. The drives in it are spinning 24/7 too, which also means that after about 3-5 years, the drives may die.

I'm not sure how much my Nextbox 3.0 4K PVR consumes. My Apple TV uses like 1-3 Watts or something like that. I'd expect the Rogers Ignite TV boxes to be 5-10 Watts on and 1 Watt off, but that's just a guess since I've never had one in my house.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 20, 2012
1491 posts
718 upvotes
Waterloo, ON
"Here’s a sampling of a few popular TV shows, and how many days it would take to watch them at three-hours-a-night.


Downton Abbey: 19 days"

Hmm, well I guess this is British Columbia Hydro
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 13, 2008
3230 posts
773 upvotes
Oshawa
Exp315 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2019 9:53 am
Perhaps BCHydro should have a chat with Shaw cable in BC. My Shaw PVR is always-on and consuming full power because it can't be turned off (standby actually). A few years ago Shaw was unable to fix a firmware glitch that happened occasionally when the PVR was turned off and on, so they decided to just disable the "off".
I'm with Rogers ... have the NextBox 3.0 PVR ... when I am not watching TV, it only shows the clock.

The device will not consume enormous amounts of electricity.
Stress is caused by NOT fishing enough.
JDM ONLY! No North American CRAP!
Megabass, Imakatsu, Jackall, GanCraft, OSP, EverGreen, YGK, Toray, Sunline, Nories, Shimano, Daiwa RULES!
EVA Air Rocks ... Air Canada SUCKS!
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 21, 2002
8672 posts
1564 upvotes
Winnipeg
how about the wifi to stream it. the orbi mesh is a pig. It hits 34 watts per node under load. In mesh load is easy to hit because it has to constantly negotiate with clients and nodes for roaming. Very little idle time. How badly do we need triband 500 mbps wifi vs say sub 250 at around 2-10 watts per node

streaming ac wifi especially 160mhz with 3x3 and 4x4consumes way more power than simple 2x2 40mhz. Its why handhelds consume less and default to slower rates to save power.

Transcoding servers for playback is way more costly than direct native play to buy and run.

Now an elephant I have thought about are online Ads.

Most of these adds use bandwidth thru isp,tower or wire. They increase network usage on home user. They increase gpu usage if animation is in play=higher power consumption and are they not all at the cost of the recipients and the clients that receive them? They aren't fixed ads either. They follow you and change according to your browsing. Mostly out of your control or desire.

Now don't look at one user. Lets think about it on a global consumption. Compare it exactly to something like old auto oil bottles.

Back in 2004 california found annually "400 million containers would therefore contain more than 3 million gallons of residual oil. These contaminated and unrecyclable plastic containers are usually dumped in landfills, where the containers may leak"
https://www.cga.ct.gov/2004/rpt/2004-r-0832.htm

Its a situation like that where you can see where the small less perceptible can really add up. So perhaps small power consumption can add on a large scale as well.

Who has too pay for ad bandwidth/power to distribute and receive them?

I know I don't want to pay to receive them? Who should rightly pay for its power consumption? Is it a good question to ask? I know I had to spend money to actively block them as well?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
24812 posts
10247 upvotes
lead wrote:
Mar 12th, 2019 3:43 pm
how about the wifi to stream it.
*hugs Ethernet*
Although a couple switches also means a bunch of watts.
Not 34W per, but still adds up depending on how your network is set up.
online Ads.

Don't forget the fun of some sites mining cryptocurrency while you're visiting them.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 21, 2002
8672 posts
1564 upvotes
Winnipeg
death_hawk wrote:
Mar 12th, 2019 4:06 pm
*hugs Ethernet*
Although a couple switches also means a bunch of watts.
Not 34W per, but still adds up depending on how your network is set up.


Don't forget the fun of some sites mining cryptocurrency while you're visiting them.
but those guys who mined and heated their homes with pc's. I have difficulty being angry with them. I wished I had tried back then.

But pooled mining makes me think of something.

I think of data storage centers. Whats there biggest combatant. The largest thing they have to combat? I believe its heat? You have miles and miles of data drives all producing heat and where is this heat going? Seems like a waste to me. Why not move data centers to cold climate populated areas like west edmonton mall etc

Or every home in canada gets cheaper faster internet! How? a discounted option like"

Run dedicated cluster farms in each home in one large swarm volume p2p cloud. A drive at every tv box etc or in every home every in all metropolitan cities, condos homes, apartments, offices.
Hymm that adds up.
Surprised ISP telecom never thought of it. Hooking up a modem, we need to maintain it oh yea theres a 100tb hard drives in it but we'll comp your internet fee for a sizeable discount.

The cloud is in everyone's home but encrypted in a manner no one could acess outside the mainframe. Shared like a hive through out a continent. With no singular storage center to rely on. Just perfect shared data powered more efficiently distributed. You could even pay for them to swap dying drivings thru rebates=less manpower.

An uber cloud! a "skip the cloud?"
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
24812 posts
10247 upvotes
lead wrote:
Mar 12th, 2019 4:32 pm
but those guys who mined and heated their homes with pc's. I have difficulty being angry with them. I wished I had tried back then.
I was meaning websites that have been hijacking browsers to mine crytpocurrency, not people that were actually mining with hardware.

As for heating while mining, you could still do it, even with obsolete hardware.
You won't "make" money but you won't 100% lose money like you would running an actual heater.
You'll just get a tiny "rebate".

Too bad it doesn't get cold enough in Vancouver or I would have totally done it.
I think of data storage centers. Whats there biggest combatant. The largest thing they have to combat? I believe its heat? You have miles and miles of data drives all producing heat and where is this heat going? Seems like a waste to me. Why not move data centers to cold climate populated areas like west edmonton mall etc
But that means we'd have to be in Edmonton.... Face With Tears Of Joy

Seriously though, data centers are also geographically important too.
If it was JUST about heat, there'd be a giant band around the globe where there'd be no DCs.
Run dedicated cluster farms in each home in one large swarm volume p2p cloud. A drive at every tv box etc or in every home every in all metropolitan cities, condos homes, apartments, offices.
Hymm that adds up.
Surprised ISP telecom never thought of it. Hooking up a modem, we need to maintain it oh yea theres a 100tb hard drives in it but we'll comp your internet fee for a sizeable discount.
Interesting theory, but it'd suck in the summer.
Sure you're getting free heat in the winter, but you either have to power down in the summer (not really acceptable) or blow money on an air conditioner.

There are a few programs out there that actually do distributed cloud (including one for crypto) so you could actually do it if you wanted to.



The cloud is in everyone's home but encrypted in a manner no one could acess outside the mainframe. Shared like a hive through out a continent. With no singular storage center to rely on. Just perfect shared data powered more efficiently distributed. You could even pay for them to swap dying drivings thru rebates=less manpower.

An uber cloud! a "skip the cloud?"
Haha you're late to the party.
https://storj.io/
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3533 posts
824 upvotes
lead wrote:
Mar 12th, 2019 3:43 pm
how about the wifi to stream it. the orbi mesh is a pig. It hits 34 watts per node under load. In mesh load is easy to hit because it has to constantly negotiate with clients and nodes for roaming. Very little idle time. How badly do we need triband 500 mbps wifi vs say sub 250 at around 2-10 watts per node
I am quite surprised to learn that Orbi is such a draw on power. Having said that, Netgaear Engineers, DO NOT mess with this setup. As of now, it's by far the most stable and smoothest Wifi setup I have ever used. lol

Top