I'm making a website for a web based TV channel, so I'm assuming it will be heavy on bandwidth usage, but I'm no good at calculating bandwidth.

Couple of questions:

  1. Assuming the site streams HD video 24 / 7 to 1000 people, how much bandwidth is that?
  2. Where should something like this be hosted? The channel will have a fiber internet optic connection, but I don't know the limit on their bandwidth, would it be better to get their own server or host online?

In either case in question 2, any recommendations? I'm usually a regular web designer for minor businesses, so this is a new level.

Your help is appreciated.

4 Answers 4


You fail to let us know the speed of their fiber-optic line - however Hosting elsewhere while it has a cost - would yield a better result if they do not have enough bandwidth.

Let's say there are 1000 people watching a full HD signal. A 1080HD signal via Roku can take up to 8mbps - so using that as a standard - let's say it was 8000mbps

1024mbps is a GIGE line ...

You may want to utilize some of the various CDN services on the market to help you with this...


720p H.264 video is usually between 4Mbps to 15Mbps. iTunes's 720p videos are just over 4Mbps.

Whether you want to host the channel yourself or have someone else host it depends on a few factors. Are you streaming live video? What kind of bandwidth does the company have? What's the userbase like? Is 1000 the peak concurrent user count or the average or the projected growth in 12 months? Are they all likely to be located in the same region as the company? Are they going to be spread out across the globe? And does the company have the expertise/resources to run their own data center?

Unless it's a large company or at least one with experience operating a data center and can ensure high availability, it's probably best to outsource the web hosting to a professional company. A good setup might be to upload your video stream to one of the various CDN providers, who can then use their edge network to stream it to your users with minimal latency. This would also scale better than trying to host it yourself, in case your userbase unexpectedly increases.


I'm afraid this is not a question easily answered. I would seriously think about talking to some CDN service (like Akamai). They usually have good solutions to streaming live TV to larger audiences, but that will come with a price.

Another client of mine was streaming a very low quality TV stream at 320kbps for approx. 200-500 (peak) viewers and even with a 90/10 cutoff (where the top 10 percent are not calculated) the streaming costs are astronomical!

To host the stream, you typically have a server located at the source of the TV stream, which feeds the RSTP straight into a preconfigured CDN server. Worst case is, if you happen to not be able to create that stream yourself, you would need to set one up, rent or purchase one. Just make sure that the feeding server has enough bandwidth to feed the signal once and protect the server from direct access (only the CDN being able to access the stream).

Seriously, talk to a CDN provider!


Let's say the video is encoded with 1500 kbit/s:

1500 kilobit per seconds * 24 hours * 1000 viewers = 16.2 Terabytes

That's sustained traffic of 1.5 Gbit/s, so you need at least two servers with gigabit ethernet.

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