Will I be able to stream UHD Videos with the Unlimited Silver Plan?

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I tried asking Exede phone customer service a simpler question and they we unable to answer.  I tried to email them but the only option I was given was to receive promotional information.  When I click on the Online Community Get Started link on Excede's webpage I get a "page not found message".  Not a good start.  But I eventually found my way here so I thought I'd post the question here.  
I'm trying to determine if the Unlimited Silver Plan is right for me.  150GB/month should be sufficient for my planned usage.  I'd like to be able to occasionally steam HD and UHD videos.  My wife and I are the only ones in the household.  No one else will be using the internet when I'm streaming videos.  The requirements for streaming videos from various sources are below:

Hulu:
  • 720p HD: 3 Mbps
  • 1080p HD: 6 Mbps
  • 4K Ultra HD: 13 Mbps
Amazon:
You need an Internet connection of at least 15 Mbps to watch videos in UHD. 

Netflix:
  • 5.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for HD quality

  • 25 Megabits per second - Recommended for Ultra HD quality

So, in theory, Exede could meet the requirement at "up to 25 Mbps Download Speed" and be able to stream videos in HD.  But 0.000001 Mbps download speed would also meet the definition of "up to 25 Mbps Download Speed".  
Additionally, Viasat's data policy states:
"Each Viasat unlimited data plan differs by the video streaming quality as defined in the chart below: 
Plan Name Video Streaming Quality
Bronze 12 Small screen quality, typically 360p
Silver 25 DVD quality, typically 480p
Gold 30 High-definition quality, typically 720p
Even though each unlimited data plan offers service speeds capable of streaming video at higher quality, your unlimited data plan’s video quality is set in accordance with the chart above.  Video streaming quality may vary and is not guaranteed.  Not all video sources are identifiable and some video sources may stream at a higher quality."
Does that mean even though I should expect to receive download speeds off up to 25 Mbps, they will throttle me to lower speeds if they detect I'm watching videos?  
Thanks
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rorden

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Posted 11 months ago

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J&J

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It's most likely done with deep packet inspection that determines the  type of data that is coming in to you.  The unlimited plans are not yet famous for being really great in the speed department, but that depends on your location as the satellite utilizes spot-beams to deliver the signal back to earth.  Some areas are actually great, some are suffering from congestion. In a few weeks the new Viasat-2 satellite is going to be completing it's testing and will be going 'operational'.  The tentative date is  around the first of Feb. if all goes well and so far, it has.

The point I'm trying to make is that today, you might be disappointed with your service, but in about 5 weeks it will be greatly improved and some people believe the video steaming filters will be deactivated allowing more of an "anything goes" type connection on this satellite once some industrial-size customers are moved over to Viasat-2, as well as many residential customers from the present Viasat-1.   

Customers starting their service on Viasat-2 will enjoy high-bandwidth connections without congestion from the start of  their service.  This something you should consider. There are "regulars" here at this forum living in various areas of the country that can perhaps chime in here to let you know what the speed situation is currently doing in your area if someone lives near you.

Please reply "about" where you live in general terms.  Someone living in that same vicinity might notice this thread and respond.  I will include a map of the Viasat-1 spot-beams below for your information.  You can click on the image to see a better view of it and right-click and select "save image as" to save it in your computer for future reference.

I myself live in the Santa Clara County area of California and my beam is #369.  The speed here is at or better than my service plan 80% of the time.

I almost forgot to answer your question in the title of this thread.  The answer is no, not yet.

(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Aparrently it's so complicated that lawyers and doctors cant even understand it.
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rorden

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"Optimized" implies there are other options and it is an advantage to the consumer.  If they really wanted to convey the message clearly they would say something like "Your download speeds will be throttled to limit viewing videos at 480p"  
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J&J

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 I tried saving the map but still can't read the numbers.  
The picture here in the forum is re-sized to fit.  When your click on the image it opens a new window (or should) and displays the raw, original file that was uploaded.  If you hold the control key and roll the mouse wheel the size can be "zoomed" and maybe that will help.
 
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rorden

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The click worked.  It looks like I'd be #364.  
Thanks
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zanne

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Hmm.. Looks like I'm just outside of or on the very edge of some augmented beams. I can't really tell from that map though. I know that my location falls right on the edge of two different beams and I have a hard time remembering which one I'm on.

Jim, I think it does bear some explanation of what they mean by "optimized". Does it mean the service and speed work best for 480p or does it mean they will throttle videos to only work at 480p? And if it is is the latter, then do they have a mechanism to turn the throttle off like we have with the Freedom plan? This is an important factor for me. I'm paying about that much for the Freedom plan already but I risk losing my plan if we accidentally go over due to game downloads or windows updates.

Are the "unlimited" plans only available in the areas with "augmented" service? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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On the unlimited plans, video streaming appears to be detected in the same or similar manner as that of other providers (most notably TMobile's BingeOn approach used for zero rating as well as some other ISPs) - inspection of Host, Content-Type, and SNI (Server Name Indication) fields in request headers. Detection is fragile hence the "video streaming quality may vary and is not guaranteed" disclaimer you've noted above. 

However, it does appear Viasat is or is becoming a Netflix Open Connect partner and hosts open connect appliances at each of its core nodes (IP layers, Accelenet servers or whatever the nom de jour happens to be now). That gives Viasat a distinct advantage in reliably detecting at least Netflix video streams which dominate the video streaming landscape. With the right networking tools it's possible to verify the source from which the video streams originate. On my beam it appears to be the core node in Salt Lake City (despite the top level domain being owned by Netflix).    

Detected video sources are simply throttled to a speed that influences the content provider to choose a lower resolution suited to that lower speed - some empirical testing by folks here suggest it's about 1.5 Mbps for the Silver plan. Not many have reported on the speeds for bronze and gold.

For the unlimited plans there is currently no way to toggle the behavior; other plans do have the capability to turn off the "video data extender" feature as it's called.

Obvously there is a way to subvert detection by simply using a VPN, but it's probably not practical for satellite internet and you'd probably just reach your 150GB limit all the more quickly assuming you're one of those who are fotunate enough to get VPN to work (it's iffy on satellite).     
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zanne

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Thanks for that info. I really hope they allow the throttle to be disabled by the customer. My mother would be very upset if she couldn't watch her Dr. Pimplepopper videos all day long.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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If everyone were to attempt streaming at 13 mbps, the whole network would come to a crawl and Brian Boitano would randomly appear and start ice skating for everyone.  Do you really want that to happen?  People are complaining about Viasat/Exede enough as it is.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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I wouldn't mind if it were a younger Katarina Witt... or even an older one at 52 ;)
(Edited)
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zanne

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But Brian Boitano would make a plan and follow through!
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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There have been some subscribers that have posted that on the unlimited plans, they are able to download videos in 1080P by NOT trying to view it in real time, but to download as a file to their hard drive or other digital recording device, and then viewing the video later. I am not sure if this really works, but I will guess it does since a few of those posting are reliable sources on this forum. I am on the Freedom plan, so I have the option to keep the Video Extender widget turned off so I can enjoy my movies in HD, however, with the unlimited plans, there is no option to turn off the Video Extender.
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rorden

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I wouldn't mind downloading the videos and watching off line but I don't think that is a option with Netflix, etc.  I currently have 50GB between the hours of 2 am and 8 am that I barely use.  I tried scheduling some video streams but couldn't figure out how to do it.  In fact, that is one of my main gripes with Dish.  I can start and then pause an On Demand program between the hours of 2 am and 8 am (in reality needs to be earlier) and watch it later.  But I can not schedule the show to be downloaded between the hours of 2 am and 8 am.  And I have both my TV and internet through Dish.  
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James Irvin

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It works, Steve.
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rorden

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Are there instructions somewhere on how to capture Netflix or Amazon streams for off line viewing?  
Thanks
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BBwithdrawls

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Software called Playon ,I paid 18 bucks for a year . it works pretty good but the file sizes are pretty big , .Mp4 and about 1 gb for a 1 hour episode, it actually streams it and captures it , I have found other sources for files that are a lot smaller , lot better quality and its a true download not a stream capture but if you got a free zone it works great
 
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rorden

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Thanks, I'll look into it.  
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Concentric Circles

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Brian P.

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You can download the “Wehe” app. It tests throttling of various video streaming apps and lets you know what speeds are let through. Works for WiFi and cell service. My testing showed Netflix is heavily throttled on at&t but amazon video isn’t. I have the freedom plan with video saver turned off so no throttling for me on WiFi. Good free app tho