The last time we had a look at web connection speed requirements for playing live dealers, it was 2009.
With talk of 56k dial up modems and DSL, it’s fair to say a little bit has changed since then. Connection speeds globally have rocketed over the last decade. Also, video streaming technology has improved considerably with the then ubiquitous Flash now replaced by HTML5.
Among its many benefits (open source, more secure, broader device compatibility) HTML5 video content requires significantly less bandwidth and CPU processing power than Flash. We came to the conclusion back in 2009 that for frustration free live casino play you wanted a connection speed of around 1Mbps; a hurdle out of reach for many.
The threshold with today’s HTML5 powered live games is considerably less, and largely irrelevant anyway in many parts of the world where ISP’s now sell Internet plans in the hundred’s of Mbps.
Who has the fastest Internet connections?
Every month Speedtest.net publish their Global Speed Test index, showing median download speeds by country for both mobile and fixed broadband.
The below extracts show the top 10, bottom 10 and global median for each.
Fixed broadband download speeds
Singapore leads the pack when it comes to broadbands download speeds at 254Mbps. That’s the median measured speed. Imagine what their fastest plans are like!
To get an idea of historical progression, in 2015 South Korea was lead the pack at 23Mbps.
Today’s global average speed is 82Mbps. Cuba’s at the bottom of the pile at just under 2Mbps.
Mobile download speeds
On the mobile side of things, the Gulf states are at the head of the pack. Cuba is once again at the bottom, but with a much faster connection speed on mobile (4.34Mbps) than their broadband speeds, both of which are a quantum leap from their 0.21Mbps connection speed in 2015.
Bandwidth needed for live casino gaming
First generation live dealer games were all delivered to players browsers using Flash, a proprietary software from Adobe. These days, the games are all HTML5 powered.
The catalyst for the switch was probably the fact that Flash wasn’t compatible with mobile devices whereas HTML5 video content is. Flash also required users to download the Flash plugin and came with security vulnerabilities so there were other benefits to the switch.
The other big benefit of HTML5 video is the fact that it requires less bandwidth and CPU resource than Flash did. The upshot of this from a live gaming perspective – today’s games are more tolerant to slower connections.
Below are screen grabs taken a game of live (golden wealth) baccarat played on a slow VPN connection.
At only 200Kbps, the video was continuous with no deal lag or freeze framing. More granular and less sharp than it would have been over a fast connection. But frustration free play nonetheless.
Even with the connection dropping to 175 Kbps play is not yet interrupted.
And then the first signs of real trouble.
Evolution’s live games will automatically adjust the view mode to suit a slow connection.
This only took place once we dropped below 150Kbps.
The key point from all of the above, is that today’s connection speeds have moved so far ahead of what’s needed to play live casino games that there are few parts of the world where play would be compromised.