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Video Data Extender helps stream more video, use less data

Summary

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Video Data Extender helps you stream more online video using a lot less data.


All Viasat service plans (except unlimited data service plans) have a new feature that was introduced in 2017.  It’s called the Video Data Extender, and it will help you stream more online video, using a lot less data.
 
What is Video Data Extender?

This free setting allows you to watch more streaming video on your wireless devices while using less data. With Video Data Extender, your video will automatically stream at DVD quality (optimized for 480p). You will be able to enjoy more of what you love, especially on small screens! Note: Not all video sources are identifiable and able to benefit from the Video Data Extender. 

The Video Data Extender is turned on by default. You can always turn the Video Data Extender on and off at any time.

 

How do I know if I have the Video Data Extender? How can I turn it on or off?
 
Account.viasat.com
1. Log into your account.
2. You will see the toggle switch on your account dashboard and the data usage page. You can use this to toggle the Video Data Extender on or off.
 
Text Message
1. Text VIDEO to 20715
2. Follow the prompts
3. (If you haven’t registered yet, text JOIN to 20715)
 
Viasat Internet App
1. Download the Viasat Internet app from either Google Play or the App Store, depending on your device
2.  Log in with the same information you use to log into your account
3. Under Your Plan, click on Plan Details button
4,  Toggle the Video data Extender option on or off.
 
EasyChat on Facebook Messenger
1. Go to Account Management
You will see the Video Data Extender button at the bottom of the screen.
2. Click on the button and you will see if it’s enabled or disabled.
3. Click on Disable or Enable to change the setting. Confirm. It might take a few minutes.
4. If you haven’t registered for EasyChat, click here for instructions.
 

 

How much does it cost?
Nothing! Video Data Extender is included with your internet service plan.

How much data could I save?
A lot! A typical HD stream can use 1.3 gigabytes of data or more in a single hour, whereas that same hour streamed in 480p might use only .5 GB. That’s data you can use to stream more video and download big files.
 
Will I notice the difference in quality?
It depends on two things: If you’re watching video on a smart phone or tablet, you probably will find the 480p quality to be fine. On devices with bigger screens, most content will still look pretty good – even on larger TVs. But, videos with a lot of movement – like a sports event or action movie–you might find the resolution quality is more noticeable.
 
What types of video looks good at 480p? 

Typically shows that don’t have a lot of fast movement or complex graphics look just fine at this DVD quality. Here are some examples:
  • Talk and news shows
  • Cartoons/animated shows
  • Movies like romantic comedies, dramas, and documentaries
  • Game shows
  • TV series like comedies and dramas
  • Short YouTube videos typically don’t use a ton of data, and you can adjust the resolution up and down on each video.
  • Netflix, if you have it set to “Automatic” (the default setting), streams at a very high rate, possibly using 1-3 GB an hour. You can adjust your Netflix resolution in the account settings.
  • Other services like Hulu and Amazon Prime usually push the highest quality of video possible, which consumes a lot of data. These services also have the ability to adjust resolution.
If you’re watching something like an action movie – in full HD, turn it off. We highly recommend turning it back on when you’re done with your movie so you can get the benefits of the Video Data Extender during the rest of the month.

See what 480p looks like compared to 720p in this video
User-added image

Can I turn it on and off midstream?
Yes. If you do turn off the Video Data Extender, it will take a few moments for the higher quality to kick in. If you’re already streaming something, you’ll need to refresh your browser or video app.
 
Can I turn it off and keep it off?
Yes. If you don’t watch a lot of video or have one of our higher-end data plans, you might decide to turn off the Video Data Extender and leave it off. That’s up to you. Remember, you can always keep track of your data at via your account, the Viasat Internet mobile app, or Viasat Text Alerts.  With Video Data Extender disabled, you will consume data much faster.
 
How much data will I use if I turn it off?
The simple answer is a lot – video uses more data than anything else on the internet.
 
The complicated answer is that it depends on what you’re watching and the service you’re getting it from.  
The benefit of using the Video Data Extender is that you don’t have to worry about configuring all those different services – it takes care of all of them, automatically.
 
Will all my devices get the same screen resolution?
The video streaming to all your devices will be at DVD quality, optimized for 480p. The difference in appearance on your device’s screens will vary by device depending on the capabilities of each screen.
 
What about the unlimited data plans?
Unlimited plans have a specified video resolution that comes with each plan. If you’d like to change your video quality, you must change plans. You can manage this yourself in your account.

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