In the world of home entertainment, there are a pair of persistent trends that telco professionals should be leveraging to their advantage.

One is the now long-running trend of people cutting the cord on cable and relying solely on streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The other is the steady rise of 4K content on streaming services.

Together, these trends represent a window of opportunity for telco pros to educate and upsell consumers on the benefits of products like fiber optic internet, structured wiring throughout the home, and WiFi-transparent media panels.

The Challenge of 4K Streaming

Of course, the big challenge with 4K streaming is that it requires a lot of bandwidth. Netflix, for instance, requires consistent connection speeds of at least 25 Mbps. For many homeowners on basic internet plans, this simply isn’t fast enough.

Speed, however, isn’t the only issue. These days, the average household has countless devices connected to the internet simultaneously. TVs, gaming consoles, smart home tech, tablets, smartphones and more are all competing for the same bandwidth.

If your clients are calling with concerns about the quality and stability of their 4K streaming, inadequate bandwidth is the most likely culprit.

For a deep dive look at the nuts and bolts of 4K and 8K streaming, catch up with our Resolution Confusion series.

Let your client choose the solution

It makes sense to start by recommending a fiber optic or DOCSIS 4 compliant Coax Cable internet connection to the homeowner, as this can deliver up to 100 times faster speeds than low-end connections. However, installing a fiber or high-speed coax connection in the home may only be part of the best solution available. This is where the opportunity to educate and present solutions is for installation professionals.

When discussing bandwidth with clients, telco and cableco professionals should also be outlining the benefits of structured wiring, in which wired Ethernet ports are installed in various areas and rooms throughout the home. Cat6A connections are growing in popularity due to their ability to comfortably transfer up to 10 Gbps of data which is ample for 4k signals. This reduces stress on the home’s Wi-Fi router, which can quickly become a bottleneck when multiple devices are competing for bandwidth simultaneously.

For instance, if the homeowner has a teenage son or daughter who likes to play online video games in their room, while someone else is streaming 4K content in the living room, and another member of the house is streaming music in the garage, this can put a strain on the home’s Wi-Fi network. It’s possible that one (or all) of these activities will be impacted by lag or buffering, and it’s very likely the 4K streaming content will actually be downgraded to less-than-4K while you’re watching. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link so utilizing a high-bandwidth internet connection with in-premise Cat6A connections will ensure a high-data transfer rate throughout the home network. As an installer, incorporating Cat6A into a customers home not only ensures they will be able to comfortably stream 4k content but also future-proof their network for the coming 8k standard. 

If your client isn’t interested in structured wiring solutions, you can also educate them on the benefits of a Wi-Fi-transparent media panel. Since these boxes deliver up to 15 times more wireless signal strength than metal alternatives, they let the homeowner get the most out of the Wi-Fi router and fiber optic connection.