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Best Ethernet Cable for Streaming

by Tom Niswander on October 22, 2020
someone streaming on their television

Getting a good quality streaming connection is what we all strive for. Whether streaming your favorite TV show, movie or video streaming having a reliable connection can be the difference between an enjoyable experience and a frustrating time in front of your device. At Infinity Cable Products we're here to take your network to another level and get you up and running with the right equipment. In this article we will go over the what is the best ethernet cable for streaming?

Minimum Speed Requirement For Streaming

testing internet speed for streaming

First things first lets find out just what speeds are required for some of the most popular streaming devices and technology. For this article we will only cover the devices that accept an ethernet cable. This list goes in no exact order:

Roku Ultra

First up is a Roku Ultra streaming device. This device can even stream up to 4K Ultra HD. The recommended minimum speeds you want for this device is 25 mbps. See more here.

Apple TV

When using an Apple TV device you have a couple options to which resolution you want to watch on. Apple recommends to have a minimum of 25mbps for 4K streaming, 8mbps for 1080p, 6mbps for 720p and 2.5 mbps for SD. The newest version of the Apple TV product line is their Apple TV 4K.

See more here.

Nvidia Shield TV

This device also has similar streaming requirements coming in at 25mbps for up to 4K. See more here

Amazon Fire Stick + Ethernet Adaptor

Using an Amazon Fire Stock plus their ethernet adaptor gives your viewing experience a more reliable one. The recommended speed requirements are 1.5 mbps for broadband, 3 mbps for SD, 5 mbps for HD and 25 mbps for ultra HD. See more here.

Google Chromecast + Ethernet Adaptor

Another versatile gadget this streaming device can give different resolutions to view at. The recommended speed for a Google Chromecast is at least 20 mbps for 4K content. See more here.

Smart TV

Many Smart TVs today come in ethernet ports on them for a hard wired connect with cable. We based this speed requirement off of a Roku TV but you can use this as a guideline for all smart TVs. The recommended internet speed for smart TVs is 25 mbps.


Netflix streaming internet requirements are 1.5  mbps for broadband, 3 mbps for SD, 5 mbps for HD and 25 mbps for Ultra HD. Another note here is to make sure that you have an HD plan and you want to have your quality settings to Auto or high. See more here.


YouTube streaming requirements are 0.7mbps for SD 360p, 1.1 mbps for SD 480p, 2.5 mbps for HD 720p, 5 mbps for HD 1080p and 20 mbps for 4K. See more here.

What Type Of Cable is Right For Streaming

different cable options for streaming

During your search for the perfect cable to use on your device you'll come across many different options. The most popular being copper cable and fiber cables. Our recommendation is to use copper cables for streaming devices because of its ease of use and compatibility with other products in your home or business. Copper cables are available in two different versions: shorter length which is patch cables and longer lengths which is bulk network cable. These two types of cables have the same function but just come in different lengths and styles . If you are installing cable over longer distance and inside walls or even plenum spaces then you want to look to bulk ethernet cable for your selection. But if you simply want to connect your streaming device to your router or modem then look to patch cables. This will be the most popular option.

Does the Length of the Cable Matter for Streaming?

The length of ethernet cables actually do matter for proper performance. The good news is that it can be unlikely that you will be using a cable this long anyways. For the majority of cable category standards including (Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6A) the maximum length will be 328 feet. For fiber lengths can go longer distances but for this article we will stick to copper cables. Having an ethernet cable too short is also an issue you shouldn't worry about. We sell cables as short as 6 inches but for cables in your home you will want a longer cable for your streaming devices.

Which Ethernet Cable Should I Use?

Looking over the minimum speed requirements for streaming some of the most popular devices you can see that it is typically around 25 mbps. Getting around this speed gives you the best chance for smooth streams operating the highest resolutions. So for these speeds we recommend a category cable of Cat5e, Cat6 or even Cat6A. Both Cat5e and Cat6 are rated for gigabit speeds (1000 mbps) up to 328 feet. These cables combined with your ISP speed should give you enough power to get a great streaming experience. Here's our selection of cables that will do the job:

Shop Patch Cables for Streaming

Cat6 Patch Cable: Elite 24AWG patch cables are pure copper, reliable and durable over long distances.

Shop Cat6 24AWG Patch Cables
cat6 24awg patch cables

Cat6 28AWG Patch Cable: Save room in and around your devices with slim 28AWG cables. Easy to bundle together with other cables in your network.

Shop Cat6 Slim Patch Cables
cat6 28awg patch cables

Cat6A Patch Cable: Running cables in areas with EMI? Look to our shielded Cat6A patch cables to protect your network. Rated for 10Gb these patch cables are great for high speed networks.

Shop Cat6A Patch Cables
cat6a patch cables

Final Thoughts

You might be surprised to find out that you really don't need to have too many mbps to run some of your favorites streaming companies or devices. You typically want to have at least 25mbps for ultra HD streaming which then covers all the other resolutions up to that point. The good thing about those speeds is that it can be easily attainable with many different categories of cables. We recommend using a Cat6 or Cat6A patch cable when you want the best streaming experience in your home or business.

Happy Cabling!


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