iPad Catch-22: Video Looks Hot, Eats Data Limit

A few hours of viewing, and those gigabytes are all used up
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2012 7:54 AM CDT
In this March 7, 2012 file photo, a new Apple iPad is on display during an Apple event in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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(Newser) – When it comes to video, the new iPad giveth ... and taketh away. Though the latest model comes equipped with a high-resolution screen and speedy 4G connection—seemingly to enable users to eat up even more video—what's actually being eaten up are users' data limits. The Wall Street Journal shares the experience of one March Madness viewer, who used up his monthly stock of two gigabytes of wireless data after watching just two hours of hoops. (His mother, meanwhile, burned through her limit while using a baby monitor app to watch her snoozing grandkid.)

Those two gigs cost him $30 a month, and he'll have to fork over another $10 for every additional gigabyte he uses during the remainder of his billing period. And Verizon confirms that watching an hour of high-def video on a 4G connection uses 2 gigabytes in just an hour. The Journal's take? "Something has to give." Either consumers need to swallow the reality of paying more each month, or wireless carriers may find themselves inundated with calls to change their pricing models. And things could get more problematic as carriers launch high-speed networks using LTE technology. Stream a video over a 3G link, and it'll use north of 300 megabytes an hour; use an LTE connection, and that number jumps to 650.

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