Calculating video size can be a tricky business. But if you’re streaming or downloading a 4K video, you’ll need to take some time to find your footing.
A 4K video has become the golden standard in online videos as it offers theater-like resolutions of 4096 x 2160p. However, with its sharp and high-definition quality comes a drawback –– 4K video eats up a massive amount of storage and mobile data.
An average one-hour-long 4K video is approximately 14 GB. An hour and a half-long 4K movie is about 21 GB, while a two-hour 4K movie is 28 GB.
However, other factors such as bit rate and compression also affect file size.
To help you out, let’s take a closer look at how you can calculate how many GB is in a 4K movie.
4K Video: Downloading versus Streaming
Generally, downloading and streaming 4K videos use more or less the same amount of data.
If you’re connected to WiFi, the amount of data makes little difference. However, the difference is critical if you’re on a restricted broadband plan.
Video streaming lets users watch videos on-demand over a network connection without having to download the entire video. If you don’t mind watching a compressed 4K video, streaming videos can require less bandwidth and use less disk space. However, portability becomes an issue because you need to remain connected to a stable network.
Popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime allow users to download 4k movies and watch them offline. If you plan on watching a movie more than once, downloading the video will save you more data than streaming it multiple times.
How Big is an Average 4K Movie?
When we say that calculating the size of 4K videos is tricky, here’s what we mean:
Multiple factors influence actual video size, the most important are:
- Compression ratio
The higher these three factors are, the better quality video and the larger the file size will be because:
4K Video File Size = Bitrate x Duration x Compression ratio
Bitrate is the number of bits per second, symbolized by bit/s. Bitrate is the most important factor for calculating video file size since a higher bitrate allows higher image quality even when comparing the same video played with the same resolution.
It is calculated as Bitrate = Frame size x Frames rate
However, a higher bitrate isn’t always a good thing. Playing videos at an extremely high bitrate strains your hardware and is heavy on bandwidth.
For your 4K video to stream seamlessly on Youtube, Facebook, and other channels, bitrate should match the video resolution:
|Video Bitrate (Low Frame Rate)||Video Bitrate (High Frame Rate)|
|4K video||45 to 56 Mbps||65 to 85 Mbps|
A 4K video is known for transferring stunning visual details –– color depth, textures, and shapes are brought to life. As you can expect, streaming or downloading longer 4K videos will require more mobile data and more storage space.
For torrenting 4K movies, expect larger file sizes for longer videos:
|Duration||Average File Size|
|Per minute||233 MB|
|Per hour||14 GB|
However, use this table for reference only, as you know, bitrate and compression also affect the actual video file size.
If you’re planning to stream movies via Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, or Vimeo, the hourly conversion rate for 4K videos at a streaming bitrate between 8000 to 16000 kbps is approximately 3.5 GB to 7 GB.
Some streaming services, such as Amazon Prime, indicate the file size of each movie or show before you click download. However, platforms such as Netflix and Vimeo On Demand, don’t show the downloadable file size.
As file size varies between videos, it is best to stream or download 4K movies over a WiFi network to avoid eating up your mobile data.
How many GB is an hour, and a two-hour, 4K movie?
The download size for every hour of a 4K movie is approximately 14 GB.
An hour of 4K video: (1 x 14 GB) + (.233 GB x 0) = 14 GB
Using this formula, a two-hour 4K video will have double the file size.
A two-hour 4K video: (2 x 14 GB) + (.233 GB x 0) = 28 GB
How many GB is a 90-minute 4K movie?
Following our table above, the download size for a 90-minute 4K video would be:
(1 x 14 GB) + (.233 GB x 30) = 21 GB
A 90-minute 4K movie is approximately 21 GB.
In video compression, the number of bits per frame or video sequence is reduced to save bandwidth and storage.
While compression significantly reduces file size, you should expect the video quality to go down as well.
Video codecs are used to compress the video and reduce bitrate.
A promising encoding process is video file size is variable bit rate (VBR) encoding. To retain the high quality of a video to some degree, VBR will use more “bits” for complex scenes to give the best viewing experience according to network speed and strength.
How Many GB is an Average 1080p Movie?
With a resolution of 1920 x 1080, you may be wondering how big a 1080p movie is compared to a 4K movie.
Depending on bitrate and compression, the average 1080p movie will range between three to six gigabyte per hour.
A two-hour 1080p movie on Blu-Ray will be approximately fifteen to twenty-five gigabyte.
Since 4K movies average at fourteen gigabyte per hour, 4K videos are significantly larger than 1080p movies.
Where Can I Watch 4K Movies?
When it comes to streaming sites, you’ll find a wide range of movies on:
- Amazon Prime
- Sony Ultra
To get the best cinematic experience, we recommend investing in a 4K curved monitor. Aside from providing life-like imagery, 4K monitors offer fast refresh rates and response times that reduce screen tearing.
For a truly immersive 4K monitor, we recommend this 34-inch ultra-wide LG monitor. If you’re on a budget, the ASUS VS248H-P 24-inch offers competitive playback speeds and stellar image quality for an affordable price.
While other factors affect 4K movie video size, such as bit rate and compression, the average file size of 4K video is 0.233 GB per minute.
|4K Movie Duration||Average File Size|
|1 hour||14 GB|
|90 minutes||21 GB|
|120 minutes||28 GB|
Before you download or stream a 4K movie, make sure that you have enough storage space and data to accommodate the video.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.