Whether it’s a home speaker or playing music in the car, Bluetooth has become a common way to stream.
This leaves many people wondering how far we can really go with streaming over the technology.
Can you stream video over Bluetooth?
You can stream video over Bluetooth from one device to another as long as both devices are in close proximity to each other. Bluetooth technology is still growing, but it currently supports video streaming through video compression.
In this article, you’ll learn some facts about streaming video over Bluetooth.
1. Bluetooth Video Streaming Relies on Proximity
Bluetooth has a range of about 30 feet (9.14 m). This means that you need to be within those 30 feet (9.14 m) to stream.
Closer than 30 feet (9.14 m) is fine and won’t affect quality, but moving out of this range can cause severe connection issues.
If you use wireless headphones, you probably know this all too well.
The same goes for streaming video over Bluetooth. The closer you are, the better chance you have of maintaining your connection.
This is important for video streaming because it can be easy to carry your phone off without thinking about it.
This will lead to a possible loss of connection.
That can be frustrating for other people watching the stream. So, stay close by to help keep your connection strong.
2. Disruption in the Connection Will Interrupt Your Video
Going along with the previous fact, disruption in Bluetooth connection means disruption in video connection.
Bluetooth can be interrupted by more than just walking away.
We’ll get into what specifically can get in the way of Bluetooth connectivity later.
But relying solely on Bluetooth to stream video can be a gamble when it comes to interruptions.
For example, videos won’t always pause when the connection is disrupted.
So, there’s a good chance that if the connection is disrupted, you’ll miss portions of the video.
Once you get reconnected, you’ll have to find where you were and go from there.
This may only happen once while streaming. But it can definitely slow you down.
If you use other Bluetooth devices like speakers or headphones, think about how often they get disconnected.
One second you’re dancing to your favorite song, and the next, you hear that dreaded disconnection sound.
But it’s often easy to fix. In many cases, you just have to reconnect your devices, and the party continues.
The same goes for video streaming. You may run into connection issues, but you can reconnect your device and continue watching.
3. Reduced Bandwidth Affects Quality in Bluetooth Streaming
Overall, Bluetooth has a decent bandwidth for streaming music, but video changes the game.
Streaming videos requires a lot of bandwidth. This means that sometimes quality is sacrificed during streaming.
During your stream, you may notice some blurring or lagging because the bandwidth can’t handle it.
This is normal.
While you can stream videos over Bluetooth, it’s still not optimal for that use.
This may change as technology continues to evolve. For now, you can stream videos, but the quality may suffer.
With bandwidth issues, you’d notice occasional blurriness, spots in the picture, and even occasional skipping.
These are common issues, but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen all the time.
You may also wonder: Is Bluetooth Better Than 2.4 GHz?
4. Devices Around Your Home Can Affect Connectivity
Some electronics around your home can directly interfere with the bandwidth of your Bluetooth device.
Sometimes, other signals get in the way.
For example, a microwave can interfere with your Bluetooth connection because it uses a similar frequency.
So, you might want to cook that microwave popcorn before you start streaming.
Because Bluetooth is based highly on proximity, having an object between the devices can interfere with the signal.
Streaming to a device in another room can seem easy if it’s less than 30 feet (9.14 m) away. However, that’s not always the case.
Physical objects block Bluetooth just as much as other electronics.
So, streaming into another room might be difficult because of the various objects it has to move through.
Though Bluetooth can travel through objects and walls, it does make it more difficult to get a clear video signal.
So, if you’re having trouble with Bluetooth, ensure nothing is separating the devices.
The most common interference will come from other Bluetooth devices.
Bluetooth can be interrupted if there are other Bluetooth devices around.
Say you have a smart speaker and Bluetooth headphones. Sometimes, one can interfere with the other and cause them to not work as well.
If Bluetooth issues persist, try turning off other Bluetooth devices while streaming.
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5. Bluetooth Relies on Video Compression
To counteract the low bandwidth, video and audio files streamed over Bluetooth are compressed.
This is exactly what it sounds like.
Audio and video files are so big, so they need to be compressed to work with Bluetooth.
Compression is removing extra or redundant information from a file. This process makes the file easier to stream.
Compression can also change the video or audio quality but in ways, you don’t even notice.
These subtle changes can include colors and small changes in background images. Most of the time, the changes are barely noticeable.
Every part of a video takes up space. Intricate colors take up space as well as subtle background changes.
When removed, these small changes make the video a lot smaller and easier to play.
While compression can lower the quality, it’s difficult to notice when streaming.
Compression is a common way to stream audio and video files, but there’s still room for improvement.
For example, this study shows how far we have come with Bluetooth technology while admitting room for improvement.
With more bandwidth and stronger signal strength, Bluetooth could become a popular way to stream high-quality videos.
6. Bluetooth Technology Is Still Growing
Understanding that video streaming is not what Bluetooth was made for makes it more impressive.
As we find new ways to use technology, there’ll be enhancements made to accommodate our ideas.
There have been many improvements made to Bluetooth, but it requires you to buy new devices to keep up with updates.
For example, Bluetooth 5 has a range of 400 feet (121.92 m). This is a significant jump from the 30 we have known.
However, you have to buy speakers and devices compatible with Bluetooth 5 to take advantage of it.
Unlike system updates, new versions of Bluetooth need to be installed in the system before it’s released.
So, to get that 400 feet (121.92 m) of distance between your devices, you’ll need to buy new ones.
There have been some issues with pairing old Bluetooth devices with new versions.
If your speaker is a Bluetooth 5.0, but your smartphone isn’t, you may not get the full 400 feet (121.92 m).
Both devices need to have the same advanced version of Bluetooth to get all the new features.
While this can be frustrating for those who don’t have the extra cash, it may be worth an upgrade.
Overall, Bluetooth can be used for video streaming. While you may run into occasional connection issues, there’s nothing wrong with trying it out.
Just remember to not let anything interfere with your signal. Your device will compress the video in a way that allows it to stream.
So, if you notice subtle differences, that’s why. Keep an eye on the continued advancements in Bluetooth when purchasing your next device.