I am wondering how much bandwith is required to stream a 1080p movie from for example Youtube. I am aware that there may be things such as compression that come in play here, but can anyone provide a good answer for this anyways?
Compressing using x264, a "typical" file ends up somewhere around 8GB for 100 minutes of movie. To stream this without problems, you need a speed of 8GB/100 minutes ~= 1.3MB/s ~= 10Mb/s.
It is directly dependent on compression rate (and more correctly: bitrate), though. Youtube compresses material quite strongly. Try downloading a 1080p Youtube video with some of the (many) available services and divide by length to get an average bitrate (or check the bitrate directly with some tool - your connection simply needs to be able to handle the audio+video bitrate).
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http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-bandwidth-requirement-to-stream-a-1080p-HD-movie-off-a-remote-server says youtube takes about 3.5-8 Mb/s
http://sonnati.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/bandwidth-is-running-out-lets-save-the-bandwidth/ says youtube takes 3.5 Mb/s