The German test magazine "Stiftung Warentest" tested video streaming platforms in the magazine 1/2020. As a side note they write on page 35:
Laut Studien der grünen französischen Denkfabrik "The Shift Project" erzeugt Videostreaming enorme CO2-Emissionen. Sie sollen knapp der Hälfte jener Emissionen entsprechen, die durch den gesamten zivilen Flugverkehr entstehen. Das Streamen eines zehnminütigen HD-Videos auf einem Handy verbraucht laut Forschern genauso viel Energie wie ein 2 000-Watt Backofen bei voller Leistung in fünf Minuten. Stromfresser sind vor allem die riesigen Serverfarmen der Anbieter, von denen aus die Videos gestreamt werden und die zudem ständig gekühlt werden müssen.
According to studies by the green, french think tank "The Shift Project", video streaming causes enormous CO2-emissions. Supposedly the emissions should be equal to half of the amount caused by world wide civil aviation. According to the researchers streaming a ten minute HD-video to a smartphone consumes as much energy as a 2 000 Watt oven running on full power for five minutes. Power guzzlers are mainly the huge server farms of the providers which provide the videos and also require continuous cooling.
They don't mention it so explicity, but it seems to make sense to assume that a "2 000 Watt oven" consumes 2 000 Watt when running on full power. If that oven consumes in 5 minutes the same amount of energy then 10 minutes of video streaming, then video streaming would have a consumption of 1 000 Watt.
These numbers sound highly exaggerated to me. Smartphones consume very little energy and will have negligible impact on the calculation, so the consumption must happen nearly exclusively in the data centers and the transmission infrastructure.
This article assumes a power consumption of up to 350 W for a gaming PC under full load. That seems plausible. In a data center we additionally need supporting infrastructure such as cooling. This article writes about 50% of power consumption is for supporting infrastructure, so we'd need about 700 W for a gaming PC under full load in a data center. To put this in relation that means that significantly more than one gaming PC under full load would need to be running in a data center to provide a video stream, so that we get to the number of 1000W. As I have been able to stream videos from a Raspberry Pie in my local network this sounds extremely exaggerated.
The cited "The Shift Project" published the REPORT / LEAN ICT: TOWARDS DIGITAL SOBRIETY and on page 33 I found:
Spending 10 minutes watching a high definition video by streaming on a smartphone is equivalent to using a 2,000W electric oven at full power for 5 minutes
This indirectly references to:
Described in "[Lean ICT Materials] 1byte Model". Produced by The Shift Project.
Now I start to get into difficulties to follow this reference.
Does streaming a video to smartphone consume 1000W of electricity?
- This is primarily about popular video on demand services such as Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, etc.
- I assume that the total energy consumed is linear to the the time watched. E.g. Watching a 20 minutes video will consume power at the same rate as a 10 minutes video and thus watching a 20 minutes video will consume twice as much energy as watching a 10 minutes video. In case there is any evidence that this assumption is wrong to such a degree that is has influence on the outcome of the question, let me know.