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So if I'm using the data from a tablet and have it tethered to a laptop and then the laptop is connected to a large monitor and I'm watching a video on that monitor am I using more data than if I was just watching the vid on the tablet itself?
 

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Like nick said if you're watching 720p videos on your tablet and then when connected to your laptop, 1080p then that's a lot more data. If you're trying to use less it is also a good idea to get an ad blocker as that will stop advertisements from downloading.
 

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Like the other have stated, it all depends on the resolution. Higher resolution is going to increase data usage. But, Netflix for example just admitted to capping/throttling their streaming resolution of LTE, which in that case, would keep the data use constant since the resolution is locked. Source: http://goo.gl/s4S06b

Typically you can also set the stream quality in the app settings to help control data usage as well.

Regardless, android (and I'd assume iOS) have built in data monitoring functions and there are plenty of apps that get into even more details and can generate warnings or you can set monthly or weekly caps, etc to keep your usage in check.
 
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