Those who have prepared for a streaming marathon over the next few days will probably have to prepare for poorer picture quality now. The streaming service provider Netflix is reducing its data rates for the next 30 days.
Staying at home permanently not only pushes us to our limits, but the Internet also suffers from increased use. Video calls, surfing on social platforms and streaming TV shows and movies demands a lot from the providers. At the beginning of the week, the telephone provider Vodafone reported that Internet usage in Europe has increased by as much as half. Netflix now wants to ease the situation a little. The company is cutting its bit rate for streams by 25 percent for 30 days.
Netflix reacts to a conversation with EU officials
Netflix's decision was probably prompted by a telephone conversation it had had with Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, according to the BBC. The company itself stated that after the conversation and due to the challenges posed by the coronavirus, it had decided to reduce the bit rate for all streams. This is to be reduced by 25 percent for the next 30 days.
Thierry Breton himself praised the company for acting promptly to ensure that the Internet continues to function smoothly. Furthermore, the EU commissioner pointed out that videos in standard resolution would further relieve the Internet. If possible, series and films should be enjoyed in standard resolution rather than high definition. For a standard resolution video, only about 1GB is used. High-definition videos, on the other hand, consume up to 3GB in an hour.
Reduced picture quality means a reduced bit rate for users
Users in Europe are unlikely to notice the 25 percent reduction in picture quality (4K consumers, of course, certainly will). According to Netflix, the image quality should continue to be perceived as good. Nevertheless, the 25 percent reduction in picture quality has an effect on streaming. The higher the bit rate, the clearer and smoother the video can be streamed.
Therefore, despite what Netflix says, it is likely that the movies and series may be played in a lower resolution. The reduced video quality will affect the next 30 days for the time being. It remains to be seen whether Netflix will decide to continue on this course. For the time being, Netflix users will have to live with the deteriorated image quality.
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YouTube throttles data rate as well
Meanwhile, Google's video service YouTube has also announced a reduced picture quality of videos in Europe. For the next month, videos will only be available in SD quality instead of high definition (HD).
Via: BBC News