Netflix, YouTube, Amazon reduce streaming quality in Europe2020-03-20 18:55 by Daniela
Tags: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon
YouTube and Netflix will temporarily reduce video quality in the United Kingdom and European Union amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Following them, Amazon announced today that it, too, will be throttling streaming bitrates in Europe in an effort to conserve bandwidth.
The move is in response to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who spoke with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings the service reducing its streaming speeds. Breton is encouraging people and companies to switch back to standard definition, instead of high definition (let alone ultra-crisp 4K) in order to keep the bandwidth pipelines flowing to all who need online access during the crisis.
The overall reduction in bitrates will reduce Netflix's data consumption by about 25%, which is pretty substantial as the service - on average - uses between 1.9 GB and 2.55 GB per hour of streamed HD video.
Netflix says some users will experience a decrease in video quality while others might not, though no user should experience a significant loss in quality thanks to Netflix's streamlined compression algorithms. That said, for those who want to do more, the European Commission is encouraging users to switch to standard definition when HD and 4K content aren't necessary.
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